Microsoft’s group product manager for Xbox 360 Aaron Greenberg has stated that Xbox 360 and PS3 were neck and neck” in sales terms until Microsoft’s aggressive European hardware price cutting lead to a significant sales increase in the region.
While we had a pretty large lead – around five million plus in the US over PS3 – we were very neck and neck with Sony heading into this year in Europe,” Greenberg told G4TV. Now, we ended the year with more than a million unit lead over PS3 in Europe, conservatively an eight million units global lead.
We think now we’re starting to hit that sweet spot of the generation where Sony was with the PS2 and sold 75 per cent of their consoles. What we have focused on is making sure that we have the biggest and broadest third party games line-up and that we have as many exclusive games and exclusive content as possible.
We never had a Resident Evil game so we wanted to have that. We never had Grand Theft Auto day-and-date. We didn’t have Final Fantasy. So we’ve added all the biggest franchises, such as Tekken. These are franchises that were frankly, built on the PlayStation platform. Making sure that we have all those games on our system is important.”
Greenberg went on to add that gaming has fortunately so far fared well amidst the global credit crunch – though he went to great lengths to make it clear he doesn’t believe Sony is enjoying the same benefits.
What’s very fortuitous for us is that, as a category, video games have done pretty well,” he added. We think that we’re one of those industries that consumers are staying in for entertainment. ‘We’, by the way – that’s us and Nintendo. Both the Wii and the Xbox 360 are really the two big winners. Actually, the only two winners right now if you look at holiday sales year over year.”