Friday, November 15, 2013

PlayStation 4 takes fight to the next level

Sony's main office remains in Japan, but the 1-million-square-foot office campus in San Mateo is the headquarters for development and marketing for the PlayStation platform for all the Americas. While the PlayStation holds the advantage in sales globally, Xbox has the edge in the lucrative North American market, said Brett Sappington, director of research for Parks Associates of Dallas.

“With this new platform, there's a real opportunity for Sony to turn that around,” he said. “If you're Sony and you end up tied at the end of 2013 in sales, that's a win for you.”

Sony hopes a tricked-out studio provides gamers with the kind of detail that persuades them to pick a PS4 over the Xbox One. But only time will tell whether that is enough to tip the scales, said Brett Sappington of Parks Associates. Some of the initial buzz, for example, favors the Xbox One because of highly anticipated first-person shooter “Titanfall,” which Electronic Arts will publish exclusively for the Xbox One, Xbox 360 and personal computers.

“The one thing I can't project is how popular the titles will be,” Sappington said. “That's the big wild card.”

Sony might have an edge by pricing the PS4 at $399, $100 cheaper than its rival, he said. “If Sony takes the overall lead in sales, that might force Microsoft to change its pricing or bundle games with consoles to catch up,” he said. “When that happens, then the fight really begins.”

Parks Associates projects home video game console sales will hit 26.8 million units this year, down from 30.7 million last year. But as the next-gen consoles start to take off, sales should pop to 33.5 million units in 2014 and hold steady for a few years after that, Sappington said.

From the article, "PlayStation 4 takes fight to the next level" by Benny Evangelista.

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