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article imageEven Microsoft doubts Xbox One can catch the PlayStation 4

By James Walker     Oct 11, 2015 in Entertainment
Since the 2013 launch of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, Microsoft has trailed behind Sony in terms of raw sales. The company now seems to have accepted that fact, appearing uncertain it will ever be able to catch up.
Neowin reports Xbox head Phil Spencer directly said as much this week. During an interview with GeekWire, Spencer is asked whether he thinks the Xbox One will ever catch up and overtake the PlayStation 4 in popularity and sales. He replies: "I don't know. The length of the generation… they have a huge lead and they have a good product."
Spencer is at least accepting of Xbox's current position and even willing to acknowledge the worth of the PlayStation 4, what many gamers view as a superior product. Microsoft has worked hard to make Xbox One a more compelling console than it was at launch, but has so far failed to win back the large numbers of fans it lost at the time when it was unveiled.
Don Mattrick, the then head of Xbox, created mass confusion and outcry by initially saying the Xbox One's aggressive DRM would prevent it from playing used games bought cheaply in stores. The discontent quickly forced Microsoft to reverse its decision and the Xbox One has always been capable of playing used game discs. However, the damage was done and gamers jumped ship to the PlayStation 4, a console that to many already was the more attractive device.
Times have changed since then though. Microsoft now boasts that Xbox has the "best games line-up in history" heading into the all-important last-quarter of the year and the console also acquires new feature updates on a much more regular basis than the PlayStation. Sony issues a few software releases each year while Microsoft gives gamers new things on a monthly basis.
Xbox One also has the unique advantage of growing cross-platform compatibility with Windows 10. Console owners can wirelessly stream gameplay through their home to any of their Windows 10 devices, picking up the action on a tablet, laptop or PC, a feature that has apparently already become very popular.
Starting from November with the Windows 10-powered New Xbox One Experience update, the console will be backwards-compatible with some of the best Xbox 360 games too. Sony recently acknowledged the value of this feature and admitted there is no chance of the PS4 playing PS3 games anytime soon.
Sony Worldwide Studios boss Shuhei Yoshida told Eurogamer after Microsoft's hit E3 announcement: "It was surprising. I didn’t think it was possible. There must be lots of engineering effort. … PS3 is such a unique architecture, and some games made use of SPUs very well. It's going to be super challenging to do so [PS4 playing PS3 games]. I never say never, but we have no plans."
Still, with even Phil Spencer saying Sony's lead may be final, it looks as though the most popular console of this generation has probably been decided. The $349 starting price of the Xbox One and wide availability of several attractive bundles this holiday may give Microsoft some extra sales but over the long-term it is the PlayStation 4 that keeps on dominating the charts.
More about Microsoft, phil spencer, xbox one, Xbox, Sony
 
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