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Playstation vs. Xbox: comparing reactions to product launches

Even if you know absolutely nothing about gaming, you’ve probably heard how it has been near impossible to buy the new PS5.

This made us think – with all the conversation surrounding recent Playstation and Xbox product launches, there have to be some interesting social insights, right?

We used Relative Insight to sift through thousands of tweets from the day of release, uncovering unique attributes of Playstation and Xbox customers. Our comparison-based text analysis looks beyond frequency to reveal differences in each brand’s product launch experience.

Let’s start with Playstation

Playstation customers
Playstation customers on Twitter used language often associated with the gamer stereotype, and were more likely to use swear words and profanity. They also frequently used language exclusive to men, including ‘guys’ and ‘fellas.’ This perpetuates the idea that gaming can be a misogynistic industry, not always one welcoming towards women.

PS5 Launch
Language used more frequently by Playstation customers compared to Xbox customers, shows us where the PS5 launch had issues. The limited quantity of products left many hopeful customers with empty shopping carts. Unsuccessful buyers called out the playstation slogan “play has no limits” – ironic, huh?

While attempting to nab one of the few consoles left, users were willing to do whatever it took. Rumors of buyers using tricks to skip the automated purchasing queue were rampant on Twitter. Some users claimed success… most others did not.

Among the stress and uncertainty of the PS5 launch, buyers turned to a higher power. They were more likely to ‘pray to God’ and ask for ‘blessings’ in an attempt to get their hands on the item. Often said in a comedic tone, most usages do not appear to be genuine.

Up next, Xbox

Xbox Launch
Compared to the PS5 launch, Xbox buyers were more likely to characterize the release as easy. Using words like ‘simple’ and ‘easier,’ Xbox customers were more likely to purchase the new release. Many users on Twitter claimed success in ‘securing’ the coveted item.

But wait! Not everyone was so lucky. Xbox buyers were more likely to use words like ‘failure’ and ‘fiasco’ to describe their experience. They also used those words to draw comparisons to the chaos they saw during the Playstation launch. No brand was safe from the criticisms of Xbox users.

Xbox Series X
Not only was the Xbox release a fiasco, users found the product confusing as well. The two new models are named the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, but the brand’s 2017 model bears a similar name – Xbox One X. Users on Twitter found the similarity confusing, theorizing that some less-familiar buyers might purchase the wrong item. Amazon sales of the Xbox One X even increased by 787% when the 2020 pre-order was announced. Coincidence?

At first glance, these two product launches appear quite similar: challenging and chaotic. But with deeper text analysis, we can uncover social insights distinctive to each brand and its customer base.

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