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Sony Blows Past PS4 Target, and Developers Are Leaning Its Way, Too

For both current and future games, the PlayStation 4 has a slight edge over the Xbox One.


After its PlayStation 3 trailed for years behind the Xbox 360, Sony is sitting pretty with the PlayStation 4. Not only did the PS4 beat its rival, Xbox One, at U.S. retailers last month, but now we know that it’s moving much faster than originally predicted.

Even though the console hasn’t yet debuted in Sony’s home country of Japan, it has sold 5.3 million units worldwide, way ahead of a forecast of five million sold by the end of March 2014. A survey out today has more good news for the console: Developers are leaning, slightly, in its direction.

Specifically, 20 percent of devs surveyed by the organizers of the Game Developers Conference say they plan to release their next game on the PS4, versus 17 percent for the Xbox One and four percent for Nintendo’s Wii U. Those numbers are not mutually exclusive, though, so they include games that will be on multiple platforms.

This matters because, despite all the hype the new console hardware has received, a large and compelling library of games is what will sell the PS4 and Xbox One in the long run. The generally longer development cycles of blockbuster AAA games has led both console makers to court independent developers, to ensure a steady stream of new things to play.

Interest in both Sony’s and Microsoft’s consoles is up over the same survey last year, in which only about 11 percent of developers affirmed their commitment to the unreleased consoles. However, already-low interest in the Wii U has dropped even further, down from 6.5 percent, in the wake of Nintendo’s continuing woes.

The big overall winners in the GDC survey, once again, were mobile and PC as target platforms, although interest in the PC is up from 49 percent to 52 percent year over year, while mobile interest dropped from 58 percent to 51 percent.

The 2,600 survey respondents all attended last year’s GDC. This year’s will be held once again in San Francisco, the week of March 17.

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