Image Credit: Bethesda
Forgot password
Enter the email address you used when you joined and we'll send you instructions to reset your password.
If you used Apple or Google to create your account, this process will create a password for your existing account.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
Reset password instructions sent. If you have an account with us, you will receive an email within a few minutes.
Something went wrong. Try again or contact support if the problem persists.

American Idols: The Battle for US Supremacy Will Come Down to Supply and Demand

Regardless of which console is coming out first, the real winner in the console war will be decided by supply and demand.
This article is over 10 years old and may contain outdated information

November is shaping up to be a massive month. With Microsoft and Sony releasing their next generation consoles within a week of each other in the US (PlayStation 4 on November 15, Xbox One on November 22), we may be in for an epic battle, the likes of which could never be replicated online with Titanfall, Killzone, or Battlefield.

Recommended Videos

It’s no secret that Sony has garnered the majority of the positive press ever since its reveal of the PlayStation 4 back in April. Microsoft has fumbled time and time again in terms of PR, ever since it revealed the Xbox One as an all-in-one device back in May. To be fair, both consoles are very similar in architecture, and gameplay between the two devices will be nearly indistinguishable. But Microsoft has not done themselves any favors along the way.

Will A Week’s Headstart Matter?

It’s unfortunate for Microsoft that they couldn’t get their console in stores before Sony did. I really believed it would be a November 5 release date alongside Call of Duty: Ghosts, giving the Xbox One a slight edge over the PlayStation 4 right out of the gate. I believed that in spite of all the negative press and bad PR, all would be forgotten and forgiven if it was the only console available to fans for a few days. But now that gamers will have the PlayStation 4 available to them a full week ahead of the Xbox One, I wonder how damaging this will be to Microsoft. Truthfully, it will all come down to supply and demand.

For example, if the PlayStation 4 is released and all the pre-orders are picked up, and there are still units left to be bought off the shelves throughout the week, then Sony will severely damage potential sales of the Xbox One. However, if the only units available at launch are the pre-orders and maybe a handful of extra units, then that entire week may be lost with Sony trying to refill its stock. This will essentially mean Microsoft’s one week lag won’t have mattered, because by the time Sony refills its supply, the Xbox One will be out. Then the ball is in Microsoft’s court. If they have plenty of supply on demand, thanks to that extra week of production time, then there’s a very good chance that launching a full week later will end up being meaningless, and may even give them the lead.

It’s All Part of the Plan?

I would like to think Microsoft is being very shrewd about its release date. Maybe they could have launched on November 5, but then there would have been no extra units to get into the hands of people who didn’t pre-order. By waiting two weeks—a week after the PS4 is released, maybe they expect their supply to be greatly improved and provide a running start, even if it is a bit late. Microsoft has taken so many missteps along the way in getting the Xbox One revealed, I am not optimistic that this is the case. But Microsoft only needs this one thing to go their way, and the past four months of negative press won’t matter at all.

In Sony’s case, while everything has gone their way ever since April, one mistake now could be critical. It wouldn’t matter to the slightly-more-than-casual consumer that Sony’s console is technically a little faster, caters to indie developers a little better, or never backpedaled on an issue like “always online.” All that will matter is that they want to buy a console, and they’ll buy whichever is available. It doesn’t help that these consoles are coming out just as holiday shopping is really beginning to ramp up, so there will be a lot of parents out and about looking to score the hottest new machine for their kids for Christmas. Don’t think they’ll keep coming back to GameStop or Best Buy to see if there’s a PS4 available instead of just buying an Xbox One off the shelf. Holiday shopping is crazy enough already.

The consoles are set to wage war in a way never seen before. Sure, consoles have launched around the same time as each other in the past, but never has there been two consoles that are so similar released so close together. The next generation battle has begun, and only supply and demand will tell which console comes out on top.

GameSkinny is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more about our Affiliate Policy
Image of Brian Armstrong
Brian Armstrong
Proud gamer parent and freelance journalist (and fundraiser). I cover anything and everything that's interesting about the gaming industry, and even some stuff that isn't so interesting.