IDC analyst states Microsoft has already lost this generation to Sony, Microsoft’s focus should be its unified gaming ecosystem

The generational lines between video game consoles have been blurring recently, but that hasn’t stopped the arguments over who ‘won’ this generation. Whether you’re a PlayStation or Xbox gamer, you all have your own reasons as to why you purchased the system you did. It just so happens that more of you bought PS4s, and Microsoft hasn’t been able to catch up.

Sony has sold roughly over 70 million PlayStation 4 units, and although Microsoft doesn’t report the Xbox One’s sales anymore, estimates put it at anywhere between 20 and 30 million short of Sony’s numbers. Needless to say, it’s a big deficit. IDC’s Research Director Lewis Ward spoke with GamingBolt about what Microsoft could do to reverse that trend, including putting out a stronger exclusive lineup.

“Yes, they don’t have much of a choice. I think the exclusive lineup is respectable, at least as far as we can see it into 2018,” he said. “I’m sure there’ll be some massive Halo title coming to Xbox One in 2018. As far as the broader eighth gen war is concerned, it’s already been lost to Sony. Microsoft will not catch Sony this generation.”

Ward went on to discuss Microsoft’s approach to the company’s unified gaming ecosystem. For a while now, Microsoft has been bringing together the Xbox One and Windows 10 platforms to create a more unified experience with features such as Xbox Play Anywhere and more. It is this goal that Ward thinks the company should strive towards.

“The goal now is to make the Windows 10-based gaming ecosystem as large and as profitable as possible. Microsoft’s bigger game is to unify in some important ways their PC and console business on a Win10 platform on the terminal side and on the server side with Azure. They view PCs as a growth opportunity from a gaming angle as well, and that’s very different from Sony, which has more or less gotten out of the PC market.”

As for the race between the Xbox One X and PlayStation 4 Pro, Ward believes it will be interesting to see how that plays out in 2018.

“A nearer term race to watch between Sony and Microsoft is whether or not Xbox One X will outsell PS4 Pro in the US in 2018. This could happen and would be a significant step forward for Microsoft as the latter half of the eighth gen race begins,” he said.

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