In the next couple of months Sony and Microsoft are bracing themselves for all-out war amongst gamers as both tech firms gear up for the launch of their respective next-generation games consoles, namely the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One. The question on everyone’s lips is, which console will come out on top with the legions of gaming fans waiting to get their hands on them? It’s still too soon to say at this stage, though the early signs suggest that Sony’s PS4 has gotten off to a better start.
Earlier this month a forecast from Futuresource showed that the PS4′s installed base was likely to be 20% higher than that of the Xbox One, and now there’s even more ominous signs for Microsoft. The latest indication that Sony is winning the race comes from a Reuters/Ipsos poll published over the weekend, which revealed that consumers are more interested in buying the PS4 than the Xbox One on Microsoft’s home turf, in the USA.
The survey polled 1,297 people, with 26% of respondents saying that they were likely to buy a PS4 in time for Christmas, while only 15% said that they were considering buying an Xbox One. Even more worrying for Microsoft is that the gap seemed to widen among younger gamers, with 41% of those aged under 40 saying they would buy a PlayStation 4, compared to just 27% who said they’d prefer the Xbox One.
Things could well pan out differently when the consoles are finally launched, but there are some good reasons why consumers are showing a preference for the PS4 at this stage. For one thing, Sony’s next-gen console comes out one week earlier than the Xbox One in the US, with the PS4 set to go on sale on the 15th of November priced at $399.99 (or £349 in the United Kingdom). Meanwhile the Xbox One will not only be released later, on the 22nd of November, but will also cost significantly more at $499.99 (UK price £429), stretching the loyalty of even the most ardent Xbox gamers. There’s also still a lot of resentment over Microsoft’s initial DRM and “always online” requirements for its Xbox console, which were later rescinded after negative feedback from the public.
Nevertheless things are still looking good for Microsoft and Sony, with both companies likely to sell millions of video game consoles over the holiday season. According to Sony, over a million PS4s have already been pre-ordered by eager gamers and perhaps even a few 4K TV enthusiasts, while the company previously announced it’s expecting to ship over five million of them by April next year. It’s likely that the Xbox One isn’t far behind this either, with pre-order availability for the console appearing to have all but dried up ahead of its November launch.