Xbox One vs. PS4: Why Microsoft Is Outselling Sony

Ben Stegner 04-11-2016

It’s hard to believe that both the PS4 and Xbox One are celebrating their third birthdays this month. Back when the systems were about to launch, we discussed the advantages of choosing the PS4 PS4 vs Xbox One: 5 Reasons To Buy The PS4 E3 2013 marked the moment when the next-generation truly began, with all three contenders -- the PlayStation 4 (PS4), Xbox One, and Wii U -- revealed in full. The Wii U is already on the... Read More vs. choosing the Xbox One PS4 vs Xbox One: 5 Reasons To Buy The Xbox One This year's E3 felt almost like it was over before it began. Though the conference lasts for days, both Microsoft and Sony made their announcements before the doors opened, showing not just hardware but also... Read More . Since both consoles are fairly similar, it’s safe to say that most people prefer one or the other.


Since late 2013 when these systems launched, the PS4 has been the leader in units sold pretty consistently with a few exceptions. For the past three months (September being the third), however, Xbox has been on top. Let’s discuss why this is happening and what we might see going forward into the blockbuster holiday season.

The Timing of Console Revisions

The biggest cause of Xbox’s rise in popularity is certainly the new Xbox One S. Prior to this year’s E3 conference E3 2016: A Look at the Most Exciting Game Announcements Excited for all of the new games announced at E3 2016? Here are the announcements you need to know about! Read More , we knew that Sony and Microsoft were each working on two new iterations of their systems. Each announced a “revised” system and an “upgraded” system, and the timing of these is what propelled Microsoft to the front recently.

Microsoft’s Xbox One S (our review Xbox One S Gears of War 4 Limited Edition Review The big pitch behind the One S is support for 4K streaming and Blu-Ray, with HDR in games and movies. Can you tell the difference though, and is it worth the upgrade? Read More ), released in August, is a better system than the original Xbox One (our review Microsoft Xbox One Review And Giveaway The console wars are officially raging, and we've had sufficient time with both of them. That begs the question: how does the Xbox One compare? Read More ). The biggest changes are in the video department, as it features 4K video output for streaming services and Ultra HD Blu-ray Everything You Need to Know About Ultra HD Blu-Ray Ultra HD Blu-ray is one of the hot topics in home entertainment for 2016. Curious? Here's everything you need to know about it to decide if it's worth getting excited over. Read More  support for physical media. The system is also 40% smaller and a lot sleeker than the original model.

Sony’s comparable product released in September, the PS4 Slim, isn’t nearly as exciting. The Slim is essentially just an updated PS4 model for people who didn’t buy a PlayStation 4 earlier. It doesn’t feature support for 4K video, lacks an Ultra HD Blu-ray player, and simply serves as the new baseline PS4. Microsoft, on the other hand, is still selling both models of the Xbox One.


It’s not all bad for the PS4, though. Neither system outputs games in 4K, both have HDR support HDR TV: What It Is & Why You'll Need It in 2016 High Dynamic Range, or HDR, is shaping up to be the big TV buzzword for 2016. But what is it? Will it live up to the hype? Here's all you need to know. Read More , and both have had minor tweaks on their controllers. However, for folks who didn’t own either system and wanted to get the best console for their money, the Xbox One S was that option for the past several months.

So, the timing of the revised consoles explains the Xbox’s popularity, but don’t forget about the upcoming more powerful iterations. The PS4 Pro PS4 Pro & PS4 Slim: Are They Worth the Money? Sony has announced their new PS4 Pro and PS4 Slim! But are either of them worth the money? Here are all the details you need to know! Read More , arriving on November 10, brings 4K support for media and games, along with increased specs under the hood. Xbox’s equivalent, Project Scorpio, isn’t set to arrive until the end of 2017.

This means that early PS4 adopters who want the most powerful console experience are likely waiting to buy a PS4 Pro. Meanwhile, the Xbox One S is good enough for those who don’t want to wait for Project Scorpio, or who want a 4K video player. The split timing of the two console revamps has surely had an impact, and will be something to watch as the PS4 Pro launches.

Game Selection

The question of which game has the better exclusive games is often subjective. If you love Japanese RPGs, you’ll have plenty to play on the PS Vita Considering a New Slim PS Vita? These Cool Games Will Convince You Are you ready to get a Vita? Read on to discover its must-have games at every price - even free! Read More , while a shooter fan would consider the system a waste of money. Likewise, the PS4 and Xbox One both offer some solid games you can’t get on the other system.


The two highest-profile Xbox-exclusive games released recently are Forza Horizon 3 and Gears of War 4. As these both fell into the three-month window of Microsoft’s dominance, it’s a fair bet that a lot of people bought an Xbox for one of these titles 10 Xbox One Games You Must Play in 2016 Some great titles are coming to the Xbox One in 2016. Let's look forward to all the amazing games you need to play this year! Read More . Conversely, the big PS4 exclusives of this year, like Uncharted 4, released closer to the first half of the year.

Heading into the holiday season, this shouldn’t have as much of an impact. Nearly all the big blockbuster games, like Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, Battlefield 1 (our tips Be the Battlefield 1 Champion with 7 Tips & Hacks to Beat Anyone Want to play Battlefield 1, the latest in the series? Here are some tips that will help you dominate on the field in multiplayer! Read More ), Watch Dogs 2, and Titanfall 2 are cross-platform. Thus, gamers shouldn’t flock to either platform based on games alone.

PlayStation Plus vs. Xbox Live

Last generation, discussing the consoles’ premium online services was a lot different. Since the PS3 didn’t require you to pay to access multiplayer, PlayStation Plus didn’t feel like a requirement. Now, pretty much everyone has to pony up for PS Plus or Xbox Live.

The main features of the two services Xbox Live vs. PlayStation Plus: What Do You Get With Each? If you're got a PS4 or Xbox One, you've probably thought about subscribing to PlayStation Plus or Xbox Live Gold. Let's see what they offer gamers for the price. Read More are similar — the ability to play online, free games each month, and cloud storage for saves. However, it’s no secret that the selection of PS Plus games has been pretty lousy for the past few months. Aside from the Resident Evil remaster in October October 2016's Free PS Plus and Xbox Live Games Got a PlayStation or Xbox console with a subscription to PS Plus or Xbox Live? Here are the free games coming your way this October. Read More , PlayStation’s games have been littered with mediocre indie titles and games from five or more years ago.


Additionally, the PSN has had more connectivity trouble than Xbox Live. From hacks taking down the network to security breaches, it’s understandable that some gamers would be wary about joining Sony’s network. Xbox Live presents itself as the premium option.

The free games for November Free PS Plus and Xbox Live Games for November 2016 Ready to get your game on in November? Here are the free games coming to PS Plus and Xbox live this month. Read More are fairly decent on both sides, so we’ll see if one continues to outshine the other in the coming months.

Could This Change Soon?

The biggest shakeup coming to Microsoft’s streak is PlayStation VR. Released in October, PS VR is available to anyone with a PS4, and is significantly cheaper than PC-based VR systems like Oculus Oculus Rift Review Virtual Reality is not new, but it's finally affordable and within our grasp. After four year and two development prototypes, the final consumer edition of the Oculus Rift has arrived. Read More . Microsoft hasn’t announced anything like this for the Xbox, so gamers looking to get a taste of VR How to Try the PlayStation VR Before Buying It Interested in the PlayStation VR but aren't sure if it's worth the price? Here's how to find a place near you where you can try it out for free. Read More will have to stick with PlayStation.

With the PS4 Pro on the horizon, it’s anyone’s guess whether the trend of Microsoft staying on top will continue. Will the Xbox One S be enough to keep cutting-edge gamers away from the PS4 Pro? Only time will tell.


We want your input on the console sales! Do you own an Xbox or a PlayStation? Did you spring for an Xbox One S, or are you interested in buying a PS4 Pro? Leave your preferences and predictions down below to continue the discussion!

Image Credits: winui/Shutterstock

Related topics: PlayStation, PlayStation 4, Xbox One.

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  1. Dan Rush
    January 4, 2018 at 3:39 pm

    I own both the Xbox one s and ps4 pro. It didnt take long to learn buying the ps4 was a mistake. The only good exclusive is uncharted and psn doesnt come close to Xbox live.But ps4 isnt a bad console its just if a had to choose it would be Xbox one s better online and better games.

    • Ben Stegner
      January 4, 2018 at 3:58 pm

      I think saying Xbox Live is generally a bit better than PSN is fair, but to say the only good PS4 exclusive is Uncharted isn't true.

      Everybody's Golf, Bloodborne, The Last of Us Remastered, InFamous, Until Dawn, Horizon: Zero Dawn, Ratchet & Clank, Nioh, Persona 5... You might not like all of them, but it's not fair to say there are no good exclusives. I'd say that's one of the PS4's strongest points, really!

  2. Gabriel Jones
    November 8, 2016 at 1:43 pm

    The xbox one finally has specs /power that almost match the PS4. PS4 is still a gamers machine. Xbox is a family or light gaming machine

    • Ben Stegner
      November 8, 2016 at 3:56 pm

      I know that for me, that was a big draw in buying a PS4 (a few years ago). I wasn't interested in the "media hub" vibe that the Xbox was going for.

      I think you can use either system as a dedicated gaming machine at this point, though.