De console-oorlog is voorbij

epa04247348 Sony's refreshed PS4 hardware is unveiled at the Sony PlayStation press conference prior to the start of the E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) in Los Angeles, California, USA, 09 June 2014. The E3 expo introduces new games and gaming devices. EPA/MICHAEL NELSON

Vorige november lanceerden concurrenten Sony en Microsoft hun volgende generatie spelcomputers. Een jaar later is er een overduidelijke winnaar. 

The releases last November of Sony’s PlayStation 4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One were seen as the last hurrah of high-end home games consoles.

The previous versions of each device had been roundly beaten by the lower-tech Nintendo Wii. And simpler games played on smartphones and tablets were rapidly gaining popularity. Sony’s strategy was to make its new console a more sophisticated, specialist device aimed at hard-core gamers.

Microsoft went the other way, making the new Xbox a versatile multimedia device, aimed at a broader market. Sony’s strategy quickly began to prove more successful: in its first six weeks it sold 4.2m of the new consoles to Microsoft’s 3m.

Microsoft replaced the head of its Xbox division and cut its prices. But a year on from the launches, Sony is still far ahead, and IHS, a market researcher, predicts it will stay that way. Still, the Xbox One now outsells the latest version of the Wii, and has done better than previous Xboxes.