In the last 22 years, Playstation and Xbox have sold a combined 510 million units. Each brand has had its ups and downs, but we thought it would be fun to see how the two compared over the years. Join us as we try to determine which console is best, in this episode of The Infographics Show: Playstation vs Xbox.
Sony came to the video game console market with Playstation in December 1994. It was a very successful console which managed to sell 102 million units by the time it was discontinued in March 2005. The console featured a 33 MHz CPU and a 33 MHz GPU. The most popular game on the console was Gran Turismo, which sold 10.8 million copies.

Sony waited 6 years before releasing a successor to the original Playstation. Playstation 2 debuted with a price tag of $299. Microsoft became interested in the video game market and in November 2001 debuted their console titled Xbox, also for $299. Microsoft derived its name from DirectX Box which was a reference to Microsoft’s graphics API, DirectX. Xbox had a significant technological advantage over Playstation 2; its Central Processing Unit or CPU clocked at 733 MHz compared to PlayStation’s 295 MHz. Its Graphics processing unit or GPU also overpowered that of Playstation with 233 MHz compared to 147 Mhz.

Due to Xbox’s technical superiority, Sony lowered the price of Playstation 2 to $199. Playstation also secured exclusivity rights to Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, which sold 17.3 million copies.

Sony ultimately sold 155 million units of Playstation 2, making it the best selling console of all time compared to Microsoft’s 24 million units of Xbox. Microsoft’s most popular game of the generation was Halo, which sold 8.4 million units. Playstation 2 boasted a catalog of 2,500 games compared to Microsoft’s 1,000.

In December 2003, Sony tried to bundle Playstation 2. It combined a DVR, a DVD Burner, and the video game console. The device was called PSX. PSX was deemed a failure and it was never released outside Japan.

While Sony was enjoying the massive sales of Playstation 2, Microsoft was already working on the next iteration of Xbox. They called it Xbox 360. It was released in November 2005 priced at $299, a whole year before Sony released their Playstation 3, which was priced at $499. But Xbox was definitely not without its flaws. Xbox 360 suffered from a critical hardware failure which gamers to call the “Red Ring of Death.” One source reported that as much as 68% of test units were found to be defective. This defect cost Microsoft over $1 billion.

Playstation 3 featured an 8 core Cell processor compared to Xbox 360’s 3 core 3.2 Ghz Xenon processor. Two two processors had very unique architectures, making them hard to compare. PS3 3 featured 256 XDR RAM compared to Xbox 360’s 512 GDDR RAM. This number made PS3 seem weaker, however it functioned more efficiently.  

In 2007, PS3 sold 6.5 million units, while Xbox 360 sold 7.3 million. PS3 in the same year sold 40 worse than its previous, far less powerful version, which sold 12 million units. But even though PS3 had a slow start, it managed to catch up with Xbox 360. By June 2016, PS3 sold 86.5 million units while Xbox 360 sold 85.5 million.  The Xbox 360 game catalog contained 1,200 titles while the PS3 game catalog contained 2,10. If we don’t count Kinect Adventures which came bundled with Kinect, Grand Theft Auto V was the most successful video game title on both consoles selling 21.3 million copies on PS3 and 17.8 million on Xbox 360.

The 8th generation of consoles came out in November 2013, with Microsoft releasing Xbox One and Sony releasing Playstation 4. Microsoft suffered a huge marketing blow, even before release, when they announced that Xbox One will require Always Online mode, which would make the console unusable if it was unable to connect to the internet at least every 24 hours. Playstation 4 arrived in stores at a price tag of $399, while Xbox One launched at $499 and included Kinect.

At launch, both consoles were similarly matched as far as processors were concerned. PS4 featured an 8-Core AMD processor which clocked at 1.6 GHz, and Xbox One at 1.75 GHZ. But as far as graphics were concerned, PS4 had a 30% advantage with 1.84 TeraFLOPs over Xbox One’s 1.31 TeraFlops.

In August 2016, Microsoft released Xbox One S, a physically smaller design of Xbox One, which includes Ultra HD Blu-ray support and can output and stream videos at 4K resolution. Sony released Playstation 4 Pro in September 2016. The Pro version received a massive power boost by upping its graphic performance to 4.2 TFLOPS, but features no Ultra HD blu-ray support.

To date, PS4 has sold over 40 million units while Xbox One has sold 18 million. Microsoft is expected to release Xbox Scorpio in late 2017, which is going to have a graphical performance of 6 TFLOPS.

We addressed a of technical specifications in this episode, but let’s not forget that software plays a big part in all this and deserves a video of its own.

So, do you think there is any chance Xbox can once again take the lead? Which console do you prefer and why? Let us know in the comments.



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