Game console wars are not simple, but critics always call it before the game, which is always tempting. However, we see that it is foolish to try to hold a presidential election in the first few hours after the poll. If I was just watching a game, I would call it a console game, not Microsoft’s Xbox Series X/S machine, it’s Sony’s PlayStation 5.
Sony’s advantage in gaming is obvious, but it’s still too early to say whether it will create an insurmountable momentum with Sony’s support, especially when the hardware supply of both parties is so short. Both machines went on sale this week, only two days apart, at the same price, both at $500 (with an asterisk, as shown below). They will provide us with 4K graphics, 1
Microsoft’s large game “Halo: Infinite” (Halo: Infinite) is nowhere in sight and has been postponed to 2021. The game was originally supposed to be its system seller. For example, “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” was designed for Nintendo Switch. Since 2001, Microsoft has not launched a new game console with the new Halo, which is really sad and bad luck.
In contrast, Sony has won some home runs with its lineup. The free Astro game room drew attention to the new haptic feedback in the DualSense controller. Insomniac’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales is a beautiful and fascinating game that will do for Sony like a first-party studio like Insomniac Games should do: sell the system. The color of the game is dizzying and confusing, and SSD finally saves us from having to wait for the cutscenes/game transition.
Devil’s Soul and Zack Boy: A big adventure is also out. These titles prompted Mike Minotti of GamesBeat to say that Sony is the best game console lineup of this century. PS5 also has excellent console exclusives such as Bugsnax, The Pathless and Godfall. I really want to argue with Mike, but he is right.
If the console battle is decided in the first few weeks, Sony will easily be the winner. Of course, Sony has a buzz. It is no secret that Sony will take advantage of this advantage to participate in this battle, because it has sold approximately 114 million PlayStation 4s to Microsoft’s 48.5 million Xbox Ones. Those players will not switch allegiance like that.
Spiketrap uses AI and market research techniques to digest social media’s views on gaming and has realized this. Spiketrap said in a GamesBeat report that research from August 11 to November 11 showed that PS5 fan engagement was three times higher than Xbox Series X fan engagement. This means that Sony has won in terms of promoting the substance of the dialogue.
In the past two weeks, this advantage has diminished. Spiketrap said that the PS5 discussion is mainly about its exclusive games, while Microsoft’s buzz is about acquiring Bethesda, its refrigerator trick, dressing the refrigerator like an Xbox Series X and quick recovery features.
Nevertheless, if we declare Sony as the winner at this point, it is like using Spiketrap data to declare the presidential winner before counting the votes. We know this: judging console warfare by first-party exclusivity is stupid, like saying that Iowa should decide who goes to the White House.
We discussed some of these issues with TQ Jefferson of Survios, Ed Boon of NetherRealm Studios (Mortal Kombat), and Mat Piscatella, a game analyst at NPD, in a panel discussion on “Next Generation Games” yesterday. Watch the video below for a complete conversation, focusing on what we hope this generation will achieve. Piscatella pointed out that new intellectual property rights will appear in the early days of this generation of consoles, but things like the backward compatibility of the titles of the previous generation are likely to change the way the game is played.
Reality is more complicated
Of course, the reality is that it may take us a year to know who has truly won this generation.
Oh wait, I forgot that I should conclude that gamers will win this generation. Yes, the player will win. (Can you tell me that I wrote an article about console startup because my topic is very long?)
Nonetheless, assuming we don’t feel strenuous with almost identical game consoles, we have to consider many things. Although Sony has clearly performed well in games, Microsoft has built its console ecosystem with features such as Project xCloud cloud gaming, which allows you to play console games on mobile devices or other machines. With regard to Sony’s backward compatibility, its story is better than Sony’s, which will enable players to use old games they already like and invest in the next generation of games.
The sooner the better, but for Halo: Infinite, it may be launched in the next generation of products, because the installation base of the new console will be higher. In the long run, the game will bring more benefits to Microsoft.
At the same time, third-party game publishers can provide some really big games, and fans can enjoy them on Xbox Series X while waiting for Microsoft’s big games. We know these big names are brewing, because Microsoft has carried out an acquisition frenzy to catch up and surpass Sony’s first-party studio strength. Of course, the addition of Bethesda is like a big failure for Microsoft.
But gamers can play “Call of Duty: Black Ops”-“Cold War” (Sony is the preferred platform for the game), “Watch Dogs: Legion”, “NBA 2K21”, “FIFA 21”, “Fortnite” and “Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla.” You can complete Sony’s release lineup in a week or so, but these games will keep you playing for weeks or months. These games and many other games will be available on both consoles.
With backward compatibility, players don’t have to worry about entering Xbox SeriesX. If we regard this battle as a Looney Tunes cartoon, then Sony only hit Microsoft in Spider-Man’s frying pan: Miles Morales, but Microsoft is working with all the studios acquired to combine Sony with all Road Runner skills. The mother checks-not to mention that it will finally complete Halo: Infinite.
Sony and its partners have some tricky titles such as Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart, God of War, Horizon Forbidden West, Deathloop, Gran Turismo 7 and Ghostwire: Tokyo. Some of these games have followers that date back to many console eras. This creates a whirlpool effect, keeping fans in the Sony ecosystem.
GamesBeat’s Jeff Grubb believes that Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass, a monthly subscription service of $10 to $15, is the killer app for the new console. You can access hundreds of games at a subscription price and play them on any platform on PC, mobile devices, and game consoles. Your old games and game history will always exist. Although I like to joke with Jeff, he is right about it. Game Pass will change the way Microsoft sells new game consoles.
Microsoft has tried to change the way the game console is started from one aspect. The company offers a discounted version of $300, called Series S, without disk drives and slower processors. Its purpose is to test whether some price-sensitive gamers will buy new game consoles early.
Sony responded with a $400 “digital version” version, but I’m not sure how serious this is. The S series is likely to attract players who may buy the Switch.
For now, the console war is a very civil war, and both sides are performing well. Microsoft congratulated Sony for launching Sony, and Sony did the same. We are at a stage where everyone wins, especially gamers, and the rising tide lifts all ships (retailers seem to be unable to start properly, except for retailers).
Both game consoles will soon exude a lot of joy. Xbox boss Phil Spencer did not disclose the details of the number of game consoles Microsoft released on the day of the November 10 announcement, but he expressed satisfaction with the company’s record on Twitter.
Thank you for supporting the largest release in Xbox history. In 24 hours, more new game consoles were sold in more countries than ever before. We are working with the retail department to replenish the goods as soon as possible. You continue to show us that the ability to connect with games is more important than ever.
-Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) November 12, 2020
We will find out who won the first holiday early next year. This largely depends on who arranges the best supply chain and correctly estimates the demand. But we know that Sony and Microsoft will sell everything they can make, and those who cannot find it may turn to Nintendo for help. It is very unlikely that one party will emerge with unparalleled momentum, but it is always possible.
At the same time, Nintendo announced that Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Switch Lite sold 735,926 units in the United States in October, an increase of 136% over the same period last year. This is the second highest sales of all video game consoles in October, second only to the 807,000 Wii systems sold in October 2008. It is very likely that Switch will become the hottest game console in November and December, just like Nintendo, it may not have the supply restrictions of Microsoft and Sony.
Of course, Nintendo does not need to launch a new game console this year, because the Switch, which has been discontinued for 23 months, has a different schedule, but it is still rising, with 63 million units sold.
However, the fact that Nintendo announced its sales shows that it may be worried about the influence of Sony and Microsoft, and for all the noise, it is a little worried that Nintendo may be forgotten. Nintendo doesn’t need to feel insecure at all, but it’s better to say “Hey, look at me.”
Piscatella tweeted: “The Switch number is definitely a fool. We are talking about the Wii peak here. There is almost no risk of falling off the cliff like the Wii. This is the monster of the platform.”
Wouldn’t it be interesting if Nintendo won the war between Microsoft and Sony?
Among all these considerations, the fact that Sony entered this console battle with a 2 to 1 sales advantage may be the most decisive. Microsoft must persuade players that they should replace the console, which is very difficult to do without an exclusive console. Perhaps its greater hope is to expand the market as much as it can, so the rising tide boosted all ships, and both succeeded. We will find out who really has the best long-term strategy because they will reveal plans and lineups for the coming months.
At the same time, indeed, the player will win.