First there was the speculation, then there was that E3 Expo showdown between Microsoft and their xBox One console, but finally we know the full specifications of the PlayStation 4 which in turn gives us reason to believe that Sony’s profits will continue to soar.
Gaming website VGChartz recently unveiled its ‘2013 Year on Year Sales and Market Share Update’, which displays various statistics gathered from the last four years up to June 29th 2013. It details figures relating to the ‘big four’ consoles currently on the market, including the PS3, Nintendo Wii, the not-so-successful Nintendo WiiU and Microsoft’s xBox 360. For the sake of this article, we’ll be pitting the PS3 and xBox figures against one another, just to see if the latter will be battered as much as it was at the announcement conference for their next generation consoles, the PS4 and xBox One respectively.
In terms of their sales, Sony’s PS3 has sold around 17,522,702 units since 2010, whilst the xBox 360 sold just 13,184,911 units in the same period. Whilst the XBox saw an increase in unit sales of 527,159 between 2010-2011, the console lost an average of 671,099 consoles between 2011-2013. Meanwhile, the PS3 lost an average of 337,266 units per year between 2010-2013.
Since 2010 console sales across all platforms (inclusive of PS3, XBox 360, Wii and Wii U have been slowly decreasing. A total of 24,373,258 consoles were sold in 2010, versus just 19,981,875 in 2011 and a measly 18,348,630 in 2012. However in the earlier half of 2013, 15,122,419 older consoles have already been sold, and with the launches of the XBox One and PS4 imminent, it is likely that these new ‘toys’ will boost the gaming market back into its former glory, pushing console sales over 20,000,000 units once again.
Financially, the 7th generation PlayStation console, PS3, has a lifetime market share of 30.5%, just 0.1% ahead of its 7th gen Microsoft rival, XBox 360, whose lifetime market share stands at 30.4%. The PS3 has also had a consistently larger market share across the 4-year analysis period in comparison to the XBox, so is this a sign of the future?
The main reason contributing to the predicted positive future for the PlayStation’s success in both sales and shares, is that its 8th gen console, the PS4, costs around £80 less than Microsoft’s XBox One. Retailing at £349, the PlayStation 4 is significantly cheaper than XBox One’s £429 price tag and an online comparison site is waiting to see what bundle prices will appear nearer to the launch date. The PS4 was also made instantly more attractive as the makers of the XBox announced that its players would need to check in online once a day, and its games also carried strict digital rights managements software that prevented users from using second-hand games – although both points have now been revoked.
With a poor pitch from the start, the majority of gamers already seem much more attracted to Sony’s latest gaming hardware in comparison to the XBox One. However, with both consoles’ launch day editions already sold out on Amazon, it seems that the market is anyone’s for the taking…