The Xbox One is poised to overtake the PlayStation 4 in North America some time in 2015, according to IDC’s Lewis Ward.
Previously, the company predicted that Microsoft’s next-generation home console would surpass its leading rival by 2016. However, due to the emergence of the Kinect-less Xbox One SKU, Ward believes the console will take the sales crown sooner rather than later.
"This change will be enough to push the Xbox One installed base higher than PS4 in the U.S. and Canada in 2015 rather than 2016. It kind of reminds me of Microsoft's evolution on Windows and IE. The initial design needs some serious help (i.e., last summer's DRM 'Xbox 180') and then improves to point of being a serious contender (this Kinect unbundling) and then vies for market share dominance (although I continue to believe PS4 will have the largest global installed base of any console at the end of 2016)," he said.
This sentiment was also shared by Colin Sebastian, an analyst with RW Baird, as well as independent analyst, Billy Pidgeon.
"We note the Xbox One pricing action is early, by historical standards, for a relatively new video game console. However, we estimate that price cuts on the Xbox 360 in August 2007 and September 2008 each drove more than 100k incremental monthly unit sales, commented Sebastian.
"This is a good competitive move for Microsoft. Price is an important factor at this point in the console cycle and in the consumer market, and Kinect lacks strong value for most gamers. Xbox One without Kinect should sell strongly at $399 and could out-perform PS4 at the same price on a month to month basis, although I think market share competition between Xbox One and PS4 will remain tight for most of the cycle,” said Pidgeon.
PS4 has sold over seven million hardware units worldwide since its release in November 2013, while Microsoft has shifted five million Xbox One machines to date.