With both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One now on the shelves (and the holiday shopping season starting in earnest), things are looking good for Sony’s latest console gaming entry.
According to Parks Associates research, more consumers shopping for console platforms this year are leaning toward PlayStation 4 over the Xbox One. In a survey of 2,500 households with broadband, 36% of console shoppers said they planned to buy a Sony gaming console, while 27% said they planned to buy a Microsoft product.
"Sony’s advantage may come from its focus on heavy gamers that dates all the way back to it’s pre-launch," says Brett Sappington, director of research at Parks Associates. “Sony has been much more focused on core gamers, while Microsoft envisions [of being] something bigger, as the entertainment hub of homes,” Sappington tells Marketing Daily. “Microsoft had to backpedal from that.”
One big reason more gamers may be leaning toward Sony over Microsoft is the price. Sony’s PlayStation 4 is about $100 cheaper than the Xbox One. With both the previous versions of the consoles available at discounted prices, Microsoft has more convincing to do, Sappington says. “The existing consoles are still in the market. That makes it a little tougher on Microsoft, and, to a degree, it gives Sony an advantage,” he says.
Regardless, it’s unlikely that either console will experience the disappointment of Nintendo’s Wii U last year, Sappington says. Many of the casual gamers, who had been instrumental in the original Wii's success, had moved on to mobile platforms and saw to clear reason for an upgrade, while heavy gamers (or casual gamers who had upgraded to heavy gamers) were still sold on Playstation and Xbox. “They've always catered to those markets,” Sappington says. “I don't think Sony or Microsoft has taken their eye off that ball.”