It's about games
Sony (SNE) has never looked better heading into a new generation of gaming. The Japanese company, which owns music, movie and TV networks, has focused solely on games thus far with its PlayStation 4 console. Sony has been able to win over important early adopters by doing the opposite of everything Microsoft (MSFT) did at E3, undercutting the Xbox One’s price by $100 and allowing for game rentals, used game playback and offline play. Eventually, Microsoft was forced to change its policies after gamer backlash, but the damage has been done.
More gamers were pre-ordering PS4s during E3 week and Sony has been riding a wave of positive buzz ever since. Sony has said entertainment functionality will be part of the PS4, just as it’s been for the PlayStation 3, but the company has learned from past mistakes. The PS3 was known as a difficult system to develop for, which gave early Xbox 360 titles a graphical advantage. But new games like The Last of Us and the upcoming Beyond: Two Souls showcase the full power of the system. With game veteran Mark Cerny behind the hardware in the PS4, that type of quality should be evident day one with games like Infamous: Second Son. Here are five reasons why Sony will win the next gen war.
The $400 price point will go a long way when it comes to gamers’ wallets. You can pick up an extra controller and launch title before hitting the Xbox One price point. Sure, Sony sacrificed its PS4 camera by opting not to offer it as a pack-in, and that will impact how many games utilize it, but at the end of the day most gamers will be happy without it. And Sony will sell more hardware at the lower price point out of the gate.
Sony has a great brand in PlayStation. Sales of the original PlayStation surpassed 102 million units and the PlayStation 2, which just ended its production run this year, has an installed base of over 150 million consoles. Sony has sold over 77 million PS3s and counting (they’ll continue to support PS3 well into the future). The bottom line is everyone knows the PlayStation brand, and that goes a long way in reaching the more mainstream consumer. Sony has also wooed more hardcore gamers with its line-up of exclusive games like Gran Turismo, which has sold over 65 million copies.
Although both the Xbox One and PS4 feature AMD’s latest Graphics Core Next technology, developers at E3 said Sony’s console features roughly 40% more processing power. If that holds true, third party games like Activision’s Call of Duty Ghosts and Ubisoft’s Watch Dogs will look better on PS4 when put side-by-side with Xbox One this fall. Coupled with the ease of use developers are having programming for the PS4, Sony should have a great collection of standout games at launch like Driveclub and Killzone.
Two of the highest-rated Metacritic game franchises of all time, Uncharted and The Last of Us, come from developer Naughty Dog. The Sony-owned studio has been able to create original action adventure games that push the boundaries of Sony’s hardware, while garnering critical acclaim and blockbuster sales. The studio recently made the successful transition from Teen-rated Indiana Jones-style action in Uncharted 3 to Mature-rated intense post-apocalyptic thrills in The Last of Us. Gamers around the world are looking forward to seeing what this studio can do with the PS4.
With the rise of mobile gaming, there’s a huge new audience of gamers who are gobbling up smaller, indie-developed games. With development costs rising for “AAA” next gen games, exclusive indie titles could play a bigger role with next gen. Sony is winning over game developers with PS4, embracing indies to the point of featuring them on stage at its E3 press conference alongside its big budget exclusives. Yes, Microsoft offers indie games, but developers are flocking to Sony because the company is treating them better. Games like Octodad, Transistor and Outlast were also given prime space at Sony’s E3 booth, and for good reason. These are great games, just at a much lower price point.
Think the PS4 is actually going to lose the next cycle? Check out 5 reasons the Xbox One will dominate.