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access_time April 5, 2014 at 4:42 AM in Features by Dragos Dobre

The Big Bang Theory Xbox One versus PS4 episode seems like paid advertisement from Microsoft


If you are not a fan of The Big Bang Theory TV show there’s a slight chance that you won’t really understand this article as it’s based on  some facts from several episodes. If you do watch it and you are not up to date with the series, you should stop reading and not spoil yourself.

The Big Bang Theory episodes have always featured multiple things related to the gaming world. The protagonist, Sheldon Cooper used to have several gaming nights every week including Halo, Wii Bowling, Dungeon and Dragons nights. Throughout the series we’ve seen the Xbox 360 for several times and on a few occasions the Wii, but we never saw a Sony product, such as the PlayStation 3.

You might think that Microsoft invested in this show for a while now. Not only that Xbox consoles have been mentioned more than a few times in the TV show, but Sheldon’s apartment also has a few collector’s items from popular Xbox franchise Halo.

Getting back to the point, Sheldon had to make a choice in the last episode. He wanted to buy a gaming console from the two next-gen consoles available, but only wanted one of them as his entertainment system only had room for one. In the episode he is trying to make a decision to buy either one of them, and while he is doing that several facts about the consoles are said.

When he compares them, Sheldon exposes the slight hardware advantage of the PlayStation 4, but doesn’t forget to add that the ESRAM contained in the Xbox One fixes the slight gap between those two. He also states that Xbox One is a possible entertainment system and that Microsoft ships the Kinect included in the box.

At the end of the episode, when he needs to actually make a decision, he hurries and grabs a box containing the Xbox One, stating that he made his research and Xbox One is the superior console. Of course, the protagonist’s well know incapability of making decisions result in him not buying any of the consoles.

But if you look closer at the message of this episode, you’ll notice that Sheldon only tries to promote Xbox One as an equal of the PlayStation 4, while compensating with tons of facts about the console. This could indicate Microsoft’s attempt at advertising the console in one of the most popular TV shows. Were they successful? Maybe.

It’s not uncommon practice for console manufacturers to advertise in TV shows, as House of Cards also has a few moments in which the leading character plays on a PlayStation Vita or a PlayStation 3.

Of course, the fact that I see Microsoft’s attempt to advertise the Xbox One in the last episode of The Big Bang Theory doesn’t necessarily make it true. So, what do you think? Was it advertisement or pure coincidence?


  • Terry April 5, 2014 at 9:07 AM

    Or maybe Sony wanted to not be selected to still be seen as a underdog? Or maybe Valve wanted to showcase how its so hard to make a decision and people should get a pc and buy steam… Or maybe its a dream within a dream within a dream?? HOLY SHIT, You’ve blown my mind!

  • RandomRandy April 5, 2014 at 9:34 AM

    Wait, so because they show both the PS4 and Xbox One and talk about advantages of both, it was a paid advert from Microsoft…

  • jonam April 5, 2014 at 10:25 AM

    well…we all know PS4 is still beating in the sales department. And that for all it is.

  • Vamien McKalin April 5, 2014 at 12:33 PM

    How is this worthy of an opinion piece? Every company tries to get an ad placement inside a TV show so there is nothing new about this. Now, it is not certain if Microsoft paid for ad space, but it is quite foolish to make a big deal out of it.

    “It’s not uncommon practice for console manufacturers to advertise in TV shows, as House of Cards also has a few moments in which the leading character plays on a PlayStation Vita or a PlayStation 3.”

    Clearly you have an idea that these practices are very common, so what’s the purpose of this article? Are you going to write an article on every time the console manufacturers grabs an ad space in a TV show or movie?

    Is this the modern day video game journalism? Nitpicking at everything Sony and Microsoft might or might not have done?

  • Matthias Meyer April 6, 2014 at 4:38 AM

    the only game titles shown in that episode where all nintendo ips 😉
    the whole store was full with them
    guess that´s why he didn´t choose a box or ps4 – no games available – just tech talk with no outcome.

  • Homer Thenoon April 29, 2014 at 12:50 AM

    Well, Just read that Xbox One piles in stores because of low selling figures, Sheldon do mention it a lot and the whole disscussion with Emmy was a typical ad. Do the show need money, or it is just greed. I like the show but not the extended ad about Xbox versus Sony PS

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