In the Console Wars, Sony's Clearly the Leader

Sony's PlayStation 4 is on top of the console world, and the company shows no signs of letting up.

Jun 9, 2014 at 12:05PM

Sony's PS4 is one of the company's shining stars. Source: Sony.

It's been a transitional time in the gaming industry, as consoles compete with tablets and mobile devices for casual gamers' attention. This has only increased the already hyper-competitive atmosphere among Sony (NYSE:SNE), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), and Nintendo (NASDAQOTH:NTDOY). With and Sony's PS4 currently outselling the Xbox One, and a new report that the company also outsold Nintendo in the previous fiscal year -- there's no sign of things cooling down.

Taking the lead, twice
It's no secret the PS4 has outpaced the Xbox One since both went on sale. As it stands right now, Sony has sold about 7 million of its new consoles, while Microsoft sits at about 5 million. But Sony is stepping out once again if a new report from the Japanese news site, Nikkei, holds true. The site is reporting that for the first time in eight years, Sony toppled Nintendo in console sales for the full fiscal 2013 year.

The site said Nintendo sold 16.3 million consoles while Sony sold 18.7 million consoles. That's a pretty big accomplishment for Sony considering it hasn't held the top position since just before the Nintendo Wii launched.

But Microsoft isn't taking all of this laying down. Last month, the company announced it would sell a version of the Xbox One without a Kinect for $399 -- $100 cheaper than the current version and on par with the PS4 pricing.

More competition coming this week
The annual E3 gaming conference kicks off this week, with the companies expected to announce new gaming titles and features to increase console sales. As Sony looks to stay on top, the company will release new information about its PlayStation Now feature. PlayStation Now is a service that stores games in the cloud and allows users to stream them to their PS4, PS3, and PlayStation Vita mobile device. It's not the only thing Sony has up its sleeve, though.

The company will likely announce more details about Project Morpheus, a virtual reality system the company is building. While Sony said earlier this year that it won't release the VR headset to consumers this year, any additional information on a future release could help push demand for the PS4 as users anticipate the device.

Foolish final thoughts
Sony definitely has the advantage among its competitors right now, and this week's announcements at E3 should help push the company ahead further. With Microsoft already dropping the Kinect bundling and the price of the Xbox One, the company may not have much else to announce that could push the console ahead of the PS4.

Despite Sony's ability to outpace Nintendo in console sales in the past fiscal year, and currently beat out Xbox One sales, the company is struggling financially this year and is expecting a $489 million loss for the year. This would be the company's six annual loss in the past seven years. Sony recently sold its PC division to focus its efforts on mobile and is in the process of cutting 5,000 jobs.

Meanwhile, the PlayStation 4 has been one of the only shining stars for the company lately, and any ability to increase its success would be welcomed by investors. With Microsoft just now matching the PS4 price and Nintendo's Wii U hardly in the running at all, Sony appears firmly in first place right now in the console wars -- now it's time for the rest of the company to catch up.

One area Sony may not be ready for
While the company is using the PS4 to help prop up revenues, there's a new wave of technology coming that far exceeds the reach of console gaming -- and Sony isn't ready for it. Luckily, there's one small-cap tech company that is, and it could be a great pure-play in this coming technology shift. You can read the Motley Fool's free report on this new technological trend -- and one stock to invest in -- by clicking here now.

Chris Neiger 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.

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