20 years ago, everyone was waiting for the console war between Sony and Microsoft

Hardware and software
20 June 2024, at 14:08

For more than 20 years, the PlayStation 2 solidified Sony’s position in the gaming world. At the same time, Microsoft was preparing to expand the first Xbox and everyone was looking forward to the upcoming duel.

Image source: Xbox prototype; YouTube: BBC Archive. 2024


At the turn of the 20th and 21st centuries, the gaming market was still underestimated. At the top was Sony, which conquered the market with its PlayStation product, and it seemed that nothing could threaten the company when the PS2 was first introduced. Microsoft, which had already been working on the first Xbox for a year, decided to take on the giant. The American company had the money and incentive to catch up with Sony, but it had a serious problem.

24 years ago, no one knew whether Sony would emerge victorious from the duel with Microsoft

The PlayStation 2 premiere showed just how popular Sony’s system is. In just six months, the console sold 3.5 million units in Japan alone, compared to 2.5 years for the first PlayStation.. The PS2 buried SEGA’s hopes of staying in the console business, but in the background there was still the upcoming Xbox premiere, about which little was known.

This is shown in archived BBC material from 22 November 2000. In the recording, we can only see a specific prototype of the device and learn that it will be three times more powerful than competitors. The American giant had the money and determination to win. Alan Wilsman, head of PlayStation marketing, felt respect for the competitor and realized that Microsoft could afford a lot.

This is what the BBC recording mentioned above indicates. It should be noted that in the field of IT, Microsoft is a real dominant company that now wants to conquer the gaming market. James Allard, who is leading the project, is young and himself a target customer for the PS2 due to his age and interests. For the first time, games were intended to appeal directly to young people, and were therefore no longer “children’s entertainment.”.

Microsoft was hampered by its own image

Now, many years later, we know that Sony has beaten Microsoft in every generation. The first Xbox wasn’t very popular and the Xbox 360 was close to winning, but at the end of the generation PlayStation 3 did better. Trevor Beatty, the creative director responsible for PlayStation advertising, previously said in a BBC material that Microsoft could fail.

In his opinion Microsoft’s problem was the company’s image clashed with the gaming market they wanted to enter. Until now, all of the American company’s programs and applications have been linked to the office environment. Within a few years, Sony was able to build an image that would encourage gamers, something that Microsoft couldn’t buy for any money.

According to Trevor Beatty, it will take several years to break into PlayStation’s niche while still providing a quality product. Plus, the guy mentioned it It’s not about the product itself. It is a movement, religion or lifestyle. The ongoing conflict between fans of different platforms seems to confirm this. People defend their PlayStation, Xbox, or PC, pointing out their competitors’ shortcomings.

Fans do the most advertising for free, and Microsoft lacked this at first. James Allard himself somehow confirmed this. The man revealed that when he spoke to people and revealed that Microsoft was behind Xbox, a lot of people reacted with disbelief. As if this wasn’t the world for an American company.

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