The numbers tell the story so far, and the story is not a good one for Microsoft
. Online shopping portal BuyVia makes the numbers very clear, and both demand and interest in the PlayStation 4 is outstripping that of the Xbox
One. But there may be a new development on the horizon that could give Sony a bit of a crimp in its rapid gains, and give Microsoft
some new hope.
The BuyVia numbers are unmistakeable, really: in the period between November 25 and December 14, over 150,000 users went looking for a PlayStation 4 on BuyVia. By way of comparison, 45,000 users turned to BuyVia to find an Xbox One. Those who actually pulled the trigger on a game purchase, however, were a bit closer than the numbers imply: 57 percent of buyers turned to PlayStation 4, while 43 percent turned to the Xbox One. BuyVia's founder, Norman Fong, suggested that the perceived scarcity of the device may have helped fuel the differences; people regarded the PS4 as harder to find, and thus when it was available, pulled the trigger lest the choice be made for them, and possibly not to their benefit, later in the form of “sold out” messages. This is possible, but not necessarily the case.
But there's something of a new development on the horizon that may give Microsoft a bit of a hand. Not only are there the standard refinements, post-launch shakedowns and similar matters to consider—especially if a price cut comes along, the Kinect goes optional, or both—but new word has emerged suggesting that Microsoft may have a shot at the Chinese market, one that Sony may not be able to get.