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PS3 passes 360: M$ wins the generation

Recent reports suggest that the PS3 has passed the Xbox 360 in sales. On N4G we've seen articles saying that it really doesn't matter, and we've seen users disagree. This blog is meant to explain all of these articles that all have titles along the lines of "PS3 passes Xbox, so what?"

Back in 2005, it was common on the internet to see the fanboys of the day raving about how the Xbox 360 would be the next Dreamcast and be absolutely crushed by the PS3, which had no confirmed release date but was obviously in the works. At the time, SONY's PS2 had outsold Microsoft's Xbox almost 6-1. The PS2 was far and away the winner of the 6th generation of console wars and the Xbox, mostly know for 'Halo', had been crushed. These ideas that the PS3 would obliterate the Xbox 360 weren't too far fetched, as the end of the generation saw increases in PS2 sales, furthering its lead.

In 2006, when the Xbox 360 had sold 10 million units, it was hailed as a success, but it still seemed clear that while it may survive, the PS3 would still dominate.

When the PS3 was released, it failed to attract the attention SONY was hoping for. It would take years for most of the PS2 install base to move to the PS3; some never would. For the first few years of its existence the PS3 was a triple threat in the worst kind of way. Its games were lackluster (in comparison to the greats on the PS2), its price ($600) was a huge turn off for most consumers, and it was evident SONY had no idea online gaming would play such a large part of the seventh generation, as the PS3 had come ill-prepared. It would take years for ever the most basic online features to be implemented. At this point, PSN didn't have the online features of the Xbox (original, not 360), and the online atmosphere would be silent and lonely. All these issues contributed to poor start for the Playstation 3. Solid in comparison to the Xbox 360, but pathetic for a console that sold over 100 million units for the last two generations.

Around 2008 was when the PS3 finally started to get some decent games and the PS2 owners began to migrate. At this time, the PS3 had pulled ahead of the Xbox 360 in monthly sales and was closing the original 10 million gap. It was clear then that the PS3 would eventually outsell the Xbox 360. The more exciting story was the David and Goliath like tale of the underdog Xbox doing nearly as well as the once mighty Playstation brand.

When I had heard in September of 2012 that the PS3 had outsold the Xbox 360, I thought "Finally". That turned out to be false, but I reacted the same way to the most recent report.

Of course the PS3 would outsell the Xbox 360. The gaming world has known this for over 4 years, it was no secret. And at the rate things are going, it looks as if the PS3 will lead over the 360 for the rest of the generation.

If you're looking for a pissing contest, then the PS3 outsold the Xbox 360. Fact. However, if you're looking beyond simple sales data, you'll see that Microsoft, with the help of Nintendo, have effectively dismantled the mighty Playstation empire and made a Playstation console about equal to its competitors. The same console that killed the last two generations with over 100 million consoles sold, at times outselling the competition 6-1.

Sony will look back at this generation with shame. They lost approximately 50% of their market share. Microsoft on the other hand tripled their market share and have established themselves among the console maker elites. Microsoft is not Sega. The PS3 is not the PS2.

While Sony may have cracked a smile after outselling the competition they should have crushed 7 years after the fact, you can bet that they will be looking to put this generation behind them as quickly as possible. At Sony HQ, one can only imagine that the plan for the PS4 is "what we did with the PS3 didn't work, we need to change it". No longer will SONY enter a generation with the arrogant attitude of an overkill winner. Hopefully this experience has humbled them.

Microsoft meanwhile, who tripled their sales (and counting) from generation to generation will be celebrating the huge success of the Xbox 360 and how they can repeat their performance and triple the sales of the 720.

That doesn't sound like a loser to me.

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shivvy241918d ago

i have a good feeling Sony will dominate next gen , their best devs are already developing for next gen and im pretty sure sony wont have a high price point , im pretty sure they will be ready to launch great titles with the console! wonder what ms will do and i wonder what exclusives they are gonna bring other than halo and gears

imdaboss11917d ago

Sony won the war ..Microsoft have a 1 year head start and the PS3 still manage to outsell it..

kwyjibo1916d ago

Look at Sony now, hell, just concentrate on their gaming division (which is probably their most successful).

If this is how Sony looks like after winning a war, I'd really hate to see how they'd look like after losing one.

Sony had the worse performance this generation than they've ever done. They've let themselves down, they know it.

They allowed Microsoft to get near parity, and given that Microsoft have been making a profit from the hardware at a lot earlier stage, and have significant amounts of recurring revenue from Xbox Live subscriptions - I wouldn't be surprised if Microsoft had pulled more profit this gen.

Obviously Sony made the strategic decision to back Blu-Ray with the PS3 - that delay cost them market share in the US and EU, but on the other hand won the format war. Maybe that was a price worth paying?

Either way, just to say - "outsell it", and to equate that to victory is incredibly naive.

jimbobwahey1916d ago

Yeah, I wouldn't say that Microsoft came anywhere close to winning this generation to be honest.

Their main competitor, Sony, stumbled out the gate and had an utterly disastrous launch. There were many reports of the PS3 being a complete and utter failure thanks to a ridiculously high price point and lack of games, with the gaming media hailing Sony's latest as being ready to die before it even got started (how many "final nail in the PS3's coffin articles were there?!). Microsoft secured major third-party exclusives via DLC, and also releases of formerly Sony exclusive games to add to the year head start that they had on the PS3.

What's happened now? Microsoft has ended yet another console generation in last place. They came out the gate swinging with a huge advantage, millions upon millions of dollars invested into securing timed exclusive content and it still wasn't enough to beat Sony at their weakest after the utterly disastrous launch that the PS3 had.

All that's happened this console generation is that Nintendo and Sony swapped places, with the Wii surprising everyone by sweeping a landslide victory. Microsoft unfortunately, despite their absolute best efforts, have failed to really make any notable progress to be honest. When you take into account the huge losses that they have suffered while attempting to secure third party timed exclusive DLC, or the billions they lost thanks to the red ring incident, or the insane r&d costs of Kinect, they're really not winners at all.

Microsoft's strategy has been to keep pumping more and more money into the Xbox in an attempt to buy themselves to victory, and so far it's not working. Perhaps their luck will change with the next Xbox, but so far their first two consoles have been stuck in last place two console generations in a row.

soxfan20051916d ago (Edited 1916d ago )

In what other generation did MS finish last? Did a report surface recently that shows the Gamecube finished ahead of the Xbox? You keep spouting the same lies over and over in a desperate attempt to make the Xbox brand look bad.

How can you accuse others of twisting the facts when you don't even know the facts yourself?

Comment 1.3

"When you take into account the huge losses that they have suffered while attempting to secure third party timed exclusive DLC"

What about the huge losses Sony suffered while attempting to win a format war?

" Microsoft unfortunately, despite their absolute best efforts, have failed to really make any notable progress"

So, 25 million to 75 million (and counting) isn't progress. I guess going from 150 million to 75 million (and counting) is progress though, right?

kreate1917d ago

they will continue with their current strategy to dominate

1. money will be thrown at developers in the beginning of the console's cycle to gain temporary exclusives for the NexBox

2. MS will continue to persuade American consumers (cuz they are easier to persuade) that xbox live is the greatest thing in the world. xbox live price hikes another 10 bucks to 79.99, of course content would be added

3. dance central 5 or whatever number its at will be released with kinect2 and kinect2 wll be shoved down the throats of people - this formula actually works

4. dlc of games like call of duty, fallout, skyrim amongst others will be timed exclusives to the NexBox.

5. they will try to maintain the price 50-100 dollars cheaper than the ps4

6. out-advertise Sony, TVs as well as Best Buy, Walmart, Target, Gamestop will put/show NexBox on front of their weekly ads with more incentives to buy NexBox over PS4

- all of these is what makes the Xbox360 so great and it will make the NexBox successfull as well

moegooner881918d ago (Edited 1918d ago )

As a gamer, I am thankful that both consoles are successful, because lets face it, at this point both PS3, and Xbox shipped around 140 million combined, which is more than enough to ensure third party support for both consoles.

As hardcore gamers, we NEED both to be successful otherwise major publishers like Ubisoft for instance, would other have focused their attention on the casual friendly Wii, rather than developing for two consoles which would have had nearly the same install base. Competition is good, since it encouraged Sony to come up with great features like PS Plus, and focus on their exclusives line up. There is a place for the big three next gen, every one caters to a specific audience, and the more variety, the more options gamers have, and hence the better.

Both "parties" need to stop twisting this situation into something else, just to justify their pathetic fanboyism.

NeverEnding19891917d ago (Edited 1917d ago )

Good comment. And thanks to everyone for reading and commenting. This kind of support definitely will encourage me to write more.

"Competition is good, since it encouraged Sony to come up with great features like PS Plus". I agree. I think Xbox Live and the recent addition, PS+, will make both M$ and SONY work really hard for us gamers by trying to offer the better service/network. THIS is why I'm excited for next gen; I could care less about hardware specs. This kind of competition is good and IMO will one day be looked upon as something that defined the generation.

Specifically, whether SONY can take a big step forward with PSN, and whether M$ can match, or exceed, PS+.

And to those below: I'm really not interested in petty fanboy denial. This blog was simply meant to explain WHY there are so many articles asking: "Does it even matter?"

Hint: the answer isn't because the media is out to get SONY ;)

iamnsuperman1917d ago (Edited 1917d ago )

"And to those below: I'm really not interested in petty fanboy denial. This blog was simply meant to explain WHY there are so many articles asking: "Does it even matter?" "

But us "fanboys" in "denial" are making reasonable arguments to ridiculous reasoning. This is an area for healthy debate so don't poo poo our thoughts of your blog as "fanboy denial" because it isn't. What you wrote makes very little sense as I explained below

Alderney1917d ago (Edited 1917d ago )

LOL sorry dude but your grape argument is no better..

who knew superman fanboy tears tasted so good..

adorie1917d ago

The media is in denial, not fanboys without media credentials.

The media flamed Sony this entire generation of consoles and yet, Sony still came out on top, effectively mooting the time it took to write all those articles.

Media is crying now. Their "tears" taste better than any fanboy tears. In fact, I think we as people or "gamers" should unite against hypocritical media outlets who use our preferences in gaming as a means to pit one us against each other so they may garner hits and revenue, which go hand-in-hand.

Where is the integrity?

iamnsuperman1917d ago (Edited 1917d ago )

"In 2006, when the Xbox 360 had sold 10 million units, it was hailed as a success, but it still seemed clear that while it may survive, the PS3 would still dominate."

Are you kidding me. I remember back then the general consensus was the PS3 is an awful machine with no games and this stupid thing called Blu Ray. Very few publications were being fair. I remember gametrailers doing graphical comparison videos on multiplatform games having (I can't remember what is was) feature off which made it look much worse.

The never was this feeling that Sony would dominate.

"At Sony HQ, one can only imagine that the plan for the PS4 is "what we did with the PS3 didn't work, we need to change it"."

This I disagree with because it has worked despite very negative thoughts from publications saying otherwise. Sony knows they will never be able to replicate the PS2 figures with two other strong competition in the market. Microsoft did well here (same with Nintendo) but I also don't see how this relates to the blog's title "PS3 passes 360: M$ wins the generation". They didn't and nor did Sony (in a tradition sense Nintendo did that).

Comparing previous generation sales to current is good but it isn't a good indication of success or who is the most successful. Last generation and this generation there is a big difference (mainly with competition). It is remarkable that that many systems are sold at all (thanks to people buying multiple systems than just one). A success of a console is how they do this generation alone and they all have done done surprisingly well

So Micrsoft sells 24 million Xboxs but manage to triple the sales for the 360 doesn't mean it "won". It is a success comparing it to its previous version but that doesn't mean it "won". I could sell one grape to a duck last year but sell 3 grapes to a duck with a new type of grape this year. It doesn't mean I won the food selling market if there is this guy selling oranges who manages to sell 8 oranges (even if he sold 6 the previous year) this year. I am more successful than my previous attempt but I didn't sell the most

Bathyj1917d ago

I hate this notion people have that cos PS2 dominated it was a given that PS3 would as well. Its just not like that. Its not handed to you on a silver platter.

Every new generation is ANYONES to win.
EVERYONE starts from zero with a new generation.

Having such a successful console like PS2 actually worked against Sony because it meant they had a longer lifespan and werent in a hurry to rush the next one out.

M$ were and did, and even though RRoD was a disaster, probably the least reliable electronic product in history, it didnt hurt their overall sales, in fact in help them with replacement sale.

Releasing a year later than Xbox is probably the only thing that really hurt them in the end, even more than the thousand other things people complained about.

And finally history has taught us that no one dominates three generations in a row.

They had all that going against them, not to mention fanboys hating on them just because they were successful and the gaming medias apparent bias, and yet I still think they put out the best console this gen. Maybe not from a stockholders point of view but from a gamers, and that all I really care about.

You can talk about losing a market share but selling two 3rds of 150m consoles give or take when last gen was over is not a huge difference from one 3rd of 270m+ that will be sold this gen.

Bottom line is Sony got a smaller piece of the pie this time, but the pie was alot bigger and everyone got a share. Plus they are pretty much the only ones still putting the gamers first, not the casuals. I'm glad someone is.

iamnsuperman1917d ago (Edited 1917d ago )

"EVERYONE starts from zero with a new generation"

I think that is more so of the last generations (including this one). The next generation isn't exactly starting from scratch as now we have trophies and achievements and account subscriptions which help and hinder a sale next generation

I agree with everything else but I think next generation is less about everyone starting from zero as there are factors in keeping with the current platform choice so switching maybe a harder sell

dedicatedtogamers1917d ago (Edited 1917d ago )

I've been gaming since the late 80s. What irritates me about this generation is how the goalpost keeps moving. "360 will win worldwide!" No, it won't. It was beat by the Wii and now it has been defeated by the PS3. "Okay, okay, 360 will win in the West. Forget Japan!" No, it won't. PS3 is also pulling ahead in the West (US, Europe, etc), and the Wii pulled ahead long ago. "Okay, okay, 360 will win in the US". Will it? Perhaps not. But the goalposts keep moving to make excuses for the 360.

This blog post is so...contradictory. On the one hand you say "see? See how the PS3 is lagging behind the PS2? EVERYONE said it would be the winner!" Um, no. After the first year, "everyone" said it would be a loser, and by "everyone" I mean all the journalists and armchair analysts. To be honest, the PS3 isn't really lagging behind the PS2. It's on track to sell at least 120 million if the console lasts 10 years. There's no point in comparing this gen and last gen, because the Xbox. Dreamcast, and the Gamecube sold SO POORLY compared to the PS2. This gen, each gaming company (Sony, Ninty, M$) have each carved out their own market. Bravo to all three. But that doesn't make Microsoft a huge success. They've cut massive corners (killing studios, killing exclusives, constant hardware downgrades to make price cuts) in order to stay viable. The 360 of 2006-2010 is a completely different console compared to the 360 of today. Any gamer will tell you that.

But then you flip-flop and say "360 is such a success! It tripled the Xbox's sales! And I bet the 720 will triple the sales again!" Didn't you just rag on the PS3 because it failed to do that compared to the PS2? I'll see you in five years and I expect you to call the 720 a failure when it doesn't manage to do that, okay?

miDnIghtEr20C_SfF1917d ago (Edited 1917d ago )

are you out of your mind? Playstation is coming nowhere close to catching the 360 here in the USA. 24 months in a row and counting the sales gap continues to increase here.

USA is a 360 nation.

Also funny reading all the SDF members post about sales mattering now. The whole time 360 was ahead of sales, sales didn't matter. It was about exclusives and game ratings. Now that it shipped more, now sales are starting to matter. LOL.. talk about goal post.

dedicatedtogamers1917d ago

Wrong. PS3 owners have always "cared" about sales, because 360 owners forced them to care with their constant bragging about "beating the PS3".

Then the numbers began to come in and PS3 owners got wise and said "huh. Wait a minute. It looks like the gap between the PS3 and 360 is getting SMALLER. What? Why is that? Oh, it's because every year the PS3 sells more worldwide, that's why".

And yet these same number-crunchers were told that worldwide numbers don't matter, year-on-year numbers don't matter. Nope. Only the total number sold matters. That's ALL that matters (because it was obvious that the PS3 was slowly catching up to 360, but it still hadn't yet surpassed it).

And now that the PS3 has surpassed the 360 worldwide, we have yet another case of backpedaling: "Welllll....PS3 will never overtake the 360 in the USA, right? USA! USA! USA is all that matters!"

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