It’s no big secret that Sony and the PlayStation 3 have been firmly planted in third place this console generation. After gamers were put off by the high price tag and soft launch line-up, it’s safe to say that the PS3 had a fairly soft launch into the current gen. However, as prices have come down and features have been added, sales of Sony’s machine have been picking up steam. In fact, if current sales trends continue, the PS3 will be poised to shuffle into the number two spot in around a year.
When the numbers came in for this past September, the Xbox 360 had sold 44.6M total units since launch while the PS3 was just behind with 41.6M consoles moved. What’s more telling though are the sales numbers for each system over the last quarter. Sony was actually ahead of the game with 3.5M PS3’s sold versus Microsoft’s 2.8M 360’s. As long as Sony can keep up this momentum, they will overtake Microsoft.
It’s hard to contest the fact that Sony has been stepping up their game with the PS3. Exclusive titles like Heavy Rain and God of War 3 have been some of the top standouts of 2010 and will likely be in the discussion when game of the year picks are made. Meanwhile, Microsoft has had to reach (pun definitely intended) back into the Halo stable for a standout exclusive. The launch of PSN Plus and now the new PlayStation Rewards program have piqued interest in the console’s digital offerings. On the home entertainment front, the PS3 has managed to beat the 360 to the punch with Hulu integration and now a slicker Netflix experience. And let’s not forget an aggressive, and hilarious, marketing campaign featuring the Kevin Butler character. Indeed, the PS3’s current state is a far cry from the stumble it had out of the gate in 2006.
Of course, the holidays are quickly approaching, and the motion factor still looms large. With Kinect getting just about the most powerful media bump possible on Oprah, it’s still quite possible that the controller-less add-on will give Microsoft the edge once again. Sales of PlayStation Move have been mixed and may not be enough to fend off Microsoft’s motion assault.
Will the PS3 overtake the 360, or is Kinect ready to rekindle the 360’s fire? If anyone is on the fence about which to buy, let us know what you’re thinking!