The launch days are over, and the internet is ablaze in fanboys trading punches and impossible-to-prove statistics to try and crown an early winner… nearly two weeks before Christmas. So what’s the real deal here? Is there any proof or numbers available for the One vs PS4 debacle? Kind of, but not enough to actually make any direct comparisons to sales success. Here’s what we know so far:
Launch Day: The Xbox One sold “over one million units” within their first 24 hours. The PlayStation 4 launch made the same claims a week prior.
Black Friday: This one is hard to say for certain, but all indications so far have pointed toward the Xbox One AND Xbox 360 destroying the PS4 in sales. This is indicated by reports put out by Target and Walmart retailers that the Xbox One accounted for 31% of all console purchases on Black Friday, with the Xbox 360 taking home 30%. That’s pretty impressive – 61% of all console sales on the biggest shopping day of the year went to the Xbox family. What about the PS4 and PS3? Each netted 15%, accounting for a total of 30% of all sales between the two retailers, but the PS3 has been reported to have sold slightly more than the PS4. It could be because the PS3 actually has worthwhile games to play, including the dynamite “Last of Us” title that launched earlier this year. Again, no matter-of-fact numbers are available outside of these two retailers at this time, but given the number of Walmart and Target retail locations and how massive their Black Friday sales crowds are, this is likely an Xbox One win – sadly no official numbers are available to report other than the percentages at this time.
Online Sales: This is a tricky one, because technically online sales count for in-store sales. But there are places like eBay, Amazon, TigerDirect and Newegg that did have a fair amount of consoles to sell – sadly nobody has reported anything official just yet. There is an unofficial report from a organization known as Terapeak that made a data-mining attempt through designed algorithms to extrapolate sales figures from the website, that point toward the PlayStation 4 having sold nearly twice as many consoles as the Xbox One. Don’t be fooled by this report as there are two important facts to be reminded of. First, the report isn’t eBays, so it’s in no way absolute – the algorithms used could be off. Second, if the report is true, then that would mean that nearly twice as many people didn’t see the need to own a PlayStation 4 and peddled their purchases online for their money back plus some extra cash. This was a big deal during the PS3 and Xbox 360 launches as well, but instead of seeing average sales prices of $100-$200 more than retail value like we saw this year, there were consoles selling for 2-5x their retail value. This was largely due to the fact that there were fewer consoles available day one, and it took months to properly stock the units in stores. So take this report with a grain of salt, as those auction-based sales are not stat boosts for the PlayStation 4. Any of them that sell, only keep the total sales number where its at because those consoles have already been accounted for in the sales totals.
Since Launch: PlayStation 4 has seen a few additional launches in other countries. Originally, the PS4 was only available in North America. They intend to be in 32 countries “this season”, which could really mean between launch day and March 2014 (winter season). The Xbox One launched in 13 countries, but North America was the focal point of sales because it’s Microsoft’s home-turf and the Xbox 360 was vastly more popular in the US than the PS3 was. Xbox One will also expand its reach globally beyond what it already is offering. But as of this moment, PlayStation 4 has claimed 2.1 million consoles sold to date. Not a bad number, but is partially attributed to launching in other countries since its North America debut three weeks ago. As for the Xbox One… we don’t know yet. Microsoft’s Yusuf Medhi, head over Entertainment and Devices, has commented that they don’t have the official numbers-to-date available, yet. Expect some kind of announcement soon though. If it’s in the coming days, this article will be updated with the new figures.
Conclusion: Everybody wins. Microsoft’s Xbox One console is clearly the more viable long-term investment for gamers and entertainment-box connoisseurs, but PlayStation 4 is here to stay as well. Strong sales is what Sony needs – more than many people in the world can understand. Sony lost out big over the PS3 for years. No information has been reported to show exactly how bad the damage was, but nearly all aspects of Sony’s business avenues were under water. The PS3 was the most popular thing they sold, so it goes to show you the state of the company. If you care to know more about that, spend some time doing some of your own research – the information isn’t hard to dig up since Sony is a big name. The point to be made here is that nothing is for certain, yet. As more consoles make their way onto store shelves, more will be sold. The holiday battle is yet to be decided, but also remember that this is a long distance race, and I’m not the only one that sees the viability of the Xbox One over the coming years. A vast majority of industry professionals and editors are proclaiming the Xbox One the best long-term console to buy. That doesn’t make you a fool for buying a PS4, but it does mean that if you spend time doing other things than just games, the Xbox is going to be on much more often.