There’s no question that Sony is becoming the clear winner for this generation of gaming, having sold nearly 90 million PlayStation 4 consoles. But a new piece by Business Insider suggests that some of its current decisions could end up hurting it in the near future, as they’re along the same lines of what Microsoft did when it launched its Xbox One years ago.
Based on details from the site’s report, the first thing that came up was how Sony relented against providing cross-play support for its fans for the longest time. It made up a number of excuses, the report notes, before it finally caved in September 2018, announcing that Fortnite would be “testing” such a feature.
By then, however, some believe the “damage” was done; and the feature still isn’t as widely accessible as many gamers hoped it would be, even though some games, like Rocket League, are utilizing it.
Business Insider believes that this “arrogant” decision was “reminiscent of Microsoft’s messaging around the launch of the Xbox One, which often felt like Microsoft wasn’t listening to its most loyal fans.”
It then looked at the initial reveal for the Xbox One, which was a disaster for many reasons. It required a consistent Internet connection; it would have a Kinect sensor even for those that didn’t want motion-based gaming; and it would cost $100 more than the PlayStation 4 would end up being, at $500.
But then it goes right back to Sony, talking about Sony Corporation CEO Kenichiro Yoshida explaining how the PlayStation network would be a “very strong entertainment platform for all of Sony- very suitable for video and music content.” Business Insider believes that it shouldn’t take the route of an all-in-one entertainment network, as “core gaming audiences have repeatedly demonstrated their lack of interest in gaming platforms being broadened.” (Microsoft called its Xbox One an “all-purpose machine” during its press conference, which many hardcore gamers balked at.)
Of course, this is just an opinion piece, but the report makes it clear that with its recent business decisions, Sony might be asking for trouble once it introduces the PlayStation 5, depending on what the focus of the machine can be. Meanwhile, Microsoft has obviously turned things around, focusing more on its Xbox One “core” business and attracting a number of acquired studios and talent to make games that matter for its audience.
“Sony is far from the position that Microsoft was in during that first year of the Xbox One’s life, but recent signs point to exactly the type of shift we saw at Microsoft before the launch of the Xbox One,” it concludes.
We’ll likely see how the next generation of consoles goes sooner rather than later, as we’re expecting to see info on the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Next (if that’s what it’s called) sometime over the next year or so.
Do you think Business Insider has a point with their piece? Let me know on Twitter at @TheDCD!