Why Microsoft Won The Next-Gen by Losing This Gen.

Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo all did very well this generation. Although it is not quite over, it’s safe to say that the next generation of consoles isn’t too far away from right now.

If we look at the history of the last two generations, and if we were to decide a winner of each of those by sales figures (whether or not all sales were gaming related) it’s clear Sony won both. This is the first generation Sony has entered without winning in sales figures. With that said, Nintendo has “won” this generation (SALES WISE) and Microsoft and Sony fall 30-35 million units behind.

Current sales figures:

1. Nintendo Wii – 96.7 million

2. Microsoft Xbox 360 – 70 million

3. Sony PS3 – 68.2 million

It’s worth noting Sony will (probably) catch up and beat Microsoft by the end of this generation due to the fact that they are pushing the PS3 now more than ever.

With this generation, Microsoft was the first console out on the market and it’s arguably the reason why it continues to thrive so well even today with Sony pushing the PS3 so hard.

With Microsoft pushing their console out the door so early, it was a huge risk that came a bit them in the ass. The RROD (Red Ring of Death) plagued system’s for years and still do today for those with original launch consoles still. This is also most likely the reason why Microsoft is ahead of Sony sales wise since most people got over the fact of their console receiving the RROD and just went out and bought a new Xbox.

But, Microsoft knew what they were doing right from the get go. Let’s be honest, their first Xbox wasn’t overly successful like they probably hoped it would be, despite its incomparable online services. When they launched their Xbox 360, it looked like it was going to flop and roll over because of these hardware failures, but it was only the beginning of Microsoft’s plans.

Think about it this way. Playstation 2 has the largest user base of any console… ever. You can imagine how eager some people were from Gamecube, Xbox, and PS2 to get their hands on a next-gen console. Microsoft knew this (as did Sony and Nintendo presumably) but Microsoft was the smartest out of these three. They got theirs out on the market first, so all of the original Xbox user base would buy it, and all of those eager gamers just dying for a next-gen console could not wait any longer for the Wii or PS3. Half just jumped ship right then and there and (most) would stay that way.

Not only did Microsoft achieve huge success (long-term) by putting their console out first, they predicted the rise of socially connected users and media. Having cross-game chat is a system seller for Microsoft, and with Sony unable to implement on the PS3 due to RAM limitations, Microsoft practically owns the market for socially connected gamers.

Of course, putting it out first had some serious set backs for Microsoft. Their disc format is terrible compared to Blu-Ray, and it’s starting to hurt them with these “2 disc games” coming out. Halo 4 being one of them is just a sign of the times to come.

And, obviously there is the infamous Red Ring of Death which cost them around 1 billion dollars in faulty consoles and repairs. Due to these faults, the reputation as a brand decreased (Although Sony’s Playstation was hit harder with their “incredibly successful” launch of the $599 PS3).

All in all, Microsoft may have lost this generation due to the simple reason of trying to come out first on top right away, but they’re user base grew immensely because of it, and developers realized how much potential the Xbox brand had to go along with it. Sony is going to have to really fix up any and everything currently wrong with the PS3, and really listen to us on what we want for their next console. Their exclusives and first party roster will only go so far in supporting their platforms.

Only time will tell on how each of the next-gen consoles perform, but until then, my money is on Microsoft.

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