In the never-ending console wars, this generation has seen a complete 180˚ in the fortunes of the two biggest players. Sony has announced that European sales of the PlayStation 4 are incredibly strong, to the point that it enjoys a 90 percent market share compared to the competition.
At E3 2015, SCEE President Jim Ryan told VG247 that the PlayStation 4 is seeing leadership in Europe beyond the lead they enjoyed in the same regions for the PlayStation 3.
“Well, we have market leadership in every country in Europe, and have very significant market leadership in continental Europe. Extremely significant. I don’t think market-share’s any less than 70%, and frequently greater than 90% in continental Europe.”
Outside of the United States and Canada, Sony has traditionally held the upper hand in market share. Japan and Europe were strongholds for the PlayStation 3 during the last console generation. The last numbers published by both Sony and Microsoft show the PS3 selling 34.01 million units in Europe, with 25.67 million for the Xbox 360. North America, which was the Xbox 360’s home turf by over 20 million units, is now falling behind. This generation has widened the gap considerably, with the PS4 beating the Xbox One worldwide. The last reported numbers on VGChartz have the PlayStation 4 at 22.3 million units and the Xbox One with just over 10 million.
The evidence of the PlayStation 4 beating the Xbox One for Sony was tangible at the last E3, as the company showed an impressive roster of games that fit the AAA bill, as well as the indie creative side, such as titles from developer Devolver Digital and Dreams from Media Molecule (Little Big Planet, Tearaway).
The potential downside for consumers who are saving up their pennies for the PlayStation 4 is that no price reduction is in the immediate forecast. “Particularly in Europe … our momentum is still very considerable,” Ryan said. “We’re happy with the price and we’re happy with the value proposition.”
On the green side of the isle, Microsoft is still in its transformational phase, struggling to pick up the pieces by the former regime who debuted the console with an unfair draconian iron fist. Phil Spencer, head of the Xbox One division, has been working hard to turn the identity of the console around, but still has a long way to go. Numerous sales and bundles are available at retailers and online to jump start sales of the console, but have yet to show significant inroads on the PS4. Forecasts are hopeful for 2016 as the year of the Xbox One, but with such a huge head start and the more complicated hardware platform to develop on, it is still an uphill battle.
Competition is always the winner for the video game consumer. Even with the PlayStation 4 beating Xbox One this far into the console generation, do not count out the Xbox One as there are many years yet to come, great games in the pipeline, and the Kinect is thankfully gone.
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