Microsoft and Sony both launched their next generation gaming consoles within weeks of each other, and now we’re beginning to see Sony pull ahead in sales. But why?
Gadget Review put up a list of seven reasons it thinks the PlayStation 4 is starting to lead in sales, the biggest of which is price. The first thing people will point out is that the Xbox One comes with a Kinect, probably a big reason for the price difference. Still, $100 is $100 and when it comes down to it, if all other things are equal the PS4’s price is just a little easier to swallow.
Other things on the list like specific game controllers and available game titles are pretty arbitrary, not providing any reason the PS4 would be selling better. Trying to discount any inertia the previous generation of consoles had–such as brand loyalty, rather than loyal to the gaming experience–as a determining factor, the philosophy of each system has a lot to do with which console someone bought. Sony is thinking in terms of traditional gaming while Microsoft is thinking in terms of entertainment and future gaming.
CEO of Pixelkin, Linda Breneman, recently wrote her predictions for where gaming will go in 2014 and among them was a rise in virtual reality gameplay. That prediction bodes well for Microsoft, whose Xbox One console is well positioned for the future thanks to its Kinect motion sensing device.
Even with the recent announcement of PlayStation Now, Sony’s new streaming game service, the company is still thinking about gaming in the traditional sense. The service allows you to stream video games on demand, not just download them. Best of all, it works on a bunch of devices including PS3 and new Sony TVs. That means that with a certain TV all you’d need is a PlayStation controller and you could stream and play games without a dedicated console.
For every argument about which console is better, there’s a counterargument just as compelling. Even Sony is downplaying the fact that it has sold more consoles. So either budget-conscious holiday shoppers played a big role in the split in sales, or there are still a lot of people with a traditional gamer’s mindset.