New sales numbers for Sony’s PS4 gaming console could kill early excitement for Microsoft’s Xbox One entertainment console for a short time.
Sony announced that the PS4 had racked up 4.2 million units sold as of December 28th. While that number might pale in comparison to the 80 million PS3s in homes, it places the console well ahead of the Xbox One.
Microsoft announced that it’d sold 3 million Xbox One consoles yesterday, however Sony remained quiet on the topic, fueling speculation that Microsoft might have managed to close an early gap in sales. Clearly, that’s not the case and it’s not hard to find reasons why the Xbox One is falling behind in terms of sales.
For starters, Microsoft’s decision to include a Kinect 2 sensor with every Xbox One console drove up the package’s price. Currently, there’s only one version of the Xbox One and it costs users $499, $100 more than the PS4. Sure, the Xbox One includes live television functionality and an enhanced Kinect 2 sensor, but whether potential buyers will think the added cost is worth it for that functionality remains unclear.
The Xbox One is also simply available in less countries. The company announced that it would be delaying the Xbox One launch in Asian markets. Rumors indicate that the company was forced into delaying the console in those markets because of trouble localizing voice commands for the Kinect 2 sensor.
Whatever the cause of the lower numbers, Microsoft will likely need to take bold steps to close the gap. Unfortunately, there doesn’t appear to be any way to create a huge surge in sales outside of cutting the console’s price. In order to do that the company would need to either take a loss on every Xbox One sold or find a way to make the console cheaper to produce.
That being said, it’s entirely possible that something as simple as a hit game release could put the Xbox One within the PS4’s sales range. The Xbox One exclusive Titanfall could be such a game, however it’s not due until March.