PlayStation 4 has a sizable sales lead over Xbox One (as well as Wii U), and has for a long time. Sony’s console is outselling Microsoft’s in all three major regions (North America, Europe, Japan), but with Gamescom right around the corner, the timing is perfect for Microsoft to start fighting back in Europe. In fact, it’s a must.

Sony recently boasted an impressive statistic: PlayStation 4 has a
market share of 70% – 90% in every country in continental Europe. That is a massive lead, and although Sony has always done very well in Europe, that doesn’t mean Xbox One has to perform poorly. While exact figures are unknown (Microsoft doesn’t always reveal the full details), Xbox 360 sales in Europe are estimated at over 25 million, but Xbox One hasn’t been able to establish itself at all in Europe. The Xbox brand is essentially a total non-factor in Japan, and Microsoft can’t afford to roll over in two of the three biggest sales regions in the world.

The good news for Microsoft is that Sony has announced that
they won’t have a Gamescom conference this year. In fact, they won’t even be exhibiting on the show floor. Gamescom is an enormous gaming event, with over 335,000 visitors last year alone. Typically, Sony will put on a big show at Gamescom while Microsoft has very little to bring to the table, but this year Microsoft is promising “a real show” with at least three big exclusives and strong first-party support. Sony, meanwhile, is nowhere to be seen.

When Microsoft takes the stage at Gamescom, they need to wow the European audiences, and make the kind of announcements that get people excited for the console. Perhaps even more importantly, their show floor needs to have lots of hands-on experiences, especially for games coming out this year. With over 300,000 people attending the event, playing games, and sharing their experiences with their friends, it’s the perfect time for Microsoft to show people why Xbox One is a console worth buying and gain some much-needed momentum.

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Ben Lamoreux

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