Fact-Checking Microsoft's E3 Presser

As is typically the case with these types of events, context is very important when you're considering the truth of a company's boast. While Microsoft didn't outright fudge or falsify any claims, there were a couple instances where they were saying one thing and hoping you would think another.

Following the jump, a rundown of seven claims made at Microsoft's news conference earlier today. Brian Ashcraft and I did the fact checking.

Claim 1: The biggest sellers are on Xbox 360, and the Xbox 360 is home of the biggest blockbusters. "With last years performance we proved that the Xbox 360 delivers the biggest and best hits."

True. Well, sorta. Halo 3 was the top selling title of 2007 (moving 4,820,000 copies), beating out Wii Play (which shifted 4,120,000). Looking at last year's top ten selling titles, four them were Nintendo titles, five of them were multi-platform and only one was an Xbox 360 exclusive, which was of course Halo 3. Nintendo exclusives tally up to 10.9 million in sales.

Claim 2: Fall Out 3, Resident Evil 5 and Gears of War 2. Together they represent half a billion in potential sales.

Speculation. Also, only Gears of War 2 is an Xbox 360 exclusive.

Claim 3: Xbox 360's install base is 5 million units more than the PS3's.

True.

Claim 4: According to Don Mattrick, the Xbox 360 is "outselling the Wii and the PS3 combined."

True, but...context is important. Mattrick is citing the fact that Xbox 360, as of May Xbox 360 has sold 10.27 million units in the United States. While Wii has sold 10.20 million units (not 8.8 million) in the USA through May. That covers the entire lifetime of the console, whole numbers. Xbox 360 of course was released before the Wii and well before the PS3, and so has a head start in whole-number sales and install base. The top selling console since its introduction is undoubtedly the Wii.

Claim 5: There's been 2.2 billion in third party sales in last 12 months.

True.

Claim 6: There's a new Xbox LIVE member every five seconds.

Hrm... That would mean 17,280 new members sign up every day. And 6,311,520 members would sign up in a 365.25 day calendar year. According to Microsoft's numbers, there are 12 million members globally. That would mean that in two years, Xbox LIVE would have 12 million members — never mind that it's been around since November 2002. Seems like Microsoft is neglecting to mention Xbox LIVE turnover.

Claim 7: Microsoft is registering their biggest year ever, says Mattrick.

True. Meaning that the Xbox 360 is finally turning profitable.