2013, as it turned out, was one of the most memorable years in recent memory for the global video game market.

Aside from some record-setting game launches earlier in the year, the competition heated up later this year as two of the leading console makers, software powerhouse Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Japanese giant Sony(NYSE:SNE), released the latest editions of their iconic consoles.


Source: Microsoft.

Analysts, enthusiasts, and consumers alike had been debating the merits of each device and which would sell better before either Microsoft's Xbox One of Sony's PlayStation 4 even hit the shelves.

Sony beats Microsoft by a mile
Now, to be fair, Sony enjoyed a sizable advantage when comparing sales figures against Microsoft. Sony launched its PlayStation 4 on November 15, a full week before Microsoft began selling its Xbox One. And when you're looking at such a small sample size, one week can make a very big difference.

Recently, it was announced that Sony sold 4.2 million PS4s in 2013, well ahead of the 3 million Xbox One sales Microsoft also announced. However, even beyond the one week head start, there are several other reasons that at least partially explain why Microsoft lagged Sony so badly.

In the video below, tech and telecom analyst Andrew Tonner looks at a few of the factors that drove this huge disparity last year.


Fool contributor Andrew Tonner has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.