Perhaps, new generation game consoles are considerably less powerful than the majority of gaming PCs; perhaps, they are not going to stay on the market for a really long time, like their predecessors. But here is a fact: Microsoft Xbox One and Sony PlayStation 4 are selling dramatically faster than their ancestors.
After around fifteen months on the market, life-to-date sales of Sony PlayStation 4 have exceeded 18.5 million units. While exact LTD shipments of Microsoft’s Xbox One are unknown, it is highly likely that they are around 15 million units. Neither PlayStation 3 nor Xbox 360 could boast with similar installed base after five quarters of the market, according to NPD Group, a leading market tracking company from the U.S.
“The combined hardware install base of PS4 and Xbox One is close to 60 per cent higher than the cumulative hardware totals for Xbox 360 and PS3 at the same point in their lifecycles (after 15 months),” said Liam Callahan, an analyst with NPD.
There are many reasons why PS4 and XB1 are so popular: gamers were anticipating them impatiently for a very long time, the consoles are not very expensive, there are a lot of new games that provide excellent experience, there are now more gamers than they were a decade ago. All-in-all, it is not surprising why Microsoft Xbox One and Sony PlayStation 4 are more popular than predecessors.
Apart from Microsoft, Sony and software developers, there is one company that greatly benefits from rapid shipments growth of the new consoles, Advanced Micro Devices. AMD's system-on-chip featuring eight x86 “Jaguar” cores as well as custom Radeon “GCN” graphics processor power both PS4 and XB1. According to analysts from IHS, AMD charged $110 and $100 for the XB1 and the PS4 SoCs, respectively, back in November, 2013. While the prices got lower now, the chip designer clearly receives tens of millions of dollars every quarter for its console system-on-chips.
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KitGuru Says: Given that sales of both new-generation consoles are rather good now, it will be very interesting to see whether both companies will cut prices of their consoles significantly this year, or will not. Microsoft does sell its Xbox One below the official price-point because of “temporary” discount in the U.S. and promotion campaigns in Europe. However, Sony continues to maintain the price of its PlayStation 4. But keeping such good sales in mind, companies may decide to sell the consoles with their current price tags for one more holiday season…