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back to article Sony PS3 extends lead over Microsoft's Xbox 360 by a cool million

Bad news for Microsoft and Xboxers: in December 2012, Sony shipped sufficient consoles for the number of PS3s the Japanese giant has sold to exceed the volume of 360s Microsoft has sent out by a margin of a million machines. And that’s despite the year in which the second-generation Xbox had no direct competition from Sony. …

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Sil

Kinnect

How many Kinnect did Sony sell during this time?

Thought so.

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Re: Kinnect

sony has iToy and probably a few since that harry potter book of spells thing requires one for augmented reality...

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Boffin

Re: Kinnect

You're so clever, because, right, Kinect isn't made by Sony! Yeah! Who'd a thunk it! Cos Sony don't sell a product they don't make! Man, I bow to you.

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Re: Kinnect

Thats the reason we ended up with one in our house anyways, the boy aged 7 is potter mad and loves it, seen it in action and am quite impressed, did give me an excuse to get a bigger tv down stairs you can run a ps3 over scart. (Well you CAN, but urgh)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Kinnect

Sony had iToy, but also some system of multi-coloured lollipops.

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Re: Kinnect

Yeah, BOO on Sony for not having a useless toy that makes Han Solo and Slave Leia dance.

You smug X-boxers are just going to LOVE Microsoft's patent for using their Big Brother toy to scan who is in the room and demand a license fee for each "viewer." (Wish I was just making that one up, too). Ah who am I kidding...for people who love shelling out monthly fees to Microsoft to use their XBLAH live will probably hail this as a massive innovation.

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MJI
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Re: Kinnect

OK you can carry on dancing with your motion controller.

I will carry on shooting with mine.

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How many Wiis have Nintendo sold?

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Silver badge

No-one really cares, not even Nintendo, now the replacement gimmick has arrived.

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Holmes

Is this 2007?

IDC said this before... forecasts are funny.

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Anonymous Coward

+ Microsoft launched 16 months earlier too.

And not to mention the elephant in the room (50% RROD and repurchased slim replacements).

I would love to know the number of ACTIVE systems.

My guess would be 62m PS3, 45m Xbox360, of which, a large percentage would be American gamers.

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Re: + Microsoft launched 16 months earlier too.

50% is exaggerating somewhat, going by reports from warranty firms it went no higher than 15-18% on the first generation of hardware, and is now around the 2-3% mark. Incidentally, the PS3 isn't immune, with its YLOD and lack of free 3yr warranty replacement that the 360 offers for the RROD, should your PS3 die after its first year you'll be forking out £145 for a refurb with a 3 month warranty, which these days isn't much cheaper than just getting a new console.

Also, though it's not much of a factor these days given the cheapness of internet ready standalone BluRay players, but the PS3 was the most affordable BluRay player for a number of years. Perhaps if both console makers released their estimated attach (unit sales of games per unit sales of consoles) rates we could see how genuinely successful both consoles have been.

Disclaimer: owner of both consoles here.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: + Microsoft launched 16 months earlier too.

50% isn't exaggeration at all.

Sure by 2012, they have managed to get down to where PS3 is, but upto 2012, the picture ain't too rosy at all.

http://www.nofussreviews.com/survey-results-2012

The site you are preferring to believe (Console warranty firms) are fatally flawed in that many users deal direct with Microsoft for their repairs, so the warranty firms never seem them on their radar (and Microsoft are keen for it to stay that way).

If 2009 was bad, imagine what 2006, 2007 and 2008 were like...

I know nobody wants to upset Microsoft, which is why the press virtually ignored the problem. But the problem is VAST.

If you want an in-depth review of the problems (by an Xbox fanboy himself), then this is a good start..

http://venturebeat.com/2008/09/05/xbox-360-defects-an-inside-history-of-microsofts-video-game-console-woes/

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jai
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downloads

I don't know why there aren't more games available as direct downloads. Surely this will be addressed with the next gens.

I know the prices are currently prohibitive, which explains why people aren't downloading them, but surely it makes sense to the game developers and publishers to try to sell the games direct via digital download? Especially on consoles where it should be easy to lock the download to the users account, negating piracy fears.

Then all they need to do is drop the price. At the moment it is greedy, charging full RRP for a digital version when the digital version has none of the associated costs on a physical product. AND the user can't then sell on the game to the 2nd-hand market, which is a primary problem for the games publishers as they only get the money from the first sale and see nothing from all the subsequent 2nd-hand sales. If they dropped the price of the digital versions to nearer the 2nd-hand market prices, they'd get their share of all those sales and kill the 2nd-hand market at the same time.

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Re: downloads

Get BT to get the finger out and it may be more of an option for more of us.

A multi-GB game on a 1Mb connection is no fun.

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jai
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Re: downloads

For sure, it's not great on a 30mb or 50mb connection either. But surely 1mb connections are the minority of gamers these days, so for you there's still the physical product, which costs twice the price of the digital download. So you either pay more, and play as soon as you get home from shops or amazon deliver it, or you buy it digitally and leave it downloading in the background for several days.

At the moment, you can get Hitman for 18 quid in the supermarket (and probably later cash it in at Game for $5+) for pay £44 for a digital download. That doesn't make any economical sense to me at all.

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Re: downloads

Surely if it is not nice over a 30mb link then that's an issue as the servers end, not the clients? I have a 120mb connection (over the WiFi reduced to 60, and downloading DVD ISO's from my MSDN account takes minutes. Not bad at all. Even if you double the time it took to download (for the half connection speed) you are talking no more than 15 minutes.

Why should it take any longer for games to download via XBox live?

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Re: downloads

At the moment it is greedy, charging full RRP for a digital version when the digital version has none of the associated costs on a physical product.

Sony/EA/Ubisoft are going one better than that at the minute. Far Cry 3 and Fifa 13 both launched at an eye-watering £60 on SEN. Far as I'm aware, they're still that price, despite releasing at £40 or less in stores. Game even used Far Cry 3 as a loss-leader up to Christmas, selling it brand new for £20 when it was still £60 online.

What depressed me was that the £60 games were still at the top of the SEN sales charts. Consumers can't be *that* stupid, can they?

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Re: downloads -"none of the associated costs on a physical product"

"when the digital version has none of the associated costs on a physical product" - except that they do. More or less. It's the same situation as with ebooks, most of the cost is associated with producing the game. Sure there's a small % associated with making & distributing the physical product, but not that's going to make much difference and then there are the additional overheads associated with the digital downloads - bandwidth, servers etc.

In any case you pretty much can get most games as digital downloads these days.

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Re: downloads -"none of the associated costs on a physical product"

>I don't know why there aren't more games available as direct downloads.

Maybe because the first versions of the current generation of consoles didn't have too much storage space. The original Xbox 360 had 20GB for the HDD version, but the 'arcade' version didn't even have that. MS later updated the 360 to allow generic USB storage to be used, but I don't know if there are any limitations to it compared to the HDD.

My mate's PS3 has a fair few downloaded games on its HDD, but they are mostly either 2D games, or older 3D games such as Club GTI, though since the PS3 has WiFi as standard, its HDD doesn't contain any movies or music since they are on his NAS.

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Re: downloads

"That doesn't make any economical sense to me at all."

Really? Looks like Economics 101 to me - Brick and mortar shops are subject to market forces, hence they are forced to be competitive. Sony and Microsoft are not, hence if you want to use the only download service available, you will pay their prices.

Remember, the companies running these download stores are the same ones who set the RRPs in the first place - why wouldn't they charge their own recommended retail price?

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Re: downloads -"none of the associated costs on a physical product"

Re: downloads -"none of the associated costs on a physical product"

"when the digital version has none of the associated costs on a physical product" - except that they do. More or less. It's the same situation as with ebooks, most of the cost is associated with producing the game. Sure there's a small % associated with making & distributing the physical product, but not that's going to make much difference and then there are the additional overheads associated with the digital downloads - bandwidth, servers etc.

Re-read what the OP wrote. None of the costs associated with a physical product. No-one is disputing R&D costs. It is just that there is no physical disc, packaging or distribution costs. Nor are there multiple layers of mark-up from the distributor and then the retailer. These are no small percentage of the purchase price:the game company will be lucky to see £20 from a £50 game once middleman margins and the unit costs are accounted for.

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Santa

Santa/OH brought me a PS3 as a chrimbo surprise, to sit alongside the 360.

First impressions:

- It certainly likes updates. Over a 1MB rural connection it was painful at times. The Xbox likes updates too, but they seem to be smaller.

- A lot quieter than the 360 at full throttle.

- The bigger HDD allows for games to be installed, quicker loading times

- The slide mechanism of the PS3 slim does feel a bit flimsy. I know they're built to a cost, but it does feel like it could break if you are a little brutal with it.

- The inclusion of a single RGB lead was a little stingy. I borrowed an HDMI lead from another device. Even the 360 gives you component for pseudo-HD.

- Why oh why did they get rid of the PS2 compatibility? I have a shelf full of PS2/PS games. Though the PS store with some PS/PS2 games to buy does answer this. Seems ridiculous that I would have to re-purchase San Andreas to get round to finishing it, unless I bring the PS2 out of hibernation again.

- No reference between the same games, but GT5 does look slightly sharper than Forza 4. The NFS game bundled with it is the usual EA crazy 500mph driving game.

- Bluray drive a handy inclusion, though we do have a seperate BR player. Could mean that pre-next-gen titles such as GTA5 will be on 1 BR instead of swapping between several DVDs.

- I found the UI not quite as intuitive as the 360, though was similar to the TV UI. Maybe I've been indoctrinated to the 360 tiles. However, the lack of advertising on the console was refreshing.

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jai
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Re: Santa

Could mean that pre-next-gen titles such as GTA5 will be on 1 BR instead of swapping between several DVDs.

You should play MGS4 - there's a rahter funny bit in it that harkens back to the disc swapping in MGS1 on the PSX.

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Re: Santa

I've had both consoles since launch (miraculously my launch 360 still works) and I can pretty much agree with you on every point bar the last. I find I prefer the ps3 interface far more than the 360, but then again that comes down to personal preference above all else.

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Re: Santa

I think the slider on the new PS3 looks pretty crap but otherwise it's okay for the price. I think the UI is pretty easy to use once you get used to it and it's useful as a general media player aside from the cinavia watermark detection which is extremely annoying.

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Devil

Re: Santa

It should still play PS1 games as that's done in software emulation, as for PS2 games, they will gladly resell you (some of) them from the PSN store...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Santa

Get PS+ It's less than XBox Live costs, and gets you stacks of FREE games to play, lots of them AAA titles (I recently got Bioshock2 and Batman: Arkham City for free), you also never have to worry about game or firmware update again, it all happens overnight (the console switches on, downloads any updates from your last 20 played games, installs them and any firmware updates).

Really, every PS3 owners needs to be paying for PS+ It's a game-changer, and totally throws two fingers to Microsoft and their overpriced online play, double-dip subscription system.

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Re: Santa

- Why oh why did they get rid of the PS2 compatibility? I have a shelf full of PS2/PS games. Though the PS store with some PS/PS2 games to buy does answer this. Seems ridiculous that I would have to re-purchase San Andreas to get round to finishing it, unless I bring the PS2 out of hibernation again.

With you on that. After my 4-year-old fat PS3 went YLOD I bought the slim as a replacement (apparently they don't do that, or at least not nearly as much). It still plays PS1 games just dandy, but I had to pull out my original fat PS2 (which still works perfectly!) to play those. Apparently it has to do with PS2 compatibility costing extra to licence (from itself?) because the PS2 is/was still being sold. It's daft, whatever the reason.

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Re: Santa

I think the reason PS2 BC was yanked is fairly obvious - to cut costs. First model cost in USD $599. The latest model costs $250. The savings came from consolidating / removing components, reducing the size of the heat sink, reducing power consumption and so forth and PS2 BC was a casuality in that.

I'm kind of surprised that no software emulation was provided to replace it. I don't believe that the PS3 was incapable of emulating at least some games. It seems instead that Sony preferred to write some kind compatibility library to devs so they could port games and run them natively and sell them all over again.

It'll be interesting to see what the backwards compatibility story is like in the next generation. If there is no BC, it's hard to see how Sony can tie over brand loyalty from one console to the next. Though perhaps they could do something in the cloud - insert your PS3 game into the PS4 to verify you have it and then play that game streaming over the network from a server somewhere. Could be viable for all but the most twitchy games over broadband.

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Re: Santa

All great positive points in this thread, thank you.

Didn't know about PS compatibility still being present, I did download Destruction Derby for old school crashing :)

Might try a few PS games on it later!

And I'll look into PS+.

(Not that I get the time, I'm still halfway through Skyrim on the 360 too!)

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Re: Santa

I'm kind of surprised that no software emulation was provided to replace it.

But that's the rub; European PS3s supported the PS2 via software emulation anyway. The American PS3s were the ones with the hardware support, which is why they didn't glitch out on games like Burnout 2.

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Re: Santa

Didn't know about PS compatibility still being present, I did download Destruction Derby for old school crashing :)

That's always bugged me. Sony let everyone say that they'd completely dropped backwards compatibility, and most people don't know anything about the PS1 feature in the slim PS3s. Surely that's a feature you'd sell? (Unless you were hoping to re-sell all the PS1 games on SEN...)

Hell, I think I was tipped off to it by a guy on IRC! Even my friend, who runs a local games store and tests PS3s pretty much every day, didn't know about it.

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Re: Santa

>Why oh why did they get rid of the PS2 compatibility?

I think it was something to do with the PS2's 'emotion engine' chip (so called because it was used for rendering faces in cut-scenes).

The have been a few game developers who have said they find the Cell architecture of the PS3 tricky to program for... and other parters who used Cell chips seem to have gone elsewhere. Current rumours (pinch of salt, but not unrealistic) suggest the PS 4 will be x86 architecture, possibly from AMD with an AMD GPU.

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Re: Santa

"But that's the rub; European PS3s supported the PS2 via software emulation anyway. The American PS3s were the ones with the hardware support, which is why they didn't glitch out on games like Burnout 2."

It was partial software emulation. The PS3 emulated the Emotion Engine (basically the CPU) but farmed out the graphics to a very real Graphics Synthesizer (GPU) part.

My own belief is that full emulation would have been possible at least for some games, analyzing how they were hitting the GPU and then developing JIT compilation / caching / transactional strategies which allowed equivalent draw commands to come through the RSX. Might not have worked in every case but I bet it would have worked in a lot of titles.

Anyway I think Sony just dumped BC from the hardware and software to save costs and then just ported a few premium titles which they knew they could resell as "remastered" - God of War, Shadow of the Colossus etc. and a few other 3rd parties did the same. Remastered being a cynical way of saying recompiled with minor tweaks.

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It isn't a competition for consumers!

Why is this bad news for me, an 'Xboxer'? Just because an alternative item sold better it doesn't seem to have had any effect on how my venerable Xbox 360 functions. Bad news for Microsoft? Maybe. But us consumers aren't all 14 year-old fanbois who flaunt our IT choices as some sort of tribal badge and feel we're in some way embroiled in a personal war against all other manufacturers and their own consumers.

So there.

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Re: It isn't a competition for consumers!

well said.

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MJI
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Re: It isn't a competition for consumers!

We know that but when you get Xbots going on and on you tend to use any ammo against them. Wether this is Nintendo sales, Cell performance or PC GFX.

You are not an Xbot but an Xbox user.

Xbox user - someone who plays on one

Xbot - a troll

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Anonymous Coward

Re: It isn't a competition for consumers!

A console is just a means of playing games.... almost every console has at least one title that almost makes it worthwhile owning one:

- SNES: Mario Kart

-N64: Goldeneye, Zelda

-Dreamcast: House of the Dead

-Playstation: WipEout, Tekken

- Xbox: Halo: Combat Evolved

-PS2: Gran Turismo 2

But these days so many games seem cross platform that the point has become moot. Rather than play "My console is better than yours" I'm sure many teenage lads would prefer to be able to play against their school mates online.

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Megaphone

Dear Microsoft

Announce the 720 make sure it has a Blue Ray drive and Free Internet and i will happily buy one.

- PS3 user that is looking for a change...

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Re: Dear Microsoft

MS want to sell you movies to download. If they include a high capacity disk drive expect it to be conspicuously NOT compatible with blu ray, or at the very least they'll flog the key that enables blu ray support through their store.

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Re: Dear Microsoft

I'm guessing that won't happen, because M$ is a sore loser. They went for the losing, crappy HD-DVD standard which tanked hardly, and they might even be blamed for that (the menu system & other stuff in HDDVD was MSFT tech). The day HD-DVD died, MS said "oh, physical media is so ded, downloads r d future!" but in truth, they were sore losers.

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Re: Dear Microsoft

Yeah, I find it ironic that the HD-DVD format didn't make a scratch-proof coating mandatory as BluRay does, when the XBOX DVD drive is one that scratches disks. The first-gen XBOX was too loud to use a movie playback device anyway.

I don't think it is too important what drive the next XBOX comes with... most people who want a BluRay player have one by now; they aren't the super pricey items the were at the time this gen of consoles came out.

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I think I'll stock up on all the bargin 360 games when the new console comes out. The 1440 xbox will probably be out by the time I get round to finishing them.

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I as tempted to do the same when it was clear that the HD DVD format was doomed... it seemed that the savings on cut-price HDDVD films (over BluRay) would easily cover the cost of a discounted HDDVD drive.

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Childcatcher

Shock News!

One antique device sold marginally more than another antique device!

After all this time those figures are pretty pointless really. Time to bring on the next batch.

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Mine is a my blu-ray player that happens to play pro-evo

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@pear My PS3 is also a feature rich blu-ray player lol, I prefer my 360 as all my friends are on there and the controller is a better fit for my hands, the PS controller give me hand cramp.

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I agree, the direct comparison between sales figures for XBox and PS3 probably doesn't tell the full story. I suspect many people, like me, have bought a PS3 recently just for blu-ray now it's come down in price. Neither Sony nor MS make their money from selling the hardware so the absolute numbers shifted are probably only relevant for bragging rights. Indeed, some brief googling showed articles from december claiming half of all money spent on games is for the 360.

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Silver badge

I prefer the PS3 controller for games like Tekken (D-pad), and but prefer the 'mushroom' analogue sticks of the XBOX for first-person shooter games.

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