Sony and Microsoft are both readying the big push for each company’s next-gen consoles during next month’s Electronic Entertainment Expo. As it stands, the Xbox One has faced its share of marketing mishaps amidst an increasing focus from Microsoft on selling the console as an all-in-one gaming hub. But during the AllThingsD11Conference, Sony CEO Kaz Hirai says the company is committed to keeping the PlayStation 4 directed toward gamers.
Image Source: Bloomberg
“The most important thing we need to make sure we do, at least initially, is that we all agree and understand that the PS4 is a great video game console that appeals to video gamers,” said Hirai. “If we miss that part than I don’t think we get the initial establishment of the console.”
Sony struggled to recapture the massive appeal of the PlayStation 2 when the company launched the PlayStation 3 back in 2006. A high price point and increased attention on the then year-old Xbox 360 forced Sony to rethink its original marketing strategies; strategies that ironically enough focused on an all-in-one entertainment hub with a push toward Blu-ray.
But in the years following the console’s launch, the PlayStation 3 managed to find more solid footing, catching up with the Xbox 360 and even outpacing Microsoft’s console in some regions.
Now, if Hirai’s comments and the recent PlayStation 4 unveiling are any indication, Sony is planning to market its next console to a more game-specific audience. But according to Sony’s CEO, the next-gen hardware will still have other uses.
“We take a look at this first and foremost as a game console,” said Hirai. “We don’t want to end there. That’s an area we will obviously reveal and talk about in the coming months.”
With the first round of announcements behind us, the only thing that’s clear in the inevitable and perpetual Xbox One vs. PlayStation 4 battle is that there is no clear winner. Microsoft finally unveiled its next-generation video game console on Tuesday and once all the dust settled, Anandtech’s Anand Lal Shimpi took a step back and laid out everything we know about these two beastly consoles. Lal Shimpi’s analysis is extensive and thorough, as always, but it boils down to this: Based on what we know at this point, Sony has the edge in terms of specs and raw power.
While both consoles make use of an eight-core AMD Jaguar processor — which is a big win for AMD — the PlayStation 4 features 1,152 GPU cores compared to the Xbox One’s 768 graphics cores. Sony’s new console drives 1.84 TFLOPS as a result, compared to the new Xbox’s peak shader throughput of 1.23 TFLOPS.
The PlayStation 4 also has the edge when it comes to system memory, featuring 8GB of 5500MHz GDDR5 memory compared to the Xbox One’s 8GB of 2133MHz DDR3 RAM. Embedded memory and embedded memory bandwidth for the Xbox One are still unknown.
What does all this mean? In terms of raw gaming power, Sony’s PlayStation 4 is the clear winner. As we have discussed in the past, however, Microsoft and Sony’s missions appear to be diverging to an extent, as Microsoft continues to layer more home entertainment features on top of the Xbox’s gaming features.
For hardcore gamers though, the PlayStation 4 seems like the better bet at this point — assuming the allure of Microsoft’s IllumiRoom project is removed from the equation.
A long time ago, way back in 2006, Sony launched its third home console ‘PlayStation 3’ while Microsoft launched their new console the ‘Xbox 360.’ While Microsoft strategically priced their console at $399, Sony received much criticism for their launch price of $499 for the 20GB version and $599 for the 60GB version. Everybody thought the console war would easily go to Microsoft because of the overwhelming cost of a PlayStation 3. Towards the end of 2012, the Sony PlayStation 3 finally passed the Xbox 360 in total unit sales. However, since then it seems Microsoft and the Xbox 360 have taken the lead back. After around seven years, the console war is tighter than ever and there are only about six months until the next generation consoles are released. According to vgchartz.com, the Sony PlayStation 3 has sold 77.2 million units while the Microsoft Xbox 360 has sold 77.3 million units. It doesn’t really matter to me who wins this war, but wouldn’t be that much sweeter if Sony pulled it out after being doubted for so long?
After Microsoft announced they would reward Xbox Live Gold members for achievements through their MyAchievements program Sony announced they would be doing the same. Xbox rewards will be based on Gamerscore and give ‘Champion’ level members a 1% rebate and ‘Legend’ members a 2% rebate on Xbox Live Marketplace purchases each month (big deal). In addition, Microsoft will offer a ‘special reward’ during their birthday month.
Sony basically is doing the same thing called PlayStation Rewards, though still in the Beta. There will be a ‘Pro’ and ‘Legendary’ status for users depending on activity level and purchases. Users will also be invited to sweepstakes, events and giveaways in addition to avatars, themes and PlayStation Home content.