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.

1 Key Step to Get Rich

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better. Whether that’s helping people overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we can help.

Feb 1, 2016 at 4:54PM

To be perfectly clear, this is not a get-rich action that my Foolish colleagues and I came up with. But we wouldn't argue with the approach.

A 2015 Business Insider article titled, "11 websites to bookmark if you want to get rich" rated The Motley Fool as the #1 place online to get smarter about investing.

"The Motley Fool aims to build a strong investment community, which it does by providing a variety of resources: the website, books, a newspaper column, a radio [show], and [newsletters]," wrote (the clearly insightful and talented) money reporter Kathleen Elkins. "This site has something for every type of investor, from basic lessons for beginners to investing commentary on mutual funds, stock sectors, and value for the more advanced."

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better, so it's nice to receive that kind of recognition. It lets us know we're doing our job.

Whether that's helping the entirely uninitiated overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we want to provide our readers with a boost to the next step on their journey to financial independence.

Articles and beyond

As Business Insider wrote, there are a number of resources available from the Fool for investors of all levels and styles.

In addition to the dozens of free articles we publish every day on our website, I want to highlight two must-see spots in your tour of

For the beginning investor

Investing can seem like a Big Deal to those who have yet to buy their first stock. Many investment professionals try to infuse the conversation with jargon in order to deter individual investors from tackling it on their own (and to justify their often sky-high fees).

But the individual investor can beat the market. The real secret to investing is that it doesn't take tons of money, endless hours, or super-secret formulas that only experts possess.

That's why we created a best-selling guide that walks investors-to-be through everything they need to know to get started. And because we're so dedicated to our mission, we've made that available for free.

If you're just starting out (or want to help out someone who is), go to, drop in your email address, and you'll be able to instantly access the quick-read guide ... for free.

For the listener

Whether it's on the stationary exercise bike or during my daily commute, I spend a lot of time going nowhere. But I've found a way to make that time benefit me.

The Motley Fool offers five podcasts that I refer to as "binge-worthy financial information."

Motley Fool Money features a team of our analysts discussing the week's top business and investing stories, interviews, and an inside look at the stocks on our radar. It's also featured on several dozen radio stations across the country.

The hosts of Motley Fool Answers challenge the conventional wisdom on life's biggest financial issues to reveal what you really need to know to make smart money moves.

David Gardner, co-founder of The Motley Fool, is among the most respected and trusted sources on investing. And he's the host of Rule Breaker Investing, in which he shares his insights into today's most innovative and disruptive companies ... and how to profit from them.

Market Foolery is our daily look at stocks in the news, as well as the top business and investing stories.

And Industry Focus offers a deeper dive into a specific industry and the stories making headlines. Healthcare, technology, energy, consumer goods, and other industries take turns in the spotlight.

They're all informative, entertaining, and eminently listenable ... and I don't say that simply because the hosts all sit within a Nerf-gun shot of my desk. Rule Breaker Investing and Answers contain timeless advice, so you might want to go back to the beginning with those. The other three take their cues from the market, so you'll want to listen to the most recent first. All are available at

But wait, there's more

The book and the podcasts – both free ... both awesome – also come with an ongoing benefit. If you download the book, or if you enter your email address in the magical box at the podcasts page, you'll get ongoing market coverage sent straight to your inbox.

Investor Insights is valuable and enjoyable coverage of everything from macroeconomic events to investing strategies to our analyst's travels around the world to find the next big thing. Also free.

Get the book. Listen to a podcast. Sign up for Investor Insights. I'm not saying that any of those things will make you rich ... but Business Insider seems to think so.

Compare Brokers