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The state of the next-gen video game console (warning: cnet butthurt blog)

Jun 6, 2004

Daniel Terdiman said:
The state of the next-gen video game console

The Xbox 360 became the first next-gen console to sell 10 million units in the United States.

With the release Monday of Wii Fit, the exercise game that some video game analysts have predicted could become one of the best-selling titles of all time, it was Nintendo's turn to dominate headlines related to the so-called next generation of consoles.

The "next-gen" era began in November 2005 when Microsoft launched its Xbox 360 and then really kicked into gear a year later when Sony and Nintendo pulled back the wraps on the PlayStation 3 and Wii, respectively.

Being big business--video game sales in the U.S. alone in 2007 were $9.5 billion--everyone has been wanting to declare the generation's winners and losers since pretty much the first day all three consoles were on the market.

Doing so, of course, is a tricky proposition because console generations last for years, and sales ebb and flow according to a number of factors. But one thing that seems clear is that past success or failure is not a guarantee of future performance. And so while plenty of armchair quarterbacks have already written the results of the next-gen console wars, industry experts say the final results could turn current assumptions on their heads.

Here's where we are today: Nintendo has shocked the world with its Wii, bringing millions of new mainstream gamers into the fold with its innovative motion-sensitive controller, low price, and fun, easy-to-use games. The Wii was presumed the generation's sure third-place entry and now is seen as its winner.

Similarly, with the expected loyalty of more than 120 million PlayStation 2 owners, Sony's PlayStation 3 was expected to be the next-gen winner, especially with a built-in Blu-ray player and incredible graphics courtesy of its Cell processor. Yet, the PS3 is generally seen as next-gen's loser, due to high prices, the resulting lackluster sales, and the perception of a paucity of killer games for the platform.

The Xbox 360 was expected to be a solid runner-up, but instead, it hit 10 million U.S. units sold first, dominates the list of must-have titles, and has seen its online component, Xbox Live--with more than 12 million users--become the class of the genre.
love that chart


Apr 10, 2007
Is this the "new" CBS cNet or has that not gone down yet?

I think it's even funnier that they don't have the next Xbox on there. They're clearly going to be the first to market again next gen......and well before 2012.


Jan 18, 2007
Didn't Cnet or a Cnet blog declare the 360 as winning overall not more than weeks ago? This a joke? :lol

May 9, 2008 | Xbox 360 to beat PS3, Wii due to games and online capabilities
By Dave Parrack

The Xbox 360 is in an unstoppable winning position in the current generation’s console battle. Apparently.

The big debate still raging in the games, and mark my words, it will rage forever and a day, is over which console will win this current generation’s hardware battle. Before any of you say it isn’t important, it really is, as history has shown us that being number one at the end of a generation cycle can instantly affect the next generation hardware sales battle as well.

Regular readers will know that we here at Blorge follow the swings and roundabouts going on amongst the major players religiously, and have made it our main topic of conversation. However, some other sites only just seem to be cottoning on to the importance of the hardware battle, and this generation’s in particular, which is still too close to call.

At this point in the game, it’s fair to say that any of the big three - Nintendo with it’s Wii, Sony with the PS3, and Microsoft with the Xbox 360, could still emerge victorious. CNet has now entered the debate, and they have gone with the Xbox 360. A strange choice seeing as the Wii seems to be on an unstoppable march to victory, and the PS3 having seen a momentum building set of sales results in 2008 so far.

However, the writer, Don Reisinger, does explain his choice of victor, and his two main reasons for backing the Xbox 360 over the Wii and Playstation 3 are games, and the online component.

On games, he claims that although the PS3 has an impressive set of exclusives still to come - Metal Gear Solid 4, Gran Turismo 5, and Little Big Planet, the Xbox 360 has a much stronger lineup of games overall. As for Nintendo, he claims that every major title for the console is already available, with none on the horizon, so sales will surely slow down.

As for the online battleground, Reisinger claims that on this score Microsoft reign supreme. He goes on to describe Sony’s online experience as “junky”. Nintendo meanwhile, are again said to be completely lacking in that department.

He concludes his article by claiming that although Microsoft is currently in second place in console sales, it will emerge the winner so long as the games and online capabilities continue to reign supreme.

The problem is that despite the Xbox 360’s supposed supremacy in these two fields, it is getting its butt kicked on a daily basis by the Wii, and lately the PS3 too. So when is this switch going to take place?

People deride the Wii as a underpowered piece of crap, but it has captured casual gamers imaginations like no piece of hardware ever has before. As for the PS3, I hardly think it’s lacking in the upcoming games department, and were I in the market to buy one of the three, I’d personally plump for the Sony machine at this point in the war.




Jan 6, 2005
Look, that graph could very well be accurate.

But the way it was arrived at -- largely through the 'PS3 is so teh powerful it can't possibly lose to that piece of crap Wii and 360' mentality -- means that there is absolutely no validity to the conclusions.

It would be like asking a retarded blind man who has never played any games who he thinks will win. He still has 33% change of picking the right horse.


Feb 12, 2006
Wii=not high enough.
PS3=waaay to high.:lol
360=well that might be the only one right. Honestly PS3 should be right where that is.

What a loltastic graph and yeah...cnet.

Mama Robotnik

Apr 11, 2008
It seems like, for some analysts, this gen is about as balanced and sensible as a game of Mario Kart.

Wii: Not a lot of horsepower behind it but due to its acceleration, moves very fast. Gets a head start, but keeps picking up an arsenal of crappy weapons that it can't seem to shake off (shovelware). Maintains a massive lead up until the final lap, in which the dude in last place miraculously unleashes a torrent of super-weapons and wins the race.

PS3: Starts very slow, has a good amount of power behind it but just can't seem to move fast enough. Is a large distance behind until the final lap, in which it picks up a lightning (HD adoption), a load of Blue Shells (BluRay), and the bullet (PS2 owners jumping on board). Out of nowhere, it wins the race.

See, I can be analyst too now?

(this analogy is crying out for a gif)


May 24, 2007
So I skimmed through the article and basically it's "PS3 $299 Holiday 2009 BELIEV, marathon not a sprint!, oh and here's quotes from Pachter and Billy Pidgeon".


Comics, serious business!
Mar 22, 2007
The yoy unit growth rate of the PS3 averages out to like 50% whereas the 360's yoy growth is like 10%. Has any console ever grown unit sales by over 50% per year from year 3 to year 6?


listen to the mad man
May 21, 2006

so sony is shipping 15 million units from now until christmas, and then 20 million units next year?


also i like how in 2012 nintendo is selling 2 million units and sony is selling 20 million units


Jul 7, 2007
someone needs to tell cnet its not 2005, its not 2006, its not 2007, its 2008, we are already halfway through this generation.


Nov 8, 2006
RSTEIN said:
The yoy unit growth rate of the PS3 averages out to like 50% whereas the 360's yoy growth is like 10%. Has any console ever grown unit sales by over 50% per year from year 3 to year 6?

Check the PS2 curve... pretty sure it's crazy though I dunno if it's as crazy.


listen to the mad man
May 21, 2006
frankthurk said:
Check the PS2 curve... pretty sure it's crazy though I dunno if it's as crazy.

this graph has the ps3 selling at a faster rate than the ps2 once the "explosion" takes off.


Jun 11, 2004
PS3 is really picking up in Europe this year, so from here it doesn't seem unlikely at all that it will become as ubiquitous as the PS2. I remember a Phil Harrison interview in EDGE during the PS2 launch period, saying that the PS2 would one day beat the PS1. It seemed utterly outrageous back then, with the high price tag and sub-par games line-up. Very much like the PS3 the past year. The question marks are of course America and Japan.

In Japan, the Wii is "the new PS2". It will be interesting to see if a redesigned, small and cheap(er) PS3 coupled with a couple of japanese killer apps can change the tides in Japan.