Why are people buying PS4 and not Xbox One?

Wednesday, 25 February 2015 23:27 GMT By Brenna Hillier

PS4 is outselling Xbox One – but why? A new report may have the answer.

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Last month, the PS4 outsold the Xbox One in the US again, returning it to the top of the charts after just two months away.

Why? What has caused this reversal in fortunes in Microsoft’s home territory?

According to a new report from Nielsen, one of the main answers is “better resolution”. (Wait, resolutiongate did matter?)

The analyst firm asked consumers aged 13 and above why they were buying a PS4, Xbox One or Wii U. The number one answer for PS4 was “better resolution”, followed by “Blu-ray player”, “game library”, “faster processing power” and “what the family wants.

Meanwhile, Xbox One owners’ top answer was “brand” – which shows Microsoft can still command some consumer loyalty. “Exclusive games” is another good one – you don’t get Halo anywhere else, do you.

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Microsoft would do well to message its decision to decouple Kinect from the Xbox One, freeing developers from mandatory support for the camera and allowing them to leverage extra power. We haven’t had a serious resolutiongate issue since then, as I recall.

Nielsen also confirmed Sony’s claim that PS4 is attracting former Xbox fans; 59% of new PS4 owners said they’d had an Xbox 360, while 43% of new Xbox One owners made the jump from PS3.

However, Nielsen found that more Xbox One owners than PS4 were jumping in without having owned a last-gen console – that’s quite a different situation than in the PS4’s early days, when it popped a bunch of console cherries. It’s hard to know whether that means more hardcore gamers are jumping on PS4 now, or whether Microsoft is doing a better job attracting more casual and new users – although the recent price drop would certainly help with that.

There are some other great morsels to chew over in the report if you care to follow the link above.

Sony has now sold over 18.1 million PS4 units worldwide, while Microsoft hasn’t updated us since it shipped “almost” 10 million in November.

We think it’s still too early to call – remember how PS3 and Xbox 360 were neck and neck by the end? – but one analyst firm expects Sony to win the console war hands-down.

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