While the new gaming flavour of the month is ‘Battle Royale’ style games like Fortnite and Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds, there has been a larger Battle Royale going on for years; the battle for supremacy in the console wars between PlayStation and Xbox. Everything we’ve seen since the first iterations of the PS4 and Xbox One were released has shown that the PS4 has been crushing the Xbox in both sales and popularity stakes. Now that we have both of the 4K capable incarnations in the market, with the PS4 Pro and the Xbox One X, we thought it would be interesting to see if we could gauge the popularity of the consoles.
We don’t generally get access to region specific sales figures down here in New Zealand. Couple that with the fact that those sales figures can sometimes be a teeny-tiny bit misleading, sometimes showing consoles (or games) shipped into stores as opposed to actual sales of the consoles to consumers, it can be a challenge to get accurate information. With all that in mind, we decided to go to our friends at Pricespy to see if they could provide some information on which console is more popular. Pricespy, known around the world as a fantastic resource to search for and compare product prices to find where you can get the best deal (or to show someone in a rival store to get a price match), was happy to oblige. After all, if consumers are searching for a console, then it’s a fair assumption to say that they are considering purchasing that particular console. What we got back was… interesting.
Here are the results we got from PriceSpy, which cover the period of November 2017 through to March 2018. What this means is that the data takes into account searches for the Xbox One X from a week or so before the console released. The percentage in brackets also reveals the growth in searches from the prior period, so it’s worth noting that of course Xbox One X was gonna struggle there.
Who would have thought that, even though the Xbox One X is the most popular search for consumers looking for an Xbox, that is actually the 4th most popular search in New Zealand. That’s right, the Xbox One X, the native 4K console gaming beast that I actually prefer over the PS4 Pro, doesn’t even take bronze! The ability to maintain stable frame rates whilst delivering native 4K graphics, all while being whisper quiet vs the PS4 Pro’s predominant use of checkerboarding to get to 4K visuals and a noticeably louder fan, give the Xbox One X the edge in the console wars in my opinion. Yeah, it may not have the exclusives that the PS4 does, but what it lacks in exclusives, it makes up for in raw power, making it the best console experience when playing third party games (assuming you have a 4K TV, of course).
Even the Nintendo Switch is beating Xbox, as is the PS4 Slim. It would appear that Kiwis have given up their love of Xbox, and are keen to get themselves either a PS4 or a Nintendo Switch. How could this have happened? Well, let’s look at the launch of the Xbox One X in New Zealand, shall we?
The launch of the Xbox One X was very muted indeed for New Zealand. While the USA got a big launch party, and Australia got a pop-up hotel for gamers to try out the console, all New Zealand got was a Mighty Ape competition where 5 people won the console and had it delivered at midnight on launch day. A bit underwhelming, no? That’s right folks, whilst the rest of the world was celebrating the launch of the world’s most powerful console, New Zealand got a competition on the Facebook page of an online retailer.
It’s nice to feel valued, isn’t it?
It also probably doesn’t help that Microsoft have all but abandoned first party development, except for a couple of core franchises like Forza, State of Decay, Halo, and Gears of War. Compared to Sony who are absolutely crushing it, with exclusives like Horizon: Zero Dawn and God of War, it just goes to show that having all that power under the hood of the console isn’t as important to gamers as having top quality titles to play on your consoles.
Doesn’t matter how well it runs if you don’t want to play it, ya know?
What do you think about the console wars? Have your say below!