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Is There A Clear-Cut Winner In This Generation's Console War?

With the next generation of consoles looming large on the horizon, maybe it's time to ask the inevitable question: Which machine won the current war?

Sure, it's still going on for Sony and Microsoft and there are few heavy-hitting AAA titles on the horizon, but one can accurately gauge the performances of the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Wii, right? Shouldn't be too tough.

If you're strictly adhering only to sales numbers, the Wii is the answer...for now. At last check, Nintendo's system is closing in on 100 million units sold worldwide, but with the Wii U already out, the original Wii's total won't rise much. On the other hand, the Xbox 360 is at around 70 million and the PS3 also sits at over 70 million; both consoles stand to sell quite a few more units in the coming years, especially the PS3. At this rate, many will say the PS3 will end up on top once again in the worldwide count when all is said and done.

That's just speculation, of course. If you want to consider other factors beside the sales, you could always look at the software. If that's the case, I can once again make the argument for the PS3 on the strength of its exclusives alone, which in my opinion are often head-and-shoulders above the competition. Then again, you could also say that during the first few years of its existence, there was a multiplatform issue for the PS3, in that 360 versions of games were typically more stable. But if we're going to examine the first few years, it's hard to get away from the catastrophic failure rate of Microsoft's console, which made global headlines.

The Wii sold like mad out of the gate and managed to snag all sorts of non-gamers; i.e., the consumers who had never even owned a video game console before. That's a pretty impressive achievement and currently, it has sold the most. If you want to take this from a domestic standpoint, the winner could be the 360, as it usually dominated sales charts in the US. There's a lot to consider, but what do you say?

Tags: video games, gaming, gaming industry, game consoles, gamers

12/30/2012 9:58:17 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (45 posts)

TopuNeko
Sunday, December 30, 2012 @ 10:33:22 PM
Reply

Got a link or reference for those Xbox360 sales numbers you're putting out there Ben? I haven't seen that number claimed anywhere.

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Aura7541
Sunday, December 30, 2012 @ 10:53:48 PM

I think he made a typo there. 360 sales hit 70 million since the beginning of October while PS3 sales hit the same amount since the beginning of November.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Sunday, December 30, 2012 @ 11:46:13 PM

I hit the 8 instead of the 7. Typo. :)

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maxpontiac
Sunday, December 30, 2012 @ 10:49:39 PM
Reply

As far as the winner of the whole "console war" goes, I say it's the gamer.

If we, the gamer stop and think about how many good games we have been treated to over the past several years you can't help but smile.

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Axe99
Monday, December 31, 2012 @ 6:03:33 AM

Aye, totally - the competition between Sony and MS has made things better for all of us :).

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Hannah CVH
Tuesday, January 01, 2013 @ 9:03:48 AM

It made a lot of games crap though since a lot of developers screwed around with porting and delays. Just look at FF13.

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xnonsuchx
Sunday, December 30, 2012 @ 10:54:27 PM
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I still don't consider the Wii on the same level as 360/PS3. It was basically a slight upgrade from the Gamecube w/ a funky new motion controller (and geared towards kids), whereas the 360/PS3 were whole new system designs made to take advantage of HDTV (the PS3 a little more so w/ the Blu-ray drive). Now even he Wii U seems like just a slight upgrade to the Wii...just bumping it up enough to do HDTV decently, but nothing super-spectacularly.

Last edited by xnonsuchx on 12/30/2012 10:54:56 PM

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Wrote
Sunday, December 30, 2012 @ 11:15:28 PM
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In a few years once the ps4 and the Xbox l∞p are out, the ps360 will continue to sell. But I have a feeling m$ will kill the 360 before Sony kills the ps3. In any case I could see both topping the wii but I can see the ps3 doing better when the smoke clears.

~Wrote

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AcHiLLiA
Sunday, December 30, 2012 @ 11:34:57 PM
Reply

Me, Nintendo and Sony gamer - multiplat/exclusives.

Last edited by AcHiLLiA on 12/30/2012 11:36:14 PM

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Excelsior1
Monday, December 31, 2012 @ 12:09:01 AM
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There certainly isn't a clear cut winner like there was the previous two generations when Sony dominated the market. All 3 sytems have had their share of problems but they also enjoyed some success too.

I guess if you look at it from strictly a sales point of view both Nintendo's and Microsoft's numbers are way up from last gen. Sony's numbers are down but by no means terrible especially if you factor in the PS3's rough start.


My gut wants to go with Nintendo for a couple of reasons. First of all Nintendo and the Wii were kind of written off for dead going into this generation. Secondly as of right now it's Nintendo whose numbers are up the most from last generation. Nobody really expected that.

Part of me wants to dismiss the Wii because it relied on what I feel is almost a gimmick but objectively speaking you can't argue against their numbers. Plus both Sony and MS followed Nintendo into that casual/motion control market. It wouldn't be fair to penalize Nintendo for going that direction and not the others.

Nintendo does get dinged in my book because of their poor online infrastructure and neglecting hardcore gamers. They also take a hit for not competing technology wise. The Wii isn't really all that more powerful than a GameCube.

I guess in the end all three can feel pretty good about how this gen shaped up. No real runaway winner like the last two generations. Nintendo and MS are up from last gen. Sony is down but still very respectable considering their slow start and being last to the market.

Last edited by Excelsior1 on 12/31/2012 12:10:16 AM

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AcHiLLiA
Monday, December 31, 2012 @ 1:43:31 PM

The WiiU will fix the Wiis problem.

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BTNwarrior
Monday, December 31, 2012 @ 2:01:47 PM

at least it will until the ps4 and xbox 720 come out, then the wii u will once again be a last gen console

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AcHiLLiA
Monday, December 31, 2012 @ 2:14:49 PM

I know it's still early to predict what's going to happen next gen, but I don't think Nintendo has to worry about that to much. Nintendo already proved themselves on the sales chart.. but yah anything bad can happen to either companies.

Last edited by AcHiLLiA on 12/31/2012 2:19:22 PM

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The X Factor 9
Monday, December 31, 2012 @ 1:29:18 AM
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The real winner in this generation is Microsoft.

There you go, I said it. Here's why.

They're dominating North America, and more importantly, they're dominating the youth here. Kids don't play PS3.

That's probably a good thing for most of us here at PSX, but Microsoft has gotten to the youth in this country. I expect next generation's console sales to definitively skew in Microsoft's favor.

In 2 generations, they will have achieved parity with their biggest rival. Would you have guessed that would happen?

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Knightzane
Monday, December 31, 2012 @ 1:53:54 AM

Kids and adults play xbox. Adults and respectable kids (for the most part) play ps3 as well. If xbox dominates NA then theres a reason. If america made their own cars you would think that the top selling car would be their homeade car right? Same goes with the 360. Sony and Nintendo have sales EVERYWHERE.

So all in all, MS didn't win. Maybe if they tried to win without bribing and cheating they would have had a better shot. Nintendo lost me along the way but they never cheated to get where they are. Sony has never bribed or cheated either. The biggest loser this gen was MS for being so dishonorable, and doing things to get ahead through the way of money. Respect the power of integrity and not the power of money.

Thumbs me down people im not changing my opinion

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Axe99
Monday, December 31, 2012 @ 6:06:58 AM

I'm guessing MS do well in the US because people over thataways don't mind being nickel-and-dimed. Got a 360 today and while the interface is solid, the whole experience is filled with so many attempts to nickel-and-dime you it's not funny.

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Deleted User
Monday, December 31, 2012 @ 10:12:07 AM

I like the Xbox 360. None of the 3 consoles I owned died on me. However, their exclusives do not interest me. I'm not a Call Of Duty guy. The biggest turn-off is that they nickel-and-dime people all day long and force you to buy their controllers, their hard drives, their peripherals and you have to pay to play online. Add to it that XBL has a reputation of being populated mostly by 8-15 year old boys and someone my age doesn't see that as appealing. The manchildren who love the Xbox 360 simply come off sounding like Fundies.

I know people want to justify spending more than they needed to to save face but in my opinion, anybody who thinks that way is delusional. Then again, these are Americans and British doing this. When I think of the dimmest countries out there, these two head the list.

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Underdog15
Monday, December 31, 2012 @ 10:38:43 AM

I don't really see many youth who clearly want one over the other at all. If anything, the only deciding factor is which ever one their friends play on. And I've seen that go in either direction. But from what I've seen, youth are thrilled to own either one.

Also, the US isn't the only measurable to go by........

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AcHiLLiA
Monday, December 31, 2012 @ 1:45:24 PM

"Kids don't play PS3"

FAIL harder.

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Pandacastro
Monday, December 31, 2012 @ 3:31:09 PM

@Knightzane

Do you have proof that MS bribed and cheated?

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Knightzane
Monday, December 31, 2012 @ 1:56:29 AM
Reply

Oh and my vote is undecided. If Soul Sacrifice is as good as i hope it is, and its better than Demons Souls my vote will go for the Vita. I love my ps3 but not much besides Heavy Rain and Demons Souls and MAG and uncharted and... Ok, maybe i do vote for the ps3...

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___________
Monday, December 31, 2012 @ 3:44:04 AM
Reply

should be looking at the whole line not just one specific thing.
sales, the online features, the games both exclusive and MP, and the system itself.
wii was a abomination, im still shocked and amazed it managed to sell so well!
such a expensive system with NO HD!?
WTF!?
i loved so many wii games, but just could not continue playing them because it was like rubbing sand in my eyes!

ps3 suffered on the MP front, something i really hope $ony fixes next gen.
im sick of having to worry about is this game going to work?
ive always hated the store too, and the new update has made things so much harder to find!
at least before you could look by new, you could select whats new and it showed you everything released that week.
now when you select whats new it shows you only a certain category, so your constantly switching back and forward.
instead of killing 10 birds with 1 stone, you now need 10.
XMB feels and looks outdated too, its easy as hell to use but its also as outdated.
just looks really drab and dreary.

360 on the other hand perfect!
never any problems with XBLA, so easy to find what you want, constant updates to the OS, super easy to use, no comparability problems with MP titles, not to mention 99% of games get early or exclusive features for said games, and the exclusives are just as good if not better!

and it looks like next gen will be exactly the same if rumors are accurate.
allot of sources are saying $ony has a abysmal relationship with third parties ATM and thats really going to hurt the ps4s MP chances.
not to mention the rumors of the next xbox being significantly more powerful.
than with the new AR, and projection software that patent described along with kinect 2.0.

next gen is actually looking allot like last gen, except on the MP front.
ps2 was only so successful because of the relationship $ony had with developers, that allowed them to have so many third party exclusives so the xboxs more power and better exclusives just did not matter.
now though it looks like $ony does not have that support, quite the opposite.
so they have lost their advantage they had in the ps2 era, third parties.
and they have lost their advantage ps3 era, most technically advanced.
looks like next gen they have nothing!
maybe this is where gaikai comes in and saves the day?
will that be enough?

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Beamboom
Monday, December 31, 2012 @ 4:47:59 AM
Reply

I've always been attracted to the lesser common options, It's always been in my nature to root for the underdog. It's just more... Cool, I guess. More individual than to flow with the masses.

So from that perspective I would not mind at all if my console of choice were the lesser sold one - as long as the product itself is at least as good as the alternatives. And in my case, the PS3 is *clearly* the better alternative, there's no question about it:

- A good Blu-ray player. It wins right there.
- No monthly fee for online access. Coming from the PC world it's just so wrong to pay for that.
- It's not Microsoft. A stupid argument but I really can't stand MS.
- It wins hands down on the design department.
- 29/30 games that I've wanted has been available also for the PS3. I'm drowning in good games.

So, the Playstation 3 is the clear-cut winner this gen *for me*,
And as such I really do not care the slightest bit how many else bought this machine, or what else happens on the other platforms.


Last edited by Beamboom on 12/31/2012 4:49:38 AM

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Axe99
Monday, December 31, 2012 @ 6:11:39 AM

Well said - as long as the console I enjoy the most gets enough critical mass to have a steady flow of games, I'm happy, and given the PS3 has the stronger library from my gaming perspective, and continues to strengthen towards the tail-end of the generation, it's only going to pull away towards the end.

And not liking MS isn't irrational - they're corporate attitude is one of denying service to rake in money, whereas Sony's attitude is generally one of providing a service, that's then paid for. It's a subtle distinction, but in practice the impact is huge. On the 360 interface, it feels like you're wading through ads and attempts to nickel-and-dime you. On the PS3, it's clearly labelled where you can buy things, but it's not shoved down your throat on almost every menu. That, and I've used Office products and MS operating systems for far too long to like them - they've got 'exploitative, lazy monopoly' written all over them.

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Beamboom
Monday, December 31, 2012 @ 7:37:51 AM

I agree with all you say about MS. But Sony is not entirely innocent either.
I remember back when I bought a new video camera, and discovered that Sony all of a sudden had changed the microphone connections from the standard connections to a proprietary connection - who lead to none of my microphones working on that cam of course, and ho and behold, wouldn't you know, there was only *one* extremely overpriced Sony mic to choose from.

God how I sweared that day. I discovered it of course AFTER I'd bought the cam.

... Or how they now with the new PS3 all of a sudden has changed the slot for hard drives, so that we either have to buy a special drive from Sony, or an adapter from Sony to fit other hard drives into the PS3. Such crap is annoying.


Last edited by Beamboom on 12/31/2012 10:36:05 AM

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Axe99
Monday, December 31, 2012 @ 4:07:11 PM

Agreed - Sony are far from innocent white lambs, or anything like that. I just find they generally (but not always - there was some DRM stuff they pulled on digital music a few years back that was atrocious) have a significant edge on MS with these things, and I think that comes from a more service-oriented attitude. You deffo get more bang for your buck with them, and it tends to be a higher quality bang as well. That's 'bang' in the general, non-specific or euphemistic sense as well :).

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Hannah CVH
Tuesday, January 01, 2013 @ 9:05:49 AM

It's actually the best Blu-ray player any more. It does 3D terribly and low frame rates etc

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firesoul453
Monday, December 31, 2012 @ 5:07:50 AM
Reply

Definitely not. The ps2 won in every aspect. THe exclusives library. The developer support. The amount of units sold.

While the ps3 might have some of those things, it definitely doesn't have all

Don't get me wrong. This is my favorite generation and I have always liked ps3 the best

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Axe99
Monday, December 31, 2012 @ 6:21:53 AM
Reply

Got a bit more money for Christmas than I expected, and I have always been interested in 'the other side', and the price in the sales this week was right, so I got m'self a 360 today. However, before getting it, I tallied up the number of exclusive (including 'exclusives' you can get on PC as well) that I wanted to play on it, and it was literally about 15-20 games.

Had I been coming from the other angle (the number of exclusive PS3 games I was interested in), the number would have been more than double this, and none of those PS3 games were available on PC.

Add to that having to pay to play online (or even pay to have the opportunity to pay more for Foxtel or Netflix - this is both daylight robbery and possibly the dumbest marketing ploy I've seen in years - there's a reason that Netflix is #1 on PS3 despite the 360's lead in the US, Netflix's largest market by a huge margin), and lots of silly design nuances:
- Controllers _need_ rechargeable or non-rechargeable batteries, or a custom battery pack.
- Closed shop for peripherals - my wheel, flight stick and headset work on PS3 and PC with no extra work beyond the PC drivers. The wheel and stick won't work on 360 at all, and the headset needs another custom $40 part that's hard to find. MS clearly forget that the U in USB stands for 'Universal', lol.
- Hardware failure rates early. Given how rubbish MS' setup is in the first place, it boggles the mind how dumb many kids in the US are. Then again, I've heard the stories about the US education system....

Anyways, short answer is on numbers, the Wii is tearing it up, with the 360 in second just ahead of the PS3 (PC is likely far lower, given the total number of Steam subscribers and PC game sales more generally - noting that I don't consider software pirates to be gamers) but in terms of the better gaming machine, I'd put the PS3 as the better device this gen, including PC, looking at what was released and available between late 2006 and 2012.

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Beamboom
Monday, December 31, 2012 @ 7:32:11 AM

Steam has 54 million *active* user accounts as of this December, and nearly all games sales on that platform today is digital. The traditional sales numbers of sold physical copies is no longer of any use to compare the platforms. The digital distribution age is upon us and I am pretty sure the consoles will follow come next generation.

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Axe99
Monday, December 31, 2012 @ 4:16:38 PM

Sorry, haven't looked in a while - am 'Axe99' on Steam, and spend more than a dash of time on it (Much of my early gaming was on PC, and while I prefer the reliability of consoles these days, I'll play on PC what I can't get on PS3) - I'm part of the recent Star Citizen Kickstarter as well - long live the space sim! But I still get the feeling that the number of 'core' games on PC is below that on either of the two main platforms. Of those 54 million, some are just peeps that have only played 1 or 2 games, and have Steam running in the background (or on the background in their mobile - I have five Steam friends on now, and none are playing games - it's highly unusual that the number of my Steam friends actually gaming is higher than the number not-gaming, so those 'active' stats have to be taken with several kilos of salt'). On the other hand, if I'm on the PSN, almost everyone who's online is actually gaming (only got one friend on XBL at the moment, so can't really comment on that). Clearly these are isolated examples, I haven't done a survey, but the way Steam runs as a background app probably means they're good enough to show a difference between the meanings behind what would be 'active' on Steam versus a console, although no-where near reliable enough to show the scale of that difference.

Totally agree on digital sales as well, but at the end of the day, I'd strongly wager that PC sales still lag behind those on console. The best evidence of this is that games still lead development on console - publishers go where the money is. PC is growing far more significant again though, and it's good to see :).

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Snaaaake
Monday, December 31, 2012 @ 9:52:19 AM
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PS3 of course, that is if you put the Wii aside as it's not competing in the same market(even though Ninty is trying to).

But the important point is that there's no failure, I'd like to say everyone win this gen.

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GeorgeTheSixth
Monday, December 31, 2012 @ 10:03:03 AM
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Xbox and PS3 are petty much the same, however Microsoft launched 12-16 months ahead of Sony, so it's clear the PS3 has been outselling the Xbox year on year (despite Microsoft's FUD).

Also upto 50% of those Xbox sales are RROD units..

It's clear to me, the PS3 is the winner, by a VERY large margin, not just on sales, but on games too, the PS3 exclusives are WAY ahead of what Xbox offers.

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slugga_status
Monday, December 31, 2012 @ 10:39:23 AM
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I'd have to say the PS3 won but by a very slim margin. The 360 dominated early on with the games, user interface, and xbox live. They took a major hit with a lot of faulty consoles on the market. I've personally been through 3 360s.

Although slow out the gate the PS3 has provided great exclusives since day one. The PSN has gradually improved over time. Free Online play is another feather in the cap as well.

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DjEezzy
Monday, December 31, 2012 @ 11:35:41 AM
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I think it's pretty simple actually. I may be biased as well... I'm going to say sony. The sales numbers really don't matter to me. What does matter to me though are the games. Sony by far has had the best games to date and they just keep pumping out more. With the exception of Halo and Gears, there really isn't any exclusives that are top top notch quality like ps3 exclusives.

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Underdog15
Monday, December 31, 2012 @ 12:47:41 PM
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PS3 by a million miles because I'm a biased fanboy. woot woot!

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Amnesiac
Monday, December 31, 2012 @ 5:03:42 PM
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Ps3 because it only does everything!

especially if you have the backwards compatible model :)

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Coneman1
Monday, December 31, 2012 @ 6:08:53 PM
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I side with maxpontiac, the gamer is definitely the winner when it's all said and done.

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Warrior Poet
Monday, December 31, 2012 @ 9:11:31 PM
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The Wii has the best exclusives.

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jugheadjones
Tuesday, January 01, 2013 @ 4:12:08 AM
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Yes. I think there is a clear cut winner - all three systems. Unless one system sells something like twice the others, then there can't be one. Any choices would be clearly speculation and depend on who's opinion you're listening to at the time. All three systems had great success and some opportunities for improvement. Their fans are all happy and love them, so everyone wins! IMO...

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Hannah CVH
Tuesday, January 01, 2013 @ 8:29:08 AM
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Who didn't win is the real question. All 8th gen stuff has flopped completely so far and PC gaming has gone completely downhill.

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iankhaneagle
Tuesday, January 01, 2013 @ 11:03:42 AM
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for all intensive purposes, this may be my lost go around with consoles. i have had 2 ps3 issues, costing roughly 230 bucks for only the repairs. the first time was a blu ray lens dying, the second death occurred 2 weeks ago and was a YLOD. also i have bought more than 48 games in total for the system for going on 6 years. i can tell you most of the games i bought were lackluster at best, with the exceptions being uncharted, hitman, gta4, heavy rain, and most of the fighting titles i picked up. as far as FPS, sports title, racing titles, there has not been one that caught my eye. i believe i am just maturing and not getting the enjoyment out of videogames i once did, they collect much more dust than the days of my xbox. i cant fathom spending another 700 on a system and then dropping 50 per title for another 50 titles. at this stage of my life it just doesnt add up. there is an outside chance i pick up a handheld as i feel android and Windows phone games lack, but other than that i cannot see myself continuing to support the Sony brand. i lost a huge amount of faith this past weekend when i placed the order to swap my YLOD 60gb for a refurbished reconditioned 160gb and the customer service was offering me a 2 year free warranty on a system that just got repaired. with my systems dying every 3 years, gives me little to no faith. basically what i am trying to say is that even my vizio is outlasting my ps3 and vizio is widely known to not last very long as a HDTV. pretty sad from a company who used to be one of the big 3 S.

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Underdog15
Tuesday, January 01, 2013 @ 11:08:55 AM

*For all intents and purposes

Sorry for your PS3 troubles. My friends and I have had nothing but success and reliability from our PS3's, and our games were anything but lackluster. (poor choices on your part, perhaps?) I also think Sony has the highest quality of systems still and of highest reliability. I feel you are likely an outlier with your experience. And when all is said and done, PS3 will have outsold the 360, and it may even catch the Wii. You'll see. :p

As for me and my aging, I feel it's actually allowed me to mature to the point that I appreciate the quality in development. I appreciate the finer things in gaming, and I also seem to subject myself to far greater numbers of genres.

Last edited by Underdog15 on 1/1/2013 11:12:48 AM

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The X Factor 9
Tuesday, January 01, 2013 @ 3:48:42 PM
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Wow, lots of thumbs down from you guys. I guess I expected that though...

Seriously though, things like the PSN fiasco, the failure of the Vita to gain any serious traction, and the inability of Sony to capture more 3rd party exclusives really hurts.

The whole concept of updating the firmware and updating games is a joke too...the whole interface is slow and clunky. On 360, it almost feels instantaneous.

On the plus side, Sony dominated the exclusive department and have shown that their studios know how to make high quality exclusives. Problem is, their marketing departments are pretty bad and they don't sell nearly as well as their Xbox counterparts.

Fix that next generation and maybe they have a chance.

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Underdog15
Tuesday, January 01, 2013 @ 7:28:24 PM

Friendly tip: you can reply to your own thread to keep the chain of replies going. :)

Personally, I feel ms's live fiasco of 2007 at Christmas was worse even though it was less time. More sensitive info was lost, they didn't give nice things like Sony did, no one was reimbursed for lost time, and it was during the Christmas holiday.

Don't judge vita on one year. You know what other systems had bad first years? Ps3, ps2, ps1, and psp. Lol :p

Psn did improve updates, etc. now it'll do it while your ps3 is off by soft starting I'm the middle if the night.

Ms is still in the red due to over spending on marketing. (sort of. It is off set by software and PC sales.

Your praise is for the games. Which is all that really matters. And in sales, both ps3 and 360 are just over 70 million systems, but with a year less time for ps3. Sony is not hiring in software sales like ms has experienced in every genre except fps and wrpg.

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