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Xbox One expected to outsell PS4 - UK retailer

Head tech buyer for John Lewis stores gives edge to Microsoft's console, citing appeal of game lineup

There is no shortage of opinions on whether the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One will sell better at launch, but some people's opinions could have more impact on the actual outcome than others. One such person would be Jonathan Marsh, the head technology buyer for the UK's John Lewis chain of department stores. Speaking to Trusted Reviews recently, Marsh gave the edge to Microsoft's latest.

"We are expecting more interest in the Xbox One," Marsh said. "We are stocking both the PS4 and the Xbox One but if we were to back one, we are thinking that Xbox One will appeal a bit more to our customers in terms of the experience it creates."

Marsh also cited the Xbox Live service and the Xbox One's lineup of launch software as factors working in Microsoft's favor, saying the games should hold considerable appeal to the store's customer base "based on what we've experienced in the past."

Marsh isn't the only one high on Microsoft's system. In July, analyst Colin Sebastian said that while he expects both systems to be supply constrained, the Xbox One could wind up ahead by virtue of outshipping the PS4 by a 3:1 ratio this year. However, not every indicator is tilting Microsoft's way. A consumer poll in the US last month found 26 percent of those surveyed were likely to purchase a PS4 this year , compared to just 15 percent for Xbox One.

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Latest comments (18)

Mathias Burmeister Technology & Game Development Blogger 7 years ago
Not sure I would read too much into Marsh's comments. John Lewis isn't really known for being a leader in the retail of games and gaming peripherals. Nor is it the first choice of UK gamers when it comes to looking at the latest games.
If this comment was made by someone like Game, HMV or similar, it would carry a lot more weight.
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Jeff Kleist Writer, Marketing, Licensing 7 years ago
Right, he is speaking for a mainstream retailer though. They appear to be like a higher end Target by their website, and that definitely the audience right in Microsofts crosshairs. So GAME and these guys are serving very different people, and as a major retailer, their opinion is worth noting.
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Adam Campbell Product Manager, Azoomee7 years ago
John Lewis is a department store, so its a bit of a drop in the ocean compared to the supermarkets or specialist retailers. Then you have Amazon and other online retailers.

Still, they're a good technology store in their own right and always stocked up on the latest and greatest. I feel compelled to praise their customer service and extensive warranties ;-)

Which console will do better is anyone's guess and tech buyers everywhere have their own prediction. I think Xbox One has just as much chance for market success as PS4 despite early headlines and E3 momentum. Early adopter will likely make this Christmas a sellout.
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Show all comments (18)
Would expect to be a little less partisan about such comments on what one vested interest says about another vested interest - devalues this sites ability to inform!
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James High Studying Media Studies, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee7 years ago
This is a PR puff piece that was set up by Microsoft who in turn pays a retail chain to back one or the other, make a public comment, and release a PR news release to gaming press. The pre orders for PlayStation 4 indicate the absolute opposite of what Marsh suggests. As a GameStop employee I'll also vouch by adding that there are a Significant number of 360 gamers who are jumping ship over to the ps4. I'm getting both best judgment for a leader this holiday is Playstation
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James High Studying Media Studies, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee7 years ago
I forgot to add the pre orders at our location in Milwaukee are 4/1, PlayStation 4 to Xbox one reserves
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Robin Clarke Producer, AppyNation Ltd7 years ago
The headline is over-egging it a bit. I'd be surprised if John Lewis represent more than a couple of percent of UK games hardware retail.
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Jeff Kleist Writer, Marketing, Licensing 7 years ago
As a GameStop employee, you're at the heart of the hardcore, it's not really an objective place to be sourcing from. It's the same reason why movie studios won't learn that cheap pops at SDCC does not guarantee success, and keep increasing movie and marketing budgets based solely on those reactions, and then lose their shirt and wonder what happened.

This is an ultra mainstream retailer who looks to be like Macys meets Target. They know how 360 does for them, and are speaking for their customer base, what's selling better in their store. PlayStation may win Christmas, but Microsoft isn't chasing the hardcore, they're chasing Joe Sixpack, and availability alone may tell a tale. Sony's spreading themselves thin, and we've already identified likely stock dead zones here in the US.

Plus you need to take into account that fanboy fury doesn't exist in the real world much past your door, and that the power of the existing ecosystem , friends ousts etcis going to drive a lot more people's purchases than Sony's manufactured outrage. The real test will be next Christmas, when both consoles will be out of public beta, and a lot more features and partnerships will be active. Coupled with having original next gen games that show them off, and aggressive bundling, as well as potential cell phone style subsidies, that will be the real test
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James Prendergast Process Specialist 7 years ago
@ Jeff - John Lewis is not an "ultra mainstream retailer". It is the high end of retail - like Selfridges. Items in these stores (specifically JL) come at a premium compared to if they are bought in places like ASDA, TK Maxx et al. They're only a little behind the boutiques in the retail ecosystem, such as Harrods, but way above something like Marks and Spencer. There's nothing "Joe Sixpack" about these stores.
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Caleb Hale Journalist 7 years ago
In the U.S. Toys R Us got slammed for placing the Xbox One among its Top 15 hot Christmas items, while the PS4 and Wii U were suspiciously absent. Granted, I don't put much stock in the list, since it also includes the Toys R Us brand kids tablet over all other similar devices on the market. Things like this aren't much more than a suggestive bit of marketing.

That said, I'm sure both Microsoft and Sony will have something to brag about in new console sales by the end of December.
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What if joe public doesnt see the need to updagrade...
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Nick Wofford Hobbyist 7 years ago
Dr. Wong, he'll upgrade if he sees features that he likes. MS secured the NFL deal in the States, and I think they've gotten a European equivalent on board as well.

And this is the UK. It's traditionally an Xbox territory, so I wouldn't be surprised to see the X1 sell better there. It's all of Europe and the States that are interesting.
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I guess if you like any Digital sports, then its EA sports which effectively translates to XBone
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Jeff Kleist Writer, Marketing, Licensing 7 years ago
@James Thanks for the clarification, Macys would fit the description you gave, so I figure it's about accurate

I think we can agree that their clientele definitely goes for bells and whistles, which the Xbox certainly has more of. Joe Sixpack in terms of not being embroiled in the gaming culture as much, with more mainstream, average Joe attitude and tastes
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Hugo Dubs Interactive Designer 7 years ago
What about microsoft having trouble to fill up the pre-orders for xbone? Most retailers already stopped pre-orders for ps4. In france, one of the biggest retailer (FNAC) said it wouldn't be possible to have a ps4 before january 2014 for people who ordered it after october 10th. Im not saying it's a good argument as microsoft could eventually produce a lot more consoles for the launch but it seems legit to say that ps4 seems to be far ahead at the moment. Just sayin'
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Jeff Kleist Writer, Marketing, Licensing 7 years ago
@hugo In the States, Microsoft has severely restricted pre-order availability, because they want there to be lots of consoles for walkins. My wager is that they're counting on PS4 scarcity, combined with the fact they're marketing to people who wouldn't wait in line for a console anyway. It sounds good on paper, but we ll wait and see if it plays out
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Observation - I was presenting to over 80 students at a guest lecture slot last night - I asked for a show of hands from the 19-20-something audience and got about 10% for buying a XBone and about 60% buying a PS4, when they come out!

Not very scientific, but tells me that Sony seems to reaping the positive PR for their console. I also chatted with the audience about the Nintendo Wii-U... not good!

Edited 1 times. Last edit by kevin williams on 11th October 2013 11:40pm

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Jeff Kleist Writer, Marketing, Licensing 7 years ago

Agree completely that Sony's assault worked better than ill wager they ever dared hope. I think that as long as supply holds out they'll win Christmas. Out of curiosity what were you lecturing on?
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