Xbox One vs. PS4: Gamers vs. Investors

Xbox One vs. PS4: Gamers vs. Investors
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The comparison between the Xbox One and the PS4 is often evenhanded and non-committal. The products are very similar, and their release titles offer little reason to pick one system over the other at release. The two systems are different, however, but there are two very different ways to look at their efficacy. For investors Xbox One looks like the best bet, for gamers the PS4 seems to take the crown early on in the race.

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The games console industry is not about the first week. Neither Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) or Sony Corporation (NYSE:SNE) (TYO:6758) is likely to make money off of their releases in the first six months. Too much has been spent on development. For gamers a similar dynamic is at play. The great games will not arrive until well after release.

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Xbox One vs PS4 for Gamers

There are certain things that gamers want from their games consoles. The first, and arguably the most important, is the selection of games available to them. At launch there is little difference in the Xbox One vs PS4 race. Some customers may prefer Xbox One launch titles, some might prefer PS4 launch titles, but for the most part they are the same.

The PS4 does have a couple of distinct advantages for gaming. Unlike the Xbox One most of the games on the PS4 will be able to operate in 1080p. It may be because game developers have been pushing graphics as one of the most important aspects of a game for years, but graphics matter to gamers. Games will probably look better on the PS4 and that’s an advantage.

The biggest single advantages in terms of sales may be the price of the two systems. The Xbox One will be 25% more expensive than the PS4 at launch. The PS4 will launch at $399, while the Xbox One will cost $499. There are more significant factors that affect a gamer’s decision on which console to get, but graphic and price are two of the major ones.

These factors, coupled with the negative publicity Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) received after the Xbox One launch, make the PS4 a more attractive console for gamers at launch, at at this point, the scale seems to be tipping slightly that way.

Xbox One vs. PS4 for investors

The same question with different parameters often leads to different conclusions. That holds for the Xbox One vs. PS4 debate. Investors are going to be betting on the Xbox One in far greater numbers than those betting on Sony Corporation (NYSE:SNE) (TYO:6758) and its PS4. The reasons stem from the different outlooks of the two companies.

The Microsoft One strategy sets up an ecosystem of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) devices and software. The Xbox one is the living room part of that strategy. The device, if it becomes successful, will be instrumental in driving customers to Microsoft devices. Xbox One vs. PS4 is not much of a debate among investors, but for those who care about the console market it provides little impetus to bet on Sony Corporation (NYSE:SNE) (TYO:6758).

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is not just in the console market, it’s in the entire software and hardware market. The company’s enterprise services are the lynchpin of its hardware strategy in enterprise, and its games console is the centerpiece of its consumer strategy.

The Xbox One vs. PS4 debate will rage on and it will likely only get fiercer after the two consoles have been released. Before launch it appears that the questions have been generally settled for investors and gamers. More questions will arise in the coming months, however.

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