Posted Sat, Dec 07, 2013 by Xerin
As previously mentioned, I do not like the holiday numbers for consoles. Xbox One destroyed the PS4 when it came to Black Friday sales, but PS4 launched much earlier and was not discounted by many retailers (if at all). Additionally, supply for both units was severely limited, also affecting the numbers. This story gets even more interesting when we take a look at the source of the numbers.
Things get very interesting when you don’t take the numbers at face value and look deeper into everything. First, let’s look at the PS4 launch. It launched two weeks before the Xbox did, meaning that a lot more people were cashing in their PS4 preorders before the Xbox folks got a chance to cash in theirs. Now, understanding that, let’s also understand what happened if you didn’t preorder – you didn’t get one.
One of either console, actually. Both consoles are perpetually sold out and are being offered in trickle quantities online through hyper expensive bundles. They come one at a time at random times on some retailer’s sites while others take large quantity preorders for their $800 bundles. That’s a lot of fun isn’t it? Those who purchased consoles on Black Friday were usually the first couple of people in the store that wanted one. The rest were out of luck.
That puts us at the question – how did the Xbox One sell so many units on Black Friday and does this spell doom for PS4? As MMO gamers this is important because MMOs are once again heading to consoles in mass droves due to the shift of limited skill action bars (which makes consoles attractive when you only have about 8 skills out at a time). No, it doesn’t, because the numbers are stupid.
The company who did them is called InfoScout and the numbers were sourced through projection – not representation. That means people took surveys and volunteered information on their purchases. It was not determined through any actual sales data. This means that the information is well… subjective to the crowd who bothered to use apps to scan receipts and people who filled in surveys. Which means that we can’t really rely on the data.
However, if we look at physical sales data for both consoles, they are very healthy at this point. Xbox is doing really well, but has a much bigger market, while PS4 is doing really well only in a few markets (meaning that it’ll continue to grow even more as it expands into other markets). They both having very healthy player bases are selling out as fast as deliveries arrive to stores.
So that should assuage any fears about picking one or the other. For my money, I’m going with a PS4. It’s cheaper, has a neat feature that I want in the controller, and it’s cheaper.
In other news the Riot contracts is a big deal. Big deal why? Because it said people couldn’t stream other games. They changed the wording so that they can’t stream other games if they receive sponsorship to promote those games, which is cool, I guess, but now that there is big money in esports we have to really ponder what kind of crazy stuff is going to happen next.
The Internet is a pretty lawless place and there are a lot of people hoping into esports. Trying to manage it like professional sports isn’t going to work so well, since avatars represent people and there is a bazillion ways for someone to do more than one thing at once. We’ll see how things keep playing out on that but hear me now – esports is a bubble. People are interested in the entire thing right now because it’s a thing. It’s a thing that’s going to be around as long as your everyday Joe has some belief that he can rise to be an esports hero. When that realization is diminished, so will the desire in being involved with it. It won’t go away, no, it’s been popular in Korea forever, but it will diminish and streaming will keep refining itself until the very specific things people want to watch are shown and the rest are forever forgotten.
That’s a rant for another day though, for now I’ll see you all on Monday.