Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) went first last time and paid the price. The software giant now has the advantage of firing last.
Sony Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:SNE) revealed its PS4 release dates yesterday. The Japanese gaming giant’s new console will hit North America on November 15 and roll out through Europe two weeks later.
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has only publicized that the Xbox One will hit the market in November, but now it gets to decide if it wants to hit the gamers before or after its rival’s platform is available at the retail level.
This isn’t an easy decision.
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) can’t hit the market too late in November. It can’t miss the post-Thanksgiving launch of the holiday shopping season. It may generate some extra media attention if it hits the market around Black Friday as a frenzy within a frenzy, but it will probably lose the season’s crown to Sony Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:SNE) if we get to that point where shoppers have already made their big-ticket purchases.
There’s clearly a benefit to arriving early, and not just because it would make the Xbox One the first of the two platforms to hit the market. Speed isn’t everything. Just ask Nintendo Co., Ltd (ADR) (OTCBB:NTDOY). It thought it would have a major advantage over its more powerful rivals by having the Wii U out last November, but it has been a colossal flop. Nintendo Co., Ltd (ADR) (OTCBB:NTDOY) shipped just 160,000 units last quarter.
Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI)‘s Call of Duty: Ghosts hits the market on November 5, and it should break industry sales records as the franchise has done with every November release. Video game sales have been slipping in recent years, but Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI)’s combat game has been resilient.