Xbox One sales lag the PS4 again in September, Microsoft stresses upcoming exclusives

Mark Coppock


Microsoft suffers from no illusions when it comes to Xbox One sales vs. the console’s arch-nemesis, Sony’s PlayStation 4. The Xbox One is a powerful system that will soon take its place among Microsoft’s stable of Windows 10 platforms, but when it comes to gaming, the PS4 continues to lead. GameSpot reported on NPD’s September console report, and Sony once again enjoyed the #1 spot.
The NPD report was short on specifics, but featured dueling quotes from Sony and Microsoft as the companies attempt to take the upper hand in public relations.
Here’s Sony’s take:

As we kick off the holiday season, we would like to take a moment to thank fans for making PlayStation 4 the best-selling console and #1 in software sales in September. PlayStation 4 was the number one console for NBA 2K16, Madden NFL 16, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, and FIFA 16. Including the highly successful limited edition console bundle, PS4 also led retail sales for Destiny: The Taken King.

Microsoft Corporate VP of Marketing Mike Nichols responded with:

“Xbox One continued to see strong momentum in September on the heels of Forza Motorsport 6 and EA Sports FIFA 16, with solid year-over-year growth in console sales and strong engagement on Xbox Live. This holiday Xbox One owners will enjoy the greatest games lineup in the industry and in Xbox history, led by Halo 5: Guardians, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Fallout 4, Call of Duty: Black Ops III, Star Wars Battlefront, and the ability to play Xbox 360 games. Xbox One owners will have all this on the fastest, most social Xbox experience ever and with advanced hardware such as the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller. Xbox fans and first-time console buyers can look forward to an epic holiday!”

The industry itself enjoyed double-digit growth per-week when comparing August 2015 to September 2015 sales numbers. The picture is a bit mixed, however, with the PS4 and Xbox One combined seeing a 23% decline year-over-year compared to September 2014.
Microsoft has a number of exclusive titles coming up, including Halo 5 and Rise of the Tomb Raider, that should position the Xbox One for strong holiday sales. But even Microsoft executives recognize that the PS4 has a significant lead over the Xbox One that will take some serious effort to overcome, and for some very specific reasons.
“You can go into some of the specific features, for me, what we fundamentally lost was the trust of our most loyal customers. Whether it’s always on, used games, whatever the feature was, we lost the trust in them that they were at the center of our decision-making process.”
Microsoft's talks up the Xbox One.
Microsoft’s talks up the Xbox One.

We’ll be keeping our eye on the Xbox One as it battles the PS4 for dominance in the console market. In the meantime, Xbox One users can look forward to a Windows 10 experience that PS4 users can only dream about.