Sony vs. Microsoft: A History of Trash Talk

xbox360ps3When Microsoft boasted of 1 million sign-ups for the Xbox 360’s Netflix application — covered briefly Thursday in Harry’s “5Words” news roundup — Sony struck back, saying the Playstation 3’s movies and rentals download faster and don’t require subscription fees. Ouch.

But this was just the latest in an endless back-and-forth between the rival companies. Taken as a whole, this record of petty bickering actually makes for a good overview of each console’s pros and cons. Join us after the jump for more snipes, disses and burns.

January 20, 2009: Sony Computer Entertainment chairman Kazuo Hirai told Official Playstation Magazine that he couldn’t think of a word to describe the Xbox 360 as a competitor. “You need a word that describes something that lacks longevity,” Hirai said. “Last time I checked, they’ve never had a console that’s been on the market for more than four or five years and we’ve committed to a ten year life cycle, so you do the math.”

Rebuttal: Aaron Greenberg, head of Xbox 360 and Xbox Live product management, threw back some fighting words. “This sounds like an old hardware company that’s comfortable with its market position,” he told The BitBag. “That complacent attitude is out of touch with where the industry and consumer is today.” He added that Microsoft wants to focus on innovation and building a big game library.

Takeaway: If you’re willing to invest in the PS3 now, you’ll get new games for a long time. The Xbox 360’s future isn’t as certain, but its bigger install base will translate into more games sooner.

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January 8, 2009: Out of nowhere, Sony slammed the Xbox 360 (and, to some extent, the Wii) for “peddling add-ons,” noting the Xbox 360’s extra cost for a hard drive, Wi-Fi and online gaming. “The Xbox 360 requires additional money, multiple upgrades and additional external devices, putting a burden on the wallet and adds clutter to the entertainment center,” the company wrote in a press release.

Rebuttal: Xbox 360 spokesman David Dennis told Edge that the flexibility was planned from the beginning. “The strategy of having a console that is $200 more expensive that has features that people don’t potentially need or want but have to pay for–looking at [Sony’s] sales numbers–I’d say it’s probably not the winning strategy at this point, especially given the current economic situation.”

Takeaway: Excellent burn, Dennis, but the core Xbox 360 system is so limited that it’s only worthwhile for the infrequent player. The argument over pricing is a wash for people who plan to spend lots of time with their consoles, even if Microsoft has tried to illustrate otherwise with beer.

May 12, 2008: A week after Grand Theft Auto IV was released for both consoles, Newsweek reported that the ratio of sales at Gamestop was 64 percent for the Xbox 360 to 36 percent for the PS3. Here’s Greenberg again: “These sales results add GTA IV to a long list of franchises that have switched over from Playstation to find a new home on Xbox 360 similar to what happened last year with titles like Madden and Guitar Hero.”

Rebuttal: The Xbox 360’s install base was 3 to 1 over the PS3 at the time. Therefore, Sony spokesman Peter Dille saw the 2:1 sales ratio for GTAIV as a sign of brand loyalty. “If I had an installed base advantage of 3-1, I wouldn’t be crowing too much about a 60-40 sales advantage,” he said.

Takeaway: Install base versus brand loyalty. That’s more of a commentary on consumer behavior than an argument over which console is better. Call it a draw.

There are plenty of other examples to be had over the years, but they tend to tread the same old ground. In summary, the PS3 is a built-to-last console with built-in features that would cost money on the Xbox 360. As the leading console, the Xbox 360 lots of games and fancy features that demand some added expense. They both cost roughly the same in the long run. In any case, Nintendo is happily making off to the bank while Microsoft and Sony kill each other.


34 comments

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  1. Tom B February 7, 2009 at 1:41 pm #

    The XBox sounds like vacuum cleaner; it’s not suitable for movies. I bet those alleged 1 miilion sign-ups fail to renew once they figure this out.

  2. nacoda February 7, 2009 at 1:47 pm #

    Tom b. you have no idea what you are talking about. xbox users also download hi def movies.

  3. james February 7, 2009 at 5:07 pm #

    I don’t know what planet Sony is on but their down loads are SLOWER across the board for movies, demos AND games.
    The RE5 demo took a little over 4 minutes before I was playing it on my 360, it took over 30 minutes for the PS3 version.
    The PS3 also has an incredibly small amount of HD movies as compared with the 360, and the quality is better on the 360.

    Sony is living in a fantasy.

  4. Jeff February 7, 2009 at 9:22 pm #

    Too bad Sony computers load Microsoft’s OS. Make it an all-out war Sony and go with Linux.
    As with anything with a Microsoft label, I’ll avoid the Xbox too.

  5. Marc February 8, 2009 at 10:56 am #

    Microsoft need to integrate XBox Live’s voice chat with Windows Live Messenger’s voice chat. Maybe even sell a wireless phone addon for the 360, and truly make it the centre of the digital home.

    The PS3 looks ugly, and has a clunky interface. It felt weird going back to the PlayStation controller after all these years. I have to say, I prefer the 360. The PS2 AND PS1 ruled their roost, but his time I think Sony have go into it half hearted.

  6. Ivan_PSP February 17, 2009 at 1:02 am #

    PLAYSTATION 3 has more features better exclusives better menu cooler games reliability. Free online play with no lager or cheaters. Blu-ray Wi-Fi n many more stuff. Xbox 360 is like a empty Box with a terrible confusing menu aka dashboard Xbox Live has only lagging cheaters. Go buy KILLZONE 2 now 27th

    • dabomb December 14, 2010 at 11:43 pm #

      WRONG!!! Xbox 360 is not confusing…you just must be stupid. It is the best, quickest, leat confusing and the funnest! Also now there is a Xbox 360 KINECT were you are the controller. I bet sony can't beat!!!

    • Microsoft__Rules13 January 8, 2011 at 1:27 pm #

      xbox 360 has far better exclusives like:Halo Reach Halo 3 Splinter cell conviction gears of wars 2 and 1.online play is 50 bucks but you get exclusive add-ons and things and much more players play xbox.now it has in built wi-fi.and have you ever been on xbox live there not lagging cheaters.I think you meant PS3 has lagging cheaters.

    • X-BOXFTW May 17, 2011 at 2:28 pm #

      X-BOX is better dount get me wrong ps3 is good but they cant make blue-ray computers so they are making computers that have no blue-ray and without blue-ray its crap. And you can dashboard in ps3 to and psn was down and they lost like 30millions a day so i think that sony is going down.

  7. Amulek October 22, 2009 at 10:30 am #

    I’m glad to say that Ivan, you’re completely wrong, the PS3 does have laggers and hackers and cheaters. Also the Xbox menu is not confusing at all. The 360 has better games than the PS3 too. Have you seen E3 lately, yeah our new interface and console add-on are way more advanced that the PS3. And not to be unproffesional here but the PS3s new controller looks like a dildo, where for the new 360s controller, your body is the controller. So I’d say that we have the better equipment here. And also on X-Play, they did a poll to see which console is the favorite for gamers and the 360 won ofcourse cause our console is all about games and not multimedia. We don’t need to sign in with a controller cause we have facial and voice recognition. So I’d think twice next time you say that the PS3 has more features than the 360 or that your menu is better or practically anything.

    • dabomb December 14, 2010 at 11:41 pm #

      i agree…Xbox 360 RULEZ!!!

  8. wildbill November 5, 2009 at 8:16 am #

    Amulek, im gald to say that you are wrong. the new 360 interface is not advanced at all. yes it is confusing compared to the ps3’s simple interface. i have xbox live AND psn and i have to say that while gaming that thier both the same but when i download a movie or somthing, its much faster. AND I GET TO ENJOY IT IN 1080p ulike the 360’s 720p. if you were to get a 360 with everything that a ps3 comes with you would be out 700 dollars. the ps3 have 7 processer’s while the 360 has 3
    ps3:1080p
    360:720p

    ps3:free wifi
    360:$100 wifi

    ps3:1.3 HDMI
    360:1.2 HDMI

    ps3:digital output
    360:no digital output

    ps3:free online pay
    360:5 bucks a month play online

    ps3: quite
    360: loud

    ps3: bluray 40+ Gb
    360: DVD 9: same thing as ps2

    ps3 0.2% fail rate
    360: 100% fail rate upon release, then 33% and now 15%

    one last thing, If the 360 tried to play MAG, Uncharted 2, or LittleBigPlanet, it would implode like the house at the end of the pultergeist

    • dabomb December 14, 2010 at 11:40 pm #

      Xbox 360 is the BEST and the TOUGHEST!

  9. wildbill November 5, 2009 at 8:21 am #

    and about project natal, it sucked at E3, the guy tried to show his audience the bottem of his foot and his guy folded into a pretzel. and i don’t fancy shouting “SHOOT!” every time i want to shoot in the game. and you obviously don’t know what a dildo looks like. it looks just like a wii mote.

  10. robles90 November 13, 2009 at 3:44 pm #

    I LIKE PS BETTER BUT I BOUGHT THE XBOX CAUSE IT WAS CHEAPER SO YA I LIKED IT AT 1ST BUT TO GO ONLINE I HAVE 2BUY SOME CARD THERE $50 PER MONTH AND PAY FOR INTERNET IM LIKE UGH BUT WEN I SAW THE PS3 IT HAVE WI FI BLUE RAY AND IT WENT DOWN FOR $300 SO IM LIKE I WANT THAT SO I SOLD MY XBOX WENT TO BUY PS3 AND IT WAS GREAT

  11. dmoney December 11, 2009 at 9:12 pm #

    xbox is a cheap, unreliable, overpriced version of the ps3 and we can battle all day about which is better but the xbox360 as a 54% failure rate and hat to be repaired over 2 time in a year.It is faulty and should not have to pay to play online that's absurd.Everyone who has a xbox360 will have to get it repaired within a year and someday realize that the PS3 is the most reliable and up to date console you will ever find.The battle will end just like the PS2 V Xbox the PS3 will be the victory console and microsoft will be rushing out another broken console 4 years from now.

    • holeinmypants November 17, 2011 at 2:46 pm #

      i agree 100%

  12. Chris December 14, 2009 at 5:13 am #

    Hey Ivan PSP, the only reason there on no cheaters on the PS3 is because it is so easy to hack and the cheaters want a freakin challenge. And another reason is because there are over 10 times the people playing 360 over PS3…

  13. xBox 360 Sucks. March 5, 2010 at 12:32 pm #

    When will all the 360 idiots accept that PS3 is much better? Half of the that say otherwise have never tried a PS3, and when they have they have for 2 seconds. Seriously, grow up and learn that PlayStation always has and always will outrun Microsoft.

  14. DANNY March 19, 2010 at 8:39 am #

    I LOVE SONY ITS WAY BETTER THAN MICROSOFT PLAYSTATION 4 LIFE AND SONY !!!!!

  15. DANNY March 19, 2010 at 8:45 am #

    GIVE UP X-BOX AND MICROSOFT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. DANNY PETERSON JR. March 19, 2010 at 12:10 pm #

    ME AND MY FRIEND BRENDEN KIRK DOSE NOT UNDERSTAND THAT PS3 IS WAY BETTER THAN X-BOX 360 PS WE HAD A BET WHAT SYSTEM IS BETTER VOTE 4 SONY NOT MICROSOFT

  17. BardockAhmed May 13, 2010 at 7:43 pm #

    Sony sucks big time compared to Microsoft! Boom end of dicussion now we all can move onto our lives!

  18. Sean May 26, 2010 at 9:31 am #

    YOUR ALL STUPID! Kids who say Xbox isnt compatible with 1090p. Kids who say that a 1 month is $50. Kids who say The PS3 is even better in general. If you dont know anything I dont see why you would waste your time leaving a comment in the first place. Randys.

  19. asdsadas June 15, 2010 at 12:58 pm #

    In my personal opinion:

    XBOX 360 is suited for person/people if:
    * Willing to spend large sums of money over time
    * Wants a big game library
    * A developed gaming community
    * Likes green

    PS3 is suited for person/people if:
    * Willing to spend a large sum of money, and get it over with
    * Thinks “Quality beats Quantity” (Game Library)
    * Likes black
    * PS Home
    * XMB Menu

  20. Danny Peterson Jr June 16, 2010 at 5:02 pm #

    I AM GETTING THE PLAYSTATION MOVE ARE YOU SONY AND PLAYSTATION BROTHERS / SISTERS.

    • dabomb December 14, 2010 at 11:38 pm #

      Bad choice! if i were you i would go for the Xbox 360 KINECT…which is what i'm getting and is soooo cool because requires no CONTROLLER (YOU are the controller!)

      • Alexa February 17, 2011 at 4:42 pm #

        dont i had a playstation for 1 year and i still have but the xbox kinect stopped working the second day!!!

  21. Danny Peterson Jr. June 22, 2010 at 5:21 am #

    I TOLD YOU X BOX / MICROSOFT COPIES SONY / PS3. NOW THEY HAVE A NEW X BOX 360 ITS THE X BOX 360 SLIM

  22. Stephen June 19, 2011 at 8:10 am #

    Lets just put it to this… Sony has more experiance than Microsoft… Sony has PlayStation 1, 2, 3, and soon to be 4 come 2016.. Microsoft has Xbox and Xbox 360.. What do they also have?? Well, they have Windows.. One reason why I didn't get the Xbox 360, is because of Windows Vista… As soon as Windows 7 came out, I thought, "Oh great, another suck ass product from Gaysoft.." but I tried it out, and next thing you know, I have a W 7 laptop.. So personaly, I like Sony, and I'll stick with Sony, cause to be honost, who pays for free internet?? I will refuse to pay for somthing I already have.. But I've played Xbox 360 before, and I have to ammit, Xbox 360 has good graphics and good games, some say great, but I say good, I only have one great game series and that's The Sly Cooper Series…

  23. Santiago September 13, 2011 at 3:59 pm #

    If I drop and Xbox360 in a trash bin I know it will be happy, because that is were it belongs.

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