Xbox One and PS4 – Where Do Both These Machines Stand Right Now
With the close of 2014 we are now able to see the figures from Microsoft (maker of Xbox One) and Sony (maker of PlayStation). They are both excellent game platforms with loyal fan bases and cutting edge technology. The real question is whether one of them is better than the other – in terms of sales or specifications.
PlayStation 4 and Xbox One sales
It would appear that PlayStation does have the edge considering that Microsoft has released their official figures for the last three months of 2014. It looks like they’ve recorded a net income of $5.86 billion, down 10% relative to the same period the previous year. Microsoft claims to have shipped 6.6 million Xbox One consoles to retailers during October, November and December 2014.
PlayStation shows sales of 4.4 million units during the period from 23rd November to 4th January. In the last month of 2014, the gaming industry as a whole managed to general sales worth $3.25 billion, according to the NPD Group. The figure is down a bit from $3.28 billion from December 2013. In spite of excellent sales in December 2014, it was not enough to beat the figures recorded a year before. As for the battle between PS4 and Xbox One, the same group claims Xbox outsold PS4 in the months of November and December 2014.
The bigger picture – Sony vs. Microsoft
Let’s have a closer look at the wider picture. Sony has recorded sales of 18 million PS4’s during the period November 2013 to 4th January 2015. Microsoft however, has not released official sales figures, so we can only estimate sales for Xbox One. There seems to be a general consensus on the figure of 11 million. Microsoft sales took a huge hit in 2013 and, whilst the Xbox One has made Microsoft competitive again, it seems that they have a long way to go to catch up with PlayStation.
Market experts appear to agree that Microsoft will sell a healthy amount of Xbox One’s this year. Sony is selling quickly too, as PS4 will continue to be popular. Basically, this means that Microsoft will not significantly alter the gap in sales. The company did go head to head with PlayStation for sales at Christmas, both offering bundles at much reduced prices; however, there is more than just market campaigns and price governing the consumer interest in these machines.
Multi-player games have dramatically increased in popularity over the last few years. Online games in particular, are in high demand as large groups of people can become friends online via these and they can easily be swayed to a specific console based on their game experiences. PlayStation has managed to partner with Destiny which has proved to be a great hit with game players and swayed many of them towards the PS4.
Not so long ago many doomsayers were slating the end of the game console, stating that smartphones, tablets and the resurgence in PC games would remove the need for gaming consoles. However, sales of the latest generation game consoles, which are up on the previous generation, prove that the market is very much alive.
The future of Xbox One and PS4
The future holds many more challenges, Microsoft and Sony are not just competing with each other, or the other smaller game console manufacturers; they also have to deal with the latest technologies, virtual reality breakthroughs, pricing, and possibly the most important, game exclusivity. So far neither company has done well with exclusive games, the obvious risk being a game flop costing many resources. This could be set to change in 2015 as several major games manufacturers have been linked exclusively with one or the other consol maker.
Both Microsoft and Sony will need to improve their marketing campaigns, use more social media, game access subscriptions, exclusive non game content, and have regular, significant sales initiatives if they are to make a good profit in the coming year. It would appear that these consoles will stay in demand, despite the other options available, interest in games consoles seems to be on the increase, now they just have to capitalize on it.
This is the guest post by Fredrick Cameron and Escape Games 365!