In its recent third-quarter earnings conference call, GameStop (NYSE: GME ) treated investors to some juicy details surrounding the battle between the Sony (NYSE: SNE ) PS4 and Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT ) Xbox One. So just what did management at the nation's largest video-game retailer have to say about the PS4 and Xbox One?
The juicy details
[O]ur sell-through since launch was 80% higher than the total amount of PS3s that we sold in our 2006 fiscal year. Let me repeat that. Our sell-through since launch was 80% higher than the total amount of PS3s that we sold in our 2006 fiscal year. ...
[T]he value of our reservations and additional allocation is 15% higher than the amount of Xbox 360s that we sold during our entire 2005 fiscal year. So we are poised for a powerful launch.
At first glance it appears that those comments from Tony Bartel, GameStop's president, would indicate that Sony's PS4 is putting the smackdown on Microsoft's Xbox One. But the situation is a little more convoluted than meets the eye.
The situation centers on the allocated units, which is simply the amount of systems Microsoft and Sony supplied GameStop with. For Bartel's comments to indicate that the PS4 is indeed winning, you have to assume GameStop was allocated more PS4s then Xbox Ones, or at least the same amount. Regardless of who comes out on top initially, it looks as if these two consoles are just getting started.
A long way from the checkered flag
The Xbox One and PS4 have started off full-throttle. But make no mistake: These two still have a lot of gas left in the tank. GameStop noted that two-thirds of its 33 million Power Up rewards members plan on purchasing a new console in the next 12 months. That's around 22 million consoles that could be sold at GameStop alone, compared with right around 14 million Xbox 360s and PS3s that were sold worldwide in their first full year. While the console battles are in the spotlight today, the real money to be made isn't off these new systems but rather all those old ones collecting dust.
PS3 and Xbox 360 -- come to papa
Investors shouldn't be too distracted by the new, flashy systems, because the real key to new console launches lies in all of those used games and hardware that customers trade in to purchase Xbox Ones and PS4s. GameStop is already seeing a massive inflow of used systems and software that should drive profits. To put this in perspective, GameStop made a 10.2% profit margin for all new hardware sold last quarter, and a 44.5% profit margin on used hardware and software sold. This shows why the company loves customers' used gear: They make four times the profit.
In the following video, Motley Fool analyst Blake Bos dives into all of these details, gives you his investing thesis for GameStop, and presents two ridiculous Amazon.com reviews for the PS4 and Xbox One.
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