Over in the United States, the news agency Reuters have carried out a poll of shoppers to see whether their preference this Christmas is going to in favour of the Playstation 4 or Xbox One – and the numbers are stark.
Of the 1297 people surveyed, 26% of preferred the PS4 to the 15% who said XBO – and the difference is even more surprising when you take out the older folks and look at what those under 40 said: there (of 408 people) 41% said PS4 vs 27% saying XBO.
The gap will not come as a surprise to anyone who followed the controversy when the consoles were unveiled. Microsoft’s machine was immediate dogged by claims that it will have ultra-draconian piracy restrictions and that it’ll have the creep-tastic combination of requiring your Kinect 2 camera to be plugged in and be connected to the internet at all times. (For some reason Microsoft thought it wise to announce this only weeks after the Edward Snowden allegations about PRISM and massive government surveillance became public).
Since then, they’ve walked back these dodgy requirements but these numbers do seem to indicate that the negative publicity has created a noticeable impact. The age-gap is particularly interesting – with Microsoft taking the biggest hammering from the demographic most likely to have been following E3 closely.
Don’t write off the Xbox One just yet though. The console wars will be long and hard – the PS4 may win the battle this Christmas but over all it is harder to forecast who will be the victor in the next generation, as it’s not like Sony and Microsoft don’t have the money to make this the most relentless fight since the last hour of Man of Steel.
By James O'Malley | September 30th, 2013