News, Platforms, PS4, Xbox One

Enterbrain Honcho Compares PS4 and Xbox One: PS4 Will Start in the Lead, Xbox One Likely to Catch Up

by on October 20, 2013 10:39 AM 46

Hirokazu Hamamura is doubtlessly an expert on the ins and outs of the video game industry as the former Editor in Chief of the massively popular gaming magazine Famitsu and now President of Enterbrain  (that also does in-depth market analysis) and Director of the whole Kadokawa Group.

A few days ago Hamamura-san held a lecture titled “Fall 2013: Present and Future of the Game Industry” to an audience of journalists and industry analysts (The full lecture was reported by Famitsu.com). During the conference he made some interesting statements on how the next generation of consoles will change the rules of the market, also outlining the advantages of each platform and his prediction on how the competition will go.

Hamamura-san mentioned that a feature of the next generation consoles is that most titles will be multiplatform, due to a change on how they’re developed. Since both PS4 and Xbox One have a PC-based architecture it’s easy to develop for both. Looking at the current line-up he has no doubt that in the future multiplatform titles will increase significantly.

Furthermore, instead of focusing on developing for a single platform, developers often work on optimizing games to release them on old generation machines as well, and even on smartphones and tablets. We’re no longer in the era of “If you want to play this game, this platform is necessary”. In other words, despite the release of the next generation of consoles, software supply won’t be cut off on PS3 and Xbox 360, that will be positioned as the low-cost version of the PS4 and Xbox One.

This change in architecture has also led to an increase of indie games. Due to the fact that major developers have been focusing on sequels, making their titles fairly static, Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo have been focusing on attracting innovative indie developers.

Comparing the Xbox One and the PS4, at the moment launch titles are a draw (Sony has the advantage in attracting the development of indie games). The PS4 is also is in the lead for the price of the console and online services due to having more offered for free. Xbox One has excellent exclusives like Titanfall that could become a “killer title”.

Due to that and looking at the situation of the industry Hamamura-san believes that PS4 will start in the lead, but Xbox One is likely to catch up 2-3 years down the line.

What do you think? Do you agree with Hirokazu Hamamura’s analysis and predictions? One thing is for sure: his experience in the industry isn’t to be taken lightly, and as President of Enterbrain he has access to mind boggling amounts of data. We’ll have to see is he nailed this one a couple years from now.

Join the Discussion

  • Maurice Wilburn

    Sounds like a pretty fair analysis, though I see the Xbox One catching up sooner maybe by end of next year or early 2015. Since E3 it’s been pretty clear PS4 will take an early lead, but I think they are far from crushing the Xbox One as people(mostly fanboys) have suggested. Like them or hate them as of right now Xbox One has the bigger exclusives Titanfall, Halo 5, etc. once these games are released sales are all but sure to jump.

    • Drewidian

      That all depends on whether or not MS forms partnerships with Cable/Satellite companies and Gyms across the world for subsidized consoles, which could bring the Xbox One ahead in sales much quicker. MS has a long standing partnership with most of the cable and satellite companies in the US and a number of them around the world. I could easily see a console being sold by them for $99-$199 on a 2 year contract to slow cord cutting as well as gyms forming special classes with personalized classes for the same deal. Join our gym and enroll in our special class and you will get an Xbox One for exercising in home.

      A personal trainer could have a class of up to 25 students Skyped together for a personal class with the instructor leading. It could even be used by doctors or nurses to give PT for injured vets where its difficult for them to leave their home, or for that matter anyone who needs PT. It may even be written off as a “Medical device”. There’s a ton of potential for the Xbox One that just isn’t there for the PS4 because of the inclusion of Kinect. The Xbox one can just reach a much broader user base than the PS4 which is only useful to gamers.

      • tubers

        Yup. This is it. Targeting not just the “core” gamers is big bucks.

      • Guest

        I think calling the Xbox One a Medical Device is going a bit far…

    • Bankai

      “As of right now” being the keyword. Sony has 3 of its best studios – Naughty Dog, Santa Monica, Media Molecule – all hard at work on next gen titles which are capable of combating anything Microsoft has to offer.

      Even Guerrilla is stepping up this gen, with Shadow Fall apparently having more pre-orders than 3 of Microsoft’s top exclusives, it’s still trailing behind Watch Dogs, Call of Duty, Battlefield 4 and Assassin’s Creed, but it’s still very impressive for a franchise as underrated as Killzone – and let’s not forget about inFAMOUS: Second Son.

      Not to mention all the moves Sony is making to make their products more appealing, like their deal with Viacom – I’ve heard their going after Time Warner and Disney, as well – the Vita/Vita TV being able to Remote Play the PS4 and I’m sure there’s something else I’m forgetting. Still, even with all that, I don’t see Sony dominating like they did with the PS2, but I can see them maintaining a pretty healthy lead.

      • ShowanW

        Halo 4 has sold more copies than all 3 Uncharted’s, LoU, and inFamous combine

        And that’s how Microsoft will catch up. It may not be what people want to hear, but it is true.

        A next gen version of Halo 5, on dedicated servers, will sell a boatload when it comes out.

        And outside of PC, Titanfall is strictly Microsoft. That’s a ton of $$$ to be made, and the only way to play is, have a gaming rig or some kind of Xbox (360 or One)

        • foureyes oni

          i’d have to agree, Microsoft style is to have one or two heavy hitters and the newest is now titanfall. Halo and Gears of War pretty much are monsters when it comes to sales. If Sony could come up with a shooter with mass appeal that could match Halo then i could see the fanboy war between PS4 and XB1 being utterly brutal. I wouldn’t count Microsoft out simply because they still have halo.

        • Vulcanproject

          Microsoft will fall behind and never catch up. Sony caught up and the PS3 sold faster eventually outselling Microsoft despite launching a year (and more) later in major territories, being considerably more expensive, a much poorer online experience for many years, and having a much poorer game lineup for at least the first 2 years of its life, not to mention being sullied with countless godawful ports.

          Yet still, PS3 managed to catch and outsell Microsoft’s best efforts.

          Honestly Sony’s machine is a lot cheaper, is out the same time, its online experience will be much closer than ever before, it’ll likely be the main and arguably best platform for virtually every multiformat title and crucially right now, its the darling of the press with the better image.

          That’ll carry it through the first 6 months ahead of Xbox one and Microsoft will surely never catch it up.

          Microsoft might retain a lead in North America but even there I can only see it losing market share, it has something to lose in North America, whereas Sony are secure in the knowledge that Xbox one is no real threat in Japan or Asian territories.

        • Crox

          ehh…..Halo 4 sold only 8.4 million copies, while Uncharted 1,2,3 sold 4.6m, 6.24m and 6m respectively which is great for a franchise that is just six years old. Now with halo 4 being the worst selling halo game ever and gears judgement flopping hard, its obvious that these franchises(halo and gears) are no longer the heavy hitters they once were.

        • Antonio C. R. Murray

          Gran Tursimo IP sold more copies than all Microsoft exclusives combined. That’s one and the only reason you need to know how MS will never catch up.

          • jazz

            Lies

      • Maurice Wilburn

        So far we don’t even know what Naughty Dog, Media Molecule are working on, with the lack of announcement I doubt whatever project they’re working on to be released in time to combat the big exclusives MS has coming nexxt year. Sunset Overdrive, Quantum Break, Titanfall, and Halo franchise that has sold more than any Sony exclusive period. Honestly I’ll be surprised if MS doesn’t at least come close Sony’s sales by the end of next year. As for Killzone’s pre-orders, I think that games success is more due to it being pretty much the only big exclusive Sony has at launch besides Knack, which in all honesty looks unimpressive.

  • PrinceHeir

    definitely hype to see what happens next ^^

  • KuchikiSentou

    I think it’s a fair assumption.
    Sony doesn’t have a system seller. Just lots of good games.
    The ‘Muricans will clamour over Halo and TitanFall, enough to push it ahead. It may not even take 3 years. This is of course North America. I’m talking about.

    Worldwide, no chance.

    • quinten488

      There is NEVER a system seller game, its about having multiple games that you want to play on a certain platform.

      I going to $400 to play this one awesome game? No one does that

      • KuchikiSentou

        There is. A system seller is a game that is exclusive, and drives sales of the consoles to those who don’t have it. ie the best selling exclusive title. It’s bee Gran Turismo for the PS2, as well as PS3. Gran Turismo 5 is about 60% of the reason PS3 is #1 worldwide.

        I think Halo is a system seller in that it drives consoles off the shelves and sells very well in general. Holiday 2012 with Halo 4 is a recent example. Sony had more exclusive games, but none of them helped in the Black Friday showdown.

        And yes, people do pay $400 for this one awesome game. It explains why consoles sell 10s of thousands every week. Each of those 70000 people are not buying 6 games with their console; a lot of them are buying one. It explains why the GTA V bundle, the Uncharted Bundle both pushed PS3 sales high at their respective times of release. It explains why PS3 weekly sales rose above VITA in Japan when Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure came out. Because people pay 19000 yen for this one awesome game.

        Halo is going to do that. As well as TitanFall. I can’t expect Sony to dominate North America; I do hope they do, for the sake of the industry as a whole (to alleviate the current shooter centric nature of North America), but as it stands, no way.

        • Tommy

          He’s right, so many xbox fans argue that the PSN will fail because of a lack of exclusives (which I might add are mainly FPS except like one iirc) Also, during the 360 and PSN debates after PSN exceeded sale numbers, they mainly argued about Halo and Gears which is pathetic. Generally, it caused me to lose respect for the xbox community since it’s mainly just an FPS community that can’t really argue significantly.

  • Kamille

    if Xbox couldn’t beat the PS3 when Sony was at its worst then I don’t think they’ll be able t compete with the PS4 when Sony are at its best. All these recent statements from MS are nothing but wishful thinking.

    And not to mention that PS4 will launch on 32 countries vs only 13 for the Xbone. It’ll be really hard to catch up, especially when the brand only dominates 1 region, NA, on top of it, no year head-start. So even if they end up dominating NA again it’ll be pointless.

    • ShowanW

      First of all, this article didn’t come from Microsoft. It came from famed former Editor and Chief of Famitsu. And the Xbox 360 is a success, to have sold almost NOTHING in Asia, and have almost outsold Playstation, is a huge success…

      Sony has sold 80million or so PS3′s world wide… Microsoft has sold 78-79million Xbox 360′s in only 3/4 of the world…. That’s a huge success for Microsoft.

      It’s not about the quantity of countries, it’s the quality of consoles…

      Both will have shortages, but Microsoft will have more consoles in fewer countries.
      Where as Sony will have fewer consoles in more countries…

      • tubers

        IMO, PS3 only has Pyrrhic victory.

        Ruined early image, huge loss in early builds and mostly importantly, losing a huge chunk in marketshare due to the 360 when the OG Xbox was only an underdog.

      • Guest

        Microsoft has an Xbox service centre in India and a large gaming following and yet won’t include them as a launch country :(

    • TristanPR77

      Totally agree, If Microsoft couldn’t beat Sony at their worst moment and at their worst moment Sony outselled the xbox worldwide and currently was #1 on US. I don’t think Microsoft will have a chance to catch up to the PS4. It doesn’t mean the x1 will be a failure but it will be second to the PS4.

      • Terrell D.

        XBOX still owns the North American market.

        • Tommy

          Doesn’t mean it owns the global market.

    • Maurice Wilburn

      They did beat Sony for several straight years, but Sony caught up, what makes you think MS can’t do the same thing. Not to mention MS is in a better position financially than who lost money on the PS3 for several years.

      • Antonio C. R. Murray

        Xbox, unlike PlayStation, will never be a world class brand. PS is relevant in ALL three (China? four?) major markets which is North America, Europe,and oh yeah some country called Japan.

        • Langkasuka

          China is still pretty restrictive even after slightly lifting the gaming console ban, I think, it’ll be a while before either MS, Sony or Nintendo can fully develop a niche in a market already dominated by the PC and local-grown MMORPGs.
          On the other hand, Sony has a spot in Singapore and we in South East Asia region is pretty pumped that we’re having PS4 in December, earlier than Japan.
          We’re also pleasantly surprised that PS Vita TV might be coming here at the same time as Japan, so that means this region could probably have PS4-PS Vita TV home network integration before the Western gamer does.

          • Antonio C. R. Murray

            Reason why I didn’t mention Asia is because of as of this year, it’s now Sony Computer Entertainment Japan Asia (SCEJA). In the future will just refer to JPN/ASIA instead of just JPN.

        • Maurice Wilburn

          80+ million sales doesn’t make you a world class brand(which I believe you mean product)? Any company not based or started in Japan is going to have a difficult time there due to the xenophobic mindset that’s running rampant. The 360 sales are yet neck and neck with the PS3 in spite of Japan which I find applaudable.

          • Guest

            That’s not true at all. Michael Patcher tried this and I #DeliverThePapers or crushed all that bullshit. In the Nikkei Brand Japan 2013 poll, the top two brands among consumers are Apple, and Google.

            - http://consult.nikkeibp.co.jp/consult/news/2013/0322bj-e/

          • Antonio C. R. Murray

            That’s not true at all. Michael Patcher tried this and I #DeliverThePapers or crush all that bullshit. In the Nikkei Brand Japan 2013 poll, the top two brands among consumers are Apple, and Google.

            - http://consult.nikkeibp.co.jp/consult/news/2013/0322bj-e/

          • Maurice Wilburn

            I said foreign companies have a difficult time, not that it’s impossible to be successful. Apple being the leader in touch technology with no Japanese competitor with product of similar or higher grade quality definitely contributed to their success in Japan. Same goes for Google and their Android OS. Where as Microsoft and the Xbox 360 has direct competition with two game companies such as Sony and Nintendo. The only way I see MS making headway in Japan is through innovative technology. The best thing MS has going for them as it pertains to Japan is Kinect as it gives them a distinction from Sony or Nintendo despite the haters.

        • ShowanW

          I give you that… Xbox is only a 3/4 of the world product…
          But to have only done video games for 13years and have this kind of marketshare is a success for Microsoft.

          That means they zapped away, users from both the Sony and Nintendo camp in such a short span. Just like Sony did to Nintendo and Sega all those years ago.

        • GameonAll

          How is it relevant in China as that market just opened please point me to your source data. Also for console Sales the only reason the PS3 even matches the X360 is because of Japans 7mill sales in that region with hardly any for 360 and with that it still sold 80 mill world wide go figure.

          What gimps like you tend to forget is with the Wii U flopping there is a market of up to 100 mill console sales out there to be won and those are true casual sales. How does PS4 get those sales? Or better yet how does PS4 get the sales that the PS3 got considering that they no longer represent the cheapest and best bluray player on the market anymore hmmmm?

          PS4 marketing itself as ONLY a game station might prove to be folly at this point as for 400-500 dollars casuals want more. Not i Including the camera also means that it looks like a bait and switch for many users.

          SALES CONVERSATION:
          Hey check out play room for the ps4 which is only 400 dollars. Hey I want to play play room – oh Im sorry you need to spend another 60 to do that – hmmm flawed strategy. Wait the X1 has snap and I can watch tV and it has ESPN and NFL in the States,etc – can the Ps4 do that – oh no it does not but you can watch internet TV on it. Oh really can the X1 do that too? Yes it can.

          oK WHAT games do you have at launch exclusively to show us – oh we have Knack and Killzone – hmmmm Wait X1 is showing Killer Instinct, Forza 5 and Dead Rising 3. hmmmm. As a REAL gamer its pretty obvious which system is more prepared for this party same as last gen. Only fanboys are too blind to see it.

          CONCLUSION:
          Will the PS4 be cool in the future- sure it will but for me its a get a launch and only play exclusives on. Mutiplayer is still king on Xbox and I will only buy multiplatform if I know for a fact that the ps4 has more exclusive game content…. PERIOD!

          • Antonio C. R. Murray

            I am not the one. Start-

            “(China? four?)”

            Damn. You duck at the mere mention of a hypothetical?

            “the only reason the PS3 even matches the X360 is”…

            that you need to shut that foolishness up. Especially since MS said things like this -

            “What I can tell you is that we remain confident that Xbox 360 will not only outsell PS3 for the full calendar year, but for this entire (7th) generation. It is similar to a game of baseball, it is not about just winning one inning, but instead being able to win the game by consistently delivering across all nine innings.” Aaron Greenburg 2009

            “In the decade ahead, we will reach beyond the tens of millions to the hundreds of millions and more. And today we take our first step in that journey. We are launching a whole new era of entertainment, a brand new era for Xbox 360 and Xbox LIVE. And to kick start this era, I have something special to share with you today. Ladies and gentleman, this is your New Xbox 360.”

            - Don Matrrick E3 2010

            Goes on give it free to everyone in the audience. Yo that games journalism.

            “Combine all that we offer, with great partners, and the growing audience, and Xbox is poised to register another record year. This year, Xbox 360 will go from being the #1 selling console in North America to the #1 selling console globally.”

            - Don Mattrick E3 2011

            So…uh…what happened guy? Oh that’s right its “the only reason the PS3″…the PS3 surpassed the 360 worldwide. Permanently. Peep this. MS is virtually done with 360 and has all but moved on to Xbox One. Where its already ready to be shitted on by PS4. Day 1. No year advantage. No “oh the Cell” excuse. No price advantage. No nothin.

            “and those are true casual sales”

            The casuals have all but moved on from traditional consumer platforms to other fragmented forms of entertainment i.e PC, mobile devices, etc in ALL territories.

            Launch titles? It don’t matter how you start. Its how you finish. As Microsoft has learn twice already. By not getting the Championship. Twice. By losing to Sony. Twice. And you? Don’t ever try to step to me kuzo without facts muthafucka. I’d think about that. Twice.

            Finish.

          • GameonAll

            -Im sorry did you say something?

            I don’t know what is more idiotic you quoting a key note speech as somehow disproving my point or you crossing your arms in a b-boy stance like you just said something?

            Lets see – AGAIN FOR THE HARD OF READING:

            China is not to this point and has not been a major player in the console sales numbers because up until July this year (2013) – you could not legally import game consoles there -

            FACTS:
            http://www.zdnet.com/cn/china-confirms-foreign-game-consoles-can-now-be-sold-7000018098/

            PS3 also lost this Generation genius
            FACTS
            http://www.vgchartz.com/

            Console Market Share

            Wii 38%
            PS3 31%
            360 30%

            Please note numbers might no be updated – as 360 has now sold 80 million world wide.

            Clearly not a good look for Sony who for the last 10 years has dominated the gaming space. Its certainly more of a tie for 3rd then a loss for Xbox aint it and mind you – ps3 just caught up recently – now if you chopped off that 7 mill advantage from Japan – who never buys external products it might not look the same eh?

            So Let me not forget that in the first 5 years of this race Sony was stinking up the place. Many of the sales well into 2010 were not for gaming but as a bluray player

            FACTS:
            http://www.gamespot.com/articles/blu-ray-top-reason-for-ps3-purchase-study/1100-6263134/

            The main game was Meta Gear (great interactive movie) – i liked it but Snake eater was better – ijs and the head to heads and online were still all about the 360 (online will still be better on X1 -you know p2p don’t equal dedicated servers).

            You discount the room for casual sales the same way Sony has ignored that space again by not releasing the system with the camera. Also the fact that both systems now include bluray means no more using that as an excuse to buy a ps4 – so the final battle will come down to features and services and this is where gimps like you do not seem to get it so let me help you out.

            The majority of gamers are not teenagers and young adults who live at home – that may be your life but its not where the money is at. In fact a large portion of gamers are 30 and up.

            FACTS
            http://www.forbes.com/sites/insertcoin/2013/03/06/npd-says-core-gamers-are-numerous-and-older-than-you-think/

            This older demographic does not represent the outspoken majority of children and idiots that cruise these sites trying to validate the single machine they can afford to purchase. These gamers who have been gaming since the 70′s – 80′s have more interest than just video games. Additionally many of these adults like myself own more than one game console and have a living room to game in as opposed to a bedroom – which brings me to my next point.

            You Ponies decry TV integration. But, the idea that TV integration is useless is a statement as ignorant as the kids who spout it and here is why: In the US people congregate around the tv room they also like to review data and buy things based on what they see on TV: Both men and even more so women do this using tablets currently.

            FACTS:
            http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/newswire/2012/report-u-s-media-trends-by-demographic.html

            Combine the average age of Gamers at 30+, add in TV content and SNAP with voice search so they can watch tV and look up data (as opposed to viewing on their tablets ) as well as game and you have the possibility to sell to a lot of people. -You know the whole one device to rule them all deal-.

            Now PEEP this HOME BOY!
            YOU SAID!
            ” Peep this. MS is virtually done with 360 and has all but moved on to Xbox One. Where its already ready to be shitted on by PS4. Day 1″

            Lets see I can agree MS stopped 1st party support about 2 years ago – which is the only reason the ps3 got any momentum going for it now – lets be honest. But that strategy has paid off in the one thing you strap riders keep ignoring – GAMES. Microsoft has the better launch exclusives with more to come and Sony – well hey at least Killzone will be awesome for week one right? Funny thing for a bunch of lames who claim you love to game – non of you will have any exclusives to play on launch day – WTF is that – what is this bizzaro world I thought that was the whole point of buying spanking new systems on launch day – NEW EXCLUSIVE GAMES – go figure.

            Also its too funny to me that you broke sobs had an issue with online and DRM cause you claim you cannot afford to buy new – but wait – you all complained on line and wait again – the real Hard core gamers (like me) buy more games new than they ever do used –

            FACTS:

            http://interpretllc.com/_downloads/impact_of_used_game_sales_on_the_industry.pdf

            You sir must be an omnivore – you want to play lots of game but can only afford one console – please read page 4-5 of the above report.

            As for who is abandoning what first:

            Microsoft will support the 360 until 2016

            FACTS:
            http://news.cnet.com/8301-10805_3-57601337-75/microsoft-to-support-xbox-360-until-2016/

            Sony will support the ps3 only until at least 2015

            FACTS:
            http://www.ign.com/articles/2012/09/24/sony-to-support-ps3-until-at-least-2015

            So yeah right about now is where you learn to SHUT YOUR FILTHY PIE WHOLE.

            Lets be clear my dude – I could not care less about this console war- I am a Hardcore Multi-Gamer – all platforms I get more games than I tend to have time to play and I do not like used games I want em fresh with that new game smell on em :). And I love smart TV integration and gadgets – woot

            I just like to fire darts at lames like you because you keep talking about stuff you apparently don’t know a lot about.

            Yo, yo…
            someone queue that Ether for this dude and light a match – I think he done!

            PS I’m not your Kuzo you herb I’m your daddy – ask your moms – And stay in your lane – you came to a gun fight with a knife –

            #DEALwith it

    • You are flat out wrong

      But some dude on Reddit said that MS now has as many pre-orders as Sony does. Xbox won!!!!!!

      • Sapphire

        multiple gamestops (and other stores) in total, when asked, have approximately 160 xbox ones pre-ordered compared to approximately 3568. My area has 3 Gamestops, Wal-mart, Target, and Kmart. I learned about this when I was hunting for a game (which was rare in my area) and my brother began asking the cashier questions.

        • You are flat out wrong

          3,500 PS4s? That’s good. Xbone is going to get totally destroyed next month! :D

  • ex-xboner

    seem like Hirokazu-san did not know that titanfall is another timed exclusive for xbone

    • Ehsan

      I have zero interest in shooters though i can see they are very important to the American crowd but considering the fact that you can play titanfall on your PC and x360 and even ps4 later on i can see no reason to stick with xbone which is over-sized, ugly, expensive blah blah blah

    • ShowanW

      It mite be a timed exclusive, but how much time is it exclusive for?..
      If it’s 2+ years, will people wait or will they just go and get a Xbox One.

      • Antonio C. R. Murray

        Xbox brand is relevant in NA. People aren’t necessarily gonna wait a year to experience a hot title like Titanfall. Unlike JPN who will respond to Tales when its released on PS over Nintendo and Xbox. If Xbox One does dismal numbers, then Titanfall will flop. Software moves hardware and right now Xbox One has preorder numbers ready to go in NA.

    • GameonAll

      Love how you idiots cram all over the indiestation knowing that everything released for indies will also be available and cheaper on Stream yet want to claim Titanfall is a timed Exclusive. As of now Titanfall can only be played on Microsoft systems. period either X1, or windows 8.1 PCs – #dealwithit and #getajob so you can stop worrying about crap like the real gamers do who game on every platform

  • Synthetic Construct

    When the XB1 drops it’s price by 100 bucks in year or 2 then it’s really going to be neck n neck like it is now with this gen.

  • miyamotomusashi94

    xbone will be knocked down and out in Round 1.

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