News Article

Reaction: Microsoft Gatecrashes Sony's Global PS4 Release Party

Posted by Sammy Barker

A November to remember

It’s taken what feels like an eternity, but Microsoft has finally attached a release date to its next generation console. The under fire Xbox One will deploy on 22nd November in 13 nations around the world, slap bang in the middle of the PlayStation 4’s global rollout. Speaking during its GamesCom press conference last month, Sony confirmed that its own supercharged system will arrive on 15th November in North America and 29th November in Europe. The Redmond-based firm’s surprise reveal earlier today will result in a busy three weeks for the games industry and retail sector.

But what does it mean for the Japanese giant’s machine? Honestly, not a lot. We had worried shortly after the platform holder’s own release date announcement last month that Microsoft may manufacture a significant headstart over its counterpart, but that hasn’t happened. It’s still shipping behind the PS4 in its strongest territory, and while it has an extra seven days to establish itself in Europe, any advantages are offset by the slender number of regions that the Xbox One is actually set to arrive in. For a large chunk of continental Europe, Sony’s system will still be the only option in 2013.

The unified date will at least give Microsoft a minor advantage from a marketing perspective. It will be able to launch a simultaneous assault on social networks, print media, and television channels across the globe to really build excitement around its product, whereas Sony’s efforts will be a little more staggered; the online enthusiasm surrounding the North American launch of the PS4 will have died down a little by the time that the European release actually arrives. That’s going to create a challenge for the platform holder, but it’s a pretty miniscule issue in the grand scheme of things.

Indeed, it’s stock that’s going to prove the main differentiator this year. Both companies know that with demand for next generation consoles sky high, there’s always the danger that impartial consumers could defect to whichever platform is readily available this fall. With more regions to supply, Sony’s going to have to produce a lot more units than its competitor to ensure that all nations are adequately stocked. It’s had several months to analyse its pre-order numbers and get its production pipeline in order, though, so it clearly feels that it can satisfy early adopters.

And that’s why the release date is somewhat irrelevant at this point in time. Sony has an advantage in North America, and Microsoft has an advantage in Europe – but neither console is going to establish a commanding lead this fall. Both systems will sell out of their initial shipments, and then the real battle will begin in 2014. Sony will hope that inFAMOUS: Second Son and its console’s comparatively low price point will give it a boost once the early enthusiasm has faded, but Microsoft will be sure to respond with its own barrage of blockbusters. Perhaps the most exciting thing is that after a lengthy warm-up, the starting line is finally in sight – and if you think that the past six months have been fun, then the coming weeks will be even better.

Has the Xbox One’s release date impacted your excitement for the PS4? Do you think that Sony’s advantage in North America will make a difference, or do you feel that Microsoft’s headstart in Europe will prove to be a bigger deal? Let us know in the comments section below.

User Comments (24)



Sanquine said:

Fun thing is every time i go to my gameshop i always ask about ps4. Sola out first and second batch of ps4. Xbox one still not sold out..



Ryno said:

But will eBay be ready in November for all the resellers trying to make a quick buck on the PS4 and Xbox One?



get2sammyb said:

@Sanquine It's a bit of a similar story here in the UK, I think. Retailers are really pushing the Xbox One hard, but I think that's simply because they still have some stock left to sell.



PMasterTy9 said:

MS might think they are slick by releasing in Europe before the PS4 but I don't think that will matter since majority of the EU is pro PS4 and there is only a 7 day difference between release dates.



ViciousDS said:

I think those sharks are going to have a hard time selling a Sony started full production in June. Microsoft today just finally sealed its first boxes of xbox one consoles.....meaning they are just assembling the darn things today. That's only 2 months of production time to get enough units to pre-orders as well as enough to fill black friday only a week later. Microsoft has some serious issues and those scalpers will being make the big dollar one the Microsoft brand this time.....not the other way around. PS4 will be in 33 territories by the end of november with xbox only in a mere 13 or so.,,,,,,,,,the production numbers obviously relate to the drop in the amount of territories microsoft is going to have units in.



Epic said:

Sony your move.
Do you have the will to fight the knight?
You only need one more stab and everything will be over, just make it quick and painless.



PMasterTy9 said:

@ViciousDS Exactly. I also find it odd that they had to bump up the CPU speed at the last minute which leads me to believe that there are some underlying issues. I still don't see how they can claim that they are going to have more units at launch then Sony when they just started manufacturing them.



Ali247 said:

yup that's it PLAYSTATION has officially won the console war now, no more excuses Microsoft fanboys.😝



3Above said:

MS really is in trouble. Not only are they setting themselves up for a vita like game drought in 2014 but there behind in manufacturing their console too. Im sure they will put in positive spin on it though, claiming XboxOne is so popular its sold out across the continent.



Pink_Floyd said:

Went too my locale GameStop today and they still had the Xbone for preorder. M$ will do anything to skew numbers.



PMasterTy9 said:

@Pink_Floyd Yep, they still have Day One editions available.
Here is something to think about.

Nov 15 (PS4): United States, Canada

Nov 22 (XB1): United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Ireland, Brazil, Mexico, Austria, New Zealand

Nov 29 (PS4): United Kingdom , Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Ireland, Brazil, Mexico, Austria, New Zealand, Colombia, Sweden, Portugal, Finland, Poland, Belgium, Switzerland, Norway, Panama, Denmark, Netherlands, Guatemala, Argentina, Luxembourg, Costa Rica, Russia, El Salvador, Chile, Peru



Ginkgo said:

7 days either way will make no difference whatsoever to either party.



Ginkgo said:

@3Above I don't agree. MS definitely got caught behind the eight-ball and had to completely shift their policies, meaning that they had to not only change their software but have also tweaked their hardware. Damage was done, but they adjusted and it is all over now.

They are now ready, manufacturing with a very good list of launch games and regaining ground. Sony has won nothing but the first few skirmishes, and Xbox is set for a good launch in several countries at a least. They still have a very large fan base.

There is a whole other round coming as soon as these puppies are on the shelf and people actually get their hands on them. Everything at this point is marketing guff. Real comparisons start when people have both machines in their hot little hands.



rjejr said:

@PMasterTy9 - Thanks for the nice date list. Still weird not to see Japan on it anywhere. Guess they are both conceding it to Nintendo

Nice article Sammy. I'm really surprised MS didn't try to launch closer to the start of the NFL season what with their initial unveiling of Fantasy Football coverage. They could have launched in the US w/ Madden 25, would have given them an advantage. 1 week later won't matter, but I'm still surprised they let Sony have that 1 week head start. I guess X1 will have way better sales #s that week and report how it's crushing the PS4 - which won't have any stock left on the shelves to sell that week



-CraZed- said:

"Sony has an advantage in North America, and Microsoft has an advantage in Europe..." How do you qualify this statement? Are you referring simply to the launch dates? If so I don't consider either of these consoles coming first any advantage at all.
Preorders will be filling an overwhelming majority of the sales throughout November thereby nullifying any early release advantage. MS knows this which is why they are in no rush to release ahead of the PS4. Sony looks like it has the advantage in every territory when we look at the preorder numbers. We'll see as the next gen wears on but for now Sony has the early advantage.
The rest of the article is pretty much spot on.



Gamer83 said:

I said when it looked like MS had a chance to release a week or two ahead of Sony I didn't think it would make much difference and I stick by that. The 'hardcore' who want these systems will buy them early no matter when they release and right now it looks the majority of that audience is leaning towards PS4. Despite the $100 price difference though, MS has the significantly better first-year lineup so it will be interesting to see as 2014 goes on which sells better. Obviously Japan will go to PS4 and I'd guess most of Europe would as well but I still think Xbox One could make some noise there. The battle in North America will be very interesting. MS dominated this past gen but the two prior it was all PS so it's not the like brand isn't known here. Anyway, looking forward to both, long overdue, consoles and I'll admit, I am interested in the 'retail war.' It's the games I get most excited about but for some reason I also get intrigued by who's winning consumer mindshare.



Sutorcen said:

13 Markets only and the rest sometime in 2014? I wouldn't call it gatecrashing. More like the drunk uncle that noone invites... ever, arriving at the party uninvited. This will be fun.



NAZA1999 said:

born ready bring it on...... xbox epic fail is in november an the rest of its yrs



Kage_88 said:

Won't be getting either this year. Still, it'll be fun watching Sony & Microsoft (and their respective fanboys) going at each other's throats. ATM, It looks like I'll be getting a PS4 before an Xbox One.

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