Console Wars Heat Up!

The three consoles are still in it for the long run, but the Console Wars have just heated up!  The Microsoft Xbox 360 still in lead at around 12 million consoles sold worldwide!  Nintendo's Wii sits at around 9 million consoles and Sony's PlayStation3 at around 4 million consoles.  But now both Sony and Microsoft have change their lineup and prices in effort to draw more customers into the battle.

Sony's price cut first and came a while ago, and was argued by many as a non existant price cut.  In our original Console Wars article we laid on the prices of the 20GB PS3 at $499 and the 60GB PS3 (that also came with WiFi and a card reader) at $599.  The 20GB PS3 eventually was quite quickly removed from the market due to low sales according to Sony.  Then the 60GB version was dropped in priced to $499 in the US Market with a 80GB Version comming in at $599.  Many argue that it wasn't a true price drop since at launch you couldn't get a PS3 for less than $499 and you still can't get a new PS3 for less than $499.

Microsoft's 360 story is a bit more interesting.  Being the first console out the door gave it a advantage in more time to sell consoles. However, now the Nintendo Wii is outselling the 360 in the US because sales for the 360 have fallen (though they are still higher than PS3 sales).  Still the 360 is in the lead with most consoles sold and Microsoft seems determined to keep it that way.  First Microsoft added a 3rd 360 to its lineup, calling it the Xbox 360 Elite.  It was black, had a 120GB hard drive, HDMI and sold for $479.99.  It was meant for those that really used the Xbox Live Marketplace to download videos and for those that wanted HDMI for 1080p HD (High Defintion) Content.  The Sony PS3 already has HDMI on all its console with the Xbox using Component output at 1080p (though most TV's only accept upto 1080i on component).  Secondly, Today on August 7th Microsoft announced that as of tomorrow there will a price cut for all Xbox 360's.  The Core Unit with out a Hard Drive will cost $279.99, the Xbox 360 Premium or Pro (which accounts for 80% of sales) will drop $50 to $349.99 and the Elite will drop to $499.99.  In addition to a great outlook on game releases for the 360 in the future, this war is expected to really heat up!

Another concern that plagued the 360 was the failure rates, with a more than normal failure rate for Xbox 360s.  Many attribute this as the cause for stagnation of sales.  Microsoft has also address this problem with better heatsinks and new 65nm chips in Xbox 360s that are manufactured in July 2007 or later.  Additionally Microsoft has increased the warranty to 3 year for all failures marked by 3 red lights (Red Ring of Death).  This may help push Microsoft up in consumers mind as it pushes to appear as company people can trust in.

Lastly the Nintendo Wii still remains at $249.99.  Not much has changed since my review in the Console Wars article except the extreme thirst for this non HD console.  It is the fun factor of games such a Wii Sports (included with console) and the innovative motion sensing controller that has caused this console to sell extremely fast.  But for other games the new controller can be frustrating.  It remains to be seen what the future is for the innovative console.  Don't expect a price drop anytime soon.

So the Console Wars are heating up!  Which console is right for you?  Why?  Are the changes to the lineups, hardward, or price affecting your decision on which console to buy?  Let us know!

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  • Guest - Leo94

    Does Microsoft count the millions of system they gave to customers to replace the ones that RRoD'd? 360 has a huge lineup of hits, but sometimes you have to go through 2-7 consoles and 2-3 copies to finish Perfect Dark Zero?

    Sony took a risk, looked at the future of gaming, and said:
    The games are getting too big, we need a medium with greater ceiling. Blu-Ray!!!
    TV's are going digital, they will eventually phase out all the Standard TV set. Blam, HDMI!!!

    Playstation3 60GB at launch = $599, less than 1 year, $100 price drop.
    360 20GB at launch = $399??, no High Definition format, No HDMI, No Wireless (Adapter for additional $100). Almost 2 years later, $50 price drop. Rumor: later 360 Premiums will come with HDMI.

    Microsoft, suckers you into buying their cheap system, and nickle and dime you for shoddy work.

    If you want to play online, you have to pay for it.

    You don't need a wireless adapter, but if you want one just give us an additional $100.

    You don't need HDMI, but, if you do the newer systems will have it so go ahead and buy a new one.

    We extended our warranty to 3 years, but only for RRoD issues.

    You don't need a new storage medium (Blu-Ray or Microsoft supported HD-DVD, with a protective coating), kids don't mind switching disks, or maybe someone will create a new compression strategy to take care of this. But if you want to watch HD-DVD movies, give us an extra $200. Your just going to love HD-DVD!

    People love Microsoft. But Sony's PS3 is a technology bundle, you get what you pay for and it shows in quality. Microsoft rushed to get their system to market first, cutting corners, can you tell? Wait til the games roll.

    Wii is a fun party gaming system, The gameplay is revolution-ary but is lacking the graphical strength needed to appease me.


    :P

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  • Guest - SilverKiller

    @ Kelley

    your statement is true however in July (when there was a price drop for the ps3) sony sold morer ps3's than ms 360's, now we have to wait august and september numbers to see if the price drop in the 360 make ms sell more of them :)

    go wii go you are going to win this battle

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  • Guest - LJKelley

    Another site nexgenwars.com puts the 360 at 11.5 million. How is that the PS3 has shipped only 6 Million but has sold all according to PS Fanbois but when Microsoft says 11.5 were sold to consumers as part of their yearly earning report its all wrong?

    You guys are just sore loosers. The 360 sells over 2 times as much in the US each month then the PS3 according to real data from the NPD.

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  • Guest - wasim

    x360 hasnt sold 10 million units.

    MS has shipped 12.6 million x360s...around 3m are on the shelves for like months with no consumers

    vgcharts put x360 at around 10.3 million units.

    thats disappointing since x360 had a 1 year headstart

    GFK --the mnost reliable website shows ps3 at around 6 m sold

    www.vgcharts.org.

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  • Guest - LJKelley

    All sales figures are of a speculative nature. But Microsoft did announce 11.6 Million sold to consumers end of June. Sony has shipped 6 Million but sales on most sites like VGChartz and NexGenWars put them at 4 million. Sale on the Wii are also agree on at around 9 million.

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  • Guest - Rob Phillips

    That's certainly ambitious speculation when you consider that Kaz Hirai the president of Sony Computer Entertainment has stated unequivocally that Sony has a single SKU strategy.
    They are discontinuing the now $499 60gb unit and introducing the $599 80gb unit with emulation software instead of the EE chip to cut manufacturing costs.
    By January of 2008 there will only be a single 80gb $599 Playstation 3 on retail shelves.
    Whether they will further reduce price on that console remains to be seen- but this is unlikely at this point considering the 230 million US dollar loss that SCE posted for the 4th quarter of fiscal 2007.

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  • Guest - oldest gamer

    The Sony PS3 has a price reduction plan. First the 20gb model was $499 US, 60gb $599 US. Phase out of the 20gb occurred and the 60gb lowered in price to $499 while the new 80gb entered at $599. I would expect another PS3 model before years end at 160gb following the above price pattern. Also at some point next year after the 80gb has sold through, Sony may well lower the 160gb model price to the lower $499 price. By xmas 08, $399.00 will be the normal price for the PS3. Just speculation.

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  • Guest - Rob Phillips

    The 6 million reported consoles for the PS3 are "shipped" units ... meaning SKUs sold by Sony to retailers.
    The articles author alludes to 4 million "sold" units for the PS3 which is representative of SKUs sold by retailers to consumers.
    Sony has sold 6 million consoles to retailers but the important number is the install base (consoles in the hands of gamers) and that number is roughly 4 million...
    The xbox 360 install base is 12 million ... but the "shipped" number is a couple million higher - roughly 14 million.

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  • Guest - Ray Huynh

    Sony has sold at LEAST 6 million units. Probably close to if not more than 7 now because of the price drop (temporary as we all know).

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