For all the success we’ve heard over the last eight years about Microsoft’s Xbox 360 console, we’ve heard an equal amount of complaining about how the PlayStation 3′s late launch and early price tag killed their chances of taking this generation. However, who would have ever guessed that the Xbox 360 could end up in third place by the end of it all?
Of course, the Nintendo Wii is still king of the hill, ticking ever closer and closer to the 100 million units mark. Over this holiday season, the competition for second place took a dramatic shift, leaving Microsoft’s mega-hit machine high and dry in last place.
The International Data Corporation has put out a report stating that the Xbox 360 has sold for a combined 76 million units worldwide, whereas its fiercest competitor, the PlayStation 3, managed to finish off 2012 by crossing the 77 million line.
Granted, there is still a year left in the console cycle for the two machines, but I don’t see Microsoft catching up to Sony’s momentum. The Japanese giant built a huge surge towards the end of the race after a year full of gamer-friendly press and the turnaround of their hot online service PlayStation Plus. Not to mention, they have five huge exclusives coming into 2013.
Microsoft’s solo big time exclusive, Gears of War: Judgement, will have to handle the likes of God of War: Ascension, Beyond: Two Souls, The Last of Us, Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time and Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch. Don’t put it past Sony to support the console for an additional two to three years.
On a positive note, console wars and brand loyalty have seemingly taken a major hit over the last year or two. Maybe I’ve just been ignoring the random chatter of petty Internet arguments, but fans seem to have eased up on each other compared to the earlier days of the generation, perhaps just tired of their current consoles. I say this in the hopes that this news falls on deaf ears and nobody flips out.
Still, if you had told me two or three years ago Sony would pull off the upset, I would have thought you were crazy.
With the new consoles in the works though, will we see another generation of fanboy arguments?