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Michael Pachter Reckons That the PS4 Will Outsell the Xbox One at Launch

Posted by Sammy Barker

Strong start

Michael Pachter, the gaming industry’s sales-age superstar, believes that Sony will shift more PlayStation 4 consoles than Microsoft this year. Speaking as part of his Pach-Attack show on Game Trailers, the outspoken analyst predicted that the Japanese giant will move 1.5 million units during the PS4’s first two weeks on sale, while its closest competitor will be forced to settle with figures in the region of one million units during the same timeframe. The blunt businessman believes that this disparity will come down to availability, rather than consumer demand, though.

“They are going to sell as many units as they ship, and they are probably going to each ship more than one million,” he said, responding to a query regarding each device’s launch sales. “Sony’s already announced that the PS4 has one million pre-orders, so the answer for Sony is one million [on] the first day. All of the pre-orders are going to get filled.”

Pachter predicts that the same scenario will occur with the Xbox One – but he’s not convinced that the company will have quite the same stock to offer. “I was surprised that Sony took one million pre-orders,” added the Wedbush Securities man. “I talked to Jack Tretton about this and he said, ‘We’re going to have a lot more units behind that at launch.’” Earlier in the month, the executive told Fox that the production yields for its new machine have been “phenomenal”, and that the PS4’s impending launch will be the biggest in the brand’s history.

Do you agree with the above figures, or do you think that they’re way off base? Put on your thinking cap and feel free to crunch the numbers in the comments section below.


User Comments (16)



rjejr said:

New systems sell over the holidays - even the Wii U had a good month - Im much more interested in Jan - Feb - March. Im confident the PS4 will sell better than the Wii U - Sony is smart enough to advertise - but will it be hard to find or readily available. I can see the X1 lingering behind until a price cut - $499 is too high for the general public.



get2sammyb said:

@rjejr I agree that things are going to dip after Christmas. It's going to be very interesting to see just how much. If both machines are still in "hot demand" at Christmas, then they could keep performing through the early months. However, I feel that the continued popularity of the PS3 and 360 are going to prove a problem.



Jaz007 said:

Sounds reasonable to me, and he's right about the one that sells more coming down to stock rather than demand. There will be enough demand for both that it will just be a matter of which one people can get their hands on.



-CraZed- said:

@get2sammyb While you are right that both the PS3 and 360 will continue to be popular I don't see them as a "problem" as they are making money for their respective companies allowing them some much needed wiggle room to take chances on the newest consoles.
The next gen consoles are going to sell and sell well despite the continued success of the last gen consoles. It's good news for the console gaming landscape.



Ginkgo said:

Looking the at the most recent VGChart US Top 40 Game pre-orders.

(Yes I know it VGCharts!, and I know they are game not console pre-orders, only the top 40 and US only. However, I would expect it is fair to assume that roughly the same % of XBox and PS gamers would pre-order games, therefore they are "indicative" of how the consoles will sell at launch in the US.)

They tell an interesting story, without trying to read too much into it, and clearly only time will tell.

Currently, there are roughly 1.26 million PS4 games on pre-order in the US and 834k XBO, out of the Top 40 pre-orders. Meaning the PS4 has about 50% more games pre-ordered so far for next gen. So it looks like PS4 "may" outsell the XBO 3:2 in the US at launch. It also looks like the PS4 may sell well over 1 million in the US alone this year.

IF that happens, it will be very interesting, because you would expect PS4 to dominate in most other regions, especially since XBox is delayed in most.

MS will not give up dominance in the US without a fight, so expect fireworks.

One curiosity with the #s is that XBO/PS4 pre-orders for COD are neck and neck, whoever, BF4 pre-order are almost 2:1 in favor of PS4. It appears like those games are supported by very different crowds who are thinking as a community.



rjejr said:

@get2sammyb - Just occurred to me while reading your reply that Sony won't have any problem w/ it's Feb worldwide number as that's the month the PS4 releases in Japan. Though I see the handhelds as more of a threat there than Xbox360. And who knows - well ok somebody must know - when X1 gets released in Japan? If I were MS I honestly wouldn't bother unless they can come out w/ a great handheld. And since Vita is a great handheld I don't see how MS can top that. Or anything can top 3DS. Though I guess something might in the next few years. 3DU. DSWii. If I'm Nintendo I have 1 portable, 1 screen, 1 HMDI out port. Play on 1 screen, or the other, or both. That would be hard to beat.

@longshot28 - "Never underestimate the consumers desire to have the latest and greatest." It didn't work out to well for Wii U, which was the "latest and greatest" Wii, which sold 100 million units. Never can tell.



Gamer83 said:


A huge part of the reason the Wii U didn't take off was that Nintendo didn't advertise the console at all and, at least here in the States, seemed perfectly content to let the casual audience remain confused about what the Wii U actually was. Now, I actually blame people more for that than I do Nintendo because there was absolutely no way it should've been so difficult to figure out that Wii U was a new console, but it is what it is and when something like that happens the marketing team needs to fix the messaging. It also didn't help that the games geared more towards the 'core' could also be found on PS3 and 360 and in some cases lacked content on Wii U that was in the other versions. Nintendo just massively dropped the ball with the year head start. At least things finally seem to be getting better now.



Ginkgo said:

@Gamer83 I have heard that argument a few times (bad marketing), but personally, I am not convinced.

I believe the issues are that:
1. There are not enough games to entice the Nintendo faithful
2. The tablet controller has not recaptured the causal gamers hearts like the original Wii (Kinect has now stolen that mantel)
3. The system offers nothing to win across PS or XB gamers, especially with PS4 and XBO around the corner.
Throwing money at marketing will always sell some systems, but I am not convinced the tablet controller is the right tech to woo the casual gamer in the large numbers Nintendo would like. Their best attack at this point is games, games, games.



Hokage17 said:

@rjejr , Hate to break it to you but the Wii U hasn't been the latest and greatest at any point since it's been out. I've yet to see a Wii U game that blows me away or even better than what's already available on PS3 or 360. Not to mention the technology behind the Wii U was already old when it launched. People just aren't as dumb as Nintendo apparently thought.



Gamer83 said:


Fair points, the truth is we'll never know if marketing was the main issue or not because Nintendo chose to just not talk about the damn thing. At least from what I saw. It had ways of getting stuff out to the 'core' gamers and of course diehard Nintendo fans but it did zero to give the casual audience any idea that this machine was even on the way. I'd have been interested to see what clever marketing like the 'Wii would like to play' campaign, could've produced for Wii U but that ship has sailed. I agree that at this point it just needs a steady flow of good games but those games do need to be advertised heavily.


As a long time fan of Nintendo I hate to admit it but that's really how I feel about the Wii U. There is just nothing right now that makes me even slightly interested in or impressed by the console. I think the gamepad is a cool idea but I still prefer a more traditional controller like the Dualshock4 and the Xbox One pad. As far the games, it's sad when the best one out there is a remake of a 10-year old game, which also happens to be my least favorite 3D Zelda (though I certainly understand why many others love it). I'm hoping when I play Super Mario 3D World that it's a lot better than I'm expecting because while I still think it'll be a good game, I'm not thrilled that it seems so much like SM 3D Land. I expect more out of the home console 3D Mario platformers than that.



Hokage17 said:

I think Sony's really gonna come on top this generation. If you analyze the way they are doing business you can see their experience is in play. They haven't unleashed the big guns yet because they are waiting for the post launch to continue driving sales. they have just enough big name games readily available at launch to make a strong push and filtering it with indie titles which is a smart play if you ask me. It's the following months after launch that really determines everything and their gonna hold their cards close until that point which along with price gives them a huge advantage over Xbox one in my opinion.



rjejr said:

@ajaychitown - "Hate to break it to you but the Wii U hasn't been the latest and greatest at any point since it's been out."

Not sure what you hate to break to me, I know where the Wii U stands, but it is the "latest" Wii in that it came after the Wii, and it is the "greatest" Wii in that it plays games in HD and compared to the Wii the Wii U's 32GB storage is gigantic. It may sell like ice in the artic, but that's my point, it's the latest and greatest but nobody is buying it.

My point was that the Wii U isn't selling well, which was in response to the "never underestimate the consumer..." comment. Nintendo actually over-estimated the consumers willingness to upgrade the Wii to HD, Sony or MS may overestimate the consumers desire to upgrade from 720p to 1080p, b/c many of the big games are available on current gen systems. I wouldn't be surprised to see both of these systems sitting on store shelves during the cold winter months after the holiday buying frenzy blows over. They'll still both outsell Wii U though.



charlesnarles said:

WiiU isn't even better than ps3, so who gives a...? The prospect of the Vita / ps4 combo sold me way before I cared what Nintendo was doing, and then I liked the ps version better. Sorry Nintendo. I do like my 3ds

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