There’s Nothing Xbox Can Do to Close Gap Between PS4, Says Pachter

Michael Pachter

Pachter has spoken.

On the latest round of Pachter Factor, video game and electronics research analyst with Wedbush Securities, Michael Pachter, discussed the current sales difference between Sony and Microsoft’s current-gen consoles and what the Xbox can do to catch up to its competitor.

Pachter was asked by user:
“At this point what can Microsoft do, if anything, to close the gap between the Xbox One and PS4?”

Pachter’s answer was simple: “Nothing.” At this point, two years into the console’s life cycle, Mr. Pachter believes there’s nothing the Xbox can do to catch up now. To support his claim, Pachter took a look back at how the PlayStation 2, Sony’s best-selling console, sold 170 million units while Microsoft’s best-selling console, the Xbox 360, sold just 80 million units in its lifetime. He points out that in Xbox history the best-selling platform only sold half as many units as PlayStation’s best-selling platform. “We should start every console cycle assuming Sony’s going to outsell Microsoft 2 to 1, because they have twice as many people who know what their console is and like.”

Pachter thinks it’s “remarkable” that the Xbox One is holding as steady as it is in sales against the PlayStation 4 and isn’t getting crushed in regions around the world. Sony has clearly started winning back the fanbase that they may have lost at the start of the PlayStation 3 era. “My guess is Microsoft is gonna really try hard to win in the U.S. and they’re probably going to fail. They’re gonna hope to win globally and they’re pretty definitely gonna fail.”

He continues talking about the first-party software, the drawing point for most consumers when picking what console they want to go with and clarifies that gamers are just going to go where they can play the games they like. Both consoles have equally great first and third-party support so if a gamer liked the Gears of War and Halo entries from last-gen they’ll pick up an Xbox One. If they liked Uncharted, Little Big Planet, and Killzone they’ll pick up a PlayStation 4. “First party content is not differentiated enough to make a difference.”

Pachter ends the discussion by making it clear that just because the Xbox One isn’t selling as well as the PlayStation 4, that doesn’t mean that it’s not a success. The console is selling nearly as well as its closest competition and is nowhere near slowing down, especially with it coming out on top in last month’s NPD report. “As long as they make a profit and they sell a lot of boxes, they win.”

What do you think the Xbox One can do to gain the same momentum the PlayStation 4 has?



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