In late February, we looked at the social media reactions to Sony’s PlayStation 4 announcement and found a few interesting things:
1) Social media discussion on the PlayStation brand increased to 1600% (wow!) of weekly average count.
2) Sentimented posts were 2/3 negative.
3) Most of these negative comments were centered on Sony not showing the PS4 itself.
This past Tuesday May 21st, Microsoft stepped up to Sony’s challenge. During an event held at their Redmond campus, the Xbox One was formally introduced to the entertainment press, promising to bring a deeper integration of gaming, streaming media, and social activity to the living room.
How did Microsoft’s announcement compare to Sony’s in terms to buzz, sentiment, and overall themes? Here is Xbox’s hourly volume for the same 30-day span we had previously tracked for Sony’s announcement
Let’s digress for a moment: lowest volume was consistently on weekends. One would think social media discussion surrounding an entertainment topic would be more active over the weekend, but it looks to be very much the opposite.
Now we can look at hourly volume during the days leading up to the show on May 21st
During a “normal” month (no special events or announcements), average hourly volume for Microsoft Xbox hovers around 940 posts-per-hour.
The Xbox One announcement saw a peak volume of 7,000 posts, a 640% increase over average.
One of the sore points in Sony’s announcement was the lack of a physical console to show eager fans. Microsoft avoided a possible misstep by showing the console, controller, and new iteration of its Kinect motion tracker. Was this all they needed to keep the hearts of fans?
Sentiment an hour before the event’s start is identical (66% negative) to what it was during Sony’s press event in February. But it takes a turn for the worst as the hours progress, reaching 79% negativity peak during the hour following the Xbox One’s unveiling.
The main source of negativity during Sony’s press event was the lack of a console during a console announcement. For Microsoft, it seems, showing a console wasn’t enough.
The reveal focused on the many new functions of the Xbox One as an all-in-one (yes, that’s where the name comes from) media hub: internet TV with DVR capabilities, Skype calls, Fantasy Football, voice commands… All exciting stuff that, based on social media posts, left the hardcore gaming crowd cold.
Or perhaps Microsoft and Sony share the same strategy, and prefer to leave their fans cold… for now.
Because E3 is around the corner (2 weeks!), and dozens of games are waiting to be revealed.
And perhaps, this time, gaming fans will get what they’ve been waiting for.