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Why Microsoft Is Looking Like Sony’s Dinner on the Sales Floor

Why Microsoft Is Looking Like Sony’s Dinner on the Sales Floor

It was just mere months ago that the buzz of the current generation consoles were in the air and opinions were in full force straight from the mouths of hungry gamers. The battle raged and the smack talk was rampant between Xbox One and PS4 supporters. Neither side wanted to acknowledge that the competitor console could be superior. Sales numbers for each console have been released and are sparking much attention while adding a dash of surprise.

Microsoft recently announced that over 3 million Xbox One consoles were sold by the end of 2013. Competitor Sony boasted at CES 2014 that there were 4.2 million PS4 sales worldwide as of December 28, 2013.

This puts Sony above Microsoft by an impressive 1.2 million units, there is extensive speculation as to why the competitors are not neck in neck. It may not be a popularity contest or a brand loyalty pledge there are many factors that could very well be causing the soaring sales for Sony.

Price

It’s no surprise that price does make a difference to all the everyday Joes who don’t have the luxury of money being no object. The price for the PS4 varies from country to country but one trend that stays the same is the Xbox One is relatively higher in cost.

In the US the PS4 price is $399 while the Xbox One is selling for $499, many gamers would rather just pocket that extra hundred and reinvest it into some sweet new games for their shiny new PS4.

We know that the Kinect comes with the Xbox One system which attributes to the price being a little more. Yet, not all gamers are sold on the Kinect it hasn’t won over hearts as being a valuable addition which makes it hard to justify spending the extra money.

Though, when the systems launched in Brazil it was Microsoft who had a smaller price point for their console. As many of you may remember there was buzz before the PS4 release that the cost of the system in Brazil would equate to $1850 US dollars. It made the Xbox One expense which came in around $1,000 US dollars look like an attractive price tag. The unreasonable cost resulted in disaster for Sony in the Brazil market, local news agencies reported that over the first 12 hours zero units were sold.

Yes, all those hard to get PS4 consoles that were sold out in many regions were just sitting on the shelves welcoming dust in Brazil. It just goes to show that price does influence a purchase, most pocketbooks do not have an endless supply of cash otherwise no one would even ask what the price is.

Market Availability

Sony has stated that their newest console was available in 48 markets by December 28th while Microsoft only entered a measly 13 markets by the end of 2013. The difference between them is 35 markets, it’s an astonishing number and it could no doubt be the distinguishing factor as to why Sony has taken the 2013 lead.

However, both Sony and Microsoft have yet to launch in Japan, the fact that the region is the home of Sony may just give the PS4 maker an extra boost to further widen the sales gap.

Release Date

There is a lot that can be done in a day and even more that can be accomplished in 7 days, which is the head start that Sony got. They released the PS4 on November 15th while Microsoft decided that the slow and steady approach may be what wins the race so they sent off the Xbox One to retailers on November 22, 2013.

This release difference doesn’t account for a big portion of sales but at the end of the day a sale is a sale; it doesn’t matter how small all that matters is that all those small transactions will eventually be the sum of a huge number.

Media Coverage

Let’s just face the facts Microsoft essentially started prepping their coffin by declaring that the Xbox One would require an internet connection to check in every 24 hours. It sent gamers into a raged frenzy and the fury was not only swift but it was just downright brutal.

Bad press was the start, posts went viral scolding the company and debates carried throughout forums and online communities. Social networks were buzzing with the gossip and shock of the decision. Even everyday interactions with console enthusiasts would result in some kind of mockery concerning Microsoft.

Microsoft’s bold push suddenly became the talk of the town and the target of jokes. Sony even got in on the fun by airing a commercial about how their platform exchanged used games which poked at Microsoft’s approach.

There were many negative emotions towards the revolution that Microsoft was trying to start that they had no choice but to recall their initial decision. Damage control was inevitable as they tried to get the word out that the console wouldn’t require an always on connection and the used games policy would be amended.

Once wreckage is created cleaning it is challenging, Microsoft lost a trickle of support as gamers were no longer upbeat about the console. Could this have resulted in swaying initial One supporters into PS4 backers?

Production

If you tend to procrastinate much like me then you may have missed the pre-order window for the newest consoles. Maybe you were just trying to raise enough cash to afford the lustrous hardware and figured that you would try to fight the crowds on release day. It honestly doesn’t matter what your reasons were in reality if you didn’t get a chance to pre-order the consoles then you know that it was a rarity this holiday season.

The systems are still a hard buy in retailers across the globe as both makers cannot seem to keep up with the demand. It may be that both companies underestimated potential sales by impulsive holiday shoppers and crazed gamers who wanted to get their hands on a unit before the years end.

This underestimation could have cost Microsoft an immense amount of transactions that could have escalated their units sold. Within the first 24 hours of launch both systems had sold around 1 million units which shows that they were setting a sales pace within close range to one another. If there had been more units readily available the figures could very well be within a close radius of one another.

It’s tempting to construct premature opinions based off the current figures as to what console is popular with the gaming community. Though, it may be a bit early to really have a verdict regarding what system won the hearts and infiltrated the wallets of individuals around the globe. Even contributing factors are still just speculation and overly fueled possibilities, Ps4 sales still have a long road ahead. Only time will unveil what system will push its way into more homes and whether or not Microsoft will catch Sony’s early lead.

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About Jessica Valdez

RPGs and strategy games are my indispensable weaknesses that often result in surrendering to the call of my console. When I’m not busy looking into the latest gaming news I can be found spending time with family and friends.
  • Daniel Dorestant

    Why does any of this need to be said?

    None of these arguments were made last gen when the Ps3 was behind the 360.
    (If you did make an article like that, please link me)

    Not to mention when Ps3 surpassed 360 in sales everybody said sales didn’t matter anymore…

    On top of that, the Ps4 and X1 already catching up to Wii U sales is a huge deal, but somehow, Ps4 pulling away from X1 isnt…

    I find it extremely hypocritical

    • http://techraptor.net/ Rutledge Daugette

      Had we been a site back when the PS3 was behind the 360, I’m sure we would have had an article! We may be a small team at this time, but we want to cover as much as we can!

      In all honesty, there were many articles at the time of Sony’s shortcomings with the PS3 launch, on many media outlets. Anyone who says sales don’t matter, obviously doesn’t understand that sales = numbers, and numbers tell you how popular or successful something is.

      Your comment is very true though, there is a pretty big gap in what is covered in today’s media!

      • http://Techderp.net/ Moscato SugarRush

        We all know Sony will just own the Japanese market, and when that happens, Jrpgs will start shipping. I know tons of people wanting the ps4, waiting on Jrpgs to start shipping. Jrpgs have been a staple in Sony’s core market for years, and there currently are none on the ps4.

        • HeWhoGameZ

          Yeah but the 3DS sales will probably make up for poor WiiU sales. Super Smash Bros and Mario Kart 8 are going to sell like hot cakes.

      • Daniel Dorestant

        Yea sorry, I was kinda venting my anger with situation as a whole, I’ve seen so many of these articles today, this one was just the straw that broke my back

        • http://techraptor.net/ Rutledge Daugette

          Ah gotcha! It’s cool, always like when people share their opinions!

  • DarkSpirit

    Waw really? When the Xbox360 launched a year earlier and outsold PS3 no one bothered saying anything, now all of a sudden when PS4 released a week earlier it’s a big deal. I honestly hate articles like this, that just want the clicks and write up any kind of BS.

  • ruefrak

    I want to point out two things that are brought up here, and I’ve seen in various other pieces concerning Sony’s sales lead.
    First, Sony doesn’t really get an advantage from having their console on sale a whole week longer. They went on sale in the US and Canada one week before the Xbox, but in Europe and the rest of the world, the Xbox had a one week advantage. So if the US = The Rest of the World, then these figures will pretty much wash out. I think an example of how it doesn’t make a difference is by looking at the UK where the Xbox went on sale two weeks before the PS4 and yet sales of the PS4 handily beat it.
    Secondly, I don’t think the fact that the PS4 is being sold in more markets has much to do with it either. In the this really just means that Sony is spreading their supply among a larger number of markets For every extra unit they allocate to Finland is just a sale in the US that wasn’t made. The only advantage I see it could have is down the road where an early lead could encourage friends and family members to also go with that console. Like if in the Netherlands everyone is buying the PS4 because the XB1 isn’t available, then this snowballs and more people invest in the PS4 since that is what their friends already have.

    • Manoj Varughese

      360 had a one year head start…Where and how did PS3 end up with one year less? The answer to that clears every doubts that lurk.

  • Leonardo Costanza

    Actually, there are plenty PS4 in Brazil but everyone that can afford $1850 US dollars is buying the system at USA.

  • albatrosMyster

    Looking at this article it seems there is no rationale behind the PS4’s lead, at least not much, here are a few rational points that a lot of people in the gaming press seem to forget (this is not only on this site):

    1 – All multiplatform titles are better on the PS4, because of the faster GPU/memory, either in obvious ways like better resolution or more subtle ways like better AA for less demanding games, that ALONG with the price difference can pull a lot of people in the direction of the PS4 (faster machine for less money, bring me in!).

    2 – XB1 demand has wanted about two weeks before christmas, they could be found in most stored and by now there are piles of them in many places and the scalpers have to offer better deals (bundles with games and extra controllers for less than the MSRP, just look on craigslist and ebay…) So far for MS, it’s eerily similar to the situation of the wii U last year, sold out at first, then demand wained really fast.

    3 – MS never seemed to repent when they changed their DRM policies, people are suspicious about their future intents on that front because of this, as they seem to truly believe they were the misunderstood visionaries in this… talk about victimisation…

    The questions are: Will MS be able to bring up demand with their upcoming titles? Will Sony be able to substain that level of demand for a long period of time with interesting titles? What will happen of the xbox division under the new MS CEO?

  • Manoj Varughese

    “DEal With IT” . Yeah they did it, the gamers had to deal with the last nail of their Coffin.