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Xbox vs. PlayStation - The Big Guns in the Console Wars

Over the past decade, there has been one big rivalry in console gaming—Xbox vs. Play Station. The Play Station 2 and the original Xbox were released a year apart and were part of the same generation of gaming systems. Since then, the head-to-head rivalry has continued with the PlayStation 3 vs. The Xbox 360 and more recently, between PlayStation 4 and The Xbox One. Learn more about the two systems and the companies that created them and you'll better understand the differences and similarities of the two "big guns" in the gaming console war.


The Xbox gaming consoles were created by American firm Microsoft. It was the first American-created system since the Atari Jaguar and to date has been the most successful American-created console brand. There have been three major releases in terms of systems—the Xbox, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. The Xbox One was released in November 2013 and has already sold millions. The Xbox and Xbox 360 have collectively sold over 100 million consoles worldwide. The Xbox Live system has made it particularly easy for gamers to login online and play with others. The ease of the online gaming system is one of the main reasons that even the older systems remain very popular today.


In the mid 1990's, the first PlayStation was developed and released by Sony. It quickly became a major competitor in the gaming market which was at that time dominated by Nintendo and Sega. Currently, the system is on its fourth major incarnation with the PlayStation 4. Worldwide, the PlayStation series of consoles has outsold the Xbox, but in the United States the numbers are very competitive. Worldwide, the PlayStation 1, 2 and 3 sold around 330 million units. And with the PlayStation 4 released in late 2013, the number will only continue to grow. One of the things that have helped to set PlayStation apart from the competition is the number of games released that were console-specific—meaning they were never released for Xbox, Nintendo or another console. These games can often encourage gamers to buy one system over the other.

Only time will tell how the competition will stack up with the new generation of these two heavy hitters in console gaming. Early numbers appear similar to previous generations—Xbox slightly edging PlayStation in US sales, but falling behind when calculating worldwide sales. The biggest factors will be how the online gaming platforms stack up and which games are released on the systems that become "must-haves" among gamers. In the console wars, the smallest thing can tip the scales in favor of one brand or the other. Luckily, the video game market is bigger than ever before, so there is plenty of room for healthy competition between Xbox and PlayStation—and plenty of fun gaming choices for gamers of all ages and skill levels.