It has been a long time that I had an opportunity to share my thoughts about the next-gen consoles. This will be a subjective analysis, but given my records, it has been practically impeccably accurate so far (I have nailed 99% of my estimates). Also, I want to emphasize that I have no intention of creating some kind of trolling or whatever it is fashionable it is to call it nowadays. I am just expressing my ideas, scientifically or not. With "next-gen", I am referring to Xbox One and PS4 only. I believe Wii U is irrelevant at this point, or to put it more elegantly, they are playing a different game.
My Impressions of Xbox One vs PS4
Initially I was all for Xbox 360, and heavily critizing Sony for releasing a "late, expensive, bulky" console, which was not developer friendly and too ambitious to live up to its goals. So, until the release of PS3 Slim, I was in favor of Xbox 360. However, Sony learnt from their mistakes. I am not a fanboy but I am SUBJECTIVE and somewhat BIASED.
I also used to like Microsoft a lot. The Windows 95, 98, and XP SP2, basically the MS of the Bill Gates Era was great. However, especially with the introduction of Vista, many things started to go awry, and I began to get a big distate of them (pretty oppositely in tandem with Sony).
When I compare the MS and Sony in gaming... Ok, let's be honest... They are both trying to make money in this business. But there are different ways to do it. Apple, for example, try to create the simplest, most elegant, most user friendly machines and in return, charge A LOT for them, thinking that people will appreciate this, and they do. This is a good policy, people who buy their products, like them with high customer satisfaction, but their appeal is confined to a small audience.
Sony, in this generation, want to give customers exactly what they want, with as few restrictions as possible, and some more improved features, which are created FOR consumers, without actually being too radical. And in return, of course, they require certain compensation. I sorta see that pretty much everyone (including SONY themselves) are happy with their new policies.
MS, on the other hand, tries to use "greedy monopolistic" policies, pretty much like the Health Care system in US to drive people to spend more money to increase their profits. (I am a College Professor in Economics). But because they are NOT really a MONOPOLY, and because consoles are not actually an indispensable good like healthcare, people can easily sway away from them by simply substituting them with an alternative. Touting the alleged capabilities of the Kinect and the Cloud are ways of "differentiating" the product, which cannot be experienced otherwise (Sony engages in similar tactics as well, but all of those are obvious and in cunsomer's favor). Another tactic is the massive media coverage and strategic partnerships, which admittedly MS has traditionally done very well, but seems to backfire and have little effect when coupled with a universally disliked product (recall the Windows RT and Surface examples).
I prefer PS4 because
note : I'll abbreviate the consoles as "XB1" and "PS4". Also to me, kinect and its capabilites are useless.
- XB1 is bulkier, heavier, uglier, and has a gigantic power brick. I care about Design, and PS4 is much better in this respect.
- XB1 is more expensive, not just by $100 outright, but other factors such as the controller, batteries etc.
- XB1 is clearly underpowered, although how much of difference it will make depends on the developers
- XB1 has kinect-related privacy concerns
- XB1 has a non-replacable internal Hard-drive
- MS has INCONSISTENT Policies, which aims to make money by screwing up the consumers, not by pleasing them.
- Unreliable First Party Game Support (look at the x360 vs Ps3 exclusives)
- Bullying and Untrustworthy Execution (General MS Policies lately)
- Recent MS Failings (Surface, Windows RT, Windows 8, Zune etc.)
- PS Brand and Sony Revitalization (I believe PS will be dominant, and I want to be on the winner's side)
- Universally Hated Microsoft of Steve Ballmer Era
My Sales Estimates
A) THE HISTORY
I don't want to give any hard numbers now, because it depends on the demographics, the duration of the consoles life cycle, and many other factors BUT I will give you pretty good estimates of life time market share split between XB1 and PS4, for each region and worldwide. Before that, let's lay down a few facts...
1) Last generation (X360-PS4-Wii), X360 was released 1 year ahead of the other 2, giving it a head start and a great advantage to built its momentum and social coherence. This advantage does not exist this geenration (XB1-PS4)
2) Last generation, there was the hugely disruptive WII in place, which is replaced by a MUCH LESS impressive Wii-U, leading to more of a two-horse race between XB1 and PS4 (although I will have no hard estimates about Wii U other than it will sell way less than wii, and ps4).
3) Last generation lasted around 8 years; while the sales sum of PS4 + XB1 will be greater than PS3 + X360 ON AVERAGE due to the lack of a disruptive WII, the total sales number depends on the DURATION of the next-gen.
4) PS3 sold about the same amount as X360 since it had 7 years to catch up, so practically arriving at a 50-50 market share globally. But looking at the software numbers tell a different story, signaling a victory for X360.
5) A major breakdown between regions though shows that PS3 won in all regions except for US and UK, despite being released and more expensive throughout its life span. Also we should remember that the US victory for X360 partially contributes TO the higher sales volume of the console vs PS3 since Americans tend to buy MORE games than elsewhere.
6) Finally, although the Next-Gen is almost here, the X360-PS3 rivalry is far from over, probably lasting for another 4-5 years, at the end of which, almost without a doubt, PS3 will have moved not only a lot more hardware but also games (recall the PS2 example). So sales wise, PS3 will be victorious in the long run.
B) THE PREDICTION
1) Ps4 has all those advantages counted above. Majorly,
a) is cheaper (instead of more expensive unlike PS3)
b) is released simultaneously (instead of 1 year later)
c) is developer/programmer friendly (instead of the nightmarish programming on PS3)
d) provides consistent and coherent communication (instead of the arrogant PS3, or incoherent MS)
Sony and PS4 is in much better shape!
2) Regional Analysis (including only MS and Sony Consoles)
a) Japan : X360 has about 14 % of the Market share vs PS3's 86%, despite all those advantages. The next-gen spells nothing but doom in Japan for XB1, and I am estimating...
XB1 : Less than 10%
PS4 : More than 90%
b) Europe : The Market Shares are currently around 43% to 57%. This will take a major hit in PS4's favor:
XB1 : Around 15-25 %
PS4 : Around 75-85%
c) North America : The Market Shares are currently around 62% to 38%. This will also take a major hit in PS4's favor but Xbox is almost as strong of a brand as PS in US, with a well established fan base. Although PS4 will eventually win a higher share, neither may be dominant.
XB1 : Around 35-45%
PS4 : Around 55-65%
d) Global Market Share: Current Market Share : 50%-50% But given the facts and estimates above, XB1 will take a major hit.
XB1 : Around 24-33%
PS4 : Around 67-76%
These are pretty complicated numerically calculated estimates based on
a) Historic Data available from this site
b) My own projections of how the ongoing developments will affect the market share.
Thanks for reading. Happy to hear the comments. Please do not turn thisinto a flamebait trolling thread.
Regional Analysis (only MS and Sony Consoles)
Europe => XB1 : 23-24 % vs PS4 : 76-77%
N. America => XB1 : 49-52% vs PS4 : 48-51%
Global => XB1 : 32-34% vs PS4 : 66-68%