The PlayStation 4, once again, was the top of the sales list in January, but Microsoft had a solid month itself.
The Xbox One had its best January to-date, Microsoft said, and added that the Xbox One was the only console to see year-on-year growth during the month. The Xbox ecosystem saw a 21 percent increase in time spent playing Xbox One games, as well. Microsoft didn’t say whether Xbox 360 Backwards Compatible games and Xbox Play Anywhere games played on PC counted in that number, though.
Also on the gaming side, Sony told GameSpot that four of the top five best-selling games in January were PlayStation 4 releases. That, combined with a lack of any marquee Xbox releases in January, makes its performance that much more remarkable. The PlayStation 4, on the other hand, saw the releases of Yakuza 0 and Gravity Rush 2, and while Resident Evil 7 was multi-platform, it definitely received more attention on the Sony side of things in terms of both VR support and advertising. With February set to see more exclusives like the massive Horizon Zero Dawn and the much smaller but still console-exclusive Berserk and the Band of the Hawk headed to PlayStation 4, don’t expect the balance to change much.
Competition is a good thing
Sony’s system is so dominant that it’s kind of boring. It’s like watching one athlete or sports team steamroll the competition for years on end. While I like my Xbox and PlayStation equally – and have been playing the latter almost exclusively for the last month and a half – I’m having more fun watching Microsoft scrape its way forward, making gains big and small. The system had a few good months this summer until the PlayStation 4 Pro came out and the holidays showed up. Sony resumed dominance as usual, but it’s good to see Microsoft making gains on Sony in this area, however small. Competition is good for both consoles and gives us features like PlayStation Plus and Xbox Live bonus games, Xbox One backwards compatibility and Play Anywhere, and more.