Feature Article

NPD Predictions -- Will the Xbox One Finally Overtake the PlayStation 4?

With every winner, there's a loser.

by

April 17th (today!) is when we finally see which games and consoles sold the most in March. With a number of huge games released and a price drop from the Xbox One, we're anxiously awaiting the results of this heated month. Do we have any inside information? Nope, so don't run to your bookie to gamble your life saving's on our guesses. But we do have theories on how the retail wars played out.

Justin Haywald - A new challenge has arrived

Last month I wrote about how the PlayStation 4 has a strong advantage in the current console race. They've had the price advantage, PlayStation Plus is a better value than Xbox Live Gold, and Sony's console is already out in Japan (where they've historically always outsold Microsoft). I'm not backing down from that opinion, but that doesn't mean Sony's going to win every month, and I think March is going to belong to the Xbox One.

Sure, it's not official, but the Xbox One is essentially $100 cheaper than when it launched and it comes with a free game. And not just any game, but the AAA blockbuster Titanfall. Factoring that in, Microsoft actually has a price advantage now. And there's no going back, whether they call it an actual price drop or not.

It was a gutsy move, but it was the right one, and it'll require an answer from Sony. Whether Sony thinks they're far enough ahead or not remains to be seen, but it would be great to get a PS4 bundled with a game at its $400 price point, especially if that game is the recently confirmed The Last of Us: Remastered.

Speaking of AAA-exclusives, Titanfall will have undoubtedly helped push the Xbox One ahead. Rumors have circulated that the Xbox 360 version was delayed specifically to bolster sales of the Xbox One, and that sounds like a gambit that will pay off big for Microsoft.

Now, that doesn't mean Titanfall is on top overall. I think there's a pretty slim chance that it'll have beaten out a multiplatform last-gen title like South Park: The Stick of Truth (which is my front-runner for best-selling game of March) or even Dark Souls II, but Titanfall likely came out ahead in terms of next-gen. Sony's Infamous: Second Son was well-received, but Titanfall not only has the advantage of getting a PC release, it's also a game with immediate appeal to the Call of Duty and Battlefield crowd.

Will Microsoft be able to carry this momentum over to April? It's unlikely that the Xbox One will remain on top, but the 360 version of Titanfall (and no corresponding big title from Sony) will ensure that combined sales of Microsoft's consoles give them a lot of good news. Maybe not enough to upset the edge Sony has in worldwide sales, but it's going to be an exciting, neck-and-neck race in the lead-up to E3.

Tom Mc Shea - Desperation pays

Is five months too soon to panic? Considering how long a console's life cycle lasts, most would say that there's no need for rash moves so soon after launch. But Microsoft didn't see things that way. After falling far behind the PlayStation 4 in worldwide sales, we saw a number of desperate moves that not even the most reactionary people could have predicted. Microsoft had already shelled out money to Electronic Arts to secure exclusive next-gen rights to Titanfall--which I thought would have been enough for the Xbox One to draw even with its main competition for the month of March--and we saw a major shake-up shortly after the game's release. Not only was the game bundled with systems, but a price drop across many retailers (included Microsoft's website) means you can get the console and a copy of the game for only $50 more than what the PlayStation 4 costs on its own.

Now we're left with the cold, hard numbers from that quick price drop. If Microsoft's console once more comes up short to Sony's, we can officially say that the first signs of trouble are emerging. But if it came out ahead of the PlayStation 4, then it proves that Microsoft's moves ultimately worked in getting people interested in jumping to the next generation. Oh, what a scary day this must be for executives in Redmond.

My guess is that Microsoft's major price cut will push it slightly ahead of the PlayStation 4 this month. More so than even Titanfall landing at retail, a price drop creates a ripple among the buying public that shows immediate results. After all, who doesn't like getting a deal? Once word broke that major retailers were slashing prices, people across the nation assuredly jumped at the opportunity to take advantage of that discount. This is especially true because the price cut was presented as a temporary sale rather than a permanent markdown, so people were even more likely to strike while the iron was hot. Of course, there's no way Microsoft can raise the price back to $500 without a game, so we've seen the first price slash in the console war, and one that took place even quicker than when Nintendo cut the 3DS' price six months after it launched in America.

So, if the Xbox One sells better than the PlayStation 4, does that mean that its biggest exclusive (Titanfall) will outsell Sony's (Infamous: Second Son)? Not quite. We already know that Second Son has sold 1 million copies worldwide, and it's reasonable to guess 600,000 of those have been in America. And I doubt Titanfall sold that many copies on the Xbox One. Not only could people buy it on PC as well, but many waited for the oft-delayed though technically sound Xbox 360 version. Even with a price drop, shelling out so much money for a console because you're interested in one game isn't too enticing, especially if you already own another platform that can run it.

Considering how much money Microsoft spent to catch up to Sony, I have to wonder if they're happy with their investments. Was it worth whatever they had to pay Electronic Arts to keep Titanfall off Sony's platforms? Did selling their console for even cheaper warrant how much money they're now losing on each Xbox One sold? It's too early to tell at this point. One thing is clear, Sony has to make a move to counter Mcrosoft's, though it's unclear what their next step will be. Maybe we'll see a Killzone: Shadow Fall pack-in, or free year of PlayStation Plus included with each system. Who knows? But resting on your laurels is rarely a good strategy, especially when your competition is so anxious to make strides.

One final prediction. Though so much talk has centered around the two major exclusives, I think both will be outsold by a gem from last generation. Souls fans are a fanatical bunch (I know because I'm one of them), and after Dark Souls sold more than 2 million copies, it's clear there are enough who are interested in these amazing games to create waves at retail. And when you factor in the massive install base of the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, I believe Dark Souls II trumped both Titanfall and Infamous: Second Son. Will I be right? Tune in to the NPD sales numbers later today to find out.

Editor's Note: This article originally stated that the NPD numbers would be released on April 10th. In actuality, those numbers will be made public April 17th. We regret the error more than you could ever know.

Discussion

2157 comments
dolemike626
dolemike626

i think gamespot is always siding with microsoft on everything. sorry gamespot the xbox is going to be second this time around. and titan poop was not a game changer.

dakillasalmon
dakillasalmon

Reason why i brought an Xbox One


1)Controller fits in my hand perfect,sony playstation seems really small and i couldn't use it.

2)Many of my friends were on Xbox so i could socialize with friends.


Thats it,i don't much care for which has better frame rate or has a better resolution.

All these people who takes sides and giving jip to other people about what is better,just go out there and find what's best for you.

Go for comfort

Go for filling you social needs

And if you have a Favourite game Franchise,Go for the console which that is compatible with the game in hand.

Go and enjoy your gaming career.


himoura32
himoura32

What is this dude smoking? Only an Xbone fanboy would think Microsoft had a "price advantage" by dropping the price point of their unit $100 to match the competition and throwing in one of their only good games for free. Microsoft is bleeding revenue with xbox. This move is out of sheer desperation to keep up.

Then this guy goes on to say Xbox has passed ps4. Um really? Sony has sold 7 million units last I read and Microsoft only 5 million. Seriously what planet is this writer living on? It ain't Earth!

vannacut
vannacut

these news started to become disgusting now, those who bought whatever have already made their choices, it s fucking annoying now.

Fursnake
Fursnake

Funny that five headlines down on the front page there is an piece about the PS4 outselling the Xbox One again.

croxus
croxus

Finally overtake??

GS should stop showing their disperation, they sound like M$ shareholders...

staticsnake87
staticsnake87

Who cares? I bet most people don't know that The Home Depot is a juggernaut in scale compared to Lowe's. Lowe's is the next main competitor to The Home Depot and is successful but they are something like half the size of The Home Depot. The fact that they don't have as many stores/employees/sales doesn't stop them from being successful. Also Target is much smaller than Wal-Mart yet the 2 co-exist, and Wendy's/Taco Bell/Burger King are all much much smaller than McDonald's and they aren't running out of business either. Company's do not have to match each other exactly or be #1 in sales to be successful. These gaming sites need to get over this already.



Also, I'm a Sony fan, so can it if you were gonna assume I'm an Xboner.

Alecmrhand
Alecmrhand

Schadenfreude is the flavor of the day for Sony fans like myself, but only because we had to hear about "Titanfall" and its ability to cure cancer and win console wars merely by existing. It was the game that would rocket Microsoft into the lead or at least erase the gap Sony had.


Guess not.


Maybe one game cant make up for being a crappy company to your customers? It would be a bad precedent if one mediocre shooter allowed a company to get away with being a giant pile of douches. Why would they ever change?


Im just happy to see Sony reap the benefits of doing things right.



Shewgenja
Shewgenja

This article stays at the top because everyone loves seeing the carnage and ownage.  RIP XBone.  You won't be missed.

Tuckpoint
Tuckpoint

Can't believe this gd article was at the top of the list again.  Speculation over something as trivial as what console sold the most units this last MONTH, what a great use of resources, what a great use of McShea.  I compared you speculation driven aholes to CNN last comment sometime last week, but who are we kidding really?  CNN totally has more credibility and integrity, but hey if you're feeling like your job writing about video games is too hard you can always recycle a piece of shit article where you take your best guess at the least important issue to ever grace the internet.  Thanks for working up the brand fanatics yet again for the sake of easy click bait revenue.

gilidi888ff
gilidi888ff

I don't know man PS4 is still sold out everywhere and I'm from Canada. There are still a lot of XboxOne everywhere. Probably the sales of the XboxOne will surpass the PS4 is when so many homes already own a PS4 and now they just want to have an other console for xclusives. 

virtualskill
virtualskill

The problem with owning both systems this gen is that its the first time they both require subscriptions....So it'll be the first gen EVER that I don't buy both.

taker254isback
taker254isback

Eventually (like in 3 years) 65% of gamers will have both systems. today in 2014 there are equal amount of 360 as there are PS3, so in the end it doesn't matter. In the end both companies cash in and all gamers WIN!

WraistlinGill
WraistlinGill

Sony poises to watch the titan fall that was Microsoft's console division.

Upat3am
Upat3am

I'm starting to think Microsoft pays off Gamespot for these weekly stories. But really in the end who cares? Both machines have there positives and the negatives. Lets get over this and move on and talk more about pc's hehe.

Kyrylo
Kyrylo

Gamespot: desperation pays ;) works for you too :D

ZIMdoom
ZIMdoom

Wow. GS sure is rooting for MS to beat the PS4. Is this the new trend? Are we going to see this same story every month with GS hoping and giving reasons MS should be outselling the PS4?

justing16
justing16

this topic is actually getting ridiculous at this stage. who gives a crap!! move on. more important topics to be discussed.

tourgen
tourgen

Microsoft gave us double-middle-fingers with the xbox1 when they compromised the core function of the system to add features no one wanted.  This is just the consumer returning the favor.  Right back at you big guy.

robertotomas
robertotomas

this article was from 3 days ago. since then official figures came in: Sony won: 7 million to 5 million

dolemike626
dolemike626

@dakillasalmon 1) the new sony controller is bigger so this is a lame excuse. 2) i am sure some jumped ship.

dolemike626
dolemike626

@croxus they are desperate. but i dont know why? if they are second this time around it is still better than 3rd like nintendo


staticsnake87
staticsnake87

@Alecmrhand  Yeah, it's hard to explain to people but Sony does the right thing more over time and rewards it's consumers more consistently than Microsoft's hack version of doing whatever it takes to barely be on top. I went back to Sony years ago and haven't missed Microsoft's pile of garbage console experience since.

staticsnake87
staticsnake87

@Tuckpoint  CNN overdoing a missing plane for over 2 months is quality reporting? I go to their website, among others, almost every day and it took a kid stabbing 20 people to remove that stupid Malaysian plane from the headline, but that only lasted almost a day and then back to that stupid plane. Real quality reporting. All media is a joke. That's why I read many different sources every day, it's also why I've all but given up on IGN and come here, but this place isn't that much better.

staticsnake87
staticsnake87

@virtualskill  That's a really stupid reason: "I would buy both of these $400+ consoles but I can't justify the $50 a year subscriptions that give me access to tons of benefits."

Thaek
Thaek

@virtualskill 


Yeah that's true, but fixable. I've been playing XBox360 (Main) / PS3 (Exclusives) and now switched to PS4 (Main) / XBox One (Exclusives) just like most people that own both next-gen system. I got PS Plus yearly subscription for 30$ on Black Friday and once my XBox Live yearly runs out I will only use 48h codes, because usually I want to play on weekends. And besides Tifanfall there isn't a single exclusive Multiplayer game on XBox One this year. (At least not announced) The PS+ sub is really worth it and the new games alone (Resogun, Outlast, Dead Nation etc:) are worth more than the sub itself.


That way I pay less a year than I did last-gen and still get more.

realshooter305
realshooter305

@Upat3am  I would like to know what is sonys negatives? aside from  things they can fix in time like having more games.

TheExxorcist
TheExxorcist

PCs are minority in the gaming department...

(Just starting a conversation lol)

RevLux
RevLux

@robertotomas That's partially true. Sony sold 7million consoles but Microsoft just shipped 5 million. Ms has yet to release data on how many they've actually sold yet. Still, both consoles are selling extremely well. Far better than their predecessors in the same time frame.

himoura32
himoura32

Exactly what I was thinking lol

Shewgenja
Shewgenja

@staticsnake87 @AlecmrhandI'm in that same boat as well.  In early 2009, looking at MSes releases, it was clear that they were all in on Kinect and forgotten that it was gamers like me that got them to where they were at.  It was like coming home to your girlfriend asking for a threesome with another dude named Wii.


I went with PS3 from that point and it was absolutely the right decision.  I probably wasn't alone in doing this considering the PS3 seemed to catch up or surpass the XBox 360 in global sales right before PS4 launched.  MS turned its back on gamers, and that MESS of an XBone reveal with all that DRM and TVTVWatercooler bull.


Now the gamers have turned their backs on MS.  Forget brand loyalty, it's just a matter of accountability.  Never believe you are bigger than gamers or gaming.  This industry got bigger than Hollywood for a reason.

Shewgenja
Shewgenja

@Tuckpoint @ShewgenjaOh?  What brand would that be?  I have a gaming PC and plan on buying a WiiU after E3 (see if they have a great bundle to announce.)  I also bought an XBox360 a few months after it launched.


So please, enlighten me.

Shewgenja
Shewgenja

@Tuckpoint @WraistlinGillYou've got a raging woodie for calling people a fanatic.  That doesn't look fanatical or anything...  Sort of like the Dark Ages when people were screaming "heretic" or "witch" at people.

guitarpete462
guitarpete462

@RevLux @robertotomas  True. The fact that Sony's stating "sold" and MS is stating "shipped" makes it even more telling. But you're right, both are selling incredibly and the coolest thing is that this flies in the face of all those "consoles are dead" naysayers. Maybe the master race will start to quiet down for a little while. Nah, they probably won't...

Shewgenja
Shewgenja

@Tuckpoint Consider yourself butthurt.  Gamers don't owe MS to eat their bull.  They made this mess and they can lay in it.

Tuckpoint
Tuckpoint

@Shewgenja @Tuckpointbecause you explained all that in your initial comment and didn't just make a blanket statement about the misfortune of a company selling cheap piece of electronics.
 

EDIT:  Consider yourself enlightened, I guess.

TheExxorcist
TheExxorcist

Apologies... 4 reals!

My bad, I misread your comment... seemed like an Xbox thing to do! Lol

I'm also a PS fan... but I'm not shoving it up my ass:(

Tuckpoint
Tuckpoint

@guitarpete462 @RevLux@robertotomasWhat about this flies in the face of naysayers?  If you listened to someone on the internet compare the PS4/Xbox1 sales figures to a war, you've already lost IQ points.  Just because someone types up something stupid on the internet does not mean your opinions suddenly have validity.  If the excitement you feel is only coming from some self perceived vindication against someone who wrote something stupid on the internet, is it really worth being excited about?