Right round the world consumers are dumping their Xbox gaming console in favour of the Sony Playstation.
In Europe Sony has snared between 70 and 80% of the gaming console market with Phil Spencer the head of Microsoft’s Xbox division and Microsoft Studios admitting that the big software Company who are also struggling in the Windows OS market are looking for solutions to the rampant decline in demand for the Xbox console.
In an interview with Edge Magazine in Europe and before Sony’s market share comments, Spencer said his company must do more to combat Sony’s habit of “wiping the floor” with Microsoft.
In comments picked up for Videogamer, Spencer said: “We need to do better in Europe. When I look globally, mainland Europe is definitely an area we want to focus on.
“Sony does a really good job in those markets, and they have a long history – long before we were in this business – and they’ve earned the success that they get in those regions.
“I watch what they do because they do a lot of good things, and I want to make sure that we’re being smart about succeeding.”
In the USA Microsoft moved to use discounting as a means to hold onto market share.
In the USA the PS4 leads overall, but a price cutting and bundling war is allowing Microsoft to hold onto share in their home market.
Spencer calls it “good competition,” but there’s no doubt Microsoft needs to engage gamers sooner rather than later claim analysts.
On Tuesday Sony Europe president Jim Ryan told VG247: “We have a very significant market leadership.
“We have market leadership in every country in Europe, and have very significant market leadership in continental Europe. Extremely significant. I don’t think marketshare’s any less than 70 percent, and frequently greater than 90 percent in continental Europe.”
Research reveals that Sony has sold 20.2 million PlayStation 4 units as of March 1, since the product launched in November 2013. By contrast, Microsoft in December said it had shipped a total of 10 million units of Xbox One, which debuted one week after the PlayStation 4. This is half the volume of Sony.
In January, the eighth-generation PlayStation 4 reached 18.5 million in unit sales. The gaming console hit the figure just days after the holiday shopping rush came to a close. Sony also announced it had reached 10.9 million subscribers for PlayStation Plus, up about 3 million from the end of October. PlayStation Plus is a subscription-based service that grants users access to exclusive content. It’s priced at $50 per year.
Sony’s PlayStation 4 continues to hold a big lead in the eighth-generation market. Its worldwide launch on Nov. 15, 2013, saw 1 million devices fly off shelves within 24 hours. More than 2.1 million PS4 consoles were sold worldwide by December 2013. Less than one month later, more than 4.2 million units were sold.
Last month, a report by Strategy Analytics predicted that Sony will outsell Microsoft by a whopping 40 percent until 2018. That means that PlayStation 4 will be the leading console through the first five years of its availability.
Now that China’s ban on retail sales of video-game consoles has been lifted, Sony and Microsoft have made some progress against the flood of illegal consoles in one of the world’s biggest markets. Just don’t expect foreign consoles to have the same impact for their corporate parents as foreign smartphones claim analysts.
Xbox One and Playstation 4 will combine to sell about 550,000 consoles in China this year, according a report released Wednesday by Niko Partners, a market research firm that studies gaming in Asia. A separate report by IHS projects worldwide sales of 34 million PS4s by the end of this year alongside 20 million Xbox Ones-and that means China isn’t yet shaping up to be a major market for either Sony or Microsoft.
One major issue is that Chinese gamers tend to play on personal computers or mobile devices rather than through a machine hooked up to a television. About 9 million people in China will play games on their TVs this year, according to Lisa Hanson of Niko Partners. By contrast, hundreds of millions of people play mobile or PC games. “There’s either a ton of room for growth or this is not going to be big,” says Hanson.
The availability of legal Xbox and Playstation devices has been driving down sales of China’s widely available knockoffs. Niko Partners expects gray market sales of 500,000 this year, down from about 800,000 last year. But Chinese consumers, unlike their American counterparts, are about as likely to use a smart TV or Android set-top box to play games as they are to use a console.