Sony's PlayStation 4 may be winning the video game console war, but this year's Black Friday has given Microsoft's Xbox One a much-needed leg up in the war for the biggest flagship console.
Figures released by market research firm InfoScout show the Xbox One accounting for more than half of all video game console sales on Black Friday, Nov. 28. Specifically, Microsoft's latest system took over 53 percent of all sales, while Sony's PlayStation 4 sold 31 percent. Even the Xbox 360, which was launched in 2005, did pretty well, coming in third with nine percent of Black Friday's market share, while the Nintendo Wii U managed to capture only six percent and the PlayStation 3 trailing behind with just one percent.
All in all, Microsoft's systems accounted for 62 percent of all Black Friday console sales, which can be attributed to Microsoft finally realizing it has to take its prices down. Originally available for $500, the Xbox One's price was slashed down to $400 and eventually $350 to undercut the $400 PlayStation 4. This year's Black Friday saw the console for only $330 at major retailers, such as Target and Wal-Mart, and bundled with big games such as Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag and Assassin's Creed: Unity.
The PlayStation 4, on the other hand, was pegged at its original $400 but bundled with Bungie's sci-fi shooter Destiny or with Rockstar Games' re-release of Grand Theft Auto V and Naughty Dog's The Last of Us. Although Sony's system only came in second this year as it did last year, the PlayStation 4 fared much better than last year's Black Friday figures of 15 percent.
"The bundles seemed to be successful in driving sales, as over 90 percent of console purchases on Friday were bundled with the game," InfoScout co-founder and chief technology officer Jon Brelig explains in a blog post. "Was it really the attached game that drove the sale? Apparently so, as 75 percent of InfoScout panelists who purchased a gaming console this Black Friday said that the inclined game was a major influence on their purchase decision."
Moreover, the figures show a difference between those who purchased the console for themselves and those who bought it as a gift for their children for the holidays. Fifty-five percent of all buyers who picked up a PlayStation 4 say they bought it for themselves, while 66 percent of Xbox One buyers bought it for their kids. Not surprisingly, 92 percent of shoppers who bought the family-friendly Nintendo Wii U say they bought it for the kids.
InfoScout compiled the information by using two smartphone apps that encourage users to upload their receipts. Generally, the firm receives more than 125,000 receipts on a regular day, but it says more than 182,000 receipts were uploaded on Black Friday.
The figures released are for Black Friday 2014 only. While the Xbox One dominated this year's post-Thanksgiving shopping craze, the PlayStation 4 continues to rule over the worldwide market with an estimated 13.5 million units sold as of September this year. The Nintendo Wii U comes in second with 7.29 million while Microsoft's Xbox One is estimated to have sold 6.7 to 7.35 million.