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Software Still The #1 Console Pusher

We are well aware of the year. We know it's not 1993. Back then, video game consoles played video games and nothing else. But now, over 15 years later, our game systems are full-fledged home entertainment units, capable of delivering everything from movies to music to picture and video content. Hence, there are plenty of factors to consider when evaluating sales charts in this new generation.

Price, for example, is always a driving force behind sales numbers, especially in an ailing economy. And if the price of your chosen system is a little higher than you might want, reliability quickly becomes another consideration. There are many things to think about, but in the end, the determining factor always remains the same: software. While there may be a few people out there who bought the PlayStation 3 for it's Blu-Ray capabilities, most everyone who forks over the cash to pick up a games consoles wants to play games. Everyone loves to dissect those sales charts, but for whatever reason, the question of software is often lost in the shuffle. Do you want an answer as to why a certain platform sold better at a certain time of year? Sure, you could look at a recent price drop or something like that, but instead, just simplify things and remember that at its core, this industry is still all about the games.

Grand Theft Auto IV releases and sales of both the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 increase while Wii sales level off (a lull for them). Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots launches and PS3 sales go through the roof, easily topping both the 360 and Wii for a time. Earlier in 2008, the PSP enjoys the releases of Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII and God of War: Chains of Olympus, and lo and behold, sales increase, ultimately allowing the handheld to become the best-selling platform in Japan for the first 6 months of 2008. Gears of War 2 releases in November, causing holiday sales of the 360 to spike. PS3 sales didn't really spike due to LittleBigPlanet, Resistance 2 and PlayStation Home, but then again, Sony's advertising for such games was downright awful. If the consumers aren't aware of the games, it's tough to sell the system. They're pushing LBP pretty hard now, though, and Home will continue to be a selling point as it grows.

Killzone 2 will cause PS3 sales to rise. So will Gran Turismo 5 and God of War III. Heavy Rain and Infamous may have some impact, too, which is why we consider 2009 to be a winning year for the PS3. Sony's machine should also get a price drop at some point in 2009, but really...so what? Who cares if it dropped to $199 if it didn't have any games to play? Who's even considering the PS3 as a Blu-Ray player alone? Who wants the 360 for Netflix and the new Xbox Live Experience? No, look: if there's a GTAIV, sales go up. If there's a MGS4, sales go up. If there's a Gears 2, sales go up. There are other factors to consider and price is always important, but games are still - thank God - the #1 console pusher in this industry. Can't get any simpler than that.

12/30/2008 Ben Dutka

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Comments (66 posts)

WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, December 30, 2008 @ 10:41:22 PM
Reply

Maybe they could have a nice price cut if they sold barebones consoles that ONLY play games.

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Phoelix
Tuesday, December 30, 2008 @ 11:16:10 PM

They would still have to have the same size hard drives, and all they could really feasibly drop are the card readers (at least for PS3).

Wouldn't you think that the video/music playback was relatively simple to add on? All Sony had to do was put in a simple music player and video program.

I'm not sure how much that would affect the price, but it'd be interesting to see if Sony would actually back off their "home entertainment center" jargon and just sell a games system.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, December 31, 2008 @ 12:00:33 AM

I dunno, they were complaining about the cost of software emulation for PS2 games, and that's just software. So who knows?

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Phoelix
Wednesday, December 31, 2008 @ 4:30:22 PM

That's a good point. I'm reminded vaguely of the April Fools' Day article about the PS3 without a Blu-ray drive for $150.
And I wonder just how much Sony saves per console by dropping backwards compatibility. I think that was an egg-headed move on their part that has probably put off plenty of PS2 owners from upgrading: "But what about all my PS2 games...? Am I just supposed to throw them away at a Gamestop trade-in?"

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Spartan 117
Tuesday, December 30, 2008 @ 10:42:00 PM
Reply

I remember 2 years ago when they were saying "2007 will be PS3's year" and then "2008 will be PS3's year" and now your saying 2009 360 has a huge advantage over PS3 in price and games. But if PS3 got lowered to $300 it could get close to 360's sales. But 2009 will not be PS3's year or 360's, Wii has already won.

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MetalHead09
Tuesday, December 30, 2008 @ 11:04:24 PM

actually the 360 dont have the advantage in games anymore. not after this year and 09.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, December 31, 2008 @ 12:01:29 AM

And Wii is just a toy, not a competitor.

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somethingrandom
Wednesday, December 31, 2008 @ 2:31:07 AM

Yes, the Wii is not a games system. It is a physiotherapy tool used in old folks homes...

...and also a toy for young children...

...and a fad for everyone else...

...etc. etc. etc....

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Wage SLAVES
Wednesday, December 31, 2008 @ 4:59:04 AM

You get what you pay for. The flood gates have JUST opened on the Ps3 console so I don't know who you could've quoted for the "Year of Ps3 for '07". Everyone was counting PS3 out.

So...ah-ahem watch for yourself the coming Sony domination...or is that what is reflecting off your visor, Spartan?

Last edited by Wage SLAVES on 12/31/2008 5:01:22 AM

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Aftab
Wednesday, December 31, 2008 @ 5:14:32 PM

Total sales don't say much as per Kreate's elegant argument (360 has yet to catch up to the ps1, lol). As per available exclusives, LBP, MGS4, Wipeout HD, Echochrome, R2, Uncharted, Ratchet, MotorStorm are argument enough against the 360's Halo, Gears, Braid and Fable. GTA4,Deadspace, POP have shown that the ps3 isn't lacking multiplatform quality support, anymore. So, I do think this was PS3's year. And, so will be the next one. Though, I still love Ninja Gaiden 2 on my 360.

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King James
Tuesday, December 30, 2008 @ 10:48:13 PM
Reply

I think in 2009, the PS3 probably won't outsell the 360 but it will at least tie.

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bigrailer19
Tuesday, December 30, 2008 @ 11:13:03 PM
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i agree that consumers will not buy if they dont know whats out there for every 10 xbox commercials i see one ps3 add, and it bugs the crap out of me when a multi plat game commercial comes on and at the end you see a big xbox 360 logo, its misleading for some not knowing its multi plat and think its just a 360 add and its a slap in the face for sony and the ps3 really... but all in all i think 2009 is strongly leading to the ps3, and i know tons of xbox owners leaning towards buying a ps3 not just for the gaming experience but blu-ray people want high def. movies and blu-ray is it. with the amount of people new to buying a ps3 and current xbox owners in the market for a ps3 i believe that also helps the ps3 in 2009. and as for the wii lol well its a waste of money mine has been sitting since i bought 2 years ago, in fact i let my g/f, sister borrow it and now its sits there not being used as well, and if people knew what they were getting when they bought it i dont think it would sell... sorry i had to vent but the advertising not being there hurts the ps3 for sure but all in all i love my ps3 have ever since i got it in 2006 and it deserves respect where due and 2009 it will finally get its respect it deserves!!!!

Last edited by bigrailer19 on 12/30/2008 11:17:22 PM

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bigrailer19
Tuesday, December 30, 2008 @ 11:22:42 PM
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metal head hit it right on in pointing out that 08 may have been overlooked a little but 08 was a huge year for ps3, and 09 will be better!

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Sir Shak
Tuesday, December 30, 2008 @ 11:24:51 PM
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hope you turn out to be right ben , the internet is full of ps bashing these days and especially the american media seems reluctant to acknowledge that the japanese have yet again got the better product on the market .all i here are NPD numbers , like the rest of the world does exist .

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Phoelix
Wednesday, December 31, 2008 @ 4:35:35 PM

I hate reading news headlines that sensationalize and blow PS3 sales figures out of proportion. And I hate the headlines like "Sony failing in the wake of XBox 360, with superior games like [insert multiplat game available on both consoles]."

I guess I just really hate when people who have little or no knowledge of the game world but still try to write news articles pertaining to games. That's about the same as Ben and Arnold trying to cover news about pharmaceutical R&D. It's not their area of expertise, so they should leave it to the actual experts.

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SHADOW [Moderator]
Wednesday, December 31, 2008 @ 1:54:45 AM
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It's a really slow news week. lol

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Aftab
Wednesday, December 31, 2008 @ 5:42:43 AM

Well, duh. It's the last week of the year! Everything to be released has been released. And everything to be announced has been announced.

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Scarecrow
Wednesday, December 31, 2008 @ 2:26:19 AM
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Software has always been the most important thing.

That's why SNES was better than Genesis.

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Deleted User
Wednesday, December 31, 2008 @ 3:27:36 AM
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If I hear another "the Japanese made a much better product" im going to scream.

Its got IBM and Nividai parts in it! Just like the original Xbox!

The same American based companies did both. The Gamecube and Wii also have parts from IBM.

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Aftab
Wednesday, December 31, 2008 @ 5:40:40 AM

Reliability is priority for Japanese engineering. It is their competitive edge and reason for survival. With American engineering, not so much. Their products are built to sell....and break...and sell again.

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karneli lll
Wednesday, December 31, 2008 @ 6:11:30 AM

The playstation brand is made by Japanese, the xbox brand by Americans. The console components are from all over because it was cheaper to buy this and that instead of making it yourself.Scream all you want the japs made the ps3,well, some japanese actually.

Could the US govt be hindering Sony's attempts? maybe trying to prevent a situation like the one in the car industry?

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Qubex
Wednesday, December 31, 2008 @ 6:23:23 AM

No karneli III; I don't think that is the case!

Q!

"i aM HoMe"

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karneli lll
Wednesday, December 31, 2008 @ 6:47:49 AM

I doubt it too Qubex, first one to get blamed is always the govt. Sony know they need to advertise but do it like its a thorn on their side, is the marketing team that bad? I fear for Killzone 2 coming between street fighter and rez 5

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Xanavi23
Wednesday, December 31, 2008 @ 8:08:42 AM

Japanese reliability doesn't end with games. I shouldn't have to tell you about Toyota and Honda's great reliablity provided owners care for them. Like with the PS3, there are the occasional issues but thats just humans building things, they make mistakes once in a while.

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ps92117
Wednesday, December 31, 2008 @ 2:23:34 PM

there is another site that has an article describing how sony in a way help make the 360 processor and stuff, by allowing ibm to share certain designs of the cell n also i did not know that the cell had been in the works since 2001

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Deleted User
Wednesday, December 31, 2008 @ 2:37:51 PM

Obviously this one flew past you guys.

You guys know that its more then just the brand name right?

The PS3 has TONS of American parts in it. As for Toyota and Honda no thank you. Give me the new Camaro or Corvette ZR1 any day.

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Deleted User
Wednesday, December 31, 2008 @ 2:53:41 PM

And as for made by Japanese..No they are made in China by Dolby Laboratories. Just like the Xbox..

The typical American is so uninformed..It babbles me.

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Xanavi23
Wednesday, December 31, 2008 @ 4:34:13 PM

Josh, i wasn't discounting that Sony uses American parts. You're probably right but clearly the way in which they use them is really working for them. So given Sony is a Japanese company Japanese influence seems to be working.

PS: Im canadian N00b ;)

Last edited by Xanavi23 on 12/31/2008 4:34:29 PM

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Aftab
Wednesday, December 31, 2008 @ 5:20:04 PM

Josh, you're a car afficiondo, right? So tell me, according to the bluebook, how do car's like Pontiac and Chevrolet depreciate over time as compared to Honda and Toyota?

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Deleted User
Wednesday, December 31, 2008 @ 5:41:08 PM

Af

Depends on the model and the year.

And X

The specs were shown b4 Sony made the contract. Thats how business works. Nividai made parts for the original xbox but now they make parts for Sony.

IBM also helped with the Gamecube, Xbox, 360, Wii, PS3.

To many factors come into play to call any system "Japanese" or "American". Tho I still support Microsoft, IBM, and Apple because they are headquartered here.

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karneli lll
Wednesday, December 31, 2008 @ 7:14:48 PM

joshua,look up Ken Kutaragi before saying the ps brand is a chinese product.

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SHADOW [Moderator]
Wednesday, December 31, 2008 @ 8:37:07 PM

It doesn't matter where the parts come from. The system was built in a Sony R&D lab in Japan. They made sure everything was strong sturdy reliable and not prone to any major problems.

MS apparently put together a box that was cheap and worked, but didn't invest enough time or effort to make it relable over the long haul (or even short haul, sometimes).

Last edited by SHADOW on 1/1/2009 6:10:40 AM

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Shatterday
Friday, January 02, 2009 @ 8:24:26 AM

So I don't work for Honda or anything, oh wait, I do.

Japanese business models emphasize quality products, it's key to their operations.

American businesses don't have that same virtue and it shows. *cough* GM *cough* bailout *cough* arrogant retards *cough*

*dies*

ps

Go read any review of any japanese car/product and compare it to anything made in America, reviews are generally way better.

Just because parts are made by the same company, doesn't mean that they use the exact same processes for everything. Specifics are negotiated.

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Zorigo
Wednesday, December 31, 2008 @ 6:59:29 AM
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ur not bonna by a games console wthout decent games or it is a media hub, and an expensiv one at that

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city96
Wednesday, December 31, 2008 @ 7:02:28 AM
Reply

GAmes are a push. but the overall console is what you should be concerned about. buy a xbox3shitty then find games dnt run as well youd be annoyed. I find the entertainment side of PS3 quite amazing. i rent blurays from the store and tape. haha no one knows.LOL

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Xanavi23
Wednesday, December 31, 2008 @ 8:07:22 AM

They say the PS3 blu-ray is one of the best on the market compared to stand-alones. that speaks for itself. PS: be careful about mentioning your entertainment on the net, don't get nailed so a business can make more money.

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Enfildate
Wednesday, December 31, 2008 @ 7:04:08 AM
Reply

i personally think the new xbox live experience is not a selling point. it is more confusing compared to the original dashboard. Bbtw, does anyone know if the ps3 is getting a xmb change?

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SHADOW [Moderator]
Wednesday, December 31, 2008 @ 8:33:42 PM

Maybe minor tweaks here and there but Sony and consumers absolutely love the XMB. Sony has been integrating it into a lot of there products lately. Even Bravia TVs got a little XMB style options menu.

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Enfildate
Wednesday, December 31, 2008 @ 7:04:27 AM
Reply

Deleted by a moderator.

Xanavi23
Wednesday, December 31, 2008 @ 8:06:13 AM
Reply

So true about Resistance 2. I bought and love it but on Boxing day, our black friday it was one of the few top notch games that had INCREDIBLE amounts of copies, even collectors edition were madly in stock.

Its not that the game sucks but i thought it was that there wasn't nearly enough advertising on the main networks or sport networks or others. You guys proved it. Buyers won't buy a game they don't know about...its not too late for Sony to push sales harder..its still early in the shelf life and the game is great especially since players seldom prefer a pure tactical game over an FPS like this which isn't totally extreme as it still demands tactical play at its best.
Sony can fix this issue, whether they will or not, is their choice.

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karneli lll
Wednesday, December 31, 2008 @ 9:49:29 AM

The livestock in Sony's marketing offices need to go,but somehow Sony doesnt get it

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Xanavi23
Wednesday, December 31, 2008 @ 4:37:57 PM

I agree karnelli...PS3s advertising is weak. They have great titles but i see almost NO commercials for any of the games...i don't know what the hell is going on.

I remember when Gears 1 came out, they had an amazing hitting commercial where the main guy was shaking off locusts, gets away from them and then leaps into some sort of Locust Arachnid Queen nest, thinking...I'm F***ed.
All the while some great instrumental classical music was playing.
seems sony could learn a thing or 2 from M$ advertising group and they're not even as good as they could be.

Dammit, Killzone 2 better get a REAL FreaKing AWESOME commercial.

Last edited by Xanavi23 on 12/31/2008 4:39:05 PM

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FLYING_APE
Wednesday, December 31, 2008 @ 8:13:29 AM
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2008 is the year of the ps3......LOL

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Qubex
Wednesday, December 31, 2008 @ 8:41:54 AM
Reply

I believe 2009 will be the year of the PS3... just like 2007 was! LoL!

Advetising advertising advertising... with getting the message across it will still be a struggle to increase sales markedly mi thinks... Price, price, price... a $50 drop would go a long way too...

Q!

"i Am HoME"

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King James
Wednesday, December 31, 2008 @ 12:08:44 PM

but then M$ will sell Xbox's for $150. lol

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shadowpal2
Wednesday, December 31, 2008 @ 10:46:49 AM
Reply

Great article...and of course Software will still remain the #1 reason to buy a game console. I wonder why....OH HEY MAYBE BECAUSE IT'S A FREAKING GAME CONSOLE IN WHICH YOU COULD VIDEO GAMES ON!!!!!!!!!

God of War III will already sell PS3s. Killzone 2 - I'm not too sure. Gran Turismo 5 - yep that will sell PS3s and so will FFXIII and FF Versus XIII.

But if it wants to be selling more than the competition Sony needs to have contracts of exclusivity with 3rd party developers. Sure their 1st party developers are GOLD but IMO can never reach skills of Kojima, Nomura, and etc. SO CREATE SOME CONTRACTS!!!! Instead of taking losses from bad sales, why not make an investment that will end up as a profit???

C'mon Sony. THAT'S WHAT MADE THE PS2 successful didn't it? I mean not the fact that Sony made contracts of exclusivity with 3rd party developers but the fact that there was such a large library of games for the PS2 from 3rd party developers.

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Qubex
Wednesday, December 31, 2008 @ 12:53:06 PM

Killzone 2 - Lol! It will certainly raise awareness of the Ps3 just a tad I think!

Q!

"i aM hOMe"

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, December 31, 2008 @ 1:19:02 PM
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Oldest story in the book, great product, lousy marketing.

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Spartan 117
Wednesday, December 31, 2008 @ 2:15:59 PM
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The reason why people won't say Wii is a competitor is because it's outselling PS3 four to one.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, December 31, 2008 @ 2:46:39 PM

We say it's not a competitor because it has no games and doesn't require games to succeed.

It's a gadget. Nothing more.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, December 31, 2008 @ 2:48:27 PM

I'm thinkin' it's because it in no way caters to the same demographic.

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Deleted User
Wednesday, December 31, 2008 @ 2:51:24 PM

The Wii caters more to women and kids.

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LCF
Wednesday, December 31, 2008 @ 6:05:23 PM

The wii is a toy.Plain and simple.

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ps92117
Wednesday, December 31, 2008 @ 2:41:29 PM
Reply

no ppl say it is not a competitor because it does not compete when it comes to hardcore games , n if it was a competitor then so would be the leap frog consel, wii=ps2 with bunch of motion sensing addon, n u my fair sir r an xbot who if i have my calculations right thinks halo 3 was the best game ever made which makes me pity u, plz ban this guy or he is not going to leave us alone , n i wonder where josh is ohh wait yeah there he is

Last edited by ps92117 on 12/31/2008 2:43:28 PM

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coldbore
Wednesday, December 31, 2008 @ 3:26:20 PM
Reply

i keep trying to convince my friend to buy a ps3 but he says he's gonna get a 360 by the end of the week, i keep wondering why he wants a 360, i tell him things like "how many exlusives do they have coming in 2009... halo wars? thats all i can think of, and how much do you have to pay to play online" and then he says the price is cheaper, now im not a fanboy or anything (i have both systems and love them equaly XD) but there has to be some way to con him into getting a ps3 instead

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, December 31, 2008 @ 4:16:06 PM

Just type up a list of what it would cost to get a 360 with everything he needs versus a PS3 out of the box. Toss in a few bricked 360 statistics, costs for online, system capabilites, exclusive games, upcoming games, email it to him and wala... problem solved.

Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 12/31/2008 4:16:25 PM

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bamf
Wednesday, December 31, 2008 @ 7:37:54 PM

You also got to try and convince that they need all this stuff. I think the majority just want the console to play games. My mate has a 360, paid £40 for live and he's happy playing pro soccer online. He doesn't have a HDTV, he's not fussed. I tell him about PS3 and that it has blu-ray, free online, etc. He said he's interested if the price was lower next year so he could play online for free. However he might not bother as he has a 360 and can just renew his live membership. I'm hoping his 360 blows up.

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King James
Friday, January 02, 2009 @ 1:09:53 AM

When his 360 breaks and he sees ur PS3 doing its thang...he'll make his own decision.

@bamf
You shouldn't wish such evil on your friends like that. No matter how easy it is? lol.

Anybody playing a 360/PS3 on a SDTV and is content with it, doesn't need ur guidance. Its his eyes. Ppl like that have don't think like you. U say "true 1080p gaming", he says "Uh...good-looking picture?" or "It all looks the same to me."

Last edited by King James on 1/2/2009 1:38:14 AM

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moose88
Wednesday, December 31, 2008 @ 4:26:10 PM
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"Reliability is priority for Japanese engineering. It is their competitive edge and reason for survival. With American engineering, not so much" ...

Why don't the English make game consoles?

Because it's hard to make electronics leak oil.

I have always bought a console/upgraded a PC to play games. I had the PSXs (Resident Evil), I switched to XBOX (for Buffy ... sry!), the 360 because it was first out and GeOW was pretty cool. Then it RRODed on me.

Now the PS3 is King. The best part? I missed Uncharted and R:FoM and all the cool stuff last year. I have a huge back catalogue to get through before KZ2 replaces the wife and kids for a week (at least).

Man, 2009 is gonna be big.

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Deleted User
Wednesday, December 31, 2008 @ 5:42:01 PM

You want to say that to the People at Apple?

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SHADOW [Moderator]
Thursday, January 01, 2009 @ 6:15:40 AM

Apple is an island in a sea of failure.

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bamf
Wednesday, December 31, 2008 @ 7:31:39 PM
Reply

360 sales spiked when they dropped the price. I would guess that 360 sales for dec will be double the PS3 and it will come down to price when a customer had to pick between the two. And we all know what these store sale guys are like. "360 cheaper and its got gears 2, the best game ever, PS3 got no games" We have it the same in the UK in Gamestation stores.
I bet in Japan the PS3 didn't do to well? I don't think the PS3 is expensive for people anymore and they would pay the price. Its just that there's a cheaper option out there and a consumer will way up the prices of how many more games they could get for a price of a PS3.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Thursday, January 01, 2009 @ 12:11:54 AM
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I don't have time to read this, but PLEASE just tell me that Josh isn't trying to defend the 360's CATASTROPHIC reliability issue... Please.

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Deleted User [Administrator]
Thursday, January 01, 2009 @ 12:30:00 AM

Thats one thing ill never defend.

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SHADOW [Moderator]
Thursday, January 01, 2009 @ 6:13:18 AM

No. Just that Sony apparantly no longer makes Japanese products.

We don't get it either.

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NetheRealm
Sunday, January 04, 2009 @ 12:17:22 AM
Reply

They should replace the snoozefest known as HOME with the Lord of the Rings Conquest demo which is a much more entertaining online experience. Seriously what is more fun, dancing & bowling with other gamers or backstabbing & fireballing them?

Last edited by NetheRealm on 1/4/2009 12:23:54 AM

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