Here's How Xbox One Will Pull Ahead of PlayStation 4

As PlayStation 4's lead on Xbox One shrinks, Microsoft looks set to pull ahead with the targeting of new geographic markets in 2014.

Mar 20, 2014 at 2:53PM

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Sony (NYSE:SNE) have been engaged in a constant battle for video game supremacy ever since the former released the original Xbox console in 2001 as a competitor to the latter's PlayStation 2 video game system.

With the launch of the next generation of video game systems last holiday season, not much has changed except for the dramatically increased technical specifications and enhanced multiplayer/social-sharing capabilities of available consoles. Over a decade later, both companies are still battling each other for the top spot in consumers' living rooms.

However, Microsoft's latest announcement regarding new market availability means the Xbox One system is about to seriously step up the competition against Sony's PlayStation 4. When combined with Xbox One's recent sales momentum, Microsoft looks set to pull ahead of Sony for console dominance.


PlayStation 4. Source: Company Website 

The announcement
On March 18, Microsoft announced that the Xbox One would be available in 26 new countries in September, including PlayStation 4's signature Japan market as well as many Nordic and South American countries. 

This is in keeping with Microsoft's earlier promise that it would make the console available in Japan in 2014. Yasuyuki Higucji, president of Microsoft Japan, explained in an interview last year, "For the launch of Xbox One, Japan is a Tier 2 country and not a Tier 1 country, so it'll come with the second wave, that will be delayed a little bit [compared to North America]." 

The announcement also confirms the delay of Xbox One's release in many European countries like Switzerland, which is reportedly due to technical problems with the Xbox Live Marketplace, the virtual store/social hub for Xbox consoles. 

Just in time
While the delay of reaching new marketplaces is no doubt a bit disappointing for Microsoft and a short-term positive for Sony's gaming unit, the fact remains that Xbox One is poised to enter many new markets in 2014 and capture market share.

The move for Microsoft is happening at a good time. According to, Xbox One console has sold 3.62 million units versus PlayStation 4's 6.01 million units, approximately. However, PlayStation 4 has been available in more markets than Xbox One practically since both systems were launched. For comparison, Nintendo's Wii U console has sold 5.91 million units worldwide, approximately. 


Xbox One. Source: Company website. 

Gathering momentum
Despite lagging in total sales to Sony and the PlayStation 4, Microsoft is building serious momentum with sales of its Xbox One. Microsoft's system witnessed a 60% increase in sales for the month of February. 

In a recent announcement, Microsoft announced, "February NPD Group figures released today showed that Xbox One continues selling at a record-breaking pace with 258,000 units sold in the U.S. in the month of February, surpassing Xbox 360 sales by over 61 percent at the same point in time." 

The Xbox One console is now officially the most successful launch in Xbox brand history. Perhaps even more important is that March could end being an even better month for Xbox One sales considering the eagerly awaited Titanfall multiplayer game from Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA) released on March 11 exclusively for Microsoft consoles.

In an effort to capitalize on the blockbuster's exclusivity, Microsoft began bundling copies of Titanfall with Xbox One consoles and selling them for only $499, which means the game is essentially free to consumers. While surely a loss of profit for Microsoft, the marketing strategy is sure to be a smart move if it translates into more gamers buying an Xbox One console and continuing to use the Xbox Live Marketplace.

Initial reports indicate that the strategy is working, as Xbox One sales increased a staggering 96% in the U.K. last week. Out of those consoles sold, 70% were bundled with Titanfall


Source: International Business Times

Bottom line
Though the console is still in fewer markets, the pace at which Microsoft is selling Xbox Ones has been gathering steam in recent months. The company's exclusive deal with Electronic Arts' Titanfall means sales most likely continued to increase in March. When Microsoft taps new markets later in the year, the Xbox One could already have the lead on Sony's PlayStation 4.

Is Microsoft a forever stock?
As one of the most successful technology companies ever, is Microsoft a forever stock now? As every savvy investor knows, Warren Buffett didn't make billions by betting on half-baked stocks. He isolated his best few ideas, bet big, and rode them to riches, hardly ever selling. You deserve the same. That's why our CEO, legendary investor Tom Gardner, has allowed us to reveal The Motley Fool's 3 Stocks to Own Forever. These picks are free today! Just click here now to uncover the three companies we love. 

Philip Saglimbeni 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.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't 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.

©1995-2014 The Motley Fool. All rights reserved. | Privacy/Legal Information