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

Published: January 9, 2014 11:00 AM /


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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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… More about Jessica