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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  1. Sil

    Kinnect

    How many Kinnect did Sony sell during this time?

    Thought so.

    1. Select * From Handle

      Re: Kinnect

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

      1. Dcope
        Thumb Up

        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)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Kinnect

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

    2. Peter 18
      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.

    3. W.O.Frobozz
      Thumb Down

      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.

    4. MJI Silver badge

      Re: Kinnect

      OK you can carry on dancing with your motion controller.

      I will carry on shooting with mine.

  2. Vitani

    How many Wiis have Nintendo sold?

    1. Greg J Preece

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

  3. Himalayaman
    Holmes

    Is this 2007?

    IDC said this before... forecasts are funny.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    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.

    1. Tom 260

      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.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        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/

  5. jai

    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      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.

      1. jai

        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.

        1. Stacy
          Thumb Down

          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?

        2. Octopoid

          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?

    2. Greg J Preece

      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?

    3. JonP

      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.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        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.

      2. the spectacularly refined chap

        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.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    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.

    1. jai

      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.

    2. wowfood

      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.

    3. DrXym Silver badge

      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.

    4. Tachikoma
      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...

    5. Anonymous Coward
      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.

    6. Greg J Preece

      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.

      1. DrXym Silver badge

        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.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Thumb Up

          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!)

          1. Greg J Preece

            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.

            1. Dave 126 Silver badge

              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.

        2. Greg J Preece

          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.

          1. DrXym Silver badge

            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.

  7. NightFox

    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.

    1. dogged
      Thumb Up

      Re: It isn't a competition for consumers!

      well said.

    2. MJI Silver badge

      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

      1. Anonymous Coward
        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.

  8. Select * From Handle
    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...

    1. DrXym Silver badge

      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.

    2. Daniel B.

      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.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        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.

  9. James 51 Silver badge

    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.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      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.

  10. jason 7
    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.

  11. pear

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

    1. robert_raw

      @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.

      1. Nick Thompson

        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.

        1. Dave 126 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.

  12. Xpositor

    Wait and see?

    "Sony...can afford to wait and see what its arch-rival will come up with"

    Right, because it takes no time at all to develop a new console?

  13. RoboJ1M
    Holmes

    Not in the UK I don't think.

    I own an Xbox 360. It's my 3rd one (First RROD, free replacement, Second traded in when the HDMI Elite came out)

    It's the first console I've ever bought, leaving PC gaming due to hassle (Windows) and cost (GPU rapid obsolescence)

    Things I have noticed over the last seven years:

    1) I've only ever met 3 real people who have owned a PS3. Every other gamer I know is PC, Xbox or PC AND Xbox.

    2) In our local exchange store, the Xbox has 9 shelving units, the PS2 has 4 shelving units and the PS3 has 3 shelving units.

    3) This was the generation in the UK where Xbox replaced Playstation as the term synonymous with Gaming. In TV, print and general conversation, you go and "play xbox".

    I'm a gamer through and through and in 7 years I've only ever seen an installed PS3 ONCE and I've never played on one.

    Last generation? Everything was PS2. Everyone HAD a PS2 and everyone said "Playstation".

    In my book, that's pretty meaningful.

    J1M.

    1. weenoid

      Re: Not in the UK I don't think.

      "I've only ever met 3 real people who have owned a PS3."

      So that would be 75% of the 4 people you know then.

    2. jason 7

      Re: Not in the UK I don't think.

      I must say that my experience in the UK is the same.

      I know at least 15+ friends that own a 360 and 2 that own a PS3.

      Anecdotal I know.

      However, a lot of folks forget just how large the population of Japan is. Ask a lot of people and they'll often go "oh I dunno, say 50 million!"

      1. John Riddoch

        Re: Not in the UK I don't think.

        Jason 7 has the point - the PS3 is massive in the far East and Xbox reach is negligible in comparison. My guess is the Japanese "buy local" and get PS3 (or possibly Nintendo) and don't bother with that American thing. Not so sure why Brits go for Xbox, though.

        1. Greg J Preece

          Re: Not in the UK I don't think.

          Not so sure why Brits go for Xbox, though.

          http://www.computerandvideogames.com/345512/ps3-leading-european-hardware-sales-in-2012/

          Couldn't find UK-specific data, but according to the European data, it's actually us buying the PS3s most recently.

          1. wowfood

            Re: Not in the UK I don't think.

            It's more like nobody else likes the xbox outside of the USA. Going by VGChartz here

            42.25 s 25.97

            23.03 vs 28.45

            1.63 vs 8.9

            7.34 vs 9.09

            Not certain when VGChartz updated last since they put 360 ahead by a bit, but effectively the left hand side is 360 sales, the right ps3. The 360 is winning sales in NA by almost double. The PS3 wins in EU, Japan and everywhere else.

            There is a reason why ps3 sells so well in japan though. There are a lot of games in japan that never make it over here, Sony own a hell of a lot of japanese media in the form of anime / manga titles which sell for a large amount, that and a lot of western titles don't port over very well.

    3. MJI Silver badge

      Re: Not in the UK I don't think.

      Real people not on friends list

      PS3 - 3

      360 - 1

    4. Frostbite
      Mushroom

      Re: Not in the UK I don't think.

      Are you qualified to judge each system considering you have never used a PS3?

      I have 3 PC's, 1 Mac, 1 Wii, 1 XBOX and 3 PS3 systems in the house.

      Why 3 PS3's? To meet family demand.

    5. Greg J Preece

      Re: Not in the UK I don't think.

      1) I've only ever met 3 real people who have owned a PS3. Every other gamer I know is PC, Xbox or PC AND Xbox.

      Try harder. I can point to four people in my office who own a PS3, along with several of my friends. 360? Actually, can't remember the last time I saw one in the wild.

      In my book, that's pretty meaningful.

      Anecdotal evidence is more meaningful to you than actual sales figures? Would you like to buy some of my snake oil? I have plenty of anecdotal evidence that it works great!

    6. IHateWearingATie
      Go

      Re: Not in the UK I don't think.

      Don't worry, me and my mates all chose to go PS3 and don't ownXboxes so my anecdote evens yours out.

      I'd love to know what percentage of the sales figures are replacements - none of my mates still have their original PS3 having all been hit by the YLOD at one point or another.

  14. ColonelClaw
    Meh

    Profit?

    What I'd really like to know is not how many they've sold, but whether or not either company has turned a profit on their respective consoles over their complete lifespans.

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Re: Profit?

      Profits are made on games for MS and Sony.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Pint

    But how long will it last ?

    The PS3 has several advantages over the competition in my opinion; for starters you can buy a game and then play it online with your friends without any extra charge. You do need a PSN account obviously (Playstation Network) but all that takes is a registration. Next we have the obvious stuff such as bluray player (but then again; those have become much more common these days) and the option to use it as media player (but even that is a bit limited when compared to dedicated media players).

    And although a new model has been released ("slimline") this doesn't mean that owners of a previous ("thick") model suddenly need to upgrade or something. Quite the contrary; when looking at recent developments such as the Move you'll notice that it works on all PS3's.

    But there is also a downside to all this. Sony preserves the right to change your system environment, sometimes in such ways that they add forms of advertisement, which can sometimes be very annoying. Right now my PS3 has an icon "Sing star" or something sitting at the top of the games list and you can't get rid of this. Because its not a real game; its an icon which only starts the installer which will then get said game online and set it up for you. They're trying to get you to install & play this game. However; I despise games like that and as such am very unhappy to see such a useless and annoying icon always sitting at the top of my games list without any option on my part to get rid of it.

    What I also don't like is that functionality can also change and not always for the better. When this 'change thing' started (somewhere last year, or the year before) Sony 'copied' the trophy list icon (where all 'achievements' are being kept) and put another copy in the games list, just as they did with their online store. It took getting used to, but allright then. Not that I would get that to persuade me to buy more games anyway....

    In the mean time they finally made the system more modular. There are options on your system screen which you can now more easily view in-game. Amongst which; the trophy list.

    And just after they implemented all those changes they suddenly decided that us players don't need easy access to our trophies and as such removed the icon from the games list entirely. Now its only sitting at its original location; the PSN menu. But that means quite a bit of navigating if all you want is checking your trophies while playing a game... Those are not the kind of changes in favour of the players.. But players are still somewhat forced into all this, because if you don't upgrade your firmware because you don't agree with all those changes then you'll also lose your option to play your games online.

    So yeah... I can see how Sony can get the upper hand, but the way they're going now I honestly wonder how long it'll last. Not if they keep this up I think.. That song star nonsense has already made me evaluate where I stand now on gaming and how much I really do online, any more drastic changes and I might even get provoked into "stalling": Keep a recent firmware, don't play online and consider another console for online experiences.

    We'll see where its heading...

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Trophies

      That WAS annoying when I was trying to get the last couple on a game

  16. Alistair MacRae

    I dont think Microsoft ever did well in Japan.

    It seems the Japanese have more loyalty to their home product.

    Isn't Sony bleeding money at the moment? I'd be interested to know how PS3 and xbox game sales rank against one another.

    The PS3 used to be a good deal as just a blu-ray player and that may influence things.

    Not sure what is going on with Nintendo really. They announced the Wii U ages ago dropping sales of original Wii consoles and then after that they made the mini Wii.

    Also they made the 3DS that sold poorly, so naturally they made an XL version of it and put that out.

    Seems like they've lost the plot

  17. CyberCod
    Boffin

    My honest non-trolling thoughts on this

    Microsoft is completely capable of bungling the next XBox iteration. It'll only be their 3rd console, whereas it'll be Sony's 4th. I'm betting that Sony will learn more from their mistakes than MS will.

    I'm also betting that many people will wait until Sony has released another console before deciding whether or not to buy the next XBox.

    If Sony would re-open the ability to add a linux distro to the PS3, they'd double the number of PS3's sold. They just have to price the next one where they're not losing money or subsidizing the console cost with game sales.

    I'd be happy with the PS4 taking the route that Nintendo took with the Wii (suped up Gamecube). The PS3 is powerful enough, just needs more RAM. Add something new like SD reader or built in charge cradle on top, triple the RAM and call it a PS4. I'd buy it.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: My honest non-trolling thoughts on this

      >If Sony would re-open the ability to add a linux distro to the PS3, they'd double the number of PS3's sold.

      They could, but why would they want to sell consoles to people who then won't buy the games? When first released, it was Sony's subsidy of the hardware that attracted power Linux users (such as the USAF) to the platform in the first place- that and its ability to be clustered. I don't know how the PS3's current bill of materials compares to its retail price, but presumably its still being pitched against the XBOX who are making similar calculations against future games sales.

      Rumours are that the PS4 will be more conventional, and maybe use an AMD CPU and GPU.

  18. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Matt Piechota
      Facepalm

      Re: Once the dirty trick is out.

      "How many of those last million consoles sold are the new model, barely functioning, with no motorised parts PS3 consoles that are being given away currently? There's no advantage with regard to sales in having those PS3 units out there because they won't be used."

      I'm sure they factored in the people-who-buy-stuff-just-to-not-use-it factor.

  19. Scott 49
    Thumb Down

    Similar to another article i have remarked on today. I remember reading a article on The Register stating how well Microsoft XBOX sales were doing over the PS3 due to the increased popularity of Kinect vs the playstation move. Why has the market all of a sudden just changed in favour of the PS3 or are these figures just pure properganda.

    1. Greg J Preece

      People realised that the Kinect is a piece of shit? The Move can be hit and miss, but when the game isn't a badly-coded Wii port, it works pretty well. The Kinect is just awful. Have a look at the reviews for the abysmal Steel Battalion: Heavy Armour. I saw it top several "worst of" lists for 2012, just because of how utterly broken it is.

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