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A heated battle: I find it interesting to follow the prognosticators leading up to a high profile competitive console launch. Who is going to win the next-generation console war? It much depends on whom you ask, but one British search firm believes it will be the PS5 and shows a landslide in its world map graphic.
Internet search analysts at UK-based Rise at Seven have tallied Google search results and concluded that Sony would retain its title of Console King in an overwhelming landslide. The firm broke down search results of the two consoles to determine consumer demand on a per-country basis. Its report found that demand for the PlayStation 5 dwarfed consumer interest in the Xbox Series X.
Those findings are however in stark contrast to US search firm The Hoth, which concluded earlier this month that XBSX sales would outshine PS5 by a 2:1 margin.
According to Rise's study, Sony tipped demand in its favor in 148 of the 161 nations surveyed—a 148-13 victory. Part of this wide margin of preference could be marked down to brand loyalty. Rise at Seven notes that since the PlayStation launch in 1994, Sony has virtually cornered the home console market, owning a whopping 84 percent of the pie.
However, interest by country does not necessarily mean Sony will ship more units. Setting aside the inherent uncertainties of predicting sales via internet search results for a moment, let's consider how the battle breaks down in a few key regions.
Interest in the PS5 is higher than the XBSX by roughly a 14-point margin in both the US and UK. However, Microsoft has a 10-percent lead in China. Even with a smaller margin, China still has the potential to boost Xbox sales by nearly double the combined US/UK PS5 sales.
Of course, Sony has a near 100-percent advantage in another key gaming market, namely Japan. Perhaps it comes as no surprise that the PlayStation 5 is favored by 98.94 percent in its country of origin.
What do all these numbers really mean? As I have said before, it isn't easy to equate internet search queries to real-life sales. In my opinion, it is still anyone's game. However, if I had to make a bet, I'd go with what oddsmakers have to say because they put their money where their mouths are.
The most recent odds given by bookmakers for the most sales in the first month (in the UK) have the PS5 listed as the favorite at -350, with underdog XBSX being the long shot at +250.