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The Ultimate Proof Sony Is Winning

Forget the analysts. Forget the NPD sales figures. Forget the CEO’s. I live with the ultimate expert on the video game industry—my 16-year-old son.

He not only plays video games, he watches every show about them on G4, he participates in chat rooms about them on the internet, he competes in a variety of games on a variety of platforms. He always tells me the latest trend three months before I read about it in the media.

But he’s never been a PlayStation fan. Sure, he had a PS1, but as soon as the Xbox came out, it was game over. He loved the Xbox graphics, and once he was old enough to play “Halo,” he loved the games. He graduated to the Xbox 360, Xbox Live, “Gears of War,” etc. He even hung in there during the overheating Xbox “red ring of death” phase. Other than a two-year detour/obsession playing “World of Warcraft” on his computer, he has always been an Xbox fanboy. Sony just didn’t have great games.

Last week he recorded all of G4’s E3 coverage so he could watch it after work (he’s got a summer job to save money to buy gas and videogames, in that order). He was very excited after Microsoft had its news conference. “You can stream Netflix movies onto the Xbox 360!” he exclaimed.

Then he watched the Sony press conference, and the world as we know it changed. After hearing about “Metal Gear Solid 4”, as well as other PlayStation exclusives in the pipeline and the awesomeness of Blu-ray, he promptly packed up his Xbox 360 and all his games and went down to Game Stop to trade them in. He bought a PS3 and “Metal Gear Solid 4.” I had to be there to approve the purchase of the M-rated game since he’s not yet 17, and I was surprised at how rapturous the Game Stop employees were about Sony. They then sold him a USED copy of “Metal Gear Solid 4.” “How can the game already be used?” my son asked. “Because some people get frustrated if they don’t have ‘cheats’,” he was told. But the cashier assured him that the game “was just as good as new.” My son asked, “How can that be?” “Because PlayStation players are ninjas!” was the response.

I’m happy to say my son didn’t accept this answer. Perhaps that’s because he’s now spending his own hard-earned money to purchase these games. He said, “Seriously, how does that work?” And the Game Stop fanboys explained that Sony now has a special coating on Blu-ray game discs which makes them virtually scratch-proof. We shall see.

One thing we do know. We may not be able to stream Netflix movies onto the console (yet) but now we can start ordering them on Blu-ray.

As we left the store, I said to him, “I never thought I’d see you with a PlayStation.” “Neither did I,” he replied.

Questions? Comments? Funny Stories? Email funnybusiness@cnbc.com
  • Based in Los Angeles, Jane Wells is a CNBC business news reporter and also writes the Funny Business blog for CNBC.com.

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