Microsoft Corp. early on Friday said that total life-to-date sales of its Xbox One video game consoles have totaled five million units. The company is about two million units behind its arch-rival Sony Computer Entertainment, which has managed to sell over seven million PlayStation 4 consoles to date. It appears that Sony has a clear lead in terms of unit shipments of the new-generation game consoles.
“We are happy to share today that more than 5 million Xbox One consoles have been sold-in to retailers since our launch,” said Yusuf Mehdi, corporate vice president of marketing, strategy and business of the Xbox business unit at Microsoft. “The new generation is off to a strong start, with global Xbox One sales outpacing Xbox 360 by more than 60 per cent at the same point in time, a true testament to your love of console gaming.”
The adoption rate of both Microsoft Xbox One and Sony PlayStation 4 is higher compared to that of previous-generation game consoles in 2005 and 2006, respectively. The reasons for that are pretty much clear: the number of core gamers is gradually increasing (new gamers start to buy hardware), just like their average income (people are growing up and maturing, but they continue to play games and buy new hardware/software), so companies like Microsoft and Sony can sell a lot of hardware quicker. Nonetheless, it is unknown how well will the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One sell to “non-core”/casual gamers in the coming years now that many of such people play on their tablets and smartphones (and will be offered to play on low-cost set-top-boxes/Android consoles like Amazon Fire TV or Ouya).
The reasons why Microsoft’s Xbox One is less popular than the PlayStation 4 have been widely discussed: it costs up to $100 more, it is not available worldwide like the PS4, it is known to be less powerful than its arch-rival and its main trump – the Kinect 2 motion sensor – still does not bring a lot of benefits since there are no games that take advantage of it.
Microsoft seems to understand the reasons why its Xbox One is lagging behind SCE’ PlayStation 4 in terms of unit sales. Thus, the company is working on to fix at least some issues. For example, recently the firm increased graphics processing performance of the Xbox One by about 8 per cent. Microsoft also announced plans to bring DirectX 12 application programming interface to Xbox One in a bid to make it easier to develop high-quality games for it. In addition, some analysts expect the software giant to introduce a version of the XB1 without Kinect at $399 price-point.
“We are just getting started with this generation and the months ahead will bring several announcements we think you’ll love,” said Mr. Mehdi. “The team will continue to deliver regular improvements and new features based on your feedback through frequent system updates.”
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KitGuru Says: Without any doubts, two million gap between the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One is a huge one. while we are still early in the life-cycle here and a lot of things can happen over the next few years, it seems that Microsoft will have to take rather drastic measures to make its console truly popular worldwide.