I’ve wondered if Microsoft’s push for power with the Xbox One X would help it gain sales parity with the PlayStation 4 and its Pro this holiday season. New consoles always generate a little more buzz than the old standard, so it makes sense that there’d be a little more excitement for the Xbox One X going into the holidays.
The only difference, of course, is that the Xbox One X is an expensive, enthusiast machine, for a niche audience. According to market research firm IDC, more people want to jump into the Xbox Family over the holidays and the period beyond, than are likely to buy a PS4 or Nintendo Switch. In North America, at least. According to their data, 36.6 percent of US consumers want to buy an Xbox One of some sort, while only 35.6 percent want a PS4. Breaking it down a little more, 21.6 percent of those respondents want an Xbox One X, while 22.2 percent want a PS4 Pro. And that spells good things for Microsoft, says IDC’s Lewis Ward.
“The takeaway [from our research] is that Microsoft’s gamble is going to pay off. [The Xbox One X] does appear to stabilize the slide that Microsoft has been on, which I think is a positive step. It looks like, in North America, that the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X will be neck-and-neck in sales for at least the next six months or so and if that happens, you have to say that’s a win for Microsoft.”
Will that buzz carry through for a longer stretch once we’re through the holidays? We’ll have to wait and see. That said, Microsoft doesn’t seem too concerned. They realise that the Xbox One X isn’t a machine for the everyman. Speaking to the Financial Times, Microsoft’s Albert Penello said that for the people who don’t want the very best in console hardware, there’s always the Xbox One S.
“I’m not afraid [that people won’t adopt]. I’m hopeful. There will be people who want that performance and they are going to be happy, then there are going to be people who aren’t on the bleeding edge and I’m totally happy for them to buy an Xbox One S.”
The Xbox One X is out in the US in two weeks. We’ll be getting it locally a month later, at a pre-order price of R7499.
Last Updated: October 23, 2017