The console gaming landscape has changed.
The last 12 months has seen a significant shift in consumer trends. Looking back at 2017, it is now plain to see that last year marked a moment in history for console gaming.
The Switch burst onto the scene and to date it has sold over 11 Million Switches in 1 year! That is pretty incredible. Microsoft denounced console cycles with it’s ultra powerful Xboxonex. Sony is doing well but the sharks are circling and soon there may be blood.
Xboxonex is a super bit of tech, it is a very impressive machine and really speaks to the pro gamer and people who want the very best graphics. This used to be Sony’s space, they always had the most powerful hardware (even though people could not program for the PS3 the thing was still turbo for it’s day). Microsoft are also quietly making some great consumer decisions. Gamer Pass is such a great win for gamers and so is the backwards compatibility initiative they have going. The downside is Xbox don’t have the software, this is something that Sony is counting on.
Solid Game Line Up
Sony has a very impressive first party line up of games, it has been proven that games sell hardware. What if Xbox comes out at E3 and announces all the games that people have been waiting for? In true 4K! Sony probably does have the clout to survive such an attack but the ageing hardware and the under performing sales of the PS4 Pro may start to reveal some cracks. Some ground and momentum may be lost.
Unlike Microsoft, Sony does not have the kind of reserves to write off a console failure, so it’s next move is critical. Recently Sony posted that they are back on track financially but they still can’t afford to get complacent. It is a really hard shout, do they tease a new bit of hardware? Or do they let the games to the talking?
One False Move
Consumers are a fickle bunch. 4K is the flavour and that is what people want. I am holding out on getting a PS4PRO mainly because I want to see what is next. I don’t have a 4k TV but as soon as Sony let slip they have a new box coming, I am all in. People seem to be playing the waiting game, but that game gets old and at some point people may jump ship. The Switch has so much pace behind it that it could become number 1 in the console in a few years, it offers true innovation and targets parts of the market that Sony and Microsoft can’t. Sony probably does not see the Switch as a real threat, data suggests that people use the switch as a companion console, not their main gaming machine. This can easily change.
So, Whats Next?
So what’s my conclusion? Who knows! Sony is on top but the competition is getting wise and they are in danger of dropping the ball in a really critical time. The last time Sony was on top they got cocky and drement up the PS3, and cannibalised their TV sales with some sub par products. They are now back and looking good. We don’t want old Sony back, we need them to keep being smart, deliver a console much like the Xboxonex and make it generation-less (Still not convinced that is a thing). They need to release a bit of kit that does not throw away the old. The PS4 game library is insane, if they don’t harness that then they could be in trouble. They have a HUGE install base so their main tactic needs to be keeping them in the Playstation ecosystem.