September could be a tide-turner for the Xbox One

Ever since we made the move into 2014, Microsoft has been playing from behind when comparing the sales of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.  Most recently, Microsoft has shown sales of at least 5 million units being sold off, which is only half of the 10 million Sony is reported to have sold through this summer.  This doesn’t mean that the Xbox One is failing in any way, since numerous reports have shown the Xbox One outpacing the Xbox 360 for sales when comparing the sales data of both consoles ten months into their life cycles.

Still, Microsoft cannot afford to forfeit too much ground to Sony in console sales.  A massive majority lead would make it easier for Sony to make more meaningful moves to ensure its continued dominance.  Securing would-be multiplatform titles like Microsoft has done with Titanfall or Tomb Raider would be heavy blows to the success of the Xbox One.  So what can Microsoft do to give themselves the best chance at evening the score in the console race?  Large-scale market debuts.

As it stands now, Microsoft’s Xbox One is only available in 13 countries.  That’s a severe handicap when you consider that the PlayStation 4 is now available in 60 different countries after launching in its home country of Japan earlier this year.  Of course, not every country has a significant gaming community.  Having a foothold in the United States will trump winning over a market like Ireland or Ukraine, but the availability still makes a difference when you're talking about a 47 country advantage.

After promising wider market availability back in November 2013, Microsoft is finally poised to launch the Xbox One in several new markets – some of which could prove to be tide-changing for the Xbox One vs. PlayStation 4 sales race.  The approval of five million Xbox Ones to be sold in China could play a part in a sales surge, though Sony's PlayStation 4 is also slated to be launched in the country as well with an as-yet-unknown staggered launch behind Microsoft.  Japan, India, Taiwan, Singapore, and Hong Kong are all markets in which Microsoft has confirmed to be expanding to in September within the Asian market.

Xbox One launch dates and pricing

It’s important to note that regardless of either consoles current standing, the sales race isn’t won in the first year.  Just like the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 consoles, it’s a multi-year race that requires a steady stream of great console exclusives and constant platform upgrades through online and social services.  The Xbox 360 lifecycle saw the Xbox Dashboard and Xbox Live services go through several upgrade processes to become what each is today.  The same will have to happen with the Xbox One if Microsoft wishes to hit their stride and claim the top spot in sales over rival manufacturers.  The five confirmed countries in the Asian-based market aren't the only ones that will see an Xbox One launch.  Those countries are just five of the 26 that Microsoft is scheduled to launch in by the end of 2014. 

Source: Xbox Wire | Images: Xbox Wire (top), Yahoo! Small Business Advisor

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