So, the PS4 and the Xbox One are both officially out, and both off to a running start. And comparing two entirely different products with entirely different goals is, in the end, largely futile. But we’ve never let that stop us before! Here’s a breakdown of the launches, in numbers and failures.
First of all, the PS4 and the Xbox One are remarkably similar in a few respects, the first being that the Xbox One sold just as well as the PS4. That’s less than surprising; we’re talking about two console makers with a loyal fanbase built over more than a decade.
Equally unsurprising are the launch day issues. Just as the PS4 had the Throbbing Blue Light of Death, so the Xbox One has… well, see for yourself:
Microsoft has gotten some unfair abuse for this, largely thanks to painful memories of the Red Ring of Death; it sounds a lot like a belt has simply slipped somewhere in the disc drive, which is easily fixed. And Microsoft is, for the record, doing just that.
It’s also worth stopping and taking stock. Both the PS4 and the Xbox 360 launches need to be hung with asterisks, slightly; the Xbox One launch was in thirteen countries, while we don’t know how the PS4 will be received outside North America. But both systems sold over a million on launch day, which is the first time that has ever happened in console history.
And both have a bit of a rough road ahead of them; the Xbox One has more launch exclusives, but neither system is really tearing up the release calendar until the summer. It seems likely that come the summer we’ll have a better sense of who might be able to pull ahead.
There are reservations and concerns about the future of game consoles. The Xbox One in particular seems the most likely to be reinvented. But, no matter how you slice it, in this fight, it looks like console gaming in general is the winner.