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The Sunday Seven: How the PS4 Could Win Next-Gen

Author:
Brendan Griffiths
Category:
Features
Tags:
Console wars, game industry, Playstation 4, PS4, PS4 games, Sony, The Sunday Seven

The Sunday Seven: How the PS4 Could Win Next-Gen

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 Sunday Seven: How the PS4 Could Win Next-Gen

PlayStation Plus

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 have one anyway.

The Sunday Seven: How the PS4 Could Win Next-Gen

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.

The Sunday Seven: How the PS4 Could Win Next-Gen

The Exclusives

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.

The Sunday Seven: How the PS4 Could Win Next-Gen

Gaikai Streaming

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.

Better Reputation

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.

The Sunday Seven: How the PS4 Could Win Next-Gen

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.

The Sunday Seven: How the PS4 Could Win Next-Gen

Cheaper

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?

Add a comment4 comments
Crazy Jamie  Jul. 7, 2013 at 22:11

I'm by no means sold on buying either of the consoles at launch yet, but I was leaning towards the PS4 simply because I liked what I saw and heard from Sony, and did not like what I heard from Microsoft. Then Microsoft made changes and listened, and things came closer to equal again. Then two days ago they came out with the advertising nonsense.

At this point the simple fact is this; I trust Sony more both to create a better console for me and to meet my needs as a consumer. My trust in Microsoft to do either of those things is steadily ebbing away. I am sure eventually I will buy both consoles, but at this point the PS4 is the clear favourite to be the first one that I buy, whether that be at launch or sometime next year. And a large part of that is Microsoft turning themselves into a PR disaster.

V8Supercar1  Jul. 7, 2013 at 22:19

I'm by no means sold on buying either of the consoles at launch yet, but I was leaning towards the PS4 simply because I liked what I saw and heard from Sony, and did not like what I heard from Microsoft. Then Microsoft made changes and listened, and things came closer to equal again. Then two days ago they came out with the advertising nonsense.

At this point the simple fact is this; I trust Sony more both to create a better console for me and to meet my needs as a consumer. My trust in Microsoft to do either of those things is steadily ebbing away. I am sure eventually I will buy both consoles, but at this point the PS4 is the clear favourite to be the first one that I buy, whether that be at launch or sometime next year. And a large part of that is Microsoft turning themselves into a PR disaster.







Trust me. Microsoft are liars. Games are still gonna require an internet connection to play.

Anarchist  Jul. 7, 2013 at 23:41

Bit of a terrible article, I'm afraid.

First, it could be shortened, two about two words, Infact, here, ill write it for you:

How the PS4 could win next gen,

Turn up.


Done! Otherwise...

Playstation plus: there is zero promise they will continue the current subscription model. They've already admitted they are moving to a subscription model more in line with xbl. The current ps plus offering is simply unsustainable and in my opinion is a loss leader to get people signed up to the idea of paying for ps plus in anticipation of the PS4. This is not a valid point until the subscription models for PS4 are announced.

Faults. Putting that as a positive point is like saying Mussolini was a nice guy, but only because Hitler was worse. The other issue is that MS handled it much better. Increasing warranties to three years to cover the defect. Whereas Sony refused to acknowledge the issue and instead blamed it in idiotic users. You say MS were slow to react? Sony were even slower - years down the line and they still haven't reacted.

Exclusives: debatable. Both consoles have some great exclusives lined up, and it mostly comes down to which IPs you find yourself tied into.

Gaikai streaming: potentially this could be the ace up the sleeve. Depends on how well the tech ports to the PS4 - I did try it on the PC but even with a solid 15mbps DSL connection it wasn't the most successful. And again, the reference to the PS plus games package is a bit premature. I've also been saying since the reveal that I expect Sony may include a higher tier subscription with included gaikai games rental service in place of the current free game offerings. I would be totally fine with that. Time will tell.

Better reputation: at the moment, yes. A much better reputation. Gamers are a fickle bunch though - it was only two years ago (?) gamers were claiming they were going to bin their PS3 after the PSN hacking and downtime of two weeks. At least MS are being totally open and honest, they couldn't possibly be anything worse for them to come out with, but they have royally **** themselves over. Maybe MS may have benefitted from just not telling people about their much lamented systems up until they launched, who knows.

Easier to develop for than the PS3. PS4 isn't competing with PS3. Invalid point. Both xbone and ps4 are running the same architecture, and so won't be much different to develop for. Although you would hope MS developer tools/OS integration would be better, seeing as OS is what they do and that there will be more developer familiarity with the OS/directx subsytems. Sony are possibly just running on a custom Linux/BSD build that they won't have as tight a control/knowledge of.

Developers self publishing: yes, needs its own point really. I know several people that bought an Xbox for minecraft. I love the small self published xbl/PSN games, My hard drives are mostly full of them. This is a big PS4 bonus for me.

Price is another big issue. Sony would have struggled to sell it at £399 ish with a far inferior camera bundled in - the prices would have been too close and they cannot compete with kinect. Dropping the bundled camera and the price was a smart move and I hope this doesn't harm some of the features that could have been available to devs should they have had a camera available to every user.

All Sony need to do is turn up with what they said they will do, when they say they will. MS have already amputated their own leg and are desperately trying to reattach it, but its too late. There is always going to be a nasty scar no matter what happens.

Last edited by Anarchist, Jul. 8, 2013 at 00:05
itsamemario  Jul. 8, 2013 at 01:41

stopped reading after the Ps3 never had faults on the same scale as 360.

it had more, yellow light of death, red screen, laser failures...

The way sony handled them compared to how microsoft admitted, owned up and give 3 years on the faults compared to sonys lies and refusal to help after 12 months is the only thing that is putting me off a ps4. Having said that Sony seem to have learned from all their mistakes, so this could not be an issue this time round.

Ps4 could def win this generation (imho I think it will) but its going to be all about the games and most true gamers will own both machines anyhoos.

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