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Microsoft’s 7 Year Console Cycle Vs. Sony’s 6 Year Console Cycle

Microsoft’s 7 Year Console Cycle Vs. Sony’s 6 Year Console Cycle
The seventh generation of consoles have been some of the most unique and most sold consoles in history. The seventh generation consoles have brought us great new video games with amazing new characters. We take a statistical look at Microsoft’s 7 year cycle compared to Sony’s 6 year cycle.
As the title implies it cannot be ignored that the Playstation 3 got a later release than the Xbox 360. The Xbox 360 released on November 22, 2005 and the Playstation 3 released on November 11, 2006 in the United Stated. This means the Xbox 360 got just about a full year head start on the Playstation 3.

Sony E3 Conference

Sony E3 Conference

Since the timeframes of the console releases are different this will be factored into account. Console figures up to September 30, 2012 were released by both Microsoft and Sony for Q1 2013. Microsoft stated that they had sold 70 million units. Sony has stated that they sold 70.2 million units. No math needs to be done here. The Playstation 3 has finally managed to catch up and surpass the Xbox 360 in sales.
Even though the Playstation 3 has sold more units than the Xbox 360 in a shorter timeframe it does not necessarily mean it has had a more successful console cycle. In the beginning it was pretty rough for Sony. In the first year of the PS3′s cycle it sold 5.5 million units. Compared to Xbox 360′s first year sales of 7.6 million units.
That’s just the amount of sales during each consoles first year. At the time of the PS3′s first year sales of 5.5 million the Xbox 360 had sold 10.9 million units. Even though the Xbox 360 got a year head start that meant that the Xbox 360 would go on to have more momentum and units than the Playstation 3 through most of their life cycles.
Halo 4 Exclusive
On a very general basis the PS3 and the Xbox 360 can play the same types of games with relatively the same graphics. This means that a very important factor is the types of exclusive games that were offered on each system. We buy game consoles to play games after all, and appealing exclusive games such as Halo or God of War can be a determining factor in what console we buy.
On another note both systems have had their fair share of system failures. The Xbox 360 with the red ring of death, and less frequently the Playstation 3 overheating and even catching on fire in some cases. This could also be another cause of the sales change.
Red Ring of Death

Red Ring of Death

Since these consoles are still in their life cycle, final conclusions cannot be made as there is still time for things to change. As it stands at the end of 2012 the PS3 has sold more units than the Xbox 360.
Even with Sony catching up to Microsoft, it still took six years to do so. The Playstation 3 was still outsold for most of the Xbox 360′s and the Playstation 3′s life cycles. New consoles seem to be on the horizon for both companies, I think Microsoft and Sony should be focusing on the future of games.



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  • Marlon Smikle

    “We take a statistical look at Microsoft’s 6 year cycle compared to Sony’s 5 year cycle.”

    Isn’t the 360 going on its 8th year and the Ps3 is going on it’s 7? if they came out in 2005, making them 7 and 6 years old and not 6 and 5?

    • Nigel_GN

      Wow yep you’re right, must’ve had a bit of a brain cramp… It’s fixed now

      • J.j. Barrington

        Horrible article. Very few “statistics” and a high level of spin.

  • Henny Winkelman

    A cycle has to end, and restart for it to be named a Cycle, this generation isn’t done yet.
    Furtehr more, Sony had been rocking 10 years cycles minimum, Microsoft droped the Xbox in its 4th…

    Misguided article.

    • bonezai

      misguided and misinforming unfactual article

      and he did not factor into account
      1) everyone knows PlayStations are made for 10 year life cycles
      2) PS3 was also priced way higher than 360 since launch & even today
      3) PS3 has less advertising investment in US Japan EU unlike big budgeted 360 counterpart exclusive franchises and DLC stealing

      yet the PS3 has sold faster and steadier in all regions of the world in a balanced manner

  • ace3000

    Sony Does atleast 10 year cycles

  • Ana Helušić

    Sony wins

    • brianc6234

      The PS3 sure could win if third party developers would do a better job on it. They keep holding back so 360 games don’t look bad.

  • brianc6234

    I haven’t heard of any PS3′s catching on fire. There was a 360 that might have caused a house to burn down though.