In the dawn of the new console generation and the surrounding controversy, we feel that it’s important to have a good look at the past in order to figure out what we can expect from the future. History has the tendency of repeating itself but in this instance that might not be the case. Sony seem to have learned from the numerous mistakes they made during the initial release of the PS 3 and have decided that this time they don’t want to be on behind through most of the life cycle of their console.
Microsoft, on the other hand, are having a troublesome start even before their new console is released and are doing everything they can in order to mitigate the effects of the terrible first impression the introduction of the Xbox One left on gamers. The roles seem to have reversed. Right now most potential consumers are cheering for the Playstation 4 and even though both consoles have sold out in pre-orders in most major retailers, the Xbox One was still behind the PS4 in sales with about 30, 000 units in the US last month. According to VGChartz, the number of pre-ordered consoles from Microsoft is 45, 000 units against Sony’s 75, 000 pre-ordered units. Those numbers are, of course, subject to change as Microsoft did a total 180 on some of their policies regarding DRM and used games, but the people aren’t so easily forgiving. The numbers mean nothing at the moment, however, as in the last generation of consoles the roles were reserved. Let’s take a look at how things turned out last time.
After playing a hard game of catch-up, the Playstation 3 finally managed to outsell the Xbox 360 in the lifetime sales comparison of the two consoles according to VGChartz. The PS3 has managed to sell 77,313,472 units while the Xbox 360 stays behind with its 77,311,669 units sold by the end of May 2013 . This may seem like an insignificant difference at first, but you have to consider the fact that the PS3 launched about a year after the Xbox 360 and had to struggle with an already established competitor. From November 22, 2005, which was the launch date for the Xbox 360, to November 11, 2006, which was the launch date for PS3, the Xbox 360 had already sold over 5 million units.
Furthermore, the gap between the two consoles continued to grow until it reached 8 million units as Sony’s console had a lot of trouble taking off. It took much sacrifice, major redesigns and price cuts in order for the Playstation 3 to start outselling the Xbox 360. Sony started catching up to Microsoft and even though it was a gradual process, it finally yielded favorable results for the Japanese company. 2012 was one of the major milestones of this ever growing trend of people preferring Sony to Microsoft.The Playstation 3 sold 12.73 million units that year while the Xbox 360 managed to sell 11.10 million units. In the first five months of 2013, the PS3 has outsold the Xbox 360 with over a million units. All of this shows us that sometimes even when they have rough starts, companies manage to come on top.
Where does this leave us? It leaves us in a field of uncertainty as to what the future holds. Microsoft are suffering right now in the same way Sony suffered during the launch of this generation consoles. There are some differences, of course, like the fact that the two consoles will be released at roughly the same time and that people have a lot of distaste towards Microsoft’s policy and prices (the Xbox One will come with Kinect but the console will cost $100 more than the Playstation 4). However, as we can see, this is subject to change and even if the PS4 outsells the Xbox One at first, that still doesn’t mean that Sony will win the next-gen console war. All we can do is make estimates and predictions but in the end the time will come when we will have conclusive answers. All we have to do is wait for that moment.
Morgan is a blogger who loves to write for financial topics. He is currently working with mobile options trading and he is doing well. In his spare time he likes to read financial news in order to have a closer look to the markets.