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The rise of the Xbox 360 attributable to Sony mistakes with PlayStation 3

by Bill Hess on May 14, 2012

There’s no question that the Xbox 360 was the big winner in this generation of consoles. While it might not have sold as many as Nintendo, it certainly increased brand awareness in the eyes of consumers, and definitely stole market share from Sony.

“The transition to PlayStation 3 was really, really bad.”With this generation winding down to a close, one former Xbox executive recently spoke about the Xbox 360’s good fortune, and attributes it to a series of poorly executed plans for Sony with the transition to the PlayStation 3. Robbie Bach, a former executive for the Xbox brand, told GeekWire via GamesIndustry that Sony mismanaged its market share this generation.

“Sony mismanaged its 70 percent market share,” Bach told the reporter. “The transition to PlayStation 3 was really, really bad. And really hard. They mismanaged their partners, they mismanaged their cost structure. They made their next platform so complicated that developers couldn’t develop for it.”

So how did Microsoft’s Xbox 360 benefit from this? Bach says “It turns out we were able to convince retailers and publishers like Activision, Electronic Arts and others, that it was a good thing for Microsoft to be successful, because if we were not successful, the only game in town was Sony. Being dependant on somebody else was bad for them, and so they supported us disproportionately to what they should have, mathematically,” Bach concluded.

Despite a rocky first couple of years for the Xbox 360 and its notorious widespread hardware failures, the console has managed to sell over 65 million units since 2005. Sony who dominated the market with its PlayStation 2, lost quite a bit of ground, as the latest figures still put its PlayStation 3 behind the Xbox 360 worldwide.

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  • ungruntled

    It’s hardly behind xbox at all! Ps3 is a fantastic console with wonderful games. 360 is an okay console with decent games. They’re hardly killing it. What nonsense. Americans would just rather be seen to support an American company. Ill placed patriotism. How quickly they forget the awful software Microsoft have churned out and over priced for years!

    • jason

      Your Reply is invalid! PS3 and Xbox are BOTH Fantastic Consoles ( I have Both) 1. Xbox 360 IS very much so, Killing it! 2. Not ALL Americans have an Xbox 360, and If we did it’s called Supporting our Nations Companies and trying to BOOST our Economy, So you blame us for that? lol. 3. Microsoft Makes very GOOD software for PC’s and are the LEADING in the WORLD! The Xbox 360 was $200 Cheaper than the PS3 when Launched and still is, sooooooo…. I don’t know where you are getting the term “Overpriced”? Thanks

    • http://l Wolf212

      Americans are being biased for buying xbox 360 over the PS3? really? You seem to be forgetting the PS2 out sold the original xbox in the US by a substanial number and more Wii’s have been sold there the 360’s. Does this not contradict your assumtion that Americans are biased in favour of home grown consoles? Anwser: yes it does.

      One more thing. The xbox and xbbox 360 have never sold well in Japan so by your logic the Japanese are biased in favour of ther own products. But of course you will not mention or claim this.

  • Jahnny b

    What a biased only outsells ps3 in the states. World wide ps3 is the leader.not to mention game developers are more than willing to design for ps3 becuase of the things they can do with it that they cant do with xbox. Only reason why they dont is becuase of contractual obligations to keep microsoft selling there games as well. This also explains why any sony exclusive game looks better than any xbox exclusive game. I would gladly put god of war, uncharted or little big planet in a contest for best graphics over any halo, gears, or party pinata title xbox owners want to put them up against.

    • Cool dude

      Think about this worldwide sales in past years.


      Ps3-Xbox 360 gap 1.9 million to Ps3.


      Ps3-Xbox 360 gap 700k to Ps3


      Ps3-Xbox 360 gap 300k to Ps3

      See the decline?

  • Rick

    It has more to do about market share, not worldwide sales. MS increased their’s by about 300% while sony lost 50%

  • ShockedPumpkin

    the fact that the xbox360 came out before the ps3 AND have more sales than the ps3 the day today says it all :)

  • Gman

    And half of Xbox 360 sale came from second, third, or fourth purchase from RROD, trolololol.

  • McVities

    Usual bullshit from the king of bullshit, who has made a career out of hyping bullshit.

    The PS2 was just as “hard” to develop for as the PS3 is, ask any proper developer. It comes with the territory of custom hardware.

    Microsoft have disrupted this generation of gaming to THEIR benefit, at the cost of gamers. Because of their underpowered platform, ALL games have to suffer as a result, which is why cross-platform titles suck on ALL platforms.

    Take a look at the PS3 excluisves to see what can be done when you aren’t towing the Xbox and it’s 1990’s architecture.

    To even suggest that Sony dropped the ball because they waited to get the hardware working, and that rushing out your product first, when it’s barely working, is the winning strategy is basically calling all Xbox owners a bunch of retards.

    • Cool dude

      So by your argument, you imply that million of gamers out there cant independently think by themselves and should follow your example? You also imply “Underpowered” hardware. The fact that the Ps3 and the 360 are 6 years old hardwares makes your argument irrelevant.

      So your saying that Consoles players should run to the nearest electric store. JUST TO GET THE LATEST HARDWARE.

      Think again..

    • MacVities

      The Xbox360 is seriously underpowered. The games don’t show this thou, as it’s holding all systems back equally. You have to look to platform exclusives to see the real system capabilities.

      Microsoft are the kings of spin. Whatever their viral marketing teams post on the internet forums is lapped up by millions of (mostly American) gamers as the truth..

      Even now you will see totally made up crap like Blu-Ray is slower than DVD (utterly intrue, as worst PS3’s Blu-Ray is 10% faster, at best it’s 70% faster, depending on what part of the disk you are reading on the Xbox), and that the PS3’s GPU is less powerful than the Xbox’s (which again is crap, as it conveniently forgets to include the Cell’s GPU pipeline).

      This whole generation has been about brainwashing dumb and lazy gamers that can’t be bothered to check facts, and Microsoft paying serious $$$$m to get as much of the American media, and thus the American public to support the American console…

    • Cool dude

      You have no idea what your talking about. Then why would Skyrim need a mandatory install on the Ps3 when Bluray is really that fast? When in fact Skyrim runs better on the Xbox 360 without the need for a install with a DVD.

      Please tell me where you got your “percentages” from.

    • David Banner

      Your observation is so true i wish a lot of us would see it even in exclusive this year for the 360 they have not been many.The company has been riding on developers who create for both platforms to increase their game library.

    • MacVities

      Skyrim doesn’t run any better on the 360, that again is the power of Microsoft’s viral marketing at work. The whole “Skyrim on PS3 is buggy” is also a load of crap. The bugs affected ALL platforms, PS3, Xbox, PC, but only the PS3 got the bad press? Go figure…..

      PS3 has mandatory installs, simply because all PS3′ s come with a HDD. 360 comes with optional installs because not all 360’s have HDD. If you don’t install, the game runs like a turd. This has been twisted by the media into “PS3 needs mandatory installs”, and games comparisons are all done against the XBox when they install the game (meaning the XBox basically also has mandatory installs).

      Don’t underestimate the billions$$ that Microsoft have poured into internet viral marketing this generation. I wouldn’t be surprised if we soon have Joystiq articles about how Sony use slave labour to build their consoles, and how Microsoft look after their factory workers…

    • narcoleptic

      @MacVities You are right about skyrim running like crap on all platforms. I just bought a 3770k 16gb of ram at 2400mhz and i have (for now) an asus 560 dc ii. On my last computer is had weird glitches like huge frame drop in towns and stuff. So i load skyrim up on my ssd and proceed to run it and there is NOOOOOOO difference. Huge frame drop in town and random glitches it was all still there. The only thing i noticed was a little fps improvement. btw i know that it can’t use the whole 16gb only a fraction of it.

  • Frank

    Honestly, I can see 2-3 million of hose consoles being replacements. I bought three and my bro bought two. But at the end of the day, you gotta give credit to MS for taking advantage of Sonys awful decision of releasing the PS3 at $600. If they excluded the ps2 BC, the high end wouldve been $500 and the 20 gig ps3 would’ve been $400 and we wouldn’t be talking about this at all.

    • Cool dude

      But it wasnt $400 was it? It was $600 in some countries $800 equivalent. It was sony’s mistake.

      You need to take you thumb out of your ass and realize the decline.

  • Cool dude

    GMan not really.

    People who got RROD probably.

    -Got a cheap repair
    -Warranty repair
    -Bought a Ps3

    Take in to account that MS put a 2 year warranty on all RROD units from 2007 to 2010

    RROD argument is illogical.

  • Cool dude


  • bigjershby

    theres bits and pieces of truths and good points from all of u

    i will say this u cant call the ps3 a failure cuz it didnt sell 120 mill( cuz that wont never happen again for any new hardware ps2 was a perfect storm ) and becuz it makes money…..

    how is the 360 the big winner…think about it between lieing to customers about being about games to the RROD i think they rubbed alot of use the wrong way i personally liked MS more b4 the xbox 360

    • Cool dude

      Lied? Source?

  • bigjershby

    its very simple and common knowledge that MS marketed the 360 as a gameing console and promised gaming would be its focus in the future welll we all know they lied……….ask any1 that remembers when 360 was new how ms marketed it

    • Cool dude

      The fact that the 360 console is a gaming console. And still makes games up to this date makes your point irrelevant.

      Lied? Not really, its how one chooses to see it.

      In your argument, in order for MS to lie from this marketing technique. they would have to abandon gaming whole together.

      What about when Sony promised the Ps3 to have 1080p native games able to run at 60fps on 4 different screens. What happened to that?

      Did they lie?

  • bigjershby

    look im not making a “argument” and i dont care about what sony said about anyhing all i know is if u look around the internet ull see a lot of unhappy 360 owners and alot of happy ps3 owners take it for what it is

    • Cool dude

      Thats because IDIOT still take the console wars seriously.

      It bothers me… a lot.

  • Mike McMack

    The 360 is the superior console this generation, if the 360 had blu ray there would be no debating this. While I love my ps3 more because of the exclusives it’s undeniable to say that the 360 isn’t the better console. It all comes down to what Microsoft did in making the software development kit as loaded as it is for devs. If the devs have an easier time making a product on their system then we as the consumer get a better product. Most multi platform releases look and work better on the 360 and the reason why is because the MS team knew that it would benefit everyone to make a console thats easy to develop for. Time is money and with the deadlines devs have in making a game it pays to develop on the 360 then port to the ps3. The ps3 has more options and more potential but Sony made it extremely tedious to unlock such potential. The ps3 exclusives are what really show the ps3’s power but as I’ve already said, you can’t expect 3rd party devs to put in extra work to make the ps3 versions of games equal to their 360 and pc counter parts when it’s a lot of work to do so. I mean c’mon, the ps3 is a superior piece of hardware compared to the 360 but they are both VIDEO GAME CONSOLES and the 360 is better to play games on.

    Congratulations 360 fanboys…you won this generation. Onto the next set of consoles, should be really interesting. The kicker in the next gen is whether or not Nintendo survives to make the next generation after, if not I’d love to see Nintendo games on the MS and Sony next gen consoles.

    • Cool dude

      Let me tell you something. If Sony NEVER did put the blu-ray technology n the Ps3.

      The console could have sold in numbers close or over the ps2’s

  • bigjershby

    this is the last thing ima say on this topic
    1) cool dude ur a troll i just read this tread again and u replied to almost every post

    2)saying 360 plays games better then ps3 is total BS neither one of them play games right ps3 has frame rate issues 360 has bad texture streaming and pop-in only games that play right r ps3 exclusives and half of them have lil hic-ups so dont try that BS cuz there was a time i fell for that shat but then i got a 360 and started using it

    • narcoleptic

      There are reasons why i never got a ps3 or xbox360 and instead put all of my money into computer parts. I like 1920×1080 at 60 fps at the EXACT same graphics as the console and the option upgrade to new components to run my favorite game at higher graphics settings. Btw you can spend $700 on a new computer and play bf3 at ultra at 1920×1080 at 60fps and i’m not joking srsly. Too bad you can’t do this for consoles so you could run uncharted 3 better. and right now an awesome graphics card that’ll run great is $200 many guys i know have done this to there dell computer and can run bf3 just fine. I just wish that pc gaming was a little more user friendly like having a performance result next to the component when your going to buy it.

  • Adam

    Haha, what happened to you Cool Dude? I remember half a year ago, you were about the only sensible guy on here besides me. Don’t become a fanboy bro. Not saying you are, just don’t hold onto one belief illogically just because you want it to be right.

    That being said, I would agree with the article and say that the 360 definitely “Won” just by taking so much market share away.

    I don’t necessarily think that’s a good thing though. Microsoft is already such a huge company, any time they gain any more power, it sort of turns the knots in my stomach around.

  • bigjershby

    ok i lied i have to get this off my chest

    saying that xbox sells more software is nothing to brag about becuz its all in gears, halo ,and cod understand they r the same thing the wii is more for gamers at this point games like xenoblade and hopfully the last story xbox users will never understand if xbox owned the market gaming would go stale and die u have to have more then the same kind of thing video games r repetitive by nature u have to take risks and break the mold its the only way to grow MS has shown in there 10 years that they cant r dont do this so as a result xbox cant carry the load of pushing the industry forward …its the truth think about it think about it from different points of views think about it y u sleep point is if u want to believe it r not thats the way it is

    • Cool dude

      So your trying to say that because people buy so much Xbox 360 exclusives that software sales are irrelevant?

      ” becuz its all in gears, halo ”

      Think again about what your said dude.

  • MacVities

    The best selling car of all time is the Toyota Corolla. What’s your point?

    Sales does not equal quality.

  • MacVities

    OK, so who here is aware that the PS3 has outsold the Xbox360 in global sales EVERY YEAR for the last 5 years….

    I bet nobody knew that, based on the way the media only report what Microsoft wants them to report (cherrypicked NPD numbers).

    PS3 Xbox360
    2011: 13.9m 13.6m
    2010: 14.3m 11.9m
    2009: 13.0m 11.7m
    2008: 10.1m 10.0m
    2007: 9.1m 7.7m

    Numbers from official end of financial year figures from both companies.

    • Cool dude

      Your numbers are false. You state that in the five years that Ps3 has “Outsold” the Xbox 360 that the gap has been reduced by 6.5m in units.

      The current OFFICIAL numbers state that the current gap is 3.3m. From the numbers.
      -67.92m Xbox 360 sold
      -63.3m Ps3 sold

      So the initial gap should have been 3.3 + 6.5 = 9.8m gap between the Xbox 360 and the Ps3.

      Which states that the Xbox 360 must have sold 9.8 million units in 2006 and part of 2005(The only year that the ps3 was missing and the Xbox 360 was currently active).

      However the official number of the Xbox 360s sold in 2005 AND in 2006 is,,,

      7.9m in 2006 and 1.1 in 2005.

      So 7.9 + 1.1 =

      9m compared to your 9.8m number gap.


      Your numbers are false.

  • Heavenswarrior121

    Theres no need to even argue sony regained there pride and did what they had to do to recover…
    Key words 360=successful in AMERICA ps3=successful WORLDWIDE nintendo=successful WORLDWIDE pc=successful UNIVERSE end of discussion

    • Troll

      So true ^^
      If you go to japan with a xbox on your back, eh let’s just say that hmm, how do i say it? ALONE? hahaha

  • Allen

    Again another article that does nothing but say I am 100% right.

    Xbox is only where it is today because Sony released a year late, $200 too high & allowed Xbox to gain the online market by default.

    Xbox sucks donky balls – you fools pay up the ass and still don’t get half the features everyone else has, and that’s on your unreliable, featureless, no exclusive, no exclusive content, disk scratching, disk swapping pay to stream POS.

  • bigjershby

    good for u u got me to post again cool dude

    u need to work on ur comprehension skills for real man cuz if u had any u would see what i was saying is if games like lost odyssey r that timed exclusive ninja giden (not spelled right ) sold 10 mill copys then u would have something cuz then maybe xbox would help gaming instead of flooding the market with halo clowns for the past half decade

    saying its nothing to brag about = irrelevant to u? dont answer

  • Troll

    This article is so biased, no lie o.o. Was he/she paid by Microsoft AS USUAL to write this? lol or he/she just a fucking troll? ;)

  • Cool dude

    ” Sony released a year late, $200 too high & allowed Xbox to gain the online market by default.”

    And whose the retard that let all of this happen? Sony.

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