The idea of the console wars is, ever so steadily, becoming outdated as Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft get up to wildly different things with their set-top boxes full of games. Still, there’s egos and bragging rights involved, and while Sony isn’t exactly gloating over its competitor, it does have a fairly shocking sales lead.
Finding that bragging right took a little reverse engineering by Variety, which used a statement by EA that it had an install base for its games of “103 million,” with Sony’s reported numbers of 73.6 million to get 29.4 million for the Xbox One. To be fair, as others have pointed out, the Xbox One struggles in Japan, while Sony enjoys a relatively large market base there, and that a lot of that Xbox One lead is in North America, one of the bigger markets for selling games.
On the other hand, that means Sony controls 71 percent of the “current-gen” console market. That’s a big deal since selling your video games digitally is becoming how video game consoles stay profitable. That means Sony gets to set the tone, for console players at least. It may not matter as much, as Microsoft has leaned hard into PC gaming and the Xbox as an extension of that. But it’s a good reminder that even as the console wars wind down, they still have winners.