Sony's PlayStation 4 Is Crushing Microsoft's Xbox One and Nintendo's Wii U

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Sony (NYSE: SNE  ) is currently crushing its rivals in the video game market. The Japanese electronics giant has now sold more than 6 million PlayStation 4s, likely (though not officially) putting it ahead of both Microsoft's (NASDAQ: MSFT  ) Xbox One and Nintendo's (NASDAQOTH: NTDOY  ) Wii U.

The PlayStation 4 has exceeded Sony's expectations, and should continue to sell well in the coming quarters. That's great for Sony, as its other electronic businesses continue to languish.

A repeat of the PlayStation 2 era?
Although Sony appears to be ahead right now, it was once far more dominant -- the PlayStation 2 sold more units (over 150 million) than both the rival consoles from Nintendo and Microsoft combined (less than 50 million).

Missteps last generation, most notably launching a PlayStation 3 that was far more expensive than Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Nintendo's Wii, set Sony back. But now it seems to have regained its edge, and the PlayStation 4 could ultimately outsell boxes from both Microsoft and Sony.

A strong launch is a good sign, and the PlayStation 4's momentum should continue as the console sees more major video games released. Sony has built a strong lineup of exclusive intellectual property, with popular franchises like InFamous, God of War, Uncharted, and LittleBigPlanet. As franchises receive PlayStation 4 installments, sales should get a further boost.

Sony's early lead is hardly surprising -- for dedicated gamers, Sony appears to be offering a better value than its rivals: The PlayStation 4 is $100 less expensive than Microsoft's Xbox One, and it's poised to enjoy more third-party support than Nintendo's Wii U. For PlayStation Plus subscribers, Sony also gives away digital copies of select PlayStation 4 games on a monthly basis -- a perk Microsoft's Xbox Live members don't enjoy.

Sony's lone star
The PlayStation 4's success is great for Sony, as its other electronics businesses are increasingly struggling. Last month, the Associated Press' Yuri Kageyama summarized Sony's situation, noting that the PlayStation brand was one of the only ones that hasn't "faded or succumbed to a nimbler competitor."

Sony's VAIO PC business was sold last month to a group of private investors, as demand for PCs powered by Microsoft's Windows has increasingly declined. At the same time, Sony's beleaguered TV business was placed in a separate subsidiary (perhaps to be shut down, sold, or spun-off at some later date). Sony is attempting to break into the mobile market, with a high-end line of smartphones and tablets, but remains far behind Samsung in terms of popularity.

Sony does have a treasure trove of entertainment assets, enough to draw the attention of activist investor Dan Loeb last year. But continued losses led ratings firm Moody's to cut Sony's debt to junk status back in January.

The PlayStation as a platform
If the PlayStation is going to turn around Sony's fortune, it will be because it ultimately transforms into something much more substantial than just a video game console. Although Sony's machine is often characterized as a pure video game device (as opposed to Microsoft's more entertainment-focused Xbox One) Sony seems to have ambitions for the PlayStation that stretch far beyond gaming.

Sony, for example, is currently working on an Internet-based paid TV service that could challenge the existing cable establishment. Sony's CEO, Kaz Hirai, told CNBC back in January that the PlayStation could serve as a base for Sony's upcoming service, acting as an Internet-connected set-top box. Like Microsoft, Sony has its own music subscription, which is easily accessible through any PlayStation, and more services are coming, including PlayStation Now.

It's still early in the current console war, but barring a major shift, Sony's machine seems on pace to outsell both Microsoft's Xbox One and Nintendo's Wii U. That's great for Sony, as it shifts its focus from electronic sales to entertainment services.

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Read/Post Comments (38) | Recommend This Article (5)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On March 08, 2014, at 7:26 PM, tjc206 wrote:

    Yeah because infamous second son is such a hot exclusive title LOL it's almost like they purposely made the game based in Seattle so they can at least have a chance in the Seattle market. Problem is Titanfall will crush them in all markets.

  • Report this Comment On March 09, 2014, at 1:53 AM, sdoggy wrote:

    PS4 is smashing the competition! Infamous looks fantastic too despite what lifeless trolls say! Can't wait to play it. Nothing gonna slow down the PS4, that's for sure. Well played Sony!

  • Report this Comment On March 09, 2014, at 4:16 AM, tjc206 wrote:

    Have fun roaming the streets of Seattle by yourself.

  • Report this Comment On March 09, 2014, at 4:00 PM, shiny2 wrote:

    Seriously? This is old news. Why do you make an article on something we've known about for such a long time?

  • Report this Comment On March 09, 2014, at 8:37 PM, Death215 wrote:

    OMG not another one of these articles lol... these writers must have nothing else to write about.

  • Report this Comment On March 09, 2014, at 8:44 PM, Droppo wrote:

    Xbox One isn't getting "crushed" when it's still selling 4 million consoles in a few months. Playstation is selling more, but that's not crushing anyone. WiiU is just a loser on its own, no matter what PS or Microsoft do. What is this fascination with trying to treat this like a winner take all console war? Both consoles can do well. There is room for both!

  • Report this Comment On March 09, 2014, at 9:05 PM, dnhoogerwerf wrote:

    What's with this Sam Mattera's fascination with writing an article a week on how the Xbox is getting "crushed" or the Xbox is a "disaster"? I'm tired of his prejudice. Get someone that has at least some journalistic ethics to write these articles. Are you listening Motley Fool?

  • Report this Comment On March 09, 2014, at 10:23 PM, auggybendoggy wrote:

    Droppo, you would think that these MF writers would get that but seriously they don't care. They are just writing to say they wrote something. You are totally right that both can do well, and truth is the more they both do well, the better off the consumer is. Good comments though and good to hear a voice of reason in a sea of motely fools.

  • Report this Comment On March 09, 2014, at 10:34 PM, speculawyer wrote:

    Meh. The WiiU is a flop. The PS4 is beating the xbone but the xbone is doing OK . . . it is not being "crushed".

  • Report this Comment On March 09, 2014, at 10:41 PM, cone1317 wrote:

    "For PlayStation Plus subscribers, Sony also gives away digital copies of select PlayStation 4 games on a monthly basis -- a perk Microsoft's Xbox Live members don't enjoy."

    With Xbox Live you definitely get two free games a month. Nice try though. These articles are such crap. Guess Sam Mattera has nothing better to do with his time. He seems to ignore the fact that, while Sony has higher sales numbers, the PS4 is also available in 48 countries while the Xbox One is still only in 13. What a shocker that they've sold more consoles when they're in over three times as many countries. The Xbox One is doing great despite what every foolish writer on this website thinks.

  • Report this Comment On March 09, 2014, at 11:08 PM, claynshelly wrote:

    If you really want to crunch the numbers, the xbox1 gets more money per unit sold after manufacturing costs are calculated than PS4 so even with lower numbers that are ahead in profit. Plus when you look at where they are being sold it is lopsided. 48 or 52 countries versus 13. ANYTHING that is sold in 4 times the markets will outsell its competition. I own both consoles and to be honest I use my XB1 more simply because of all the added features that it has.

  • Report this Comment On March 09, 2014, at 11:11 PM, notthatfoolish wrote:

    wow this guy Sam Mattera: every week he comes out with some new way of bashing the x-box.. (most not even accurate). How much is Sony paying you Sam?

  • Report this Comment On March 09, 2014, at 11:39 PM, jkdevore wrote:

    OMG...Seriously another one of these? Alright neither 3 console manufacturers are going anywhere. None are doomed. First, yes the PS4 is ahead in sales and "looks" like it will dominate the future right now, however, the Xbox will not go away. It has some amazing exclusives like Titanfall and Dead Rising 3. Sony has Infamous and a slew of others as well. Nintendo will be doomed when both of their divisions, handheld and home console, stop selling. They can afford several generations before they really have to consider the option of getting out of the hardware side. They have a slew of first party games that are amazing as well. In short, neither 3 will be quitting anytime soon. I personally don't believe that the Wii U is a failure. I have one as well as both PS4 and Xbox One. I do feel that they're not showcasing what the controller can do. Only way to do that is to have a game that displays and uses it in a fashion noone has thought of yet. Zombi U was a good effort but the lack of polish hurt it. Now having said this I am NOT picking one console over the others but am saying that NONE will be gone anytime soon and am very happy that most of the commenters here understand that. Now if we can focus on the authors of the 3000 same articles about _____ is doomed maybe we can convince them to do journalism right. Maybe give us some numbers of how the actual business is doing or concrete proof that such and such said he was selling the game division of Microsoft off or that the Wii U is killing Nintendo without acknowledging the fact that the 3ds is still selling like hotcakes which keeps their pockets full for a while...God I'm tired right now..

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 12:20 AM, bradrmay18 wrote:

    This is so biased. How about you lube up your PS4 already and go to town on it since all you do is blog about how amazing it is. How about Sony sucks? How about the negative? Oh I am sure you remember how Sony got hacked, and no one was able to play online for months. Or how DLC takes months to release? you get what you pay for, and the only people I know who buy Sony consoles, are poor bastards with no money. "Why pay to play online?" Because you get what you pay for.

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 12:54 AM, brownebloke wrote:

    I watched "The House of Cards." Who's paying you Motley Fool & Sam Mattera? No.. seriously... Same article, same wrong facts...

    Next week there will be 2 more of the same article of Xbox One being a bust.. or being Crushed....

    Haha... I guess there is "fool" in the name of Motley Fool's name for a reason.. write in the name of the biggest pockets!

    I'll continue to read this nonsense for the next 2 months... It will probably be 8 more articles of garbage

    Once Titanfall drops... PS4 people will be begging for Titanfall 1--the PS4 people that game multiplayer games.

    How many times can you re-beat & re-play campaign-only games before it gets boring?

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 12:59 AM, JaredM80 wrote:

    "Yeah because infamous second son is such a hot exclusive title" yeah it is how bout that. But coming from an xbot, i'm not surprised you said that.

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 1:05 AM, RicoDaNico wrote:

    Why are xbots so mad for? All of you guys are hurt.

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 1:19 AM, taker36 wrote:

    a lot of butthurt sony people monday at midnight...cause us X1 people will be rockn titanfall..

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 2:07 AM, Viper369 wrote:

    Obviously the idiots at Motely Fools don't know what the term "Crushing" means. Plus how can they claim "crushing" when Sony themselves aren't? The second line of the story even admits they don't have any actual facts or official numbers.

    If a bank investor did this the guy writing the story would be under-investigation by the Security and Exchanges Commission (SEC) for putting out false information that manipulates the market.

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 3:11 AM, EddieEsco wrote:

    lol, love how xbone fanboys claim to never read fool articles, but here they still come like little lemmings.

    PS4 has sold more than 2 million than XB1 DEAL WITH IT, that's not a fluke.

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 3:27 AM, EddieEsco wrote:

    Also, MS has NOT sold 4 million, they have SHIPPED 4 million, last figure released was that 3.4 Xbones were actually sold, so PS4 still ahead by 3.6 million.

    Not looking good for the XB1 right now relative to PS4....but thats ok,

    THE KING IS BACK BABY. Looks like PS2 era all over again.

    Don't worry xbots, enjoy Titanfall, Im sure Ill enjoy Cal of Duty with Mecs when Titanfall 2 is released on PS4. For now though I will play it on 360, Thank GOD this is NOT a XB1 exclusive LOFL!

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 4:24 AM, EmEfferJones wrote:

    "But now it seems to have regained its edge, and the PlayStation 4 could ultimately outsell boxes from both Microsoft and Sony." seems legit

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 6:33 AM, Wolfvane1212 wrote:

    Ok... PS4 still has the most problems than any other consoles. I bet they didn't count the 1 million units that had the blue ring of death and all of them had to go buy another. That's why the sales are better and there sales aren't valid,because alot of units are broken..

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 6:47 AM, Cerberus82 wrote:

    Oh the 'Console Wars' who is gonna win/lose? So much debate on who is better, why they are and who failed completely. Alongside billions of posts badgering one over the other(s). You want to know who really won the console wars??? Gamers this may be a challenge, no Achievements/Trophies to be awarded/unlocked; go take a look in a mirror.

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 8:25 AM, mobrocket wrote:

    Are Xbox One users that blind and deaf?

    Titanfall is NOT an Xb1 exclusive

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 9:39 AM, fullmore12 wrote:

    Sam Mattera has no clue about either the Xbox One or Playstation 4. Proof lies here, "

    Just read up how Sam here was giving accolades left and right for the Xbox One just before its release. He also adds this bit of hypocrisy, "If nothing else, Microsoft's new ad is proof of an emerging trend: video game consoles aren't just for gamers anymore. By focusing on its non-gaming capabilities, Microsoft has targeted the Xbox One at the general, non-gaming public.

    In the end, that could result in significant sales, as there are far more non-gamers than there are gamers."

    Six months later, he's bashing the Xbox One left and right.

    So whichever console you end up buying or supporting, don't let the likes of Motley Fool aid in your decision.

    It's obvious these guys are the real trolls here...

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 11:22 AM, QookieMonster wrote:

    This guy is just annoying with his articles, regurgitating same bs over and over. One must question his motives for consistently trashing Xbox One and praising PS4.

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 11:22 AM, DrTek wrote:

    Can you say "Fanboy?" F-A-N-B-O-Y!

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 11:27 AM, chomskyknows wrote:

    6 to 4 is crushing? Unsubscribing from this childish blog...

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 11:38 AM, tchams wrote:

    Maybe these stories are being posted because of the mass amounts of comments are being posted to the comment section.

    This results in more eyes seeing the advertisements for Fool services (which have turned out great for me so far but that is beside the point).

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 12:28 PM, txsoldier41 wrote:

    Good business means giving the customer what they want, not forcing them to take what you want to give.

    I play on an Xbox 360S, I like Xbox, I've played on a Playstation before but have never felt the pull to it.

    I am a big fan of Halo, so will probably get the Xbox One when the newest Halo comes out. But that is all I would use it for.

    If Microsoft would offer backward compatability for Xbox 360 games I bet it would really boost their sales.

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 12:45 PM, RicoDaNico wrote:

    Xbox fanboys hurt their beloved console isn't doing any good. Xbox is doing fine. It's not selling or have the appeal like PS4. Plus, Xbox have always been a lackluster gaming system. This is where Sony is strong in. Sorry people play games before apps and TV. Try harder boys. Oh, and Wolf PS4 didn't have million consoles failing. You're just a punk fanboy who can accept nobody wants your system as oppose to the world. That's how 360 got their sales last gen with multiple failing consoles. Xbox fanboys protect some with no value. And that's very sad.

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 1:13 PM, Avatarmage wrote:

    This reporter Sam Mattera has a love for writing articles about "destroying" or "crushing" all things Microsoft. Just look through his last 30 or so articles. "Google destroying Microsoft", "Apple destroying Microsoft" and so on. What a troll writer.

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 1:41 PM, Assam1 wrote:


  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 1:44 PM, Assam1 wrote:

    WHO CARES WHO IS WINNING. IT ALWAYS COMES BACK TO THE GAMES U PALY. I have never owned a playstation. I have both Xboxes and every gen of Nintendo. Best guys directs my money. Halo, titanfall, Mario, metro prime, etc.etc.

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 2:02 PM, Puma wrote:

    Another day, another PS4 vs Xbone article, the uge!!!

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 2:28 PM, chrismireya wrote:

    One thing is absolutely certain: Sam Matterson (the "author" of this tripe) is certainly a "fool."

    Unfortunately, this hack destroys the credibility of Motley Fool with each and every ridiculous "article" (or, more correctly, propaganda piece) that he writes.

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 2:30 PM, chrismireya wrote:

    I am going to contact Motley Fool and even Yahoo for including these ridiculous "hit" pieces on their homepages.

    Sam Matterson shouldn't be employed by Motley Fool.

    He should be writing for some Sony fanboy magazine...or a B-level community college newspaper.

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Sam has a love of all things finance. He writes about tech stocks and consumer goods.

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