While Sony’s revenues increased this year, Microsoft’s share ended up decreasing in value likely due to decreased Xbox 360 hardware prices. This comes on the heels of Microsoft boasting and toasting themselves all over the gaming industry for their successful increase in unit sales of the 360 due to the price drop of the Arcade edition for $199.
While the 360 did gain ground on its rival Sony’s PS3. This is all attributed to the price drop. On the surface it seems like a good move, but underneath lies the truth that the current trend for Microsoft’s unit sales is; units sales up, profits down. Leaving it up to software sales for continued economic prosperity. This is one area where Microsoft is no slouch. Gears of War 2 will easily go on to sell 5 million copies. Two new Halo games and continues high sales of third party titles almost assure success in 2009. The real question for Microsoft this year is not 09 itself, but rather can they sustain beyond.
Competition has gotten very steep this year as Sony ups the ante with Killzone 2. From all impressions and reviews given so far, it seems as though Sony finally has an absolute powerhouse of a game on its hand. “Halo Killer” is a common statement heard in reviews and impressions. Also Sony has probably the biggest game of the year sitting in the training room brewing to what should be perfection. That’s right, God of War 3.
This year is beginning to shape up to be a very heavy hitting year in the HD console war. The stakes are higher than ever. Microsoft’s must hold of the huge onslaught of PS3 exclusive titles with its own triple A titles all while getting the next few years ready at the same time. It should be one hell of a ride.