The sudden, unexpected dumping of Kinect will undoubtedly have big consequences on this silly console war. How big a consequence? Some analysts think the Xbox One is now poised to overtake the PlayStation 4 in sales next year.
In the US, that is. It’s a region that’s favoured Microsoft’s platform for the past 8 or so years.
“This change will be enough to push the Xbox One installed base higher than PS4 in the U.S. and Canada in 2015 rather than 2016,” says IDC research manager Lewis Ward.
It kind of reminds me of Microsoft’s evolution on Windows and IE. The initial design needs some serious help (i.e., last summer’s DRM ‘Xbox 180’) and then improves to point of being a serious contender (this Kinect unbundling) and then vies for market share dominance .
He does however, believe that the PlayStation 4 will have the global sales advantage until 2016 at least. It’s a sentiment echoed by analyst Billy Pidgeon.
“This is a good competitive move for Microsoft. Price is an important factor at this point in the console cycle and in the consumer market, and Kinect lacks strong value for most gamers. Xbox One without Kinect should sell strongly at $399 and could out-perform PS4 at the same price on a month to month basis, although I think market share competition between Xbox One and PS4 will remain tight for most of the cycle.”
RW Baird analyst Colin Sebastian believes, obviously, that the lower price will mean significantly higher sales.
“We note the Xbox One pricing action is early, by historical standards, for a relatively new video game console. However, we estimate that price cuts on the Xbox 360 in August 2007 and September 2008 each drove more than 100k incremental monthly unit sales,” he said
For most consumers – the sort who don’t frequent video game websites and don;t pay attention to specs – their purchasing decisions come down to two factors; pricing and games. The price is finally right for the Xbox One. In the US, I can actually see the Xbox One “winning,” once the new Halo and Gears of War games are out.
For both companies, it’s now solely up to the games (and marketing budgets!), making this year’s E3 a rather important one for both camps.
Last Updated: May 14, 2014