Just weeks away from the start of the next-generation console wars pitting Microsoft and Sony together in a battle to win the hearts of gamers, one of the UK’s leading retailers has backed the Xbox One to outsell the PlayStation 4.
With the Xbox One and PS4 both scheduled to hit the stores within the space of seven days next month, John Lewis has made the surprising prediction that Microsoft’s console will prove to be more popular than its Japanese rival. The upmarket retailer has this week released a list of top 10 tech gadgets the company expects to do well this Christmas: the Xbox One came in at a lofty second place (beaten only by the new iPad Mini which is set to be unveiled on the 22nd of October); whereas the PS4 didn’t even make the top-ten list.
This is the first time that anyone has come out to back the Xbox One, with previous reports giving the PS4 a significant head-start on its rival due to its lower price tag and Microsoft’s PR disasters shortly after unveiling its console for the first time. Sony’s PlayStation 4 is also known to have sold 1.5 million pre-orders ahead of its release, while industry analysts have predicted that it would achieve a 20% higher installed user base than Microsoft’s console.
Even so, John Lewis has gone against the grain to predict that British gamers may still find the Xbox One the more appealing option.
“We’re expecting consumers to be more interested in the Microsoft Xbox One, because of the overall experience it creates,” said Jonathan Marsh, head technology buyer at John Lewis. “We’re going to stock both consoles, but if I had to pick one, it’d be the Xbox One.”
Marsh suggested that while John Lewis had seen significant consumer interest in both home entertainment consoles, the popular online platform and software associated with the Xbox One would give it an edge.
“We think that the Xbox One’s software has a big appeal for our customers, based on our previous experience,” he added.
John Lewis might be right about UK buyers, but elsewhere in the world we could see a different story. A Reuters/Ipsos poll published last week revealed Microsoft was trailing its rival on its home turf in the USA, with 26% of respondents saying they were likely to buy a PS4, compared to just 15% who said the same thing about the Xbox One. This contrast might have something to do with the consoles’ release dates – significantly, the PS4 will hit the stores before the Xbox One over in the US, going on sale on the 15th of November. That’s not so in the UK however, where Sony fans will have to wait until the 29th of November to get their hands on the PlayStation 4, a full week after the Xbox One lands here on the 22nd of November.
However, we should note that while the Xbox One will beat the PS4 to the market here in the United Kingdom, it won’t beat it on price. Microsoft’s next-gen console is slated for a £429 price tag, compared to just £349 for Sony’s.
Source: Trusted Reviews