Xbox One and PS4 shipments in Q4 2013 are expected to hit between 2.5 to 3 million each, according to analysis by Robert W. Baird & Co.'s Colin Sebastian.
In North America, the figure is expected to reachbewteen 1.5-2 million each, and while many analysts are giving Sony's PS4 an edge in the region, Sebastian said the firm expects "similar or even slightly higher sales of Xbox One," by the end of the launch window.
"Our shipment unit forecasts are slightly below consensus of 3 million or more for each platform," said Sebastian in his note. "We estimate 5-6 million total Xbox One and PS4 shipments worldwide in 2013. Overall, our unit forecasts are slightly below some other published estimates of 3 million or more units per platform by year-end; however, we do not have any near-term demand concerns, but rather anticipate normal launch supply constraints.
"Looking further ahead, we expect ongoing flow of new hardware in Q1, which should enable Sony to reach its 5 million unit target by the end of March 2014."
Using eBay as a gauge of popularity, the firm noted that "sales on eBay of Xbox One pre-orders average close to $800 (vs. base price of $499) and PS4's close to $600 (vs. $399 base price) - both healthy premiums."
"Our latest channel checks suggest initial demand indications remain positive for next-gen hardware," read the note. "Overall video game sector performance has lagged as investors await more tangible next-gen data points, and as such, we remain cautiously optimistic on the group.
"To that end, both Sony and Microsoft are generally sold out of their initial unit shipments of PS4 and Xbox One, respectively. While we expect strong initial demand for new hardware, we still believe that platform holders need to demonstrate a compelling reason to upgrade, and a clear value proposition for mainstream audiences, to drive growth beyond year one."
PS4 launches November 15 in North America and November 29 in Europe while Xbox One launched on November 22 in both regions.