PlayStation 4 outsold Xbox One worldwide in 2014 - but Microsoft is closing the gap

Soon after the new-generation consoles from Sony and Microsoft went on sale, the PlayStation 4 established a commanding lead over the Xbox One. At one point last year, the PS4 was outselling the Xbox One by three-to-one in some markets.

In its latest financial report, Sony disclosed that it sold 7.5 million PlayStations, including 6.4 million PS4s, in the last quarter of 2014. Microsoft reported that it sold 6.6 million Xbox consoles during the same period, but it did not break that figure down into separate sales for the Xbox One and 360.

If we assume a similar ratio between the old (15% of sales) and new (85%) consoles for Microsoft as with Sony, a very rough estimate would place Xbox One sales for the quarter at around 5.6 million units - but the real number may well be a good deal higher or lower than this.

Microsoft implicitly acknowledged that its Xbox One strategy wasn't working out as hoped last year when it made two major changes. First, the company dropped the console's Kinect requirement, allowing users to purchase a more affordable version that lacked the pricey sensor. Ahead of the all-important holiday season, the company then slashed prices on Xbox One bundles, which included many top-tier games.

In the US, it was enough to help Microsoft to beat Sony over the festive season, but globally, it was the PS4 that took victory both in Q4 of 2014, and throughout the year as a whole.

As GeekWire reports, Sony sold a total of 18.8 million PlayStations in 2014, while Microsoft sold 12.1 million of its two Xbox consoles. Nintendo is, as ever, a very distant third, but it still managed a respectable 3.9 million sales of its Wii and Wii U throughout the year.

One significant takeaway from these figures is that Microsoft appears to have narrowed the sales gap between its console and the PS4 to (very) roughly one million units worldwide during the last quarter - a far cry from being outsold three-to-one. If Microsoft can maintain the momentum that it has gathered in recent months, sales figures of the Xbox One may soon overtake those of its closest rival.

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