5 reasons why PS5 will lose to Xbox next generation – Reader’s Feature
A reader explains why he thinks Microsoft has the advantage next gen and not Sony, as he predicts Project Scarlett to win over PS5.
Before I start this feature, I want to say that I will almost certainly buy both next gen consoles and currently own a PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. I know some people tend to take these console wars deadly seriously, but I see them more as a football match between long-time rivals, where you want both to do well so you get an exciting match.
So please excuse the provocative title, although I do genuinely think that Sony are in the more difficult position going into the next generation of consoles and that Project Scarlett has a very good chance of beating it.
1. Winner’s disadvantage
As we know the winner of one generation of consoles does not usually go on to win in the next. In fact, Sony are the only ones to achieve that feat, between the PlayStation 1 and 2 eras. (They also won last generation but only by the skin of their teeth, thanks to the Xbox not doing as well outside of the US and UK, but I think we can all agree that the Xbox 360 was very much in the driving seat last gen and inspired all the major change in the industry.)
But Sony has had such an easy ride of it this gen, with Microsoft and Nintendo discounting themselves out of the race before they even started. Nintendo came back in fine style with the Switch but Microsoft has just left the Xbox One to drift aimlessly. But that has clearly been a calculated strategy and I believe that Microsoft realised that they could not win this gen and so immediately put all their efforts into planning the next one, and so should be much more prepared for next gen than Sony, who has had to spend most of their time keeping this one ticking over.
2. The race for power
It’s pretty obvious that Phil Spencer, head of Xbox, disagreed with everything that was done with the Xbox One at launch, including its lack of power compared to the PlayStation 4. You could see that in how keen he was on the Xbox One X and I see zero chance of him not ensuring that Project Scarlett is more powerful than PlayStation 5. They’ve already hinted as much and I’m sure they’re taking detailed notes on everything Sony says about the PlayStation 5 (notice Microsoft haven’t said anything yet) and will ensure they manage to one-up them.
They have a clear advantage in that sense too, in that Microsoft are a much, much bigger company than Sony and can afford to take a loss on their hardware to make sure it’s more powerful. Although of course hardware isn’t the only issue in the new generation…
3. Streaming masters
The other thing Microsoft have been doing all gen, apart from forcing Sony to take backwards compatibility seriously, is getting ready for streaming. They’re so far ahead of this that Sony themselves having signed up to use their tech and Google are already looking like amateur hour when it comes to Stadia. Microsoft’s failure with the Xbox One has made them far less precious about consoles than Sony are and they’re clearly going to make streaming at least as important in the next gen.
Again, Sony’s overwhelming success puts them at a disadvantage, since because the PlayStation 4 has done so well it’s obvious to try and replicate that success again next gen. But everything so far points towards Sony’s streaming plans being much less advanced, even with the experience they should have gained from PlayStation Now.
4. Multiplayer options
It’s obvious that one of the big reasons for the PlayStation 4’s success is its exclusive games, all of which have been primarily single-player. But Sony has been talking a lot lately about how it wants to make multiplayer games as well, and not rely so much on the formula we’ve seen this gen.
But making a successful multiplayer game is a lot more hit and miss than a single-player game, which Sony knows how to do and can even get mediocre teams, like the ones that did Days Gone, to knock out a massive hit. But none of their teams have made a multiplayer game in a long time. I’m also worried their first thought is going to be to bring back the SOCOM franchise, which was always boring, and try and belatedly get onto the Battle Royale bandwagon. Something which, sensibly, Microsoft has vowed not to do with Halo Infinite.
5. Internal politics
I’ll be honest this whole article was inspired by the news earlier in the week that Sony is cutting staff in Europe in order to centralise all their non-developers in America. That doesn’t necessarily sound like anything particularly interesting, but as has been pointed out it’s an incredibly stupid idea that seems to have been done purely because of some sort of exec power struggle at Sony.
What happened previously is that the UK and other European countries, as well as Japan, got to commission their own games and do their own marketing for all games and the console itself. What’s happening now is that America is taking over more control so everything will be more similar. That’s a terrible idea with no upside (sound familiar in terms of current politics?) and Sony are mad to even think about it, as it instantly denies them an advantage they’ve had over Microsoft for decades.
Sony has had it easy this gen but next gen… they’re going to have a real fight on their hands.
By reader Purple Ranger
The reader’s feature does not necessary represent the views of GameCentral or Metro.
You can submit your own 500 to 600-word reader feature at any time, which if used will be published in the next appropriate weekend slot. As always, email [email protected] and follow us on Twitter.
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