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Is It Important For The PS4 To Outsell The Xbox One Early?

Sony is famous (or infamous) for saying that each generation is a "marathon, not a sprint."

Of course, they've proven that time and time again, despite anyone who mocks the statement. The question is, as they enter this generation as the underdog in North America, is it essential that Sony's PlayStation 4 gets an early jump on Microsoft's Xbox One?

Analyst Michael Pachter believes the PS4 will outsell the Xbox One out of the gate. He did add, however, that both companies "will sell whatever they ship." Well, sure, those are mostly all pre-ordered and undoubtedly, consumers will pick theirs up when it becomes available. But will Sony have extra stock for regular consumers? Will Microsoft? And if so, who will come out on top during the holiday war?

Perhaps it's most important to ask: Is it crucial for Sony to grab a bunch of positive headlines for this launch? It's widely believed that the PS4 has the lead in terms of pre-orders, and the positive headlines have been in full effect for months. But hype is hype; what matters is the impression the machine makes on journalists and the gaming community at large. The PS3 didn't make the greatest impression and with low sales numbers at launch, that system faced a tough uphill climb. This time, Sony isn't a year behind and they've produced a machine that everyone - especially developers - seem to love. That's a very big plus.

Therefore, it should result in a great launch period. But in your estimation, how important is that period? Is it critical to get a good jump, or does it not matter much in the long haul?

Tags: ps4, playstation 4, xbox one, next generation, next gen consoles

9/29/2013 10:03:10 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (22 posts)

xnonsuchx
Sunday, September 29, 2013 @ 10:38:26 PM
Reply

I think it's important for PS4 to do better in North America against the Xbox One...even being even in would be a big accomplishment. It will likely do better worldwide since the PS3 caught up to Xbox 360 even though the latter had a 1 year head start.

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Bonampak
Monday, September 30, 2013 @ 1:37:57 AM

Indeed. The PS3 proved that it doesn't matter who takes a lead initially. Console wars are not a sprint race that is won quickly, but a marathon that takes many years to win.

Anyway, I dunno why can anyone give Pachter any credibility. Considering that this guy has had a very spotty record when it comes to predictions.

I mean, just this year he predicted that the Xbox One would win the next console wars because of two things: Skype and having a TV tuner.

He said that. Look it up.

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Simcoe
Monday, September 30, 2013 @ 10:16:17 AM

Granted he also said that before MS shot themselves in the foot on May 21, 2013, then again...what two or three days later and if MS had another foot, during E3. I will give him credit that he did predict that MS would reverse all those bad decisions before MS did.

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Ather
Sunday, September 29, 2013 @ 10:44:44 PM
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Better to wait til both systems are out, and let the people chose. Say Sony gets a lot more sales at first. But people actually prefer X1. As word spreads, more people buy it. What good was Sony's lead then? All it'd do is up anticipation and make the let down greater.

If Sony starts off strong and holds, Sony'll get a big head. Oh we're so great. Everybody loves us best. Look how our numbers grow and grow, while Microsoft languishes behind. That's when they start turning on gamers. Oh people'll like whatever we give them. Which soon becomes people will like whatever we tell them.

Neither scenario works out well. Initial success doe snot mean constant success, nor is it always a good thing. Amazon survived and remains strong because of their slow burn approach.

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Kiryu
Sunday, September 29, 2013 @ 10:54:34 PM
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1.5 million patcher says patcher says.This guy doesn't know anything.
Sony expectsr to sell 5 Million PS4's This Holiday Season

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Shauneepeak
Sunday, September 29, 2013 @ 11:13:37 PM

I watched that Pach attack and I believe that was strictly for the U.S.

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xnonsuchx
Monday, September 30, 2013 @ 1:14:30 AM

5 million by March 2014

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Simcoe
Monday, September 30, 2013 @ 2:15:49 PM

He also said that they'd sell all that they could ship, and how much they ship is dependant on when they started manufacturing and how many units they can manufacture each month.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, September 29, 2013 @ 11:35:23 PM
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I don't think it's important to the success of the console, that will happen anyway, but it would send a nice message to Microsoft about how futile all their evil practices were in the last gen.

And things are always better in the industry when Sony is at the top. Having the strong numbers out of the game will help that happen sooner.

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cLoudou
Sunday, September 29, 2013 @ 11:40:33 PM
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Not really, but it'll be important to the casual gamer that wants to be part of the hip thing. If perception is that everyone is buying and playing the PS4, then that's what they"ll go for.

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daus26
Monday, September 30, 2013 @ 1:48:18 AM
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I think Sony knows what they're doing. Big reason is the fact that Japan is getting the PS4 pretty late. I mean February is quiet a long ways from November. They're definitely holding a lot of stock where demand and sales potential is greatest.

Personally, it's important. If the Xbox One sells more than the PS4 early on, that tells me one thing; If Sony can't beat MS early on with all the advantages they can possibly have (reputation, price timing, etc.), I'm worried about the future, cause when would they? I'm talking about North America and UK where Microsoft leads considerably, also two of some of the biggest market in the world. Sony is again risking big financially by making the console $399, and I want this risk to pay off as much as possible.

I'm not being bias when I want Sony to be more successful, it's just that it's blatantly obvious to me that Sony as a company gives much more value to the gamers. Not only that, Sony ALWAYS pushes their tech more than Microsoft. We may be in a generation where Microsoft may hold back console gaming AGAIN.

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Beamboom
Monday, September 30, 2013 @ 3:36:40 AM
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I think it's important for one reason: To use the opportunity of the current momentum. There are a lot of unhappy and annoyed would-be-Xbox-customers who might now go for the PS4 instead. And to grab that share of the market they need to act quick.

Other than that it is of less importance.

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Gamer46
Monday, September 30, 2013 @ 4:43:58 AM
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Extremely important here in North America. I really want the PS4 to be a huge success from day one because while PS3 since 2009 has been a fantastic console it got off to a slow burn in large part due to third parties just releasing sloppy port after sloppy port and getting away with it because the system was lagging behind the competition in sales. It's pretty clear by now that PS4 will be the most powerful next-gen console, I do not want that wasted at all. Obviously Sony's first parties will deliver but a lot of my favorite games come from third parties and I don't want there to be any excuses for making Xbox One or even Wii U the lead platform for something over PS4.

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___________
Monday, September 30, 2013 @ 4:46:37 AM
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of course its important!
$onys been BLEEDING money ever since the ps3 came out!
hell it was so drastic they restructured the whole company, renamed divisions, sold off several buildings, kaz the current pioneer for playstation now has moved to CEO of $onys whole division so hes seen allot less.
stringers gone to the dogs, SCEE has a new president, if anything else changed $ony would now be run by aliens!
not to mention the whole reason why the ps4 is a epic disappointment is simply because they cannot afford to BLEED money like they did the ps3!
if they hadent gotten off to such a rough start next gen systems would of been in a much better position and developers wont be pleading for replacements in 3 years time!

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Masszt3r
Monday, September 30, 2013 @ 2:43:53 PM

PS4 an epic disappointment? Seriously?

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___________
Tuesday, October 01, 2013 @ 9:56:38 AM

after waiting SEVEN freaking years, by far the longest weve ever had to wait, and our patients being rewarded with by far the smallest leap forward, i frankly cant think of a better way to describe it!

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Masszt3r
Tuesday, October 01, 2013 @ 3:44:36 PM

If you compare the PS4's hardware to a high end, modern PC then I agree that it is outdated. But I wouldn't call it a disappointment comparing it to previous gen consoles. I don't really see how it is a disappointment; it is a new console; new games; new hardware; new features. Haven't all new console cycles been like this? I wasn't really upset with the 7 year cycle. Hell, if the PS4 wasn't released until 2016 I wouldn't complain since there are a lot of games for the current gen I haven't played.

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Lawless SXE
Monday, September 30, 2013 @ 6:55:43 AM
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Have to say no. It may have taken the PS3 a while to catch up with the 360, but it still happened. More importantly, Sony are making a small loss with every PS4 system that they sell (recouped by a single game and a PS+ subscription apparently), so wouldn't it be better for their bottom line if more consoles were sold a little later down the track after they're able to turn a profit on every system sold?

In terms of the sales war, though, no. Even if America goes with the X1, the rest of the world is enough to make up the difference. Don't believe me, just check out the current sales figures of GTA V according to VGChartz. The PS3 version has a shortfall of about 200,000 yet the gap between the two consoles' sales in America is almost 2.5 million.

Yeah, an X1 headstart isn't going to mean much in the grand scheme of things, IMO.

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Ultima
Tuesday, October 01, 2013 @ 8:52:25 AM

> Have to say no. It may have taken the PS3 a while to catch up with the 360, but it still happened.

This is glossing over history. It didn't take "a while" it took over SIX YEARS. That's longer than previous entire console generations lasted. Because Sony wasn't able to catch up and take the lead quickly, it was an easy decision for developers to use the X360 as the lead platform, since it was both easier to program AND it had a much larger userbase in the two largest gaming markets. Cue sub-par ports for the majority of PS3 multi-platforms. We do NOT want a repeat of this!

Sony has several advantages this time around, the main one being cost. If Sony doesn't have a huge lead out the gate, it will be a bad sign. While the system won't be in jeopardy or anything, especially since they aren't taking huge losses this time, a huge lead will make developers (if they haven't done so already) choose the PS4 for lead development. We want PS4 multi-plats to be equal to X1 at a minimum, and by all rights they should be superior.

Of course, if all you buy are Sony exclusives, this probably doesn't bother you. :p

Aside from that, the initial lead is important, but not as important as maintaining the lead. Unless the initial lead is so huge as to make it not matter (see also: Wii won the last console generation).

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Mannemarco
Monday, September 30, 2013 @ 11:14:24 AM
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You dont have to be a Playstation fanboy to know that the ps4 has gained more popularity since e3, i can at least not imagine that the X1 will out sell the ps4 at least in the longrun.

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Nestore
Monday, September 30, 2013 @ 11:15:28 AM
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Many people and social circles emotionally commit to a platform at the beginning of a console cycle, so yes, an early lead is important in that sense. Ultimately, I'd like to see platform neutral programming APIs flourish, OS/platform issues be less of a barrier, and companies like Sony move away from closed garden ecosystems. Sony is amazing at managing game dev talent.

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PlatformGamerNZ
Monday, September 30, 2013 @ 7:18:54 PM
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well for you guys in the us i think it will be really helpful and important for the ps4 to get ahead but it's hard to say if it will and how much.

happy gaming =)

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