Analyst referees latest console boss war

The console boss wars rumble on - analysts says both sides are making valid points, amidst the hyperbole
The console boss wars rumble on - analysts says both sides are making valid points, amidst the hyperbole

It's been a week where verbal missiles of hate have been launched from both sides of the 'console boss war'. Now an analyst has weighed in on the exchange of unpleasantries between Sony Computer Entertainment boss Kaz Hirai and Xbox boss Aaron Greenberg about their opposing companies.

Wedbush Morgan Analyst Michael Pachter has stepped into the fray, claiming that both sides are correct and make valid points about their gaming consoles.

PlayStation boss Kaz Hirai kicked things off telling the Official PlayStation Magazine that Xbox 360 had "longevity" issues and that PS3 was the "official" leader in the console race.

Xbox's Aaron Greenberg hit back, calling Sony "out of touch" while claiming that the 360's US lead was so far ahead of the PS3 that Sony doesn't have a hope in hell of catching up this side of 2014.

Both viewpoints valid

Analyst Pachter told GameDaily that – hyperbole aside – both sides make valid points.

"Aaron Greenberg is right that Sony likely won't catch Microsoft in the US until at least 2014," said Pachter. But he added: "Kaz is right that Sony will likely catch Microsoft globally."

"Please keep in mind that both consoles are offered in North America, Europe and Japan. Sony likely has a 4 million unit lead in Japan, is behind by 7 million in North America, and is behind in Europe by 2 million. My guess is that Sony can sell 2 million PS3s per year more than Microsoft in Japan for the next several years, and can catch up in Europe in two or three years. So by the end of 2011, Sony should be even in Europe, ahead by 10 million units in Japan, and behind by a greater margin than 7 million in North America. If the Xbox 360 outsells the PS3 by 1 million units per year for 2009, 2010 and 2011, the two consoles will be in a dead heat by the end of 2011.

"You should note that the 360 outsold the PS3 in the U.S. by 1.2 million units in 2008 (according to NPD), with an average price of $300 compared to an average for PS3 of $418. If PS3 comes down to $299 some time this year, it's likely that the two consoles will sell around the same number of units, with a slight edge to Sony because of Blu-ray. If the 360's price is cut further, Microsoft can likely sustain its advantage, but it may have difficulty selling 1 million more per year."

Adam Hartley