“I don’t know if it matters to Microsoft if they’re in second place. I think it matters to them if they sell 20 million units fewer than they should.”
One has to credit Microsoft with making a hell of a turnaround this generation. From being universally despised thanks to the DRM straddled, gimmicky and underpowered, locked down, anti consumer console at the onset of this generation, to being consumer and developer friendly, open to choice, and having the most powerful console ever made on the horizon, Microsoft are definitely turning things around. And having a raft of great games helps with that too, I suppose.
For the most part, industry analyst Michael Pachter, of Wedbush Securities, seems to agree with that assessment. However, he also thinks that at some level, Microsoft is feeling insecure about its position in the industry right now. In an interview with Daily Star, Pachter sounded off on what he feels is Microsoft’s ‘inferiority complex.’
“I don’t know if it matters to Microsoft if they’re in second place. I think it matters to them if they sell 20 million units fewer than they should,” commented Pachter. “Somebody is going to win and somebody is going to lose. If the winner and loser was 100 million vs 90 million I don’t think anybody cares. But if its 100 million vs 50 million I think Microsoft cares, because they know if there are 150 million consoles sold, they should at least have made a valiant effort to capture half of that. I think that’s the problem with being second and I think Microsoft has an inferiority complex right now that they’re so far behind. They’re behind in the US, which never happened before, they didn’t expect that at all.”
I do agree with Pachter’s overall point, if not his way of wording it. It jives with what Microsoft themselves say. In the end, I don’t think Microsoft care if they beat Sony (though of course, doing so would be a nice bonus). I think they care more about selling according to their own expectations. And while the Xbox One has definitely picked up in the last few months, it’s hard to tell if it is where Microsoft thought it would be. Given that their initial target for the system was 200 million units sold over its lifetime, I have to say they’re a wee bit behind.