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Sony: “Xbox Lacks Longevity”, MS: “Sony is Out of Touch”

kazuo-hirai

aaron-greenberg

A sparring match between top figures in both the Microsoft and Sony camps has lead to Sony castigating Microsoft’s “lack of longevity”, whilst Microsoft then shoots back, calling Sony an “out of touch” dinosaur of the previous generation.

What emerges is some very interesting speculation about the direction of the console wars, along with some good old fashioned brawling…

Sony started the fracas, with Sony Computer Entertainment’s chairman Kazuo Hirai weighing in thus:

“I’d like to think that we continue official leadership in this industry.

It’s difficult to talk about Nintendo because we don’t look at their console as being competitors. They’re a different world and we operate in our world – that’s kind of the way I look at things.

And with the Xbox – again, I can’t come up with one word to fit. You need a word that describes something that lacks longevity,

Last time I checked, they’ve never had a console that’s been on the market for more than four or five years and we’ve committed to a ten year life cycle, so you do the math.

And unless things go really bad, there’s no way that at the end of a life cycle our competition is going to have a higher install base.”

Not implausible bombast, but some wonder if Sony itself will survive to the end of that cycle.

However, Microsoft’s group product manger Aaron Greenberg wasn’t having any of it:

“This sounds like an old hardware company that’s comfortable with its market position. That complacent attitude is out of touch with where the industry and consumer is today.

This generation won’t be won over just hardware specs, but who can out-innovate when it comes to online and software. This is the kind of stuff that’s in our DNA, and frankly moves the console war onto our home court.

I’m confident we will outsell the PS3 throughout the entire generation by providing more innovation and building the best and broadest games library while growing our entertainment experiences on the leading online network.

With a U.S. install base lead now of more than 7 million units (according to NPD), I can’t imagine any scenario where the PS3 can catch up with us. In fact, even if you doubled the current PS3 sales and Xbox 360 remained flat, they couldn’t close the gap until 2014.”

A rebuke to the upstart Sony from a confident Microsoft? Or perhaps he is just stung by the snide Red Ring of Death longevity reference…

So what of it? Both sides apparently bay for each other’s blood, as ever.

We do have some rather interesting insight from market analyst Michael Pachter:

“Aaron Greenberg is right that Sony likely won’t catch Microsoft in the U.S. until at least 2014. Kaz is right that Sony will likely catch Microsoft globally.

Please keep in mind that both consoles are offered in North America, Europe and Japan. Sony likely has a 4 million unit lead in Japan, is behind by 7 million in North America, and is behind in Europe by 2 million.

My guess is that Sony can sell 2 million PS3s per year more than Microsoft in Japan for the next several years, and can catch up in Europe in two or three years.

So by the end of 2011, Sony should be even in Europe, ahead by 10 million units in Japan, and behind by a greater margin than 7 million in North America. If the Xbox 360 outsells the PS3 by 1 million units per year for 2009, 2010 and 2011, the two consoles will be in a dead heat by the end of 2011.

You should note that the 360 outsold the PS3 in the U.S. by 1.2 million units in 2008 (according to NPD), with an average price of $300 compared to an average for PS3 of $418.

If PS3 comes down to $299 some time this year, it’s likely that the two consoles will sell around the same number of units, with a slight edge to Sony because of Blu-ray. If the 360 price is cut further, Microsoft can likely sustain its advantage, but it may have difficulty selling 1 million more per year.

Funny that nobody is talking about catching the Wii…”

Toy sales do not come into the picture here.

All rather interesting. Are we to believe that Sony’s long term strategy is sound, and that they can mature into a competitive position? Certainly, their superior hardware lends credence to this, although lack of any spectacular success does little to arouse enthusiasm.

Still, it looks as though even Sony detractors would be unwise to pray too hard for the downfall of the PlayStation; a Microsoft monopoly on serious home systems would likely not be a positive development for consumers, and should Sony be unable to successfully bring a PS4 to market, it is hard to see who could easily provide competition.

Nintendo with their (excellent) toys? Apple with their long held disdain for games?

It should be interesting to see how this develops…

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58 Comments

  • On another note, why do so may gamer’s fuss about sales numbers? Of course the 360 sold more than the ps3, the 360 is cheaper, however that’s like a person saying sony’s speaker systems are better than say BOSS since they sell more. Do you see the logic here? As I said b4 in my last post you pay cheaply you get cheep equipment.

    As for everyone who says sony will have to improve by making a ps4, um heeeeloo….. the ps3 is still vastly un-tapped technology. While the xbox360 is at the peak of its capibilities in preformance, leaving only user interface improvments and peripherales…

    Now b4 people think I’m being biased, I OWN both systems with about 11 games each. Have opened and anylised the hardware for both and the ps3 is capible of vastly out preforming the latter of the 2, now its all up to the developers.

    • JustPassingThru says:

      Which is exactly why people don’t see the PS3’s capability…

      Everybody based it on sales and the title of the games…

      Untapped technology is what PS3 has which no body sees… Sony won’t brag about longevity if they themselves don’t have it… The PS2 itself is still releasing new games, proof of Sony’s capability to actually last.

      XBox’s sales was most probably because people kept buying an XBox console again and again because of the number of hardware crashes it’s users experience…

      More power to Sony and Nintendo… ^^

  • With the more comments I see these days about how many tittles there are for either system, tell me just how many of you actually go out and buy every game and play them through? Honestly the ps3 has less games at the moment but as developers are learning it’s complex hardware even better games are comming out than xbox as to terms of graphics, length, and multi-player. With the cost of games these days I myself would rather pay for a technologicaly advanced game like Assasins Creed 2, than some cheep fps like the call of duty franchise, which always knocks it’s games down for the xbox360, if companies like activision don’t step up to ps3 level Call Of Duty, these games may be fun, but they are not next gen, real next gen games are just now surfacing such as ps3’s MAG, Assasins Creed 2, and Drakes Uncharted2 amongst theives. In the next year I expect xbox fans to contiualy make complaints simply because they are defending their choice to jump the gun and get the cheaper system, when in all reality that’s all the 360 will ever be is a cheep system.

  • Anonymous says:

    my experience with the xbox was so bad i decided not to get a 360,
    the controls get damaged very easily, i am by all means not a hardcore gamer, don’t have the time, and also the games were awful, unless you are a serial killer in training.

    and from the bad comments i read on 360 it was no mistake not getting one.

    geez i prefer all time arcade gaming, facing real life oponents most of the time, that rocked.

  • I think that this is the worst generation of consoles yet. purley just because most games that come out have’t been all that great. Too hyped

    I’m still waiting for that epic game that defines that console.

    MGS4 came really close for the PS3 but it still lacked something.

    and 360…? Nothing comes to mind….

  • the 360 is a piece and they are ripping people off. They sell you a console that breaks in less then a year and then if you want wifi and a bigger hard drive you have to end up forking out another 100 to 150 bucks on top of the 200 to 300 you already paid for the console depending on what you have. And it still doesnt have blu ray. effing lame. Yes the xbox can display some great graphics, however m$ is dirty to their consumers. THey are just great at hiding it. No one ever wonders why they are being sued all the time over their crapbox. I used to own one. but i chucked it for the PS3 after getting the RROD 3 freakin tims! Aaron Greenburg is a toad.

  • So why is it EVERY YEAR Sony says they will catch up with and overtake the 360? Just the 360? What about the Wii?

    First out was LAIR, then Heavenly Sword. Soon came Home which was a big dud btw, MGS4 and LBP. And it’s Killzone 2 this year. Sony’s “BIG GAMES” came and went, and they were no where near Xbox 360 sales. It seems only MS and Nintendo are able to turn first party titles into megahits.

    The problem with Sony is they over-hype everything, but always end up under-delivering. The PS3’s “futureproofing” was a shot in the foot and it just made it expensive and slow out the gate.

    Kaz is delusional. Anyone who says the PS3 will last ten years is delusional. The PS3 now is barely better then the 360. They bet the Cell would be a good gaming processor, but IBM couldn’t care less, so it isn’t. The Cell can’t do anything terribly different without more cache. The GPU will be surpassed at the same time as the 360, no way around it.

  • Modern gaming is all about quickly made products for the masses , they focus on rushing a title to market to get at a limited profit window to start on the next title. Kinda like hollywood and its craptactualr titles only at a faster pace.

    Gaming is no longer games for gamers or even polishing up a project to make it that much more welcome to the public.

    Modern gaming is just another disposable form of media like music and film only it costs both consumer and developer a ton more.

    Now for MS/Live vrs PSN/Sony, Sony dropped the soap on the PS3 and no one wanted to pay for “rear entry”, they have since tried to make the system more cost effective and cheaper but frankly its hurt them to much they are where Nintendo was with the GC. The PS3 and its games are growing well but with the back tracking on BWC and the general loss of quality for most games I am unimpressed with it. The 360 is the true replacement for the PS2 at least terms of variety(that’s still lacking) I do not think any system will replace the PS2 on RPGs but then newer RPGs of only 5 years ago are mostly repetitive MMO knock offs with crap and boring equipment and unrefined gameplay but I am regressing here…

    The PS3 is growing and should out sell the 360 by the end of 09 hardware wise, the brand simply has more support outside the UK and US still,PSN is still weak but is coming along still the only real thing the PS3 has issues with is price other wise its a decent media center that can play new games.

    Despite the fail360 having a huge fail rate and bad hardware design its made headway in game variety over what the Xbox had and its made headway on the online front despite no longer needing the subscription for live since they are no longer building it up…. MS is still out of touch on the Hard drive lock and media issues around it the subscription system needs to be changed and changed before Sony starts to out pace them. Besides the fail rate that’s still to high for my tastes(10-15% on new units), the HDD lock the 360 is still a Frankenstein hardware wise alot of stuff was brought into it with alter revisions it works but tis not the best of media centers but dose all of its odd jobs well enough. I wish I could change button layouts in the menu/dashboard I just hate the generic cookie cutter layouts devs force upon gamers MS needs to make the 360 alil more PC like in that regard as dose SOny and Nintendo with their receptive units.

    The WII is a fad that can not be ignored but can be excused its not aiming at gamers and the variety of titles shows it, in the end its the same as it ever was only you truly need all the consuls at the start to get all the good games you can not simply buy 1 and wait to get the next one since they all have a limited amount of truly good games…

  • Couldn’t agree more with nintendo needing more killer titles. Nintendo either needs to back away from the online gaming area or improve it dramtically. I remember a certain 2 companies before saying about the gamecube. “we don’t consider nintendo a threat at all” while they were right not to do so. There cocky attitude towards nintendo, technically nintendo has been more about gaming for years than sony or microsoft. Nintendo didn’t have any media functions like a DVD player etc. And even now it still doesn’t except I believe the japanese Wii has a DVD player? I’m not 100% sure. Either way i’m loving the way things have been turning out, but i’m not impressed with nintendo, they are screwing the gamers who stuck by them all these years and giving them business while all the microsoft and sony fanboys mocked nintendo at every turn. But seriously blu-ray needs to go away i’m not really buying into the whole bigger media storage discs just yet.

  • Xbox should just implode already (Oh wait that will release the idiots onto the internet and PS3) We all know that PS3 is SRS BSNS in the console war and that a supererior machine should come up on top. Of course saying that PS3 doesnt have much worthy unique titles are seriously shortsighted.

    Then of course consoles are nothing compared to PC 😀

  • Isn’t what is happening now, the same as what happened, like, 30 Years ago?

    At that time consoles were all about the arcade, like Asteroids or stuff. You had a basic concept and everyone would want to improve the looks. Yeah,.. Video Games were nearly dead in the 1970s.

    Then.. dun dun dun Nintendo (more explicit Shigeru Miyamoto) improved gaming in itself and rescued the hole market, with a Game called ‘Donkey Kong’. Who would have tought, that it can be so much fun to chase a stupid Gorilla?

    And look at the market now. Once again everyone is all about the looks and no one gives a damn for gameplay.

    Except for NINTENDO. They (Shigeru, that is) once again improved gaming in itself. It’s all about fun, isn’t it? It’s not about looks. Who would have tought, that it can be so much fun to do gymnastics in front of your TV? With your familiy?! Damn, way back I always wanted to game with my family, but they just weren’t cut out for it.

    Nintendo is, once again. resurrecting the market and widening the market. Microsoft? Who gives a shit. Their OS sucks and their console suckZ. Sony? Yeah, the one Nintendo left for good a couple of .. oh.. no.. just me getting older. It was way back in the 1990s or so. Mah,… who cares. Childhood memories getting dizzy.

    BANZAI NINTENDO BANZAI

    Decent prizes, decent games (like the things you have fun with, not the things you brag about in the neighbourhood.)

    Life must be hard for Sony. They have to argue with nOObs in the gamingindustry. Would have been a good thing, if Sega had made it. They had at least something called ‘class’. Microsoft just has something called ‘money’. I wonder just how much they did loose with their hole consolething.

  • “It’s difficult to talk about Nintendo because we don’t look at their console as being competitors. They’re a different world and we operate in our world – that’s kind of the way I look at things.”

    Translation: Nintendo is outselling my console and I don’t want to talk about it.

    • Anonymous says:

      I brought Wii for my mom and dad so they can play Wii fit, and occassionally, Wii Sport or some family party games, when the family gathered.

      As for me personally, I did brought one for myself. The last time I played it? Last year. It didn’t even earn a place on my TV shelf, it’s now neatly packed in the original box, with no intention, nor the desire, to unpack it in near future.

      Same story with NDS, after I acquired PSP and some good games with it, I have left NDS in my drawer for months without even touch it (except occassional recharging to prevent the batteries from dying)

      So afterall, IMHO, Nintendo is Nintendo, a “family entertainment system”. As for my personal pleasure, give me PS3!

      • I have a wii and a PS3 but I havent really played the wii since Fire Emblem, it just for the kids now.

        I played more on the PS3 in the first two weeks than I did on the wii in a year. The games are just of a different type. You can play 50 – 100 hours on an RPG, would you do the same on ‘Generic Super Party Games 2, now with Shuffleboard’

      • A fair amount actually. In America 360’s and PS3’s are owned heavily by young college students but they own nowhere near the amount of games a more hardcore gamer such as myself would.

        You can argue the games are targeting different audiences but that doesn’t excuse the fact that one of them lacks exclusive titles and the other is poorly manufactured. The Wii possesses neither of these problems. Despite having owned a PS3 for over a year I can still count on 1 hand the number of PS3 titles I own. I don’t own a 360 yet either because I’m waiting for the Jaspar models to flood the market.

      • the wii has a hold on a wider range of audiences than the other two consoles, i mean, you don’t really find it that often that the elder and children (young, young children) can play the same things together. That’s not to say there aren’t exceptions. It’s just that Sony and Microsoft usually only aims for people in ages 12-35. To be honest if you only rate a system for the quality of its games wii would lose out, dramatically. Some of the shit nintendo allows people to program on to their systems, or even their own games, are well…is really subpar.

  • when it comes to online feats, the ps3 is dead ahead. they offer video services, their second life clone will be launched soon, and microsoft has “only” online gaming.

    they sell the ps3 for 400$ in the us? still makes me wonder why the xbox is so much ahead there. in europe, it’s clearly a matter of price. while you can get a 360 for 200€, the ps3 still costs 400€. i draw the line at 300€ – for 400, you can get hardware for a good gaming pc, which has a (at least for me) more interesting offer of games, lacks braindead protection technology, and can be used for _way_ more things.

  • Honestly, I think the world of video gaming would be a better place if we all collectively agreed to completely ignore the smack-talking of console manufacturer executives. They routinely say stuff that’s just idiotic. (PS3 is a kobe beef steak! It’s worth getting an extra job to buy one!) Sony’s probably the worst for this, but none of them are innocent of it, not by a long shot.

    Tell me about how fun the games are. Telling me why the competition sucks just makes me think that you can’t come up with anything good to say about your own stuff.

  • XBOX win at the xbox live service, number of games, and the XNA Game Studio will embracing indie programmer into XBOX360 game development. More game tittle in the future (regardless official release or legit homebrew, yes it legit for XNA Game Studio user), more people to buy it.

    Power determined by number (of game titles) not a single godly spec-pricy-hard to program hardware.

  • WondrousWizard says:

    If Sony could fix their problem with losing all monopoly on contract and games they are losing like FF13, they could catch up to Xbox easier than it look.

    Hurray for Nintendo Wii, I said it before… Nintendo will catch up and even become dangerous for Sony and Microsoft. Long Live NINTENDO!!!!

      • While Nintendo are miles ahead of Sony and Microsoft in terms of sales figures their hardware has some serious limitations, most of these stem from the online infrastructure just not being good enough (only Call of Duty World at War and Mario Kart Wii have proved themselves), a lack of decent hardcore games on the console has come of late, after Super Mario Galaxy the Wii is lacking a killer game. Of course this year looks great but there wasn’t much last year, to recall De Blob, Mario Kart, Smash Bros, Sam and Max, World of Goo Zack and Wiki (in the UK), No More Heroes being amongst the best hardcore games that year, but overall they were no match for what was on other systems that year.

        I find myself playing my Wii less and less as time progresses, Wii usage peaked during the masterpiece that is Super Mario Galaxy but has dropped in 2008, only to be picked up by World of Goo and Call of Duty.

  • I personally wouldn’t mind getting a PS3, but the only problem I face with that is the cost of the console, and the availability of games.

    However, me being a FPSfag, I had to get the Xbox360. Then again, I have the PSP for the Monster Hunter Freedom series, and might possibly buy the Nintendo Wii if Monster Hunter Tri and Monster Hunter 3 come out on it.

  • Anonymous3984 says:

    What are you talking about? No commitment? Seriously all anyone ever buys these days are games with little to no originality about the same basic concepts and same basic controls. I predict the shooter games becoming stale in a few more years. People will eventually get bored with the same type of thing every time. It’s like what happened to the RPG generation it got stale with similar plots and characters and little originality (mind you I love rpgs). Recently however the release of Valkyria chronicles which is by far one of the most unique jrpgs in a long time has shown some of the originality that both series lack.

    In regards to Four Chan’s comment I have to laugh. They do not have the time to play rpgs? Then they have the time to play the equally as stale shooters or the pathetic music games like Rockband and Guitar Hero? Seriously if people have time to play games like these then they also could play rpgs if they wanted. At the moment though they’ve unfortunately gotten stale and it will only be a few more years until games like rockband and halo-ish games also become stale. People do not play shooters because they’re short it is because they can play with other people. But eventually this will get old. Everything does. To be completely honest the most unique of the consoles is the wii but it just isn’t fun.

    • I should point out that tons and tons of RPGs are still being released on the PS2. This is one of the advantages of longevity; even if you have a much newer system out, everybody still knows how to program for your old stuff.

      The PS3 is a tricky monster to program for, but as more and more programmers figure it out, the more games we can expect them to pump out. I’m optimistic about the long term of the PS3.

  • aaron greenberg, the name alone makes me laugh. yet another big fat j… american.
    The momentum will happen with 13/versus13. Either ps3 sales take off with those game or they just won’t (sadness).
    btw, 7 million xbox in the US, alright, but since every user is on his 2nd or 3rd machine, the user base would be in fact 7/2 or 7/3 lulz.
    if ms wins in the end, i’m back to nintendo, and so will square, i hope.