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Take-Two boss has high hopes for PS4 and Xbox One

But EA reckons Sony and MS face "stiff competition" from Apple and Google.

The boss of the company that owns Grand Theft Auto, Borderlands and BioShock reckons it'll take five years for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One to outsell their predecessors.

Both the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 are sitting pretty on 80 million sales each. Barring a catastrophic economic downturn, PS4 and Xbox One will reach that figure by 2018, Take-Two Interactive chairman and CEO Strauss Zelnick said at the Credit Suisse 2013 Technology Conference last night.

"It appears that - and this is largely anecdotal but tablets are a good example - all these new iterations of more and more exciting hardware seem to have picked up in velocity generationally compared to five or 10 years ago," he said.

"But if we had a big market meltdown, for example, a repeat of 2008 and 2009 in three years, or two years, or two minutes, that would influence it. But if this economy stays on this track, yeah, I feel good about it."

Both the PS4 and Xbox One have got off to great starts. Xbox One, which launched in 13 countries on 22nd November, sold one million units in 24 hours. PS4 has sold 2.1 million units and is available in 32 countries. In the UK, PS4 is the fastest-selling console ever, shifting around 250,000 units in 48 hours.

Zelnick was asked about Take-Two's plans for PS4 and Xbox One. The company has been quiet so far on its release slate for the consoles, leaving analysts scratching their heads when it comes to issuing advice to investors.

Zelnick dodged the question, saying: "If I said we had a title called Steven's Life in Elementary School next October and I told you it was going to sell 20 million units, what credibility could that possibly have? New intellectual property is a risky business."

There you go. Next-gen Bully confirmed.

Now, for something that won't go down well: Zelnick was asked about the PS4 and Xbox One's lack of backwards compatibility - a hot topic for gamers. He answered by saying consumers don't care about it at all.

"I don't see it as a problem at all, and certainly we have the physical ability to port, and it wouldn't be particularly costly," he said.

"The question is, 'Is there an economic opportunity for us to do so?' I don't think backwards compatibility affects consumers at all."

Sony plans to add backwards compatibility to PS4 with its game streaming tech Gaikai - although it may not launch in Europe until 2015. Microsoft is yet to announce a backwards compatibility solution for Xbox One.

Countering Zelnick's positivity somewhat was EA boss Andrew Wilson, who at the same conference said Microsoft and Sony will face "stiff competition for the living room" from the likes of Apple and Google over the next five years.

"Three years from now, four years from now, they're going to be under some fairly stiff competition for the living room from mobile providers, from Apple, from Google, from Roku, from Comcast to try and own that living room experience," he said.

"But again, as of now, we think that they have the single best way to get high-definition interactive entertainment TV and we're going to work with them to make sure that we can deliver that to consumer."

Both Sony and Microsoft are expected to shift five million of their next-gen consoles by the end of their 2014 financial years.