EA: Brand PlayStation beats brand Xbox

But Xbox Live is the "gold standard".

In the US, brand Xbox is the clear winner in the battle of the high definition consoles. But globally, PlayStation has an insurmountable lead.

That's the verdict of one of the biggest game publishers in the world: Electronic Arts.

"Honestly, I think that Microsoft has done great work the last couple of years, and they've made a lot of smart moves: hitting pricing when they needed to, the right combination of hitting price points and disk drive sizes that allow them to hit price points that matter, and they've done a great job with Xbox Live," EA boss John Riccitiello told Industry Gamers.

"At the same time, the Xbox brand, the Microsoft brand, doesn't carry anywhere near as much sway as the Sony and PlayStation brand do outside the United States, and so I think the reality is the international marketplace is just so important and it's a natural advantage that no matter how good Microsoft is at growing their business, Sony has an almost-impossible-to-supersede head start."

While Microsoft currently enjoys a lead of a few million in the home console installed base battle - Sony had sold 41.6 million PlayStation 3 consoles as of 30th September 2010, Microsoft 44.6 million Xbox 360s analysts predict the PS3 will overtake the Xbox 360 in 2011.

According to Riccitiello, the PS3's success is down to improved marketing and a better online offering.

"In the last couple of years, Sony's sharpened their marketing message, you know, 'the platform with everything.' Riccitiello continued. "They've actually gotten past simply Home as an online connected system for them. While I'm not sure that one would compare them in depth and breadth and features and support to what you have at Xbox Live, it's good now."

Ultimately, however, Riccitiello believes both Microsoft and Sony deserve credit for launching successful consoles.

"We have a similar share on both platforms. It's not that I wouldn't want to criticize one of the other; I'm not shy. I just think they've actually both done a pretty good job.

"The big disadvantage Sony carries is they have an expensive platform because of Blu-ray, so they have a harder time hitting price points. Microsoft has taken advantage of that and their online service, which really is the gold standard. Sony has [leveraged] their limited amount of unique content really well.

"They've done a nice job promoting the Blu-ray, their advertising and marketing campaigns have been stronger, and they've done a nice job of supporting some EA content to their own advantage. I don't know that you'd point to either of them and say they can't shoot straight or that they've given it up."

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About the author

Wesley Yin-Poole

Wesley Yin-Poole

Deputy Editor

Wesley is Eurogamer's deputy editor. He likes news, interviews, and more news. He also likes Street Fighter more than anyone can get him to shut up about it.

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