The Xbox 360 surges ahead

In marketing we have something called Unique Selling Propositions (USPs) which are features and benefits that differentiate one product from another in the market. Leading to sales. Here are the USPs of the three main console platforms.

Sony Playstation PS3:
Blue Ray player, so you can use it to play HD home movies.

Nintendo Wii:
Gesture interface.
Amazing Nintendo first party game titles appealing to a broad demographic.

Microsoft Xbox 360:
Elegant design enabling it to be sold at the lowest price point.
The biggest and best catalogue of games. More than the other two machines put together.
Xbox Live, by far the biggest and best online gaming portal.
Rampant piracy makes games free for those who are happy to steal.

And of course the market responds to these USPs. Sony convincingly won the last round of the game console war with PS2. This generation, with PS3, they are coming convincingly third and last. Despite all the analysts predicting otherwise. Obviously the analysts weren’t looking at the USPs.

So now we are in the biggest selling season at the critical mid cycle phase when the meat of all console sales are made. And Microsoft are making hay with the 360.

  • In Italy and the UK (both big Sony strongholds) The 360 now outsells the PS3 two for one.
  • In America too the 360 is selling twice as fast as the PS3.
  • Some weeks the 360 is even outselling the PS3 in Japan.
  • 7 million 360s sold in European territory. 2 million since June as sales ramped up.
  • 360 sales to date now ahead of lifetime sales of the original Xbox. Well before 360 sales reach their peak.

Obviously the Wii is still doing even better. But then Nintendo realised that they could market to everyone, so they have vastly more potential customers.


  1. Why only the PS3 has a “unique” SP?

    I mean, look at x360, that’s a USP?
    its a copy strategy!

  2. This is biased fanboy drivvle. If the Idiot – Box 360 has better games then why is it Konami, Ubisoft AND EA (The biggest third – patry publisher on the planet) make most of their money from PS3 software sales??? Just check those respective company’s latest fiscal reports if you don’t believe me!!!

    You forgot to mention a few things about the Xbox 360 that are “Unique”:

    100% RROD failure rate.

    An expensive online service CONSTANTLY suffering from disconnection issues.

    NO exclusive games announced for the next 2 years (Except a Halo 3 remake, a Halo spinoff and a game ((Alan Wake)) which i don’t think even exists anymore).

    Also, you spelt Blu – Ray wrong in your article… old are you, 12???

  3. PS3 is easily the best console when it comes to games,especially this year.You clearly show your age when you forget about the PS3 exclusive games that came out,the improved PSN and trophy support add-on.While you forget to mention the RROD issue on the 360.Seriously,it’s become something of a trend to knock the PS3 by something as unreliable as the 360,that too by calling it’s design “elegant”.That’s just inventing a point so that you have something extra to say about the xbox and show your favoritism.

  4. Complete and utter fanboyism, your trying to start a flame war by using nonsense as ur bait. First of you state that the 360 has even outsold the PS3 in sales in japan, true…but you fail to mention that PS3 already has an excellent install base there already well over 2/1 on the 360…In America yes PS3 is being outsold by 360 but on a 2/1 god no, it sells around 30,000 more a week…with this week as an exception. You also failed to mention the impact of certain franchises in the line up, Gran Turismo 5 for one, that will cause sales spikes for many weeks. Microsoft have used theres all up. USP, dont make me laugh, how about adding one more to PS3’s & Wii’s list, they dont breakdown every few weeks or after an update!…Im done arguing with you biased towards one console ‘analysts’, it seems to me your fresh out of Microsofts Wallet!

  5. David McFail you did exactly that, fail. So it’s a bit ironic you call the editor a fanboy when you sound like one ten fold compared to him.

    100% failure rate? Yeah sure, keep believing that. Mine works perfectly well and it’s an older model and the new models are even more durable.

    No exclusive games? Well they just released two games Fable 2 and Gears of War 2 that stomp on PS3 sales. What does the Wii offer, Wii music and Animal Crossing? No thanks. Microsoft also doesn’t advertise games that are two years away like Sony to keep gamers interested.

    Now with all that said the PS3 is a great machine but the Xbox 360 does have a bigger catalog of games and sells more software. EA may have at certain points sold more on the PS3 but not lately. So check your facts again.

  6. Dear Bruce

    You are a “veteran games industry marketer” as you call yourself who does not know how to spell Blu Ray.

    Saying that the 360 has a bigger variety of games I can easily accept but saying that the 360 has the “The biggest and best catalogue of games” is childish not to say biased.

    Not including the standard WiFi and Hard Drive in the PS3 features is a bit biased as well as not mentioning the fact that, to play online on the PS3 is FREE as opposed in the 360 where you have to pay extra subscription to play online.

    The introduction to your article was very promising but it fails shortly after that, to anyone who knows a bit more about this gen of consoles. You will convince though anyone who is clueless about these consoles.

  7. The reality:

    When Microsoft was trying to fight of the PS3 for the title of premium console, the PS3 was $399 and the Xbox360 was $299, yet the PS3 was outselling the 360 by 35%.

    So Microsoft decided to go for broke by releasing a stripped down version and dropped the price to below that of the Wii. They even blatantly copied the Wii’s Mii and got rid of the idiotic “dashboard” hoping to make it easier and fun to use like the Wii.

    Yet the Wii, which is still $249, is outselling the cheaper Xbox360 by 2 to 1!

    No matter how much they undercut their chosen competition in their respective markets (“premium high performance console” and “affordable family friendly console”), the 360 just can’t win. Why? It’s an inferior product and consumers know it.

    -Hardware is incredibly unreliable
    -Costly online service (free from Nintendo and Sony)
    -The costly online service is unreliable (unlike competition)
    -Wifi is costly (free from Nintendo and Sony)
    -Storage costs extra
    -No Blu-ray (free from Sony)
    -It’s best rated games only appeal to a small market

  8. And the fanboy drivel starts…….

    Honestly those of you who love a company more than games need to get a life.

  9. Mark, the ps3 was 599$ when the xbox was 299$ and the new 199$ is not a stripped down version, it is the same machine sold at launch for 299$. THe only stripped down versions of any console would be all existing ps3’s being sold currently. So get your facts strait, and yes the ps3,s did sell better for its first year, but now it does not. They will not take back the lead unless they can sell that thing for far less than it is now. Of course the only component left for the to strip out is the blu ray player. So dont count on that one. And now with the big price difference, and very few exclusives they are running out of rope. Yes it is by far a better machine, but as last gen. will show, a better machine does not make better games or better sells. Its all about the games, and most all games are on both consoles and run better on the 360 (yes its the developers fault as they dont need to put the extra money and energy into the ports, just make it run on the thing is there only goal.) so grow up. Its best to own both machines to get all the exclusives, but as you can see people are buying the 360 more now as they know they are getting a better running game,(not machine) and missing out on very few ps3 games. And blu ray as a burden for the ps3. If they had gone with standard dvd they would be selling the thing for far less, and be in a far better situation than they are now. So yeah, the ps3 is great for watching blu ray, but the 360 is great for playing games, by the way that is the reason we buy a game machine, to play games.

  10. As a marketing manager, I find this kind of stuff laughable – including “USP”s in a fanboy rant. Don’t kid yourself, that’s exactly what this is. Please don’t try to qualify your statements by adding some jargon.

    Sony’s USP’s are:
    – Full HD out of the box
    – Blu-ray playback
    – Included HDD on all systems
    – Soon to be released, Home
    – Exclusive software (no, I’m not going to name them all..but much better than MS)
    – Network is free
    – upgrading HDD is cheaper
    – Better hardware / more powerful / better quality

  11. Hey steve, how about presenting some facts like instead of name-calling?

  12. All you have to do is say one bad thing on the internet about the PS3 and the crazies come out crying in full force.

  13. “Hey steve, how about presenting some facts like instead of name-calling?”

    Because fanboys ignore facts, such as facts supplied by Bruce in his article regarding sales numbers when it doesn’t advance their ’cause’ of sucking up to a corporate machine.

    Love games – not hardware manufacturers.

  14. i think you should learn some marketing theories before say things like that

  15. So, hold on. On the 19th, Xboxes are MS’s “pirate proof dongles to access Live with”

    Today, 2 days later, “Rampant piracy makes games free for those who are happy to steal.”


  16. You know, I’m a bit biased towards the 360, I love it more.
    I do however own both the ps3 and the 360, and I’d have to say the list of “usp’s” for the ps3 were kinda lacking, whereas the 360’s list was intensely … large. As for my opinion (and mine alone) the 360 is a better gaming machine when it comes to library. The ps3 is a better system when it comes to quality. But as someone else stated in their reply, what do we buy these things for?

    Personally, I bought my 360 for games, and I bought my ps3 for games and movies (still haven’t seen a blu ray yet though…)

    I play a lot more games on my 360, and I play a lot of LBP on my ps3. I play movies (only DVD ;( ) only on my ps3. I think the best thing about the ps3 is my not having to worry about it’s failure.

    One thing I can admit however is how much I hate having to download another version of firmware or some patch everytime I put a new game into my ps3. What a bloody buzzkill. I guess that just shows how often I put new games into it…


  17. I’d like to see some more quality blog posts even if that means less of them. Far too often you fall back on Xbox 360 praising/PS3 bashing and piracy (noone doubts this as an issue worthy of discussion but you have made your stance on this abundantyl clear)

  18. holy fanboys batman

  19. This post illustrates a lamentable mindset that has held back large swathes of the UK games business over the past few years.

    Publishers and retailers are obsessed with the fantasy of a single platform market where they can force every consumer down the same narrow path and lock out as much of the competition as possible. They’re so enamoured with this idea that they’ll say and do anything to try to force it to come true, even if consumers reject it.

    In the last generation, they bleated in MCV each month that the market couldn’t support three consoles. DSG even dropped the Gamecube to try to force consumers’ hands (and were rightly punished by Nintendo when the DS came along). They railed at Microsoft to slash the price of the Xbox and clogged their shelves with £49.99 games that just sat there. Completely myopic, completely avoidable, but retail was collectively blinded by greed.

    Now we have Bruce donning his blinkers to paint the 360 as a successor to the PS2. The facts don’t fit his argument and neither does consumer behaviour, so he’s had to hilariously blatantly disregard any of the PS3’s strengths (strong catalogue, free online play, reliable hardware), qualify the Wii’s popularity and downplay the Xbox 360’s shortcomings (faulty, caters to a narrow demographic, and has a far higher TCO than the other two if you want to actually use half of it’s features).

    And of course PC gaming doesn’t exist any more, which is why later this month GTA4 is joining Fallout3, Far Cry2 and Left4Dead on that platform. Publishers sure are abandoning the PC in droves, eh? Or perhaps some publishers are just confident enough in the quality of their products that they don’t need cook up excuses in the guise of punditry.

  20. Well, the author is right.

    The 360 is the least expensive console, has the largest library of good games, better exclusives, better performance with multi-platform games, and the best user interface and online service. It is definitely the better value, unless you are some mindless playstation loyalist.

    The PS3 is decent and it is getting better, but it is still behind in all of those areas.

  21. @ David Macphail : “AND EA (The biggest third – patry publisher on the planet) make most of their money from PS3 software sales???”

    Ummm..the biggest 3rd party publisher on the planet today is Acivision Blizzard, not EA. And Acivision Blizzard makes most of their money from the 360. Just check COD 4 sales on the 360 and compare them to those on the PS3. The 360 wins by far.
    Same with GHIII.

    “100% RROD failure rate”?

    “An expensive online service CONSTANTLY suffering from disconnection issues.”?

    On what planet is that?
    Get back to me when you get off the crack you are smoking will ya?

  22. Activision – Blizzard??? ROFL you have got to be freaking KIDDING me!!! How many third party games do A – B publish for HOME CONSOLES each year??? 3???

    You could take the games that EA Sports publish ALONE and that would outperform Activision – Blizzard you moron!!!

    Also you talk about Call Of Duty 4 selling better on the 360….which is true, however you forgot a few things. Activision – Blizzard publish more games than COD (Or do they? they don’t do many more) and Activision – Blizzard are not even half the size of EA when it comes to third – party publishing. So your statement manages to be both innacurate and irrelevant at the same time, congratulaions.

    Also, if you’re denying the connection issues that were being posted all over the internet JUST LAST WEEK then you may have some serious mental health problems……err, unlucky?

    Fanboy buster….not only did you manage to spell my name wrong but the very fact that you’re DENYING the high failure rate of the 360 proves you, indeed, are a fanboy….and a hypocrite. Perhaps it’s your parents that “Failed” when they decided to throw you head – first down a well, hmm?

    Then you start crying about Fable 2 and Gears Of War 2, if you’d read my statement you’d know i clearly said Microsoft don’t have any exclusives lined up for the NEXT 2 years, not the LAST 2 years, idiot!!!

    I hope you enjoyed GOW2 and Fable 2 cause it’s all you’ll be playing for awhile, LOL!!! Isn’t reading fun?

  23. Preps to Caid for his “360 is better post”!

    See Bruce?
    People can actually present their opinions and facts, saying the 360 is a better choice without actually manipulating facts to make the same but distorted point in a brutal and childish manner that will create conflicts.

    Take a course in article writing, it will improve your credibility.

  24. Ahh too funny. David McFAIL you really think the Xbox 360 isn’t going to have games that are not playable on the PS3 next year? Grab a brain. The fact is both the PS3 and XBOX 360 will share many of the same games and there will be SOME exclusives on BOTH, not just the PS3 so get your head out of Sony’s ass. People like you need a serious wake-up call.

    That’s 2008 folks. We have no idea what 2009 will bring us so stop the nonsense and biased speculation.

    Oh and Mark you’re another lost soul. The XBOX 360 just can’t win? Have you checked the latest hardware sales? Now take a look at PS3 sales and tell me again who can’t win. So when you have a console selling the lest amount of hardware with the lowest profitability then you have a problem (much like what we saw with the original XBOX). Both the XBOX 360 and the Wii are currently making money off of the hardware and are selling lots of software so try again.

    When I see people like you two in the forums I then realize just how badly Sony has done with the Playstation brand. Blu ray is what Sony cares about, not it’s fans.


    compared to the PS3

    So if anyone thinks the Xbox 360 won’t have any exclusives for 2009 needs to be run over. Publishers give support to who can and will make them money. Plus Microsoft owns studios like Rare and Turn 10 who will be making games for the XBOX 360 too. We already have games planned for 2009 not on the PS3 like Alan Wake, Splinter Cell 5, Halo Wars, Ninja Blade, Star Ocean, Huxley and Halo 3: Recon just to name a few.

    God people are so dense just because they don’t like something.

  26. David Macphail, you are the typical fanboy who doesn’t know what he is talking about.
    Activision Blizzard is by far the biggest game publisher in the world. That is a fact.

    With the 360 RRoD, it is history. Microsoft have fixed it. And in the process given their customers an amazing product guarantee. Sony have had big hardware problems in the past but they have never given the level of support that Microsoft give.

    If you are a keen gamer and not just a fanboy then you should buy a 360 now they are so cheap. Just about everyone who owns both says it is the best gaming machine by far. If you don’t buy one you are missing out on a lot of great gaming.

    And finally the 360 has a lot more exclusives than the PS3. And will continue to do so. Not just boxed games. There is also XBLA and XNA to consider. You should take a look at Live, you would be amazed.

  27. “With the 360 RRoD, it is history. Microsoft have fixed it.”

    Wrong. Reliability has improved, but the RRoD is still an issue. We have no data to compare the reliability of different hardware revisions. Mainly because this would require Microsoft to publish the failure rate of the old machines, which would result in a devastating class action lawsuit.

    The 11m+ defective machines shipped before Peter Moore was forced to admit there was a problem have never been recalled, either.

    Sometimes the issues aren’t quite as black and white as you’d like.

  28. 95% of the time the 360 has better graphics on game that are on both systems, and he didn’t mention that. So I would say he could have said a lot more in favor of the 360. The biggest publisher is EA and take two. Then Square, which has switched to making most of their exclusives on the 360, except in Japan. You can go to several sites and see that 360 has the most exclusives and three times the amount of million sellers ( I think the next NPD numbers will show that he is correct just like last year Microsoft pushes the current titles coming out to sell machines. Sony is still pushing ‘potential’ for games do in the future. When will they stop, when the PS4 comes out? If they could not keep up before when 360 was having RROD problems what will they do now with it fixed? And machines becoming cheaper? Unless there is a PS3 supprise price drop this season, I think the PS4 is RIGHT around the corner. One more year, this season they will get more than beat. They have already released thier big fish (MGS4) early this year. Resistance is not in the gears league. Where are the rpg’s? Where is one decent turn based rpg for the ps3 that is not already out for 360? When there is one it will be worth getting. And speaking of konami they did just say they are working on something big for 360. And those numbers where they got the most from ps3, that was LAST quarter. It was do to release schedule. That is not repeating. And it was only two publishers out of hundreds.

  29. You know, Wii piracy is pretty rampant as well, in various forms.

    360 is my platform of choice, but I own a Wii and a DS as well. I’m sure I’ll get a PS3 at some point also, but not until it’s a lot cheaper.

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