Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
As the year 2019 fades into the distance we say goodbye to the last year of the 8th console generation. Holiday 2020 will be start of the next console war between Sony’s PlayStation 5 and Microsoft’s Xbox Series X. Is it really far to still call it a war though?
Sony holds 4 of the top 5 spots of the most consoles sold of all time, with the Nintendo Wii holding the other spot. Microsoft’s original Xbox sits at number 6, but when you compare the figures generation by generation, Sony easily comes out on top. The PlayStation 4 has sold over 100 Million units while the Xbox One has struggled to even reach 50 Million.
Microsoft has recently boasted that the new XBox Series X will be more powerful than the PS5, but does that even matter? Piers Harding-Rolls of IHS Markit Technology says that brand loyalty is going to be one of the biggest determining factors in the next generation.
With rumors about backwards compatibility on the PlayStation 5 this will curb any potential audience transition from Sony to Microsoft. Looking at the numbers the only way Microsoft is going to make any headway to get gamers to switch from their PlayStation 4 to the new Xbox Series X.
Robbie’s Thoughts: It’s not going to happen. Sony has such a large lead in the console market I honestly have no idea how Microsoft will ever bridge the gap. The tech and specs of a console is not what moves the needle for most gamers, it’s the hardware. No one talks about the legacy of FPS or processing power. We remember the stories, the characters and the challenges of the games we play. Historically, Sony has the biggest exclusive titles and while the industry as a whole may have moved away from exclusives they do still exist, even if some of them are timed.
Microsoft has made some good acquisitions over the past few years with some of their game studios. Developers like 343 Industries, Double Fine and Ninja Theory make amazing games, but with development time they weren’t enough to effect the last console generation. Couple that with the fact that all Microsoft Exclusives can also be purchased on the PC and there is very little reason to switch to Xbox if you’re not already there. Sony is going to crush this next generation before it even starts.