Well it would appear that CES once again, has become the dumping ground for the major game console makers to announce the previous year/quarter’s hardware sells numbers to the public. These are worldwide numbers for units sold during Q4 2011, and a huge shocker came out of this weeks announcements. Heavy competitors Sony and Microsoft were the first to announce their numbers. Microsoft last night at the CES 2012 keynote event, and Sony today in a press release from the show floor. Starting with the PlayStation 3, which has been slowly gaining on the Xbox 360 for the past five years and was poised to catch up the the market leader last year, Sony announced an Earth shattering 3.9 million units sold globally for the crucial quarter ending the calender year, 2011. However, the news of Sony’s sales numbers were already overshadowed by the previous night’s announcement from Microsoft, who managed to pull out a soul crushing (if you are a Sony fan, soul uplifting, if you reside in the Microsoft court) 10 million units globally, in the final three months of 2011. That is a face slapping 2.6 to 1 sales ratio against the Sony branded game console, which put Microsoft firmly back in the lead, no longer a neck and neck race, between the two consoles.
The question on everyone’s mind today has probably got to be, “how did they pull it off?” And sure enough as I read over the story at Joystiq, that seemed to be the question on everyone’s minds. And surprisingly, considering that it is a multi-console discussion on the very sensative topic of hardware sells numbers, it has got to be one of the most civilized (ie flamebait-free, troll-free, cynicism-free) discussions I have seen online on the subject matter, in almost a decade. There is some really well thought out insight into how Microsoft managed to pull this particular rabbit out of their hat. Anyway, I thought I’d add my $0.02 to the discussion. So here goes . . .
A contemporary recently posited the thought to me:
I am very amused by the phrase ‘side loading’. Isn’t that just any offline file transfer? The wikipedia page is funny. “The launch of Apple’s iTunes Store brought sideloading to the masses”. Yeah, because barely anybody transferred files between computers and devices before then! Cassettes, floppy disks, writeable CDs, LANs, none of it was as important as an Apple-branded mp3 player…
I feel the same way about the term ‘jail breaking’. Unlocking devices from closed networks and ecosystems, and/or changing the firmware to accept changes and custom software has been going on forever – it’s not a new concept. But somehow since the first iPhone was unlocked from AT&T, the process has been re-branded “jail breaking” and sold as if it’s something new. (more…)