One of the best thing Sony knows how to do, is take big risks that sure as hell pay off. With every single generation of console gaming, there’s always an unofficial sort of war between the major consoles and with the sale comparison between them, it’s easy to see who won the 8th generation of consoles – and that’s Sony.
Way back in 2013 if you can remember, Sony gave a two-hour long presentation, giving us a preview of the PS4 console, however just like E3 this year – we didn’t see the console itself. We didn’t even get anything related to the console at this E3, with many fans under the assumption that they’d changed their lineup a few minutes beforehand.
This was a huge risk for Sony, however something seemed to work out for them during the presentation, as they managed to outsell Microsoft’s Xbox – the main competitor – by around 90% which is a huge bonus for Sony.
They changed basically everything we’ve ever known with the PlayStation, especially with the new controller design, swapping out the useless ‘SELECT’ button for a somewhat similarly useless, but kinda cool ‘SHARE’ button alongside a touch sensitive button atop the PS one that proves useful in many, many games. This managed to scoop the unofficial award for the best controller for PC as well as PS4.
During the launch of the PlayStation 4, Sony also gave a lot more support to independent studios with its Indie Pub Fund, giving the studios the opportunity to develop games purely for the PlayStation platform which has given us brilliant titles such as Payday: The Heist and soon to be released game with a lot of hype behind it, No Man’s Sky. All consoles will have exclusives, however this is just another beneficial thing Sony decided to do in order to further their running in the war.
Sony are always open to new IPs, with the likes of Bloodborne, Heavy Rain and The Last of Us – all of which were incredibly popular. Heavy Rain in particular showed that Sony were happy to promote games with a more mature story, according to the QD creative head David Cage in the 2008 Games Convention in Leipzig during Sony’s press conference. Bloodborne was in Sony’s eyes “a big risk” however they would be more than happy to work with From Software again due to the overwhelming success of the game – something we’ve seen before with PlayStation exclusives.
Another big change and undoubtedly huge risk Sony took with their 8th generation of console, was making their online service PlayStation Network (PSN) a paid service as opposed to their previous console, the PlayStation 3 which didn’t require the user to pay for the service. Comparing the Sony service to the Microsoft service (Xbox Live), the price is also something to take into consideration, as Microsoft offers the same service for $10 more.
I personally felt that Microsoft have managed to have their own advantages during this console war, especially with backwards compatibility. Something that Sony tried to battle with PlayStation Now, which is hardly an incredible feature however both consoles may hold somewhat similar hardware, except Sony have an advantage with a 50% more powerful GPU according to Extreme Tech:
In short, the PS4’s GPU is — on paper — 50 percent more powerful than the Xbox One. The Xbox One’s slightly higher GPU clock speed ameliorates some of the difference, but really, the PS4’s 50-percent-higher compute unit count is a serious advantage for the Sony camp. Games on the PS4 have considerably more graphics power available, and that shows up in real-world comparisons. Beyond clock speeds and core counts, though both GPUs are identical. They’re both based on the Graphics Core Next (GCN) architecture, and thus support OpenGL 4.3, OpenCL 1.2, and Direct3D 11.2.
This generation of consoles wasn’t similar at all to the last, with the sales having an incredible margin in Sony’s favour. Taking into account the addition of PlayStation Network being a paid-for service and having more of an insight into independent developers and game creation and a huge change in controllers from previous systems, they really did put a lot of thought into their new console which resulted in a huge increase in sales as opposed to the PS3, giving me a lot of hope that the newest console – the PS4.5/Neo – will have a similar spate of great luck.
But what are your thoughts and opinions? Do you think Sony won the 8th generation of consoles and how? Perhaps you feel Microsoft’s sales should’ve been a lot higher and they have an overall better console in your opinion? Let us know down below in the comments!