PS4 Launches in Japan: The Final Blow to the Xbox One?

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Just over 12 hours ago, the PS4 launched in Japan on the iconic date of 22/2. Now, there’s already tons of news out there covering the PS4 Japan launch; but what’s interesting to note, is that while the PS4 launched in Japan more than three months after the PS4’s North American release date on Nov. 15; till date it has constantly outdone the Xbox One in sales. Just before it’s Japan launch, the PS4 had already crossed over 5 million units in sales globally. Now, the Xbox One isn’t far behind, sitting at about 3.5 million units. All these numbers are, if not already, a clear indication of the dire straits the Xbox One is in AND just before the Japan launch as well.  Again, it’s not to say the Xbox One will never catch up to the PS4, but you cannot ignore the signs at this point.

PS4 doubles sales

Not to mention that the PS4 doubled the Xbox One sales numbers in the month of Jan 2014. As any good fanboy worth their salt will tell you, it’s far too early to read too much into these results. Still, there’s numerous obvious lessons here that still somehow haven’t penetrated the somewhat thick, public perception shell known to ensconce the Redmond giant.

With the PS4 launching in it’s home turf, is it the knockout blow from Sony? Probably not…There’s still hope.  One cannot think even for a second that Microsoft is not already making changes to the way the product is positioned. Keep in mind, that there’s also Titanfall coming in a few months time, that should certainly bolster the Xbox One sales. But our key takeaway from all of this is that Microsoft NEEDS to start giving gamers what they want. Several ways they can do this:

1. Start providing significant value to the Kinect

The Kinect is a great piece of technology, unfortunately, it does very very little to add to the gaming experience. When the Wii launched, the whole concept of motion gaming seemed like the greatest thing since sliced bread; and it probably was and it probably will be, but we’re still some ways away from actually having games that provide the same sense and exhilaration that a controller based game can. Flame all you want at this point, but you know apart from a few sports games and maybe a few AAA titles, the Xbox Kinect has done little to enhance any sort of gaming experience. Sure, you can argue about it – but think of playing Assassin’s Creed, with the Kinect? or Forza? Seems rather far fetched. Not that it won’t happen eventually, but we’re just not there yet. We may go so far as to say that probably the Kinect, was a little premature to launch, or to satisfy fanboy rage, it was probably ahead of its time.

2. Drop the Kinect from it’s bundle

That’s a clean $100 price drop. Not sure how much that will finally translate to Indian Rupees, but at this point, the Xbox One hasn’t even launched in India. God knows, what a pain it was importing our console. I’ll go so far as to say that India, is a PlayStation country. Period. Coming back to the rest of the world; un-bundling the Kinect will easily bolster Xbox One sales and mitigate any lead that the PS4 has had over these last few months. Not immediately, but at least over the next 2 quarters. This is addition to the awesome games that are coming up, there’s no doubt the Xbox One could catch up significantly.

3. Stop half-assing the whole TV angle

Fine, I get that Xbox One is positioned differently, if not, very slightly differently from the PS4 in terms of the unified television experience it hopes to create. But with such a fractured experience, it’s makes it less than reliable than your existing cable or set top boxes. If Microsoft intends to continue pushing forth on this front, it NEEDS to go all out. Make it the best DAMN TV experience that users can hope for. They probably will do this over the next few months/years, but for now, it’s just an angle they need to stop pitching till it gets better.

While Sony has certainly taken the right steps forward, it’s not entirely at flawless as well. Lack of DLNA, MP3 playback, the PlayStation camera is still quite and possibly will continue to, let’s say be less than useful; but at least they’re not shoving it down your throat. Having said that, Sony is planning a PS4 variant of it’s VR headset. The hope is to combat the Xbox One’s Kinect. So either Sony see’s the potential the Kinect has and Microsoft doesn’t or it’s just something that Sony’s doing to ride the wave.

Console
On what parameters are the console wars fought during different stages

Either way, the bottom line is that with the Japan launch, it has certainly put Sony on a strong road ahead. The question now and probably for the next few years, is no longer, which is the more powerful console; that’s been done to death. It’s a question of what are we going to get as gamers from these consoles. The content strategy, both push and pull, have to be significantly stronger and in the long run will ensure the console’s success. Sure, there’s going to tons of updates over the next decade which will aim to improve all of these; but from here on…the content war has begun, and the Xbox One is on notice.

 

 

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6 COMMENTS

  1. who gives a crap sony only kept market share after pushing sega out of the market all those years ago . i dont trust a company that does business that way . besides the consoles only just launched so dont count your eggs .

  2. Ugh another of these stupid articles made to drum up hits and flame the fanboy wars. The xbox one sold 4million to date and will only keep growing as exclusives release, and it’s been 3 months…..FFS. Xbox one, 360, and the original never cared about japan, nor should they, it’s miniscule and matters little. And Ps4 in japan isn’t as popular or sold out as you are led to believe, go into any shop and see ps4 on shelves, only thing that sold out was preorders. Ps4 is a great machine, xbox one is a great machine, they will both sell millions more consoles, it’s fanboys and writers like you that make gaming culture such a negative place here.

    Try being a real journalist instead of posting crap like this to drum up hits to your article, you just rehashed the same article a few others wrote while adding nothing new except to say ps4 released in japan. A real journalist or gamer would know that Japan matters little, now the UK and AUS is a different story.

    • thanks for your comment cozomel…If you notice, we never take a fanboy stand. All our articles and analysis are based on facts. Sure, there’s an opinion thrown in for good measure, but hey! doesn’t that make it fun?

      We’re looking at it from a realistic perspective, if you’re opinion is that the PS4 launching in Japan will have little or no effect, then so be it, it’s your opinion, and we respect that…and we’re glad that you did take the time out to read through and comment about it 🙂

      the bottom line, is that the Xbox sales have been lower than that of the PS4 and we’ve only asked the question. But if you notice the last part of the article, we’ve stated that, the war of which console is better, or more power is pretty much over. The future of the success of the consoles now lies in their content strategy.

      cheers!

  3. Are you fucking serious with the title and article? Pardon my french but give me a goddamn break. The Xbox One is selling DOUBLE at what the Xbox 360 was selling at the same time. The Xbox One is selling MORE software than the PS4. The PS4 didn’t even reach 300k in January here in North America, so almost “doubling” the Xbox One sounds great on paper, until you realize both sold like utter garbage in January.

    Microsoft doesn’t have to sell more Xbox One’s than Sony does PS4’s. I think it’s more important to them to turn a profit on the console, which they are in fact doing. The Xbox 360 hasn’t had a price cut now in 4-5 years? Even though the PS3 caught up and a price cut would surely mean more sales. Why? Because you don’t mess with success when you’re making money. The PS4 is available in 55 territories? The Xbox One in just 13. It’d be a travesty if the PS4 wasn’t selling a lot more right now! The fact that at last report the Xbox One was at 3.9 million and the PS4 at 5.2 means that Microsoft is staying competitive while not being in nearly the amount of markets.

    The Xbox One might not be the runaway success that the PS4 is out of the gate, but please stop acting like it’s not a success. It’s far ahead of where the Xbox 360 was.

    • Dear CrapGamer,

      thank you for taking time out to read and comment.

      Like we’ve stated in the article, we’ve only asked the question. AND we’ve also clearly stated that the Xbox one has a lot of potential provided it starts churning out brilliant content.

      The initial sales wars are over…as far as the life cycle of the product is concerned, which goes on for 10+ years, give and take a few, the key thing now is for either console to create a compelling content strategy. Either via games, software, tools etc.

      Sure, everyone wants to turn a profit…if you’re not in it for profit, then what are you in it for? What do you think happened to Nintendo?
      It’s an highly inaccurate statement that the Xbox 360 hasn’t seen a price cut for 4-5 years! They’ve changed product bundle strategies a few times these last couple of years, in essence that is a price cut, or a preferential product positioning.

      No one is denying the presence of the PS4 in more countries than the Xbox one. Let’s say that 6 months down the line, the Xbox one launches in as many countries, if not more, will it still out sell the PS4? Probably yes…and then again, maybe not. It’s hard to say at this point, which is why we’ve clearly stated, the future of these consoles hinges on the content they’re providing.

      As a gaming company/publisher, it is more profitable to sell/create/market to a bigger console base. Again, it boils down to profits, like you’ve mentioned.

      A year down the line should Xbox One be more successful than the PS4, heck, we’ll report it and probably talk about what changed.
      What makes the Japan launch so significant is the fact that, the PS4 has been outselling the Xbox one all this while, and with the JP launch…it’s going to certainly pull ahead. and we’ve clearly said…it’s probably NOT the knockout blow 🙂

      Both are great consoles, but in the end, while sales numbers do matter, it’s the content that’s available across these consoles that will win the war…and the real winners…are us gamers.

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