Last week, I looked at how Microsoft could come out on top in the next-gen console wars despite their initial self-inflicted setbacks. So it’s only fair that I give the same treatment to Sony’s upcoming PlayStation 4. Both consoles are going to release around the same period, just in time for the Christmas madness. We’ve not had consoles launch head-to-head for generations, which means we’re going to see a real fight between the two. Ring that bell Mr. Shopkeeper. It’s so on.
The only downside to PlayStation Plus is the size of your hard-drive. Sony wants to fill it with quality every month. This month alone subscribers were given Battlefield 3, Saints Row The Third, Ninja Gaiden Sigma Plus, Unit 13 and more.
Microsoft have started giving freebies away with Gold subs too. This month Xbox 360 gamers got Defense Grid and the promised ancients of Halo 3 and Assassin’s Creed II are still nowhere to be seen. Frankly, it’s a bit embarrassing watching Microsoft try to defend their free tripe.
Yes, PS4 will require a PS+ subscription to play online, but when one subscription covers players for free games on PS3, Vita and PS4, they’d be mad not to have one anyway.
The PS3 Never Had Faults on the Same Scale as the 360
Microsoft’s Red Ring of Death was an utter disgrace during the console’s early days with a huge percentage of players during the early years having to get their consoles replaced. Microsoft were slow to react and make things right. People will remember that.
Sure Sony have had a few issues with their own Yellow Light of Death, but when you stack up the numbers of faulty consoles, it’s a no-brainer as to who makes more reliable hardware.
While it can be argued -especially if you work for Microsoft- that Halo sells more than many of Sony’s exclusives combined, this generation has seen Sony come out on top in regards to quality and variety.
Of what we’ve seen for the PS4 so far Killzone: Shadow Fall is clearly the one they’ll be banking on over Christmas, but Infamous: Second Son and Knack could go on to surprise too, the latter being the game from Mark Cerny, PS4’s lead architect and legendary PlayStation platformer game designer.
Honestly, I think DriveClub is going to struggle against Forza 5, leaving Sony’s line-up a little lacking on the exclusive racer line-up. Saying that though, Gran Turismo 6 will be available on the PS3 weeks beforehand.
The exclusives we haven’t yet seen are what could really blow Microsoft out of the water. Only half of the Naughty Dog team developed The Last of Us, surely the others are busily preparing Nate Drake’s PS4 debut with Uncharted 4? Sony Santa Monica will no doubt be preparing more jaw-dropping scenes with a new God of War game, which will hopefully be a full-on sequel and see Kratos leave Ancient Greece in pursuit of new conquests.
Insomniac will be busy working on their 360 inclusive game Sunset Overdrive, but nothing is stopping Sony assigning a new studio to the duo. Gamers will be excited for new IPs that are yet to be announced too. Sony have a deep respect for the European market, so look out for some reveals at Gamescom in Germany next month.
Sony paid an absolute fortune for Gaikai, so you can bet your ass they’re going to use it. The tech will be used next year to stream select PS2 and PS3 titles to the PS4 and Vita. It will also allow any PS4 game to be streamed to the Vita.
Streaming games could very important the more PS Plus fills up our hard-drives. Going out on a limb, I’d say Sony are planning some sort of rental service where you stream titles for a monthly fee, which could be a factor behind LoveFilm’s recent decision to phase out game rentals.
Microsoft have had an absolute PR nightmare around the Xbox One. The reveal had no noteworthy games and the initial design decisions of having to frequently check-in and blocking pre-owned games infuriated gamers around the world.
They’ve managed to backtrack and unfuck the situation a little. But then they keep putting their foot in it time after time by saying dumb shit like, they designed the console dashboard with “advertising in mind.”
Sony have just had to sit back and allow Microsoft to become the bad guy. Whenever Sony do release a statement, it always seems to be good news. Yes to pre-owned games. No to always-online requirements. Yes to lots of games from the initial reveal and during E3.
Easier to Develop for than the PS3
Despite Naughty Dog making the PS3 purr in ways that still surprise us all these years into the console cycle, there’s no denying many developers struggled to get going with the PS3 in the early years. Hell, Bethesda still can’t get their heads around it.
Sony listened and have been keen to tell everyone how much easier the console is to design for. With architecture similar to PCs, it levels the playing field and makes life even easier when developing titles for both PC and PS4.
With a strong commitment to allowing developers to self-publish on PSN too, there’s every chance the next sales phenomenon like Minecraft or Angry Birds could come to PS4 first.
Despite making a loss with each PS3 at launch, Sony were still charging a whopping £425. Charging such a high price, especially when the cheaper 360 was already on the market meant they were playing catch up for years.
Launching the PS4 at £350 compared to the Xbox One at £430 will be devastatingly effective at Christmas. People that didn’t finish their maths homework will tell you that Sony have done this by selling the camera separately. However, the new PS Eye will only cost £44, meaning there’s still another £36 left to play with, almost enough for an extra game. I imagine games that need or even have an optional use for the camera will be thin on the ground at launch, so it may even be best left until next year before picking one up.
Well that our cases set down for Sony and Microsoft’s (see last week’s Sunday Seven) next-gen consoles. I know which way I’m leaning but what about you readers? Have you any extra reasons why Sony may win next-gen? Are you swapping sides, sticking with what you know or are you content with dribbling in the corner convinced the Wii U is going to rise up at Christmas and beat both of them?