The console war between Sony and Microsoft is still raging but you don't seem to hear about it as much these days because the Xbox 360 has been dominating the competition.
The Xbox 360 has been the top selling game console in the United States for 20 consecutive months. Fanboys can't even cling to their old standby argument that "the United States is not the world" because Don Mattrick announced the Xbox 360 is now the best selling console worldwide during Microsoft's press conference at E3 over the summer.
Multi-platform games continue to sell better on Xbox 360 as well. For example, the recently released Borderlands 2 has sold 1.3 million copies worldwide on 360 compared to 0.7 million on PS3. Skyrim has sold 6.28 million copies worldwide on 360 compared to 4.13 million on PS3. Modern Warfare 3 has sold 14.5 million copies worldwide on 360 compared to 12.4 million on PS3 (numbers according to numbers from VGChartz).
Despite the fact that the PlayStation 3 has been playing catch up ever since the day it was released, Sony always had one thing going for it - marketing. Sony's marketing campaign featuring Kevin Butler was one of their biggest successes of this generation. People loved those commercials, and not just PS3 fans either. Even gamers who didn't have a PS3 could appreciate the humor that Kevin Butler's character brought to the industry. The commercials were funny! Butler even made a surprise appearance during Sony's E3 press conference in 2010. He was one bright spot in an otherwise atrocious generation of gaming for Sony.
Now Sony has even ruined that for themselves. As you might have heard by now, Sony is suing the actor who portrayed Kevin Butler, Jerry Lambert, for his recent appearance in a Bridgestone commercial. Although the commercial was for tires, and not video games, Lambert appeared in the ad playing Mario Kart on Nintendo Wii and plugging Bridgestone's "Game On" promotion which gave away Wii's.
Although the ad did not specifically refer to Lambert as "Kevin Butler" at any time, Sony fans were outraged. Despite the fact that Butler is a fictional character and Lambert is a professional actor, they felt betrayed. There hasn't been a new Kevin Butler commercial since 2011 so obviously Lambert has moved on to other things but fans didn't seem to care. Lambert's appearance in the commercial was cut out but this apparently wasn't good enough for Sony because now they are suing him.
To be exact, they aren't actually suing Jerry by name. Sony filed a lawsuit against the Wildcat Creek advertising company, whose president is Jerry Lambert, for trademark infringement (they are also suing Bridgestone).
This is pretty much the final nail in the coffin for Sony in the console war. They have turned against the one thing that they did right this generation and ruined it. Now gamers are going to think about this lawsuit when they see an old Kevin Butler commercial. The entire marketing campaign is tainted. Great job, Sony.
Sony did more damage with this lawsuit than the Bridgestone commercial ever could have. Yes fans were upset at his appearance playing a Nintendo Wii but filing a lawsuit over it makes Sony appear incredibly insecure about the quality of their product. It reveals them as the unsympathetic, merciless corporation that they are.
It seems odd that a human being could be "trademarked." Maybe Lambert had a non-compete agreement in his contract, maybe he didn't. It doesn't matter. Even if Sony does have a case legally, and even if they end up winning, they are still doing irreparable damage to their reputation. Damage which will not only dooms them to lose the console war this generation, but could carry over into the next as well.