We’re still a few months from holiday shopping season, but I’m making this prediction now: The Xbox 360 is this year’s PS3. Last year, of course, was when Sony’s over-priced, under-delivered next generation console cost the company its preeminence in the console market to the Nintendo […]

We’re still a few months from holiday shopping season, but I’m making this prediction now: The Xbox 360 is this year’s PS3. Last year, of course, was when Sony’s over-priced, under-delivered next generation console cost the company its preeminence in the console market to the Nintendo Wii. Similarly, the game industry will remember 2007 as the year Microsoft gave away its lead in the console wars, and lost its bid to become the living room PC.

Why am I so confident? Well, take the case of this dude named Brian. He’s having trouble getting his 360 to work. Then again, he’s not alone: he’s actually like an estimated 1 in 3 of all 360 owners, costing Microsoft a hit of nearly 2 billion dollars after it extended the 360’s warranty. He’s having so much trouble, nine 360s have collapsed on Brian.

But that’s not even the worst part.
This is: Brian Crecente is the editor of Kotaku, currently the world’s most popular gaming blog. This is like a major auto company giving the publisher of Car and Driver magazine a test drive in its latest vehicle, and having the wheels promptly spin off. Nine times. Add to this the industry shift toward casual games and the Wii, not to mention the sudden, unexpected departure of Xbox captain Peter Moore to Electronic Arts, and you have a portrait of a console in crisis.

Meantime, according to VG Chartz, the Wii is already neck and neck with the 360, with a worldwide installed base now of 9.36 million to 10.15 million, respectively. It took the 360 nearly two years to get that audience; the Wii, less than one. And when it comes time to buy a console for the holidays, which one do you think gamers will buy?

Call me crazy, but I’m guessing it won’t be the one that failed their friend Brian nine separate times.

Update, 9:35am: Frequent GigaOM contributor Blake Snow has a more gamer-centric opinion leading to the same basic conclusion: The Xbox 360 is in Trouble.

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  1. @Wagner James Au,

    Which one is more popular & Why? PS3 or Wii?

    It seems like PS3 after lowering the price is getting momentum. Wii doesn’t have very many games, and remote control novelty wears off after a while.


  2. Slippy Sloppy Tuesday, July 24, 2007

    I don’t really care that 360s have a 1 in 3 faliure rate, what I care about is that Microsoft are supporting customers and are going to fix it. They seem to be getting a lot of flack for doing the decent thing – and who cares if it’s costing them $1b, all I care about is me and the service I get.

    I own a Wii but the 360 is a far better machine, it’s online play is flawless and the although the Wii has a great controller it is essentially a Gamecube. It doesn’t matter how many Wii’s Nintendo sell, it all comes down to the games and while the 360’s has a huge library of excellent games, the Wii only a handful.

  3. great read, and really a great point I don’t have any one of the new console but I will get one this holiday I really what a 360 but I am really thinking of getting the wii or maybe the PS3 only if they cut $100 more so I can get it for $400 and not $500.

  4. is blog title is proofread?

  5. As an Xbox360 owner since launch day and no problems whatsoever there I don’t wholly agree. The games line up is superb and graphically there is very little difference to the PS3. I am worried though, for other reasons… if they are trying to become the living room PC they are certainly taking their time about it. It’s software is designed as a media centre extender whereas it is far more than capable at being a media centre in it’s own right. It can’t play media from external harddrives or from over the network with out another PC running. If you’ve seen xmbc running, you would know what the possibilities are. Where’s the internet integration (radio, flash video, etc?). The Wii has a browser for heaven’s sake.

  6. Damon Billian Tuesday, July 24, 2007

    We’ve had two 360s in the house display the “ring of death”. We were lucky enough that it went away & that we haven’t had a problem since.

    The 360 won’t go away because it appeals more to “real” gamers. The Wii has more universal appeal & that’s why it will probably leapfrog past the 360.

  7. Raymond Padilla Tuesday, July 24, 2007

    C’mon James! The 360 is hardly doomed. Neither are the Wii or PS3. They’re all going to be fine this year. A few things:

    • Xbox 360 has Halo 3. This will probably be the biggest game of the year.

    • There are lots of casual games on Xbox Live Arcade.

    • Don’t insult Car & Driver like that.

  8. I believe the 360 will start to fall hard on it’s face starting now. Many people bought a 360 due to it’s next generation status. Out a year before PS3. Graphics are better with the PS3 already and not many machines are having problems unlike the 360’s. Also, many people didn’t realize that they were purchasing another computer for their home. Another point is that although the initial cost for the 360 is cheaper, with live added into the cost you as a consumer will be paying more. Finally, how many games for the 360 are you needing pay extra for content. Mini expansions anyone? Ridiculous!! Plenty of games feel weak/short. That’s okay though, just keep shellin’ out the dough for extras that should be included.

  9. As others said the Wii sells more because it has a larger market not because it’s more popular with the gamers that’s like saying a Cavalier is doing better then the Ferrari because it sells more

    In truth most gamers who have the money have either a Xbox 360 + Wii or PS3 + Wii then there are the millions of none gamers out there that are content with bouncing around like complete morons and playing “stick your leg out game” lol

    The Xbox 360 is doing great if any console should worry it’s the PS3

  10. Halo 3 will save their day, and they know it. Everyone has been waiting for Halo 3, including myself.

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