The console wars are heating up, and analysts predict the PlayStation 4 will outsell the more expensive Xbox One package this holiday season when both release a week apart in November. Many factors have contributed to this feud that consumers are taking into consideration. For the Xbox One, the Kinect requirements, Kinect ad controversy, DRM policy, Internet connection policy, - and again, the price - have been just a few of the counter-productive aspects of their Microsoft's evolving approach. Though they responded to the backlash by reducing and eliminating many of these policies.
Although loyalists will support their console choice no matter what, the general speculation points to the market have their arms a little more open to the PS3 successor, so it should come as no surprise that the PS4 is projected to be the console that sells the most units, at least over 1.5 million units according to pre-orders.
Sony has marketed their next-gen home console in a clever and systematic manner, whilst taking subtle jabs at Microsoft and the Xbox One. It started with Sony's E3 press conference, and the internet buzz did the rest of the work for them. A recent episode of Bonus Round suggests that the PlayStation 4 is ahead in pre-orders according to the most-quoted industry analyst ever, Michael Pachter.
"The only thing they're [Sony] going to have problems with is supply disruption. That million pre-orders that they talked about, which I understand now is up to 1.5 million, that's a lot of consoles. That tells you there's not going to be a lot of boxes behind the first 1.5 million and so I think you're going to have some supply shortages. And I think, to the extent that there is a shortage, that's a potential customer who says 'I'm getting an Xbox One because that's great too.'"
Pachter suggests that Microsoft could be able to capitalize on the fact that Sony may have overdone themselves. In case it isn't clear, 1.5 million units is a lot of hardware to produce, and to fulfill that many pre-orders will be difficult for Sony. Let's not forget that Sony must produce a specific amount for sale in-store which - if limited in availability - will raise the demand for hardware substantially. Sony went on record before with a target of 5 million units shipped by March 2014.
The production and target sales numbers is where the "war" between Sony and Microsoft becomes more of a numbers game than anything else. The two rival platform makers will continue to market their respective consoles, and the increase of pre-orders will be a vital key to success. The ultimate questions remain whether or not Microsoft can quickly overcome the negative publicity and if both companies will have enough product for the holiday.
Will there be a shortage of consoles this holiday?
The PlayStation 4 releases on November 15, 2013. The Xbox One releases on November 22, 2013.