In the U.S., Microsoft’s Xbox One has been outsold by Sony’s PlayStation 4 since the beginning of 2014. When comparing to the previous generation of the console race, an interesting turn of events occurred as the U.S. was Xbox 360’s territory and with the current crop of consoles things are slowly changing, but Microsoft won’t give it up so easily.
Their answer this holiday season is a $50 price drop, Halo: The Master Chief Collection, and to a lesser degree a timed exclusive on multiplayer content with Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare.
Halo has always been the trademark of the Xbox, and is considered by many the sole reason Xbox is still around today. There are many Halo fans which exclusively play Halo and haven’t upgraded to an Xbox One yet, and when looking at Twitch streams, many are still playing Halo 3. With the release of Halo: The Master Chief Collection, this will have a big impact on these gamers a be a reason to upgrade, especially with a $50 discount in effect for the Holiday season.
According to VGChartz, when looking at U.S. sales figures there are almost 44 million Xbox 360s and around 3.7 million Xbox Ones sold. While just over 26 million PlayStation 3s and around 4.8 million PlayStation 4 consoles are sold. The gap between the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3 is rather significant, and when looking at sales of the current generation machines, it tells two possible tales.
Either that many Xbox 360 gamers are still waiting to upgrade, or that many of them are converting over to the PlayStation 4. If I had to take a guess, I’d say that many of them are still waiting to upgrade to an Xbox One, and the absence of Halo is a big reason that they’ve waited so long. That’s not to say that some of them haven’t converted over to Sony’s console, there are certainly converts, but I would say it’s minimal compared to the amount waiting for a reason to upgrade.
Microsoft is relentless to outsell Sony this holiday seasons and hopes to create a turning point in the console race, and releasing Halo: The Master Chief Collection can certainly make this a possibility on U.S. soil. However, nothing is certain and with such a stumble the Xbox One had around its launch and initial pricing, it has caused a shift in the console market as well as general perception, and that is definitely hard to overcome but the gap in sales between the two makes this a strong possibility.
This holiday season will be a time where we will witness the importance of the Halo franchise and see how much power it still holds in the gaming industry, as well as its potential to cause a turning point in this console race. It’ll be a very interesting time to follow console sales, and if the past is any indication, we can expect Halo to be a blockbuster success and move many consoles.