Content of the article: "Sony’s Playstation vs Microsoft’s Xbox: Different approaches to the same future."
The future of gaming is digital. Whether you believe it’s streaming, Stadia (lol), or just downloading games off a storefront. The death of physical media is abound and both giants i.e. Sony and Mintendo (the love child of Microsoft and Nintendo… JK) are gearing up to that future in slightly different ways.
It seems that Microsoft’s cheaper (disc-less) console won’t run games at 4K and honestly, that’s completely fine. A ton of people still use 1080p/1440p monitors and TVs. The Series S (I hate that name) will run games at 1440p with it’s refresh rate capping out at 120hz. Did I also mention that it costs $299? All in all it’s shaping up to be a comparable contender for low-end to mid-range gaming in the next generation.
Let’s talk a “little” about the more intriguing contender; Sony. The PlayStation 5 has pretty much shown all it’s bells and whistles. Both offerings are supposed to be targeted at 4K and the refresh rate hasn’t really been a huge topic. The difference between the two consoles is basically… a weird hump that contains this prehistoric contraption called a disc drive. Rumoured pricing places Playstation 5 at $399-$449 for the disc-less version and $499-$549 for the disc version. We know this much because Sony is unlikely to price it at $599, they’ve done that before. It didn’t go well and Sony really doesn’t have the confidence to “try again” most of the time.
Now…even though the current gen wars seems to have largely been in Sony’s favour (Honestly that’s putting it mildly) with marquee first party exclusives, 100+ million PlayStation 4s in the wild, and an attach rate that’ll put modern day fathers to shame. Sony really has been playing catch-up with features; 4K gaming, backwards compatibility, high refresh rate etc through out the generation. Just when it seems like they’re (mostly) catching up with some features, Microsoft is now undercutting them.
Sony can’t release another console in time to cross Microsoft at that price-point. They don’t need to. Sony has the wave of support from gamers coming off this generation and the hard truth is only Sony can dethrone Sony at this point. Sony also has an ace (one They may not be aware of) up their sleeve; The PS4 pro.
The PS4 pro isn’t elegant, fancy, or new. It doesn’t have to be. It matches the Series S in raw graphical power (4.2 TFLOPs vs ~4 TFLOPs) and before you yell and screech bloody murder; Yes, I’m aware that Teraflops are an irresponsible way of measuring overall performance. This 4 year old granny doesn’t support native 4K gaming (absolutely detestable but it upscales in some games), has no raytracing support, super fast SSD technology, doesn’t sport a beefier CPU, or a GPU with the new RDNA architecture, 3D audio (No one gives a fuck about this shit) and the list goes on and on and on… but it doesn’t need any of this. If history is anything to go by consoles never really show their true power except at the very beginning (because marketing) and tail end of the generation (because optics). The PS4 pro can very easily carry on into the next generation. All Sony has to do is support it for a little longer (bad for Playstation 5, bad for Series S, but good for Sony) and then mid-next-generation drop support and move gamers into the disc-less version which will be cheaper than at launch.
The PS4 pro is available on eBay for anywhere between $219-$279 and on Amazon for $349. Sony could cut the price to $299 or $249, if they really wanted to play limbo and toy with their competition.
Of course this is all in hopes that Sony plays their cards right and if history is any indicator; Sony almost never plays their card right the first or the second time. Hopefully this doesn’t cost them the war and hopefully I didn’t bore you (The original writeup is almost 3X longer than this).
It’s an interesting time to have disposable income to buy a game console; Do you get an ugly last-gen step-ladder? a fridge? a retro radio-speaker thing?or a dual coloured wifi router? orrrr a dual coloured wifi router (pregnant pause) with a baby? What a smorgasbord of options.
- I think Microsoft is onto something and may have a huge advantage over Sony going forward
- Xbox’s future is not just services, but games as a service. What do you think?
- How do you think the new Xbox Series S will affect the market?
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