When it comes to software, however, Dyer says PS3 shines. "So if you look at the index ratio and see that where they might have this massive lead on the hardware side, the people that are buying software, when the software growth is happening, it's happening on the PS3," he said.
Dyer cited several examples where on multiplatform releases, the PS3 SKU performed better than the Xbox 360 SKU when comparing the numbers to the respective installed bases for the two high-definition platforms. Sony considers anything below a 1.6 index ratio on software to be favorable. Perhaps the chief example of this was Warner Bros' Mortal Kombat which way over-indexed for Sony.
"If you have a choice between buying a PS3 version and an Xbox version of Mortal Kombat, which one are you buying? You're buying the PS3 version because you can play as Kratos. Although Microsoft has a 1.6 to 1 index ratio against us [on hardware], we outsold them on Mortal Kombat nearly at a 1 to 1. So that is due in large part to the exclusive content that you're getting on disc. You'll see that happening on almost every case where we've had a game that they've supported with on disc content or with exclusive DLC."
Here are the examples Sony provided us on software (per NPD data) that performed well due to partnerships or exclusive DLC:
Mortal Kombat: Index ratio of 0.91
-Included Kratos as an exclusive playable character in PS3 version
Medal of Honor: Index ratio of 1.2
-Exclusively included an MOH Frontline HD remake
-Beta invite to Battlefield
Portal 2: Index ratio of 1.6
Sony's comment: "While the 1.6 index ratio is on par with the hardware index ratio, it is below the total index for shooting genre title on both platforms of 1.9. The PS3 version exclusively included a PC version of the game and Steam integration. Also, important to note, that Valve had a heritage on Xbox and this was the first title in this generation that shipped day and date on both platforms."
NBA 2K11: Index ratio of 1.2
-Move and 3D Support
-Partner in PlayStation/Coke promotion through Move launch
LA Noire: Index of 1.22
-PS3 version included an exclusive downloadable pack "The Consuls Car"
Dante's Inferno: Index ratio of .93
-Exclusive Divine Edition, exclusive demo on PSN
Dyer seemed particularly proud of the Medal of Honor example because of how most people feel about Microsoft "owning" the shooter category with Xbox 360. "So here Microsoft owns the shooter category where...everyone talks about how that's their genre. Medal of Honor, because we gave away a free copy of Frontline on the disc, wildly over indexed on ours. Microsoft absolutely felt that," Dyer said.
With that in mind, we decided to ask Dyer about the top shooter on the market, Call of Duty. Microsoft has been leading when it comes to Call of Duty, partly because Xbox 360 gets the DLC first. Dyer didn't seem to phased by that, however.
"They're going to have the same deal. And they're going to have their map packs," he said referring to this fall's Modern Warfare 3 and the relationship with Microsoft. "They're going to be a month exclusive... But they're not running any higher than what the index ratio is - they're right at 1.6. In spite of all the millions that Microsoft has spent on that relationship with Activision, people aren't voting to buy a 360 version of that over and above a PS3 version, given the installed base."
He added, "As much as people might associate Call of Duty and the shooting genre with 360, we don't see that as a cause for alarm right now. What we're hoping for, given the announcement we made at E3 with Battlefield (full Battlefield 1943 game included on disc), we believe that we are going to have a major player here with EA on our platform - and well over indexed given what we're doing with them in order to promote that title."