At this time period, there is no point in taking raw power or hardware capabilities of both consoles into consideration. Xbox has set out to rival the PCs and according to rumors, Microsoft is providing hardware that might make even higher end PCs go under a bed and cry. But does this make Sony inferior in any way? And the answer is a resounding ‘NO’, and I’m not saying this as a PS4 owner, I’m saying this as a PC owner. But let’s not dismiss what both companies could achieve by following their guts. Though this gen has seen it’s share of ups and downs, E3 was finally the time, both major consoles in the market took their own paths. Now let’s have a look at how they can aproach their gaming front.
Postives of Sony’s Strategy:
Why do people prefer consoles? It’s not because they want bleeding edge technology, neither is it because they want all Ultra HD resolutions nor for the extreme frame rates. The reason people buy consoles is simplicity. In today’s rushed lives, consoles are the best option for hassle free gaming. We got confirmation that Sony will be releasing a new console, and we also got news that the next big Xbox will be much more powerful as well as modular (Upgradeable) than the current gen consoles.
Maybe Microsoft is right, maybe it is wrong, but what it surely has proven is that Xbox is nearly out of the race for the more popular console maker and they are focusing on creating a platform rather than limiting themselves to a console. And don’t take it in the wrong way, this does not mean Xbox is dead, you can take it more as “Xbox has become Microsoft now”. Microsoft is promoting the growth of the Windows 10 platform. Whether in the future it is going to be Windows 10 vs PS”Next whatever they push out”, we can’t yet say.
But Sony will definitely be the only runner in the major console wars. And I’m not excluding Nintendo, but they have simply been there all this time, creating great games, that mostly go unnoticed and they themselves are not very prominent, mainly because they do not present at E3 and other presentations. As far as console wars go now, it is over, since Sony is still retaining the core concepts of a console whereas Microsoft is creating a whole new mutated eco system. There will be a new PS4, and there is an upgrade, hardware wise, but it sure is not going to be modular like PCs and Xbox and it is not going to be bringing all it’s games to all Sony associated products (Streaming is a different case).
Sony with their many spectacular looking exclusives will obviously maintain it’s following and the increase in the player base will definitely help Sony to maintain a steady eco-system. Also with the many developers exclusive to them, they could very well make new IPs and keep a steady outflow of games.
But at the end of the day, it is going to be a simple black box that you can put a disc in, download a few updates and get on with gaming for the next 2-3 years, unlike Xbox where you will have to worry about upgrades and all such stuff, which many gamers have been doing for more than a decade on the PCs. I would say that Sony has remained true to all the concepts that made console gaming, what it is today and with the huge list of exclusives coming out, I highly doubt that they will lose traction in the near future and in fact I think they will increase in size even more, now that Microsoft has backed out.
Positives of Microsoft’s Strategy:
Microsoft, trying to encroach the PC community, is in many ways a good thing for both the communities, the Xbox as well as PC Gamers. First Microsoft, with the launch of Scorpio, they would be able to make visually more appealing games and second, the PC gaming community will get a large library of games to play. Another great thing about getting to the PC community is that they have pretty amazing ideas, and I’m not talking about a random gamer telling about his dream game.
Unlike console games, where everything is left to the developer, Microsoft can now release a game to a wider audience and make a game better based on their reviews, just like many other game developers do. Microsoft can also fund new game developers who have great ideas and execution and publish them on their platform. One of their developers could work along with Valve (Who have almost stopped developing games) and make a very awesome game, which would succeed Half Life 2 in terms of game innovation.
Also Microsoft will not be restricted to create games which will be based on good visual fidelity unlike Sony games, because PC gamers are more into gameplay innovation, rather than graphical innovation. Of course, they could also bring their games on Steam, which will give them more exposure and because the Windows Store in it’s current state is just bad (Of course they will have to fix that too).
And if I have my facts right, there are about 300 million Windows 10 users and about a third, that is, 100 million people are also on Steam according to PC World and we can’t deny that it is a lot of gamers and also an undeniable fact is that Windows 10 is growing at a very steady state.
But they will have to be at caution, because the PC gaming community takes no bullshit and if you try to run in circles with them, it’ll not be long before your legs are tied around each other. It’s all about exposure, and Microsoft have entered a domain which is not restricted to one type of genre. Yup, PC gamers are far more diverse and any game they make is bound to sell on PCs (Of course it should not be total garbage).
They have actually done a good thing by taking Xbox out of the ring. Now they are not restricted by some of the general population concerns for the game to just look breath taking, and they can develop games much more freely than before.
Well these are just the ways Microsoft ‘could’ work along with the PC Gamers, but if they are thinking that they would be able to turn Steam gamers into Windows gamers, well all the best to them. All the above is just speculation and what all Microsoft could do, but it is very unlikely that they are actually going to realize this potential until push comes to shove.
Here are my thoughts on what positives there are to the strategies of both gaming giants. I couldn’t find any negatives on Sony’s side because they are literally sticking to the system that has been prevalent for more than a decade, while Microsoft is venturing into strangers’ tides. What are your thoughts on both their plans, let us know in the comments section below.