With less than a month to go before the next-generation console war is unleashed, new research shows that Sony’s PlayStation 4 has taken a significant early lead over the Xbox One, with more than two times as many gamers said to be interested in the former as they are in the latter.
These are the latest findings from digital intelligence firm Compete, whose latest report shows that online shoppers are, for now at least, much more interested in the PS4 than the Xbox One. In its latest report, Compete shows that more than three quarters of all online console shoppers have expressed an interest in buying the PS4, with 61% of those considering that console exclusively. This is compared to just 39% of shoppers who’ve considered buying the Xbox One, out of whom only 27% have shopped for that console exclusively.
Compete’s findings backs up earlier reports which suggest that the Sony PS4 is a far more attractive proposition for gamers this Christmas, in part due to its lower cost, and also Microsoft’s earlier gaffes, when it was forced to back down over its proposed used games policies. Interestingly though, it turns out that neither console may be as popular as Sony and Microsoft have hoped – with only 12% of consumers considering both platforms, this indicates that much of the interest is coming from platform loyalists only, with few casual gamers paying much attention so far. Indeed, since Sony and Microsoft announced they were first taking preorders back in June, interest in both consoles has waned significantly, with 52% less consumers shopping for either console last month than there were in June. Even so, with both companies set to step up their marketing efforts in the weeks before launch, it’s likely that more consumers will show an interest as they get caught up in the hype.
Every indication is that the PS4 will outsell the Xbox One this Christmas, but it’s by no means guaranteed. At least one retailer, John Lewis, has gone against the grain and predicted that Microsoft’s console could surprise a few people by selling more than its rival. One things for sure, it’s hard to predict with any certainty which will prove more popular, given that the two consoles go head-to-head in a very different environment to the one their predecessors emerged seven years ago. With the rise of free-to-play gaming on social media and mobile platforms, a console is no longer seen as a pre-requisite to enjoy some of the latest and best games around. But then again, with both the PS4 and the Xbox One said to be capable of streaming 4K content, this battle is no longer about gaming alone.