The next-gen console war continues to go poorly for the Xbox One while the Playstation 4 is doing exceedingly well. Sony released its financial report for the quarter ending June 30, 2014 which revealed that the PS4 and PS3 old three times as many consoles as the Xbox One and Xbox 360. It actually could be much worse than that.
According to a Sony document, the PS4 and PS3 sold 3.5 million consoles worldwide between the months of April and June 2014. Meanwhile, a Microsoft earnings report released last week revealed that the Xbox One and Xbox 360 pushed 1.1 million units during the same time period.
Why do both companies combine different console numbers into a single sales figure? It’s never been officially explained, but it serves to obfuscate the real sales numbers of the consoles since the NPD decision in 2014 to stopping sharing actual sales numbers with the general public. The result is new ways to spin sales numbers from publishers.
With that out of the way, the 3-to-1 sales ratio could actually be better or worse depending on your console perspective. The Playstation 3 likely sold in the neighborhood of around 500,000 for those months based on previous sales performance, which puts the sales of the PS4 at approximately 3 million.
Meanwhile, the Xbox 360 sold approximately 800,000 units between January and March 2014 per Microsoft’s financial earnings. If we conjecture that the downward sales trend of the console also puts it around 500,000 units sold between April and June 2014, then that means the Xbox One sold only around 600,000 consoles.
That’s a huge change in the landscape looking at just the next-gen consoles. The ratio suddenly tilts from the PS4 and PS3 outselling the Xbox One and 360 by a 3-to-1 margin to the PS4 outselling the Xbox One by a 6-to-1 margin.
It’s important to remember that all of these numbers are what is shipped to retailers. Part of the reason for this sudden trend is due to retail channels being stuffed with Xbox One with Kinect consoles during the holidays and the first quarter of the year. Consumers, especially in Europe, have generally balked at paying $500 for the Kinect bundle. By the time the Kinect-less Xbox One was released in June, retail channels were still trying to clear out older bundles.
Microsoft has worked hard to turn around its image following the E3 2013 Xbox One reveal debacle that saw the scrapping of several policies that were seen as anti-consumer and focused on entertainment over games. New Xbox head Phil Spencer has openly communicated with fans over Twitter, Microsoft announced the closure of the Xbox Entertainment Division, and Microsoft’s E3 2014 presentation was a steady stream of games and only games.
These changes, plus the new $399.99 Xbox One, have not yet had time to take effect. The second half of 2014 will be the most telling in the PS4 and Xbox One as big releases from Destiny to Halo: The Master Chief Collection to Driveclub to Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare begin hitting. We’ll see then if the Xbox One is able to keep up with the PS4 or if we have already begun to the beginning of a preference cascade towards Sony’s latest console, which still has the advantage in hardware power.
What do you think of these console sales numbers? Is Playstation the king once again and the Xbox One doomed or is there still a chance at a close console race? Sound off in the comments below.
[Image via Microsoft, Sony]