For one month at least, Microsoft got a break from being Sony's punching bag in the console sales race. GamesBeat reports that NPD's April sales numbers show the Xbox One outselling the PlayStation 4 last month for the first time since January.
"As the best-selling console in the U.S. in April, fans set record April sales and engagement for Xbox One last month," Xbox marketing boss Mike Nichols told GamesBeat in response to the April figures. "Xbox One console sales in the U.S. increased 63 percent in April 2015 compared to April 2014, and Xbox Live comparisons showed the number of active global users [Xbox One and Xbox 360] grew 24 percent. We are grateful to our fans for their passion and support and are looking forward to sharing more on the best game lineup in Xbox history at E3."
Last month's sales results mean that Microsoft's next-gen console has outsold Sony's in the United States for half of the first four months of 2015. No doubt as a result of a temporary price cut, the Xbox One also dominated the hardware sales charts during the crucial retail months of November and December in 2014.
If you've been playing the Smite alpha on the weekends you have likely earned a solid amount of gems. For those unaware, Hi-Rez has unlocked all gods and allowed players to earn gems for their win of the day bonuses on the weekends during the alpha. There are three skin bundle sales on the Xbox One. You can find them by clicking on any of the skins listed below. It's a great way to spend those gems and get a high bang for your buck.
In the eight months immediately following the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One launches in November of 2013, Sony, riding high on major public relations victories over Microsoft, led next-gen console sales by a supposed margin of nearly two to one. Despite selling at a pace much quicker than the last-gen-market-leading Xbox 360 did during the same point in its life cycle, the Xbox One was lagging far behind the PlayStation 4 in market share.
So Microsoft made some changes.
Executives Don Mattrick and Marc Whitten left the company. Phil Spencer took over as the head of the Xbox team. Kinect was unbundled from the console. Larger multimedia initiatives were cut entirely or made ancillary in favor of a focus on gaming first and foremost. Finally, the Xbox One's price was temporarily (for the holidays) dropped to $350 with a $60 retail game bundled in.
Those maneuvers seem to be paying off, as data reporting firm InfoScout found that the Xbox One enjoyed a Black Friday sales lead of 22 percent over the PlayStation 4, according to data compiled from more than 180,000 sales receipts. InfoScout followed up by conducting a survey of 350 consumers who purchased a console on Black Friday, and found that 71 percent of Xbox One buyers cited cost as a major influence on their purchase. Comparatively, just 48 percent of PlayStation 4 buyers surveyed indicated that price played a major role in their purchase decision.
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