PlayStation 4 and Xbox One are both selling at a substantially higher rate than their predecessors, but Sony’s console in particular is selling at a record-breaking pace. PlayStation 4 eclipsed 25 million sales this Summer, and it could gain even more momentum after receiving price cuts in North America and Japan. Exact figures aren’t available for Xbox One (Microsoft is a little less generous about sharing their sales data), but estimates put PlayStation 4 sales at nearly double that of the competition.
This sales gap isn’t lost on Xbox head Phil Spencer. In a recent panel at the 2015 GeekWire Summit, Spencer was asked if Xbox One still had a chance to outsell PlayStation 4 this generation, and he responded by saying that he doesn’t know, due to PlayStation 4’s “huge lead.”
“You know, I don’t know. You know, the length of the generation… They [Sony] have a huge lead and they have a good product. I love the content, the games lineup that we have.”
— Phil Spencer
Spencer went on to discuss the negative press Microsoft received prior to the launch of Xbox One due to the controversial policies that were initially planned for the system. Spencer felt that the company “fundamentally lost… the trust of our most loyal customers,” and when he became the head of Xbox in March of 2014, he focused on regaining that trust and on regaining the confidence of the Xbox team. Rather than trying to outsell Sony, Spencer says that his team is motivated to please their customers and by a desire to attract new customers.
“I see a team that’s making amazing progress. [Backwards compatibility] was one. We didn’t know back compat would work. We started it. A few ninja engineers went off and figured it out, how do you go from PowerPC to X86 and translate game code that’s about as time-critical as any piece of code that you would want in terms of its performance, and they got it done. So I would never question the ability of our organization, but I’ll say we’re not motivated by beating Sony, we’re motivated by gaining as many customers as we can.” — Phil Spencer
Xbox One may not be able to catch up to PlayStation 4, but it’s outpacing Xbox 360 in sales, and fans certainly have a lot more faith and trust in Microsoft today under Phil Spencer than they did in 2013 when the console was first announced.