In a new report, Microsoft’s Xbox One has been outsold by Sony’s Playstation 4. The two consoles, which were released just over four months ago, have been in a bitter battle since day one.
While Sony sold nearly twice as many consoles as Microsoft did in the month of January, newly released sales figures for February put the Playstation ahead with a smaller lead. Sony sold over 287,000 units, while Microsoft was behind with 258,000 units sold. One advantage the Playstation 4 has over the Xbox One is the price tag: Playstation 4 runs for $399 while the Xbox One costs $499.
The reported cause of the price difference is Microsoft’s inclusion of the Kinect and a microphone, which allows users to play without a controller and use voice commands to maximize their Xbox experience, respectively. One reason why Microsoft could have fledgling sales is the absence of a console-exclusive game. In the past, games such as Halo have boosted sales immensely with their release. Since Halo’s release in 2001, over 60 million copies of the game have been sold. However, Microsoft has a late game wild card up its sleeve in order to boost sales in the form of a new game by the designers of the hugely successful Call of Duty games.
The newly released game, Titanfall, will be for three different Microsoft consoles: the Xbox One, the Xbox 360, and Windows PCs. Yusuf Mehdi, chief marketing officer for studios and devices at Microsoft, realizes how much is riding on the new game. “It’s hard to underestimate how incredibly important Titanfall is for Xbox,” he told the New York Times.
The company is in fact feeling so confident about Titanfall’s release that it is bundling the game with the Xbox console while keeping the price at $500, which is what it has previously charged. Microsoft is hoping for sales of Halo-sized proportions. While Titanfall maybe resemble Halo in that it is a science fiction first person shooter, the game designer, Respawn, has claimed to put a fresh spin on the genre.
Titanfall is designed to be played strictly online on the Xbox or PC. This differs from many of today’s games that offer both online multiplayer and single player that is available offline. “It was a little bit of trying to do something familiar yet different,” said a rep for Respawn. The company and Electronic Arts, who is distributing the game, are taking a big risk releasing the game exclusively for Microsoft. While there may be less potential than if they were releasing it on multiple platforms, Respawn does not seem worried, noting that “Microsoft is going to push us because they see us as a game for selling their system.”
The latest figures released by both companies have Sony selling upwards of 6 million consoles around the world, while the latest released figures have Microsoft’s Xbox One at 3.9 million. David Cole, an analyst with DFC Intelligence, believes the rest of the year is crucial for Microsoft. “Titanfall is huge in that respect,” said Cole, noting that it is still early in the race of the consoles to determine an overall victor.
By Nathan Rohenkohl