Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has been doing its best to save the Xbox One from home console hell, but the push hasn’t been incredibly effective. Despite a big marketing push on the console heading into the Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3, the Xbox One is still well behind the PS4 in sales.
A new report from NPD research say that the PS4 outsold the Microsoft Xbox One in the US in the month of May. Sony revealed last week that “As we head into E3, we would like to thank gamers for making PS4 the top-selling console and the leader in software sales in the U.S. in May.” April was the first month in which the Microsoft Xbox One outsold Sony’s PS4.
Xbox One lags heading into E3
Since both consoles hit the market there has only been one period, this April, in which Xbox One sales were higher than those of the Ps4. Sony says that it has sold more than 20 million units of the PS4 since the device was released.
Microsoft has not revealed up to date sales figures for the Xbox One, but estimates from VGChartz.com, say that the firm has sold less than 13 million units of its console.
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The Xbox One business is expensive for Microsoft and it costs the firm billions to keep it going. The disappointing sales numbers, despite a big marketing push heading into E3, shows that the money might be wasted and Microsoft investors may never see the games unit give return on the substantial capital put to work there.
Microsoft pushes Xbox One for E3
Apart from the big games that Microsoft will be announcing at E3 this year, the firm is also pushing the Xbox One on its own merits. The firm slashed the price of the home console last week, turning a temporary discount into the new price on the box.
The device will now retail for $349 for a 500GB version of the console. Microsoft is also adding some bundles to its line of Xbox One offerings in order to drive sales of the console. Microsoft also launched a new 1 TB version of the console last week, heading into E3.
In a report published in February, Strategy Analytics said that the Sony Corp (NYSE:SNE) PS4 will outsell the Microsoft Xbox One through 2018. The firm said that Sony will have sold around 80 million units of the PS4 by the start of 2019. Microsoft will, says the report, sell just 57 million units of the Xbox One in the same period.
Eric Smith, the analyst who authored that report, said “Core gamers have moved faster to this current generation than in any previous generation.” E3 will see massive next-generation games like Fallout 4 from Bethesda Softworks launch on the PS4 and the Xbox One.
Microsoft is losing out on what may be the easiest home console transition of all time, and the firm’s E3 push may not be enough to give it a long term. That makes the Xbox One a loser right now, and May sales may be repeated in June and ahead.
The April sales boost that saw the Xbox One beat the PS4 for the first time in North America was short lived. Any boost from the E3 price drop and new console release is likely to meet the same fate.
Microsoft is so far behind in the console race that it would need to change the game entirely in order to have a chance. There’s nothing like that on the cards at this year’s E3, so Microsoft may claw its way back, but it won’t win anything except lower margins and louder rumblings from shareholders.