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Sony just made a bold prediction

The launch of the PlayStation 5 is a little over a month away. Soon, it will become clear whether Sony or Microsoft will come out on top in the first wave of the next-gen console war. However, according to a recent interview, it seems like the PlayStation camp is feeling pretty confident. In fact, PlayStation head honcho Jim Ryan has made some pretty bold claims regarding his expectations for the PS5's sales performance.

Jim Ryan recently sat down for an interview with Korean gaming site Naver (translation via GamesIndustry.biz). During that interview, Ryan made some interesting predictions regarding the success of the PlayStation 5. When discussing the impending launch of the console, Jim Ryan said that he expects the PlayStation 5 to "sell more in its first fiscal year than [we] sold in the first fiscal year at the time of [the] PS4 launch."

Setting aside the fact that this is the kind of hyperbole that usually gets tossed around during the lead-up to a new console launch, there's a lot to unpack about this very surprising prediction.

For one thing, there's the fact that the PlayStation 4's first year sales were nothing to sneeze at. The PS4 released in mid-November 2013, and managed to sell a whopping 7 million units by the time the fiscal year ended in April 2014. As pointed out by GamesIndustry.biz, the PS5 launches in November and the fiscal year ends in April 2021. Jim Ryan seems pretty confident history will repeat itself when it comes to how hot a seller the PS5 will become.

Next, it seems Sony as a whole is confident about the number of PlayStation 5 consoles that'll be available for consumers to purchase. As you might recall, there were numerous rumors about Sony having issues sourcing parts for the PS5. Over the last several months, there have been multiple reports suggesting that the PlayStation 5 would be extremely limited at launch. Last month, a rumor began circulating that Sony was planning to cut the initial production run of the PS5 by roughly 4 million units. This would have reduced the number of PlayStations produced within the console's first fiscal year to around 11 million units, but this turned out to not be the case, as a representative from Sony denied the claims of a change in production numbers.

Pre-sale numbers have not yet been revealed for the PS5, but they are presumed to be pretty massive. After all, the first round of PlayStation 5 pre-orders sold out completely. Even though Sony had to apologize for the way pre-orders were handled, it still counted as a win, just in terms of sales.

With the first batch of pre-orders sold out and the rumors surrounding PS5 production cuts having been dispelled, it seems like Ryan's bold prediction could actually come true. Another thing that may back up Ryan's prediction is that it lines up rather well with recent market research. A recent study posted by Ampere Analysis' Piers Harding-Rolls seemed to show terrible news for Xbox consoles in the long run. Still, it should be noted that this same study also predicted that Sony would manage to sell 5 million PlayStation 5 units in 2020 alone. 

Considering the fact that the PS5 launches in November, that means Ampere expects that many consoles to sell in a little over a single month. This would leave Sony a solid four months to sell another 2 million units to meet Jim Ryan's sales estimate. In other words, there's a chance that Jim Ryan could even be underestimating how many PlayStation 5s might be sold before the end of the fiscal year, especially if Ampere Analysis' research is on the money.

At one point in the interview with Naver, Jim Ryan also discussed how he thought the higher price point for PS5 games might affect PlayStation's sales. Even concerning this topic, it seemed that Ryan wasn't too worried. "It is difficult to talk about the overall game market or other game consoles, but I think the value is obvious in the case of the PS5," said Ryan. "We'll excite fans around the world with the best exclusive games on the market today and deliver a truly next-generation device experience that will captivate them."

Basically, Jim Ryan is feeling pretty great about PlayStation's position heading into the next console generation. Sure, there are some things about the PS5 that fans simply cannot stand, but the good seems to outweigh the bad at this point. The PlayStation 5 launches on Nov. 12, 2020.