Technology of the Week – Group 40 – PlayStation vs. Xbox


We conducted an analysis on the differences and comparisons between PlayStation and Xbox. Both are Platform Intermediated Services, which can be defined as ‘Products and services that bring together groups of users in two-sided networks’. PlayStation and Xbox are gaming consoles that bring together game developers and gamers. Both need the console, which is provided by a third party, to fulfill their needs. These platforms have lately become much more prevalent.

The first game console was released in the 70’s. The second generation was different because those were 8-bit home consoles. After that generation the consoles started to advance rapidly. The third generation was introduced in 1983 and the Sony PlayStation was introduced in the fifth generation consoles in 1995. Those days, big competitors were Sega and Nintendo. Microsoft entered the market with the Xbox in 2001, the sixth generation of game consoles. Playstation2 sold better than the original Xbox, but in the seventh generation the Xbox 360 performed better than the PlayStation 3. The eighth generation is the final generation so far with the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

Both devices have some strengths and some weaknesses. For the PlayStation the first strength is that it focuses primarily on the gaming functions and less on other media functions. It has a simple user interface and games are installed fast. The games and system update automatically. It’s online network, where gamers can play online against each other is called PlayStation Network. It has a much stronger fan base than Xboxes version, Xbox Live.

However it also has some weaknesses. The games of previous versions are not compatible with the PlayStation 4. A user has to subscribe to PS Plus in order to play online which costs him extra money. The online platform is also not as good as Xbox Live.

The Xbox is a completer home entertainment device which offers the latest entertainment technologies. Here it becomes evident that Microsoft made the Xbox, because they have long term relationships with hardware providers for their other products, which they can also use for the Xbox. The game console can also be controlled with gestures and voice, through the Kinect 2.0 technology.

The Xbox One however, comes with a higher price: 100 dollars above its competitor. Xbox Live has only 50 million users whereas PSN has 110 users. Microsoft has never really made profit of the Xbox. They had to price the first version very cheap in order to penetrate the market. The second version had many errors due to hardware problems and the last version simple does not sell good enough.

In conclusion, both consoles have their own strengths and weaknesses. In spite of that it is very hard to make profit in the video game console industry. Microsoft manages to make profit with their wide range of other products but Sony is facing continued struggles in recent years and is selling and reducing multiple departments. In order to gain benefits from this Platform Intermediated Network both companies should focus on complementary products.

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