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I think part of the reason why gamers are more chatty in Xbox Live games than PSN games certainly has many factors, but probably highest on the list is that headsets are pretty much standard on the 360, while you have to go the separate bluetooth headset route on the PS3. Even I haven't bothered to configure a headset on the PS3 and I'm usually the first in line to do those types of things.
In any case, I think we have to accept the fact that hardcore gamers set the standard on both the Xbox 360 and PS3, and Microsoft was first out of the gate with a truly unified online service that fostered playing together, whereas Sony is still playing catch up. Microsoft was also first with achievements, which again is appealing to the harder core gamers both as a way to brag and also as a way to really feel like you're accomplishing something (even me, who buys hardcore, but does not play hardcore, finds great joy when I unlock an achievement). So those examples, among several others, I think are a key to why gamers have responded more dramatically to the 360 than the PS3, keeping in mind of course that the PS3 is hardly a slouch in the sales category and most likely on the strength of the disparity in Japan will probably finish just ahead of the 360 in terms of worldwide overall sales when the dust settles on this generation.
Finally, I think Sony got just about everything right hardware-wise with the PS3, while the 360 hardware-wise had some missteps. The difference though like I said is that Microsoft got the software and online infrastructure spot on, while Sony has lagged in that department. So even though Microsoft's Xbox Live has always been subscription-based (at least for the good stuff), that didn't matter for the experience. Even Sony's subscription version of PSN isn't good for much (I don't count the couple of old games you get for free a month as a huge differentiator).
The x factor in all this unexpectedly is Move versus Kinect. As it stands now, Microsoft gambling on the more radical controller free option rather than Sony's better-than-but-still-similar-to-the-Wii option seems to be paying dividends for the 360, with the console getting lots of positive mainstream buzz that used to be reserved for the Wii. Honestly, I didn't expect either motion controlling solution to do particularly well, but it seems like Microsoft's has turned into an undeniable success for the time being. Sony is going to continue to pump lots of money and advertising into making Move a success, but it may not be enough for a product that most people seem relatively lukewarm (take it or leave it) about.
As for the Wii, I think time has finally caught up with it. It's becoming increasingly obvious that developers either can't (from a technical standpoint) or don't want to (from an investment versus sales standpoint) put the time and effort into making the system look good. Outside of the pseudo-2D games, the latest batch of Wii games have looked surprisingly rough and have suffered from quite a few technical issues. This has been reflected in the reviews and the overall response of the latest games (again, outside of the pseudo-2D stuff like the latest Donkey Kong and Kirby games). The highest profile example is probably "Epic Mickey", which should have been a slam dunk, but for some reason was not something that as a whole came together successfully. Combining that with saturation of the system and it's clear that the Wii's best days are behind it. With that said, ironically enough, it will still likely be able to pull out a few more monthly wins here and there, and certainly its overall lead is in zero danger of even being remotely threatened for the remainder of this generation. So while Nintendo is in a rough spot for the remainder of this generation, they've built such a lead and can still bank on their first party titles so much that they have nothing to worry about before Wii 2 hits...
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