Console War: Does Anything Matter More Than Price?

PlayStation 4 vs. Xbox One has come down to price this holiday season.

PlayStation 4 vs. Xbox One has come down to price this holiday season.

For the first time since December 2013, Microsoft’s Xbox One was the hardware leader in November in both the US and UK. Many believe it might emerge victorious this month as well. It appears to be a holiday victory after many consecutive months of PlayStation 4 whipping Xbox One tail. The question is this: Is the Xbox One’s temporary price drop solely responsible for this turnaround?

Sony admitted to Reuters that Microsoft’s new $350 price tag for the holiday season generated a “tough” market. If you’re unfamiliar, Xbox One dropped to $350 in November and Microsoft offered various bundle packages at that same price point. The kicker is that Xbox One goes back to the standard $400 (the price point from which PS4 has never deviated) on January 3, 2015.

If the Xbox brand doesn’t maintain this momentum through the early part of next year and Sony immediately regains the advantage, what’s that say? Quite obviously, it says the only reason more people bought the Xbox One during the holidays is because it was cheaper. Outside of a few big exclusive titles (Sunset Overdrive and Halo: The Master Chief Collection), what else gives Microsoft the current advantage?

In the "versus" game, right now there might be only one determining factor.

In the “versus” game, right now there might be only one determining factor.

Consumers probably won’t find a huge amount of difference between the two consoles. If they do their homework, they’d find that throughout 2014, many multiplatform efforts fared better on PS4 (with better resolution or frame rate or both). They’d also know that while the PlayStation Network is no longer free if you wish to play online, Xbox Live has never been free. The prices for both services are similar, although you might find more supporters for PlayStation Plus, as some will claim it delivers more bang for the buck.

Both consoles have also proven to be relatively stable and neither console has put forward an impressive set of exclusive software. At least, not yet. There are several on the horizon for PS4, though, and they’ve been getting a lot of attention lately. There’s also the continuous rumbling that overall, the PS4 is simply a more capable machine. All in all, if you consider all the factors, it looks like Sony has the edge.

But does that mean PS4 will rocket back to the front and stay there in 2015 and beyond? Or are there other reasons for Xbox One’s surge beyond the $350 price tag?

5 thoughts on “Console War: Does Anything Matter More Than Price?”

I’d say price is extremely important but it’s not everything. Gamers still want great games and when there aren’t any games they want, they won’t pay for a new console.

Simple.

Yeah, but someone is still more likely to buy a new console if it’s cheap (or cheaper). The point of the article is basically saying that with all other things being mostly equal, and neither system standing out in any way BEYOND price right now, price might be the only determining factor.

I don’t think either system stands out right now, either. But 2015 will change that……in favor of PS4. 😉

Right now, I’d agree that price is the most important factor. There’s nothing else for either console that would entice a consumer to pay more for one system over another.

Well, unless you take into account some of the exclusive software coming in 2015. Then it’s PS4 all the way. 😀

A lot of things matter, but maybe not more than price. It depends on how much money you’ve got and how big a gamer you are. That’s about it.

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