Sony’s PlayStation 4 officially outsold Xbox One for the month of March 2016, much to Microsoft’s annoyance and that of its fans. It’s a trend which has been relatively maintained ever since the two consoles launched a week apart back in 2013.
The new Xbox One and PC exclusive Quantum Break might be instrumental in helping Microsoft catch up this month, much like the EA hit Titanfall, and Sunset Overdrive. Halo 5: Guardians may have also helped boost the console, but Sony still has the lead.
Initially, the Xbox One sold poorly due to horrible PR. The launch event bragged about things like the Call of Duty: Ghosts dog and the Kinect 2.0, but also delivered disappointing news about needing to be always online, and the infamous, “If you’re backwards compatible, you’re really backwards.”
Both of those downsides to the launch have been reversed, with the Xbox One now able to function without the Internet connection, and an entire library of Xbox 360 titles which are either now natively playable or eventually will be.
The PlayStation 4 won’t be seeing that happen without the games being ported or remastered due to different hardware. Sony is attempting to give gamers the chance, though, with a paid subscription to stream older games, and its “PS2 on PS4” list of titles available for up to $15 each.
What may be confusing a lot of newcomers in the PS4 vs Xbox One console war is the recent reveal of the PlayStation 4K and VR headset, as revealed in an official statement by Sony.
“Thank you to our fans and partners for making PlayStation 4 the top-selling console and software sales leader for the month of March, as well as the number-one console for fans of The Division, according to NPD. We are truly humbled by the success and look forward to delivering more amazing gaming experiences throughout 2016, including the launch of PlayStation VR this October.”
Many new adapters may be thinking that Sony plans to update the software to handle 4K resolution, but they couldn’t be more wrong. That requires a hardware update, and a new version of the console, because the current PS4 is only capable of up to 1080p 60fps visuals. You can’t update the video card with a software boost; You have to upgrade the video card physically. Add to this the fact that the video card necessary to make 4K resolution possible is more expensive than the PlayStation 4 itself, and Sony could be taking a massive loss if they don’t raise the price on the new console.
Upgrading to 4K will also require a pricey new TV, an expense which PS4 gamers might not be willing to take on yet. The upside to this is that the console will be able to support the VR headset, which could be the future of gaming.
Sony appears to be betting a lot on the latest technology, but it’s unclear whether it will be a profitable upgrade. They could be handing Microsoft the lead if they make the console upgrade too expensive.
— Gamnesia (@TheGamnesia) April 14, 2016
For the new PS4 owners, Sony bids you welcome, but don’t expect the upgraded consoles until later this year, possibly in November when consoles are usually launched. Then, it could be a struggle to get existing PS4 owners to put more money into a new console which does mostly the same things with only graphical upgrades.
Sony might want to take the opportunity to add a second disc drive for playing older titles and give current PlayStation 4 owners a solid reason to upgrade.
Do you think the PS4K and the VR headset are the reason why Sony outsold Microsoft yet again in March?
[Photo by Alex Wong / Getty Images]