With a back and forth of consumer interest flitting between the two consoles, Microsoft and Sony are reportedly neck-and-neck in a bid to tempt potential customers into plumping for their respective next-gen consoles ahead of that of their bitter rival.
Speaking exclusively with TrustedReviews, a lead buyer for the iconic toys and games retailer Hamleys has claimed that, at present, there is very little to separate the two next-gen gamers in terms of consumer interest.
“Interest in the new PlayStation and Xbox is pretty balanced at the moment,” the buyer told us. “The PS4 might be edging it in the eyes of some people but interest has been about even.”
The PS4 had taken a stronghold on next-gen console pre-orders following E3 when it emerged the Sony branded console would cost £80 less than its rival. Microsoft, however, regained traction earlier this month when it announced it had scrapped plans to introduce Xbox One DRM restrictions which would have forced gamers to pay to use pre-owned or even borrowed games.
Predicting that the console race could be a close fought battle until well after launch, the Hamleys buyer suggested that despite the price discrepancies it could still all come down to the games on offer for the two consoles.
“The market has been longing for another piece of hardware for some time now,” they told us. “I think ultimately it will come down to being about the games and what titles are on offer for each.”
While the arrival of two new consoles is reportedly giving high street retailers, and the games industry as a whole, a much needed boost, Hamleys has predicted this will be hard to sustain, with a gloomy future for specialist games retailers an all too possible a reality.
They stated: “As games become more and more downloadable it is going to be increasingly difficult to see as much success next year.”
Read More: Xbox One vs PS4