As time rolls on and the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One populate store shelves, the continual release of sales figures become more revealing. Thanks to Microsoft’s quickly reformed draconian Xbox One always-online policies – and the PS4’s superior hardware – we all knew Sony’s console would take a sales lead. However, newly released sales figures for January show that the lead is bigger than many of us thought, and the PS4 still hasn’t released in its home country of Japan.
Both the PS4 and Xbox One released in November, with the PS4 having a one week lead on its competitor in the States (though the Xbox One was two weeks ahead in the UK). When 2013 was over, the PS4 managed to sell 4.2 million units, which was about 1.2 million more units than the Xbox One. At the end of the console cycle, if Sony only managed to sell 1.2 million more consoles than the Xbox One, Microsoft would happily take that since it’s basically a tie. However, those 2013 sales only had about a month and a half of shelf time, and the figures would have always ended up somewhat similar due to the rush of early adopters and limited stock.
Now that the early adopter rush is over and both consoles are easier to find, the January sales figures would be more telling regarding the popularity of the consoles. The PS4’s early lead wasn’t a fluke, and the console has doubled Xbox One sales for the first month of 2014.
Geoff Keighley of GameTrailers spoke with PlayStation senior vice president Guy Longworth, and while he was not able to obtain specific numbers, he was able to suss out the some information, which he tweeted: “PS4 was #1 in sales for next gen consoles in January, nearly doubling the nearest next gen competitor.”
PlayStation marketing vice president John Koller confirmed the report. Obviously, the only next-gen competitor is the Xbox One, as the Wii U’s troubles have been well-documented. The new nearly-double figure is a much better ratio than the 4.2 million to 3 million figure. Without the hard numbers, that lead could technically just be 1,000 units compared to 500 units – totally insignificant – but Koller stated that Sony has sold every single PS4 put on US shelves, so the lead is likely a large, impressive number.
The Xbox One actually sold better during the crucial holiday month of December, but that was attributed to PS4 stock issues, as supply for the console was limited.
The next couple of months should truly foreshadow how the rest of this console war will play out. The Xbox One will finally receive its first flagship game: Titanfall. Despite its odd 792p resolution, this is basically the first flagship game to release for either console, and should help shift units from shop shelves to the shelves under people’s televisions. Meanwhile, the PS4 will be releasing in its home country of Japan on 22 February, which should generate a huge surge of sales for Sony’s black box.
If the Japanese release of the PS4 moves significantly more units than this generation’s first truly flagship game, then that could be representative of how the rest of the console war will play out. The Japanese PS4 release is only a week away, and Titanfall releases on 14 March (11 March in the US), so prepare for some illuminating sales numbers to come over the next few weeks.
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