The Xbox 360 Establishes Dominance
At this point, Microsoft had little to worry about; riding the momentum of their original system, its successor quickly tore up the charts. The price of the system was neatly tucked in-between the Wii and PS3 and the red ring of death fiasco had been put to rest for the most part. On top of that, the system's architecture was also easier to develop for. Once Microsoft went out and bagged exclusive content deals with publishers, even more gamers were compelled to buy in.
It also boasted the very best online service for consoles at the time. Xbox Live may have been a paid feature, but it offered the best connectivity, party features and additional content money could buy. Whereas the competition was still playing catch-up, Microsoft had acted proactively and made online gaming a primary focus for the seventh generation. At the time the PlayStation Network was just getting off the ground and the Wii had a very miniscule online offering.
More than anything else though, it was the games Xbox had under its belt. While the 360 launched with no Master Chief in sight, this omission was quickly papered over with the debut of Gears of War. With the PS3 floundering out of the gate and Nintendo waiting on Super Mario Galaxy, it was the perfect killer app that anchored the brand as the place for hardcore titles. Things got even better when Halo 3 arrived the following year and became the most successful video game ever released at the time. Both titles kept Xbox Live lobbies incredibly busy for the next four years, as did Forza Motorsport, another key property.