Microsoft “can’t say” it will beat Nintendo


Microsoft is coming to terms with a harsh reality; drunk on rum and with all cannons firing, Nintendo has stolen the booty this generation.

In an interview with BusinessWeek, Microsoft’s Don Mattick admitted his company has realistic goals in terms of catching Nintendo this round.

Quite simply, that it won’t.

Even Microsoft’s top Xbox boss acknowledges the company is unlikely to catch up to Nintendo. “I’m not at a point where I can say we’re going to beat Nintendo,” says Don Mattrick, senior vice-president of Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business. Indeed, Nintendo is likely to run away with the lead in the current generation of console gaming, leaving Microsoft and Sony to battle for second place. Microsoft’s lead over Sony, coupled with the changes it’s bringing to the console, positions it to secure that spot, Mattrick says: “We will sell more consoles this generation than Sony.”

Faulty hardware aside, Microsoft had a good approach this generation. It hit the market a year early, established a strong games library with blockbuster exclusives and built the industry’s standard for online gaming services. Despite all this, Nintendo has breezed by Microsoft, and the company is losing ground to Sony, which has done as many things wrong this generation as Microsoft has done right.

Nintendo has sold 31 million Wii consoles worldwide. Microsoft follows with slightly more than 20 million 360 sales, and Sony trails with a steadily climbing 15 million PS3 sales, according to VG Chartz.


  1. I’d have to say I can’t see the 360 beating the Wii either, but I think the chances of solidifying a huge lead over Sony is at their fingertips. But having just gotten a 360 I can see that the new price points and simplifying the interface are steps in the right direction.

    And it is true that their online experience is the best right now, but if they want Mom and Dad to take advantage of X-Box Live and Arcade they need Wi-Fi inside the console, not as a $100 add-on. Mom and Dad don’t want to be running Ethernet cables through the house or drop another $100 on the add-on. Especially on top of the $60 annual cost of a LIVE membership. I will say that I love having the hardrive space and the ability to download trial versions of games.

    But then again, only geeks and otaku care about things like online services and memory storage.

  2. Jonkind Mom and dad don’t pay extra for the kids to play on the internet when the PC is free. You can forget paying for the Wifi also MS just needs to put that in the box and offer a free version of live that is nerfed some how I guess?

    Yep online geek and otaku care about that stuff. Why get offended it’s true LOL.

  3. I don’t think MS will be able to hold off Sony this gen. If sony starts getting more traction in Japan, it will be over pretty quickly. Fortunately for MS, Sony sales in Japan have totally stalled out. But, if Sony surpasses MS in global sales, I’m sure Mattrick will rephrase his comment claiming he meant in North America. Just like they did with the “first to 10 Million” when the Wii was there first globally.

  4. Nintendo really brought it this generation. That blue ocean stuff was pretty spot on, although I wonder how much of it they believed anyways. It sounded a bit like propaganda, given the risk of such an underpowered console with what could have been solely a gimmick.

    Sony is sitting pretty with their bluray player. I’m starting to think they may have some decent longter, legs for console sales. PS3 Slim in a year anyone? Well, not for me; I hate their controller.

    The MS strategy of being out the door first did pretty well. I feel like they couldn’t have challenged Sony so well (in the west at least) without it. Though I am worried, as I’ve said before, that they’ll try to bloody the blue ocean by following Nintendo there next gen. That worries me b/c I really don’t care much for the wii’s library. Taste and Preference. I prefer games with brown and black color palettes. Lots of guns and aliens.

    And online. 90% of my gaming time is spent online. I don’t know whether that makes me a geek or otaku, but it definitely makes me more social. Even on my DS it’s more fun to lead my buddy through Contra 4 for the first time than keep grinding on my own. Plus he needed the challenges unlocked.

  5. Cue TWhite.

  6. That was big of Microsoft to admit they won’t beat Nintendo. We all know it’s true whether they admit it or not. Still given the way they twist facts and distort the truth, it comes as a surprise. I guess the real battle will be for second place.

  7. I don’t know if you’ve all noticed but since reading this, more than likely, nintendo fans will ease up on microsoft and xbox. You all know now that even microsoft has given up, inside you probably all feel sorry for them and have stopped fanboying them to death lol

  8. “I don’t know if you’ve all noticed but since reading this, more than likely, nintendo fans will ease up on microsoft and xbox. You all know now that even microsoft has given up, inside you probably all feel sorry for them and have stopped fanboying them to death lol”

    I certainly hope not. Nintendo fans have had cruel overlords these past two generations. They had been mocked and ridiculed for being “kiddy” (whcih I suppose is now “casual”). They have had sadistic grins pointed in their directions as third parties abandoned them and the press continued to discount them.

    Well, the shoe is on the other foot now, and Nintendo fans, like Shylock, deserve their pound of flesh and they deserve to cut it out as slowly as possible. They deserve to see 360 and PS3 owners writhe in failure and uncertainty as third parties slowly but surely read the writing on the wall.

    What’s that? It should be about games? Maybe, but that wasn’t the lesson taught to Nintendo fans for 10 years. After such harsh education, is it any wonder to see Nintendo fans high-five each other as they watch their two chief bullies fight over who will lose less money? Over who will be second banana?

    Schadenfreude can be a healthy release, and I intend to let the air out slowly.

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