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Sony: PS3 software growth superior to 360

But MS has a "massive" hardware lead.

Microsoft may well have a "massive lead" when it comes to hardware sales, but the PlayStation 3 is seeing much stronger growth in software sales, so says Sony's publisher relations chief Rob Dyer.

Speaking in an interview with IndustryGamers, Dyer admitted that sales of Microsoft's machine out-paced the PlayStation 3, with one PS3 sold for every 1.6 Xbox 360 units.

However, he argued that where customers have a choice over which version of a game to buy, they're plumping for the PS3 SKU thanks to superior bonus content.

"If you have a choice between buying a PS3 version and an Xbox version of Mortal Kombat, which one are you buying? You're buying the PS3 version because you can play as Kratos," he offered as way of an example.

"Although Microsoft has a 1.6 to 1 index ratio against us [on hardware], we outsold them on Mortal Kombat nearly at a one to one. So that is due in large part to the exclusive content that you're getting on disc. You'll see that happening on almost every case where we've had a game that they've supported with on disc content or with exclusive DLC."

And Dyer cited a number of other examples where multiplatform releases had performed better on PS3 than the 1.6 hardware ratio might predicate. Based on NPD data, Medal of Honor came in at 1.2, LA Noire at 1.22 and NBA 2K11 at 0.93.

He also pointed to Portal 2's performance on the system, helped by Steam integration and a free copy of the PC version, as another indicator that customers would rather play the PS3 version. Though it sold at a 1.6 ratio, "it is below the total index for shooting genre title on both platforms of 1.9."

Given the 360's strength in the FPS field, Dyer is also particularly pleased with how Medal of Honor sold on Sony's system.

"So here Microsoft owns the shooter category where... everyone talks about how that's their genre. Medal of Honor, because we gave away a free copy of Frontline on the disc, wildly over indexed on ours. Microsoft absolutely felt that," he explained.

But what of this year's Modern Warfare 3? Dyer shrugged off concerns that the Microsoft had the fight sewn up by virtue of its timed DLC exclusives.

"They're going to be a month exclusive... But they're not running any higher than what the index ratio is - they're right at 1.6. In spite of all the millions that Microsoft has spent on that relationship with Activision, people aren't voting to buy a 360 version of that over and above a PS3 version, given the installed base."

And when it comes to this year's other sure-fire FPS blockbuster, Battlefield 3, he argued that the inclusion of Battlefield 1943 on the game disc should give Sony the edge.

"As much as people might associate Call of Duty and the shooting genre with 360, we don't see that as a cause for alarm right now. What we're hoping for, given the announcement we made at E3 with Battlefield, we believe that we are going to have a major player here with EA on our platform - and well over indexed given what we're doing with them in order to promote that title."