Microsoft claims retail partners are backing Xbox One, but sales figures suggest PS4 is selling faster
Sony's Playstation 4 launched in the UK today, and retailer GAME said the demand for pre-orders of the PS4 was four times higher than it had seen for the PS3. Some fans slept out overnight in a bid to be among the first in the country to get their hands on the new generation console.
Amazon, which sits behind GAME as the UK's second biggest games retailer, predicted that the PlayStation 4 will become the fastest selling console in Amazon UK history, (based on current pre-order levels), overtaking the Xbox One which took the title on its release day a week earlier. Tesco said demand for the PS4 was the greatest they'd ever seen online, adding that queues began forming in shops 12 hours before consoles went on sale.
The launch comes a week after the release of Microsoft's Xbox One, which sold more than one million units in less than 24 hours. Microsoft said on Monday that it was working to replenish stock as fast as possible to meet the "unprecedented demand" from its customers.
While both consoles have generated a lot of excitement and interest, the UK's high street retailers appeared to be betting on the Xbox One over the PS4 in the run up to Christmas.
"We believe the Xbox One and PS4 will revolutionise the market," said Phil Samuels, category director for consumer electronics at Currys and PC World in the UK. He said that shoppers have already put in more pre-orders for both than expected but "so far the Xbox is nudging into the lead".
Jonathan Marsh, head technology buyer at John Lewis, also said the department store is expecting more interest in the Xbox One.
“We are stocking both the PS4 and the Xbox One but if we were to back one, we are thinking that Xbox One will appeal a bit more to our customers in terms of the experience it creates," he said.
"If we had to edge one, I would favour the Xbox One. The software that the Xbox One launches with will really appeal to our customer base based on what we’ve experienced in the past.”
The PS4 currently, however, holds the top spot on Amazon's PC and Video Gamers pre-order chart as well as the “Most Wished For” list on Amazon UK.
Research released this week by Synthesio revealed that Sony’s PS4 is 40 per cent more discussed on social media than the Xbox One, and the comments are three times as positive. Although the PS4 has only just had its European launch, there is "still a markedly higher level of online buzz compared to the Xbox," according to the company.