Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Xbox One catching up to PS4, but the numbers don’t add up

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For the uninitiated, the eighth generation console war has followed roughly the same path since it began — Sony’s PlayStation 4 capitalizes not only on its technically superior hardware and content exclusives, but from Microsoft’s constant stream of public relation fumbles leading up to and following the Xbox One launch. Since launch, the PS4 was soundly leading the Xbox One in both hype and sales — Sony’s console was even more fun to try to break. During its quarterly earnings statement today, Microsoft revealed that it sold 6.6 million Xbox consoles during the holiday quarter — around 2.5 million more consoles than PS4s Sony moved during the same period. Did Microsoft turn the Xbox One around?



Microsoft posted a $26.5 billion revenue, but both Xbox sales and net income were down year-over-year. Back during Microsoft’s second quarter, it revealed that it sold 7.4 million Xbox consoles, but divulged that the number was split between 3.9 million Xbox Ones and 3.5 million Xbox 360s. This time around, Microsoft used the same vague wording of “Xbox consoles,” but didn’t provide a detailed split. It did, however, claim that the Xbox One outsold the PS4 during that time period, so you could safely assume that the Xbox One managed to sell around at least 4.2 million units. It wouldn't be unlikely for the remainder of that 6.6 million number to be filled in with Xbox 360s.


Sales are sales, but aside from the mysterious lack of delineation between Xbox One and Xbox 360 sales, a few other factors are at play. Microsoft has dropped the price of the Xbox One from $399 to $349 twice in the past few months, which was already down from the original unit’s $499 price tag. Meanwhile, console agnostics that were part of the PS4 sales rush may now be settling in and picking up the rival platform to make sure they don’t miss any exclusives.

On the software side of things, Microsoft is doing just fine — in no small part thanks to the $2.5 billion acquisition of Minecraft developer Mojang, as well as the release of the nostalgia-laden Halo: The Master Chief Collection and Forza Horizon 2. Despite Microsoft falling somewhere behind Sony in the console war numbers — almost by half if you believe certain tallies — its numbers themselves aren't bad by any stretch, just in comparison to the competition. With enormous new markets opening potential doors for Microsoft, and with its (mostly) beloved Xbox Live Gold service possibly arriving on other platforms, there is still much room for the Xbone to grow, despite that loving-yet-telling moniker.

Source: ExtremeTech

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