Xbox One vs. PS4 vs. Wii U: Microsoft Still Trailing Behind

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This generation’s console war has been in full swing for almost nine months, and the trajectory seemed clear from early on: Sony’s PlayStation 4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One were clobbering Nintendo’s Wii U just about every month. But lately, the tides have started to turn. We now have July’s sales numbers, and the shifting pattern seems to be continuing, which means things are getting more and more interesting.

Before we dive into the new numbers, let’s take a peek at console sales over the last few months so we can get a clear view of the sales trends. In April, the PS4 not only bested the competition, but it sold more than the Xbox One and Wii U combined. VGChartz estimates that Sony sold a whopping 579,850 PS4 units, while Microsoft sold a respectable 335,101 Xbox Ones and Nintendo sold only 120,568 Wii U units. If you do the math, that works out to the PS4 selling over 73 percent more than the Xbox One and over 380 percent more than the Wii U.

In May, the PS4 sold 577,092 consoles to beat the Xbox One’s 178,481 in sales by 223 percent and the Wii U’s 276,396 sales by 108 percent, according to sales data from VGChartz. June told a similar story, although the PS4 didn’t manage to outsell both competing consoles combined. In June, the PS4 sold 412,761 units compared to the Xbox One’s 236,039 units and the Wii U’s 286,520. That’s still a solid beating, however, with the PS4 outselling the Xbox One by 75 percent and the Wii U by 44 percent.

That brings us to July, when sales of all three consoles improved over the previous month, albeit with the help of a fifth week in the figures. The Xbox One sold 64,211 units in the first week of the month, but each week after that saw sales slip by a few thousand units. By month’s end, the Xbox One had sold a total of 286,534 units, enough to land it in the fourth spot overall, behind the PS4, Wii U, and 3DS. No major games landed on the Xbox One in July, which didn’t help matters. Only 730,511 games sold for the system, landing it in 10th place in terms of software sales. Not great.

The Wii U also started out fairly strong in July, with 64,513 units sold, but it, too, lost sales as the weeks went by. All told, the Wii U sold 302,076 units in July, landing it in third place in terms of console sales. The 3DS did significantly better than the Xbox One and Wii U, selling 576,923 units in July, thanks in large part to the release of the game Yokai Watch 2 Ganso/Honke, which launched in Japan only. Once that game came out in the second week of the month, the 3DS saw an uptick in hardware sales, which remained strong throughout the rest of the month.

As usual, the console to sell the most hardware in July was the PS4, which sold 127,202 units in the first week and remained strong. It held first place in console sales each week of the month except the second, when the 3DS surged ahead with the release of Yokai Watch 2 Ganso/Honke in Japan. The final week of July saw PS4 sales rocket to 178,164 units, thanks in large part to the release of The Last of Us Remastered, the only game all month to beat Yokai Watch 2 Ganso/Honke in sales.

The Wii U is showing a lot of fight for a console many had written off just a few months ago. It beat the Xbox One in July by about 15,000 units and remains ahead of it in total sales by nearly 2 million (although we should keep in mind that the Wii U had a year’s head start). Despite having the same head start over the PS4, Sony’s console has managed to outsell the Wii U in total sales by about 2 million.

On the software side of things, the 3DS remains king among the current generation of hardware, selling just over 4 million games in July. The PS4 comes in second, with about 2 million in software sales, followed by the Xbox One at a distant 10th, with 730,511 game sales. The PS3 and Xbox 360 also moved a lot of games, selling 4 million and 3 million, respectively. Notable games that hung around the top slots over the month were Mario Kart 8 for Wii U, Yokai Watch 2 Ganso/Honke, Tomodachi Life, Yoshi’s New Island, and Pokemon X/Y for 3DS, and The Last of Us Remastered for PS4.

The total console sales for July are as follows: The Xbox One sold 286,534 units, the Wii U sold 302,076, and the PS4 sold 671,269. Taken together with the last two months’ sales, it’s clear that the Wii U is coming back strong against the Xbox One. However, the PS4 continues to look pretty unstoppable.

The PS4 outsold the Xbox One in July by 134 percent and the Wii U by 122 percent. Those are high numbers, but not as high as in some recent months. One thing’s for sure: Despite the PS4’s sizable lead, all three consoles are still in the game.

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