The gaming industry is in a weird place right now. With the release of PS4 Pro and the Xbox One X, we received new consoles that exist in the same generation as their brethren. The power of the Xbox One X could easily be touted as “next-gen,” and yet, Microsoft prefers to keep it in this generation. We already know that Sony is planning to release a PS5 in the future. How will the PS5 compete with the Xbox One X, if at all? Is it all about power and 4K, or are there some key features that should be included in Sony’s next generation console? Join us as we look at how Sony is going to put Microsoft in their place with the PS5. Microsoft Talks Big About Xbox One X Microsoft has been extremely proud of themselves since E3 2017. They often refer to Xbox One X as the “most powerful console ever built” and, while they’re not wrong, it seems to be going to their heads. Even the Microsoft E3 2017 press briefing saw the entire staff wearing t-shirts that stated “I witnessed the most powerful console ever.” They should be proud, though, because the specs on Xbox One X are certainly impressive. Where they should be careful, however, is how they stoke the flames of competition. They’ve poked the bear that is Sony before, and it didn’t go well for them. We all remember the unveiling of the Xbox One and Sony’s excellent rebuttal. Despite this, Phil Spencer still sent some warning shots across Sony’s bow in an interview with Eurogamer. During this interview, he was asked if the $100 price difference between PS4 Pro and Xbox One X concerned him. His response: “I look at Pro as more of a competitor to the Xbox One S, than I do to the Xbox One X. This is a true 4K console. If you just look at the specs of what this box is, it’s in a different league than any other console that’s out there.” He doesn’t even acknowledge the PS4 Pro as a competitor! It’s true that Xbox One X does have more power than the Pro, but if it’s not going to compete with Sony’s current lineup, then the only other option is to compete with the PS5. Should Sony be Worried About Xbox One X? Phil Spencer’s comments about the PS4 Pro were certainly more harsh than one would normally expect from corporate banter, but if he truly believes the PS4 Pro isn’t in the same league as the Xbox One X, does that mean Sony should be worried about the gap in hardware while we all wait for the PS5? Since there is a large gap in the hardware, it’s hard not to wonder if Sony is worried about Xbox One X games looking or playing significantly better. The interviewer mentioned titles where Sony has a marketing deal with them, and asked if Sony anticipates a major difference in image quality for … Read More
Unparalleled Console Upgrades: Should We Fix What Isn’t Broken?
Since the dawn of gaming, there have been a few constants that we never thought would be broken. Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft will always be in competition, games based on movies will usually be crappy, and consoles come out in generations. With the release of the PS4 Pro and the Xbox One X, that last constant has been forever shattered. Iterative consoles are here, but do they represent the future? Will we never see a quantum leap forward with a next generation machine? Will it always be just one upgrade after another? It’s time we looked at the facts and speculate on the future of console gaming. Shifting The Playing Field: How The Industry Has Changed Until this latest generation, console releases moved at a pretty normal pace. You had the PS1, the PS2, the PS3, and now the PS4. Consoles moved at a relatively predictable pace, but in the background, there was alway this tension between console gamers and PC gamers. As consoles aged, so too did the hardware. While developers always did an incredible job of pushing the consoles to their limits, the gap between console and PC hardware has always represented an elephant in room. As the growth of PC power accelerated, this gap only widened, so it’s only fair that Sony wanted to prevent people from leaping from consoles to PC as the generation goes on. Their solution was to introduce a console that would sit alongside the PS4 within the same generation, but offer additional power that would entice hardcore gamers to stick around instead of jumping to PC. Andrew House, the boss of PlayStation, spoke with Polygon prior to the release of the PS4 Pro, and explained this reasoning behind the iterative upgrade. In the interview Andrew house said: “There’s a dip mid-console lifecycle where the players who want the very best graphical experience will start to migrate to PC, because that’s obviously where it’s to be had. We wanted to keep those people within our ecosystem by giving the very best, and very highest performance quality.” In seeking to hit the PC bar with a console, PS4 Pro doesn’t quite meet the expectation. Thus far, it’s only really focused on 4K, which is something PC gamers enjoy, but the not the sole reason people tend to gravitate to PC for gaming. Other things like frame rates, graphics, and effects are also higher fidelity on a high-powered PC. The PS4 Pro does offer more power, but with almost a year under its belt, I haven’t seen enough from it to convince gamers that it’s the better choice over a PC. This is mostly due to the fact that the console is focused primarily on 4K, which is nice, but PC power offers more than just higher resolutions. Better graphics, higher frame rates, and the option to continuously upgrade are all good reasons to choose it over consoles. Don’t get me wrong, I like the PS4 Pro and I do own one, but I don’t … Read More
What PlayStation’s E3 2017 Tells us About The PS5
E3 2017 is here, and now that Sony’s press conference is over, there’s still no word on the PS5. While we already predicted this, analysts such as Damian Thong were convinced that the PS5 would be releasing in 2018, and at this point that seems nearly impossible. Still, E3 2017 gave us a few juicy pieces of information, including a look at Microsoft’s Project Scorpio, which has been revealed as the Xbox One X. Join us as we look at the implications of this year’s announcements and what they mean for the PS5! 5 Things E3 2017 Told Us About The PS5 1. Sony’s Not Ready to Talk Next-Gen The words “PlayStation 5” were not uttered during Sony’s press conference. In fact, nothing about hardware was even discussed. This year, it was all about the games. Sony is happy to continue riding on their wave of success. After all, the PS4 has sold 60 million units and that number continues to grow. Furthermore, the PS4 Pro and PlayStation VR have been selling very well. It’s not time to take that next step, and Sony knows that. While some may have thought the Xbox One X would force their hand, they remained quiet on the next-gen subject and let the games do the talking. 2. The PS5 Won’t be Coming in 2018 Despite predictions from analysts, the PS5 isn’t coming in 2018. Manufacturers tend to announce consoles at least a year in advance. Even if Sony wanted to discuss PS5 at E3 2018, they wouldn’t be releasing until 2019 at the earliest. Why, you ask? Well, for starters the PS4 Pro isn’t very old at all, and there’s no reason to ditch it yet. PS4 gamers are happy for now, because they’ve got the best games on any platform, and the quality just continues to grow as time goes on. The PS4 isn’t ready to sing its swan song, and VR isn’t matured enough to release another headset just yet. This is why we’re still sticking with our 2020 release date. 3. The Xbox One X Isn’t Next Gen (But PS5 Will Be) The Xbox One X is an impressive console from a hardware standpoint, but when compared to the highest levels of PC technology, it’s not truly next generation hardware. Furthermore, it’s so focused on 4K and HDR that it’s not being used to its fullest potential. While it’s more powerful than PS4 Pro, it’s functionally the type of system. It’s meant to do 4K and perhaps some graphical enhancements in specific titles, but it doesn’t have the sheer “wow” factor that a truly next-gen system would offer. This is probably why Sony is letting Microsoft have the win with the power play, because they’re working on PS5 and it’s going to make Xbox One X look like a child’s toy. 4. VR is Still a Safe Bet For The PS5 Sony’s support for PlayStation VR has been strong, and their press conference this year announced some interesting new titles. … Read More
PS5 to counter XBox One X: PS4.5 Was Just the Bait
E3 2016 was full of surprises, more so than most of the prior year’s shows. The biggest curveball of them all was Microsoft’s announcement of Project Scorpio, now named XBox One X. It is a new console, promised to be the most powerful one ever made. It’s also coming out in holiday 2017. This puts Sony in a bind, but they’ve never been one to let Microsoft walk all over them. PS4 Neo has been confirmed, but we still don’t know much about the upgraded system. It will most likely release before Project Scorpio, but it’s not the real secret Sony is hiding. You see, Sony used PS4 Neo to force Microsoft to show their hand. Now they can move forward with PS5 and position themselves to once again crush the competition. PlayStation’s CEO Reacts to XBox One X: ‘I was surprised’ Andrew House, boss of PlayStation, interview with the Guardian post E3 and revealed some interesting insight into their ultimate console plan. We knew several days before E3 that the PS4 Neo (PS4.5) was real, but Sony had no plans to show it at E3. “The point of confirming the existence of PlayStation 4 Neo and the bare bones of the plan last week was not about disappointing the fan base who would obviously come to E3 with high expectations of all kinds of announcements. From past experience, the worst thing you can do is disappoint and pull the rug away from people. That’s why we went out last week and said, yes, it does exist, but don’t expect to see it at E3. I think it was the right thing to do.” In reality, he’s absolutely right. People expected PS4 Neo news at E3, and by tempering their expectations, Sony was able to set up the proper approach for their epic press conference which wowed the audience with a live orchestra and tons of big game announcements. Sony’s approach is very calculated. House stated that they didn’t want to show the PS4 Neo until they had a proper “range of experiences to showcase.” They don’t have that right now, so there’s no point in showing the system. That being said, Andrew House seemed surprised at Microsoft’s announcement of their hardware: “I was surprised by the step of announcing something over a year ahead of time. The dynamics of the tech industry are such that there’s a much heavier emphasis on immediate gratification than there was. A lot of that is to do with how Apple has very cleverly and elegantly managed the ‘available now’ approach. So yes, that was a slight surprise to me.” Notice how he said “slight surprise.” More on that later, but he went on to say that Sony learned their lesson back in 2013 when they announced PS4 and people wanted to know where the system was. They realized that the industry had changed, and they needed to change with it. Our next extremely important point before we dive into the details and speculation, … Read More