Perhaps the best thing about the battle between Microsoft and Sony for console supremacy is what gamers are getting out of it.
Today both Sony and Microsoft let fly with a bunch of statistics that they claim prove why their console is the "strongest" or "fastest growing". Despite a tough year (console sales declined 27% in Australia) it's worth putting this into perspective - there was a 20% increase in Xbox 360 sales, while Sony claims there are more than 1.1 million PS3s in Australian homes. More than 190,000 copies of Gran Turismo 5 were sold in 6 weeks.
The outcome of this console battle is a lineup of features for either camp that just keeps getting longer.
The Xbox camp boasts:
- Foxtel on Xbox
- Kinect for controller-free gaming
- Films via Zune
- Windows Phone 7 integration
And on Playstation 3:
- 3D gaming
- 3D Blu-Ray
- PlayTV for recording TV
- Playstation Move for controller free gaming
- Mubi classic films on demand service
- PSN Video Delivery Service
- VidZone music video service
- iView (ABC) and PLUS7 (7) catchup TV.
As we've pointed out before, we're not sure we'd buy a games console specifically for moves or TV. But it's hard to ignore both platforms as an entertainment hub.
So what about the PC? Not only did sales of PC games in Australia increase in 2010, but that doesn’t take into account all the ridiculously cheap games bought via Steam.
One of the biggest complaints is still the price of games sold in Australian stores. Still, it seems there are plenty of other things for gamers to be happy about.
What are Microsoft and Sony doing right, or wrong? Add your comment below.