The first video games appeared in the early 1960s and were played on massive computers connected to displays, not televisions. An inspired German born American, Ralph Henry Baer decided to build an interface to enable gaming on an "idiot" box. With help from his employer at Sanders electronics, Baer built the first gaming console called the "Brown Box" simply because of it's color. The Brown Box was programmed to play a variety of games by flipping switches along the front of the box. These games included ping-pong, checkers, target shooting games, four different types of sport games, and a golf put-put game which required a special attachment.(Isi)
Sony's PlayStation 4 isn't the most popular console ever but it's definitely getting there by reaching 60 million consoles sold within 3.5 years. This announcement puts Sony's PlayStation 4 ahead of Xbox One by a significant margin, simply because the PlayStation 4 is selling approximately twice as fast as the Xbox One. There are a few good reasons as to why that is, one being becuase right out of the gate Microsoft turned off potential buyers with a higher price point with the Xbox selling for $499 compared to $399 for the PlayStation 4. Another major reason was because the focus for PlayStation was on the games and the ability to trade or loan your games to a friend, while on the other hand Microsoft was pushing an innovative but poorly system of digital rights and limitations. That's all it took. (Andronico)
Sony PlayStation was introduced in the United States in early 1995 and made a huge impact on the video game console market. The only other big name consoles around that time were the Nintendo 64 and the Sega Saturn. With the PlayStation came all thegaming franchises we love to do this day including Metal Gear Solid, Spyro, and Twisted Metal. The PlayStation consoles success lead to continuing the consoles by introducing the PlayStation 2 which released in 2000.
The PS2 was the game changer, having a massive success of selling over 150 million units to date, simply because it was unchallenged. The was until Microsoft released their debut console; the Xbox. The Xbox tried to do everything that the PlayStation 2 could not. The hardware was much better and the games graphics were better as well as the Microsoft brand being arguably more well known. Microsoft was a very trusted software company and were already more or less owned the PC market. So with no surprise Xbox made a huge dent in the console market especially considering that they released a debut console.
While it didn't come anywhere near as close to selling as many units as the PS2, the Xbox gave Microsoft a huge success in the console market. As well as the Playstation, Xbox had amain selling point were amazing games such as Halo 1 and Halo 2, Forza, and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. There were direct counterparts to incredible PlayStation 2 games such as Grand Turismo, God of War 1 and 2, and Final Fantasy. Still, Halo became so special that it caught many gamers off-guard. Halo became unbelievably successful and easily beat any first person shooter PlayStation had out, in fact Halo 2 sold over 8 million copies making it the most popular game on the console. However, one big thing the Xbox was lacking on was adventure games. Compared to Jak and Daxter, Ratchet and Clank, and others like Ico and Shawdow of the Colossus, the Xbox had no similar adventure games that could possibly compare in quality. But the Xbox's main focus was broadband only and focused on online multiplayer games. This is important becuase the Xbox was centered around Xbox Live and Microsoft had a plan to capitalize on it in the future.
A huge wave had begun to grow between fans of either console, although many diehard PlayStation fans were making the switch over to the Xbox majority of the fans were still loyal to PlayStation. Popular forums around 2001 were full threads arguing the difference between consoles and this is how the rivalry began. This rivalry definitely extended when online console gaming was introduced because PlayStation fans couldplay together making the online multiplayer for consoles flourish like never before.
Although very debatable, it was clear that Xbox had the superior online service withXbox Live, which at the time had broadband connection. Xbox Live revolutionized online gaming for console's with the release of Halo 2 making Xbox Live's dominance solidified. Xbox also popularized something that is common on every single console to date. Every Xbox came with a hard drive and games no longer needed to buy memory cards for storage. Although the Xbox debut provided features that are now common in video game consoles, it's fair to say that Sony won the first leg of the console war.
However, moving forward things would not be so one-sided. After the success of both the PS2 and Xbox, Microsoft decided to quickly get into a new generation with an early release over the next PlayStation. Launching in the late 2005 but a lot earlier than the PlayStation 3, both Xbox and PlayStation fans from the previous generation were excited for the next generation to arrive. Since Xbox was released earlier than the PlayStation it was more favored by gamers. A lot of PlayStation fans did not have the patience to wait and ended up abandoning ship for the Xbox 360.
This obviously had a huge impact on what would be the current generations console wars. Sony no longer had that 1 year advantage they had the previous generation and Microsoft took advantage to seize an oppurtunity. Microsoft said that they would continue support for the Xbox but this wasn't necessarily true. For this reason, many Xbox fans decided to wait for the PlayStation 3 and not purchase the Xbox 360 because Sony was known to be dedicated to providing support to older consoles even when their next generation consoles were released. That being said, the number of fans that Microsoft lost was still not comparable to the number they gained with the release of the 360. With the release of the Xbox 360 came thelong awaited return of Halo 3 which shattered all kinds of sales records. At this time Gears of War also came out which cemented the Xbox's title as the next generation console with capable graphics. The great games that came with the release of the Xbox 360 solidified its place as a high end console and definitely justified the investment that millions of gamers made. Don't get it wrong though, the Xbox 360 was not without its problems. The Red Ring of Death was probably the most talked about gaming issue in gaming history as many Xbox 360s became defective and it's almost impossible to find anyone who ever owned an early version that never encountered this problem. PlayStation 3 fans used this as a part of their console war arsenal and to this day will argue that the only reason Xbox 360 had high sale numbers is due to the fact that consumers had to buy multiple Xbox 360 consoles due to the red ring of death.
Although Micrsoft has changed many of its policies, many gamers are still not as confident and more so skeptical of the Xbox One. As for exclusive games both sides have an amaazing set of games announced. The PlayStation 4 will be getting another Killzone, another Infamous as well as some new IPs that will be announced later. The Xbox One has yet another new Halo game in works as well and another amazing looking Forza. In 2017, Sony performed the daredevil stunt of launching three new pieces of hardware in 60 days. The $399 PlayStation 4 Pro, PlayStation VR, and a slimmer and sleeker $299 version of the baseline PlayStation 4. PlayStation VR had sold more than one million units worldwide and according to Sony it's been sold out since day one. In 2005, Sony began its own foray of handheld gaming with a device known to the world as the PSP. The PSP sold over 80 million units, and in 2012, a followup dubbed the PS Vita arrived. Even though the Vita could not compare to the Nintendo Switch, Sony still views the Vita as a viable development platform.(Peckham) On the other hand, Microsoft at its heart is a software and services company. It makes operating systems, word processors, and offers cloud services. That is what Microsoft is known for. Microsoft obviously wants to sell a bunch of Xbox ones, ofcourse it does but it's not the number one metric that it uses to judge its success. Microsoft as a software and services at heart wants to hvae a large audience of people using its software and services. That can be on Xbox One X, or PC, or even a PlayStation console. Many consumers believe that Xbox One exclusives are launching on PC. They suggest that this will just damage the appeal of the Xbox One, but Phil Spencer and his team do not caare because if your playing on PC or on Nintendo Switch you are in fact a Microsoft customer. Xbox announced the service which would in fact delievers almost 100 games to subscribers for a monthly fee and obviously natural comparisons were made to Netflix.(Dring) But it's not technically the same, with Netflix it's full of new and original content that you can only get from the service. With Game Pass you're offered a catalogue, backwards compatible, and indie games. That's a big incentive to invest simply because the service basically pays for itself if you play at least 2 games a month. The main challenge would be to encourage a large number of people to invest but with that Xbox would need to deliver more unique software more frequently. Spencer told Bloomberg last year that is exactly what their trying to do. He said that "Xbox needs to grow and that he looks forward to doing so."(Dring)