HOW WILL THE PLAYSTATION 5 STAND AND FIGHT?
To ask how we classify the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X & Console Generations would be like asking someone to define the stages of life. It’s straight forward since you can easily point out the differences between them as the changes in technology have recently allowed games to look and perform vastly different from where we were 30 years ago.
To go from one platform to another was as simple as “Get new console” and start buying new games for it. Could you hang onto your older games? Yes, but it wasn’t like you could use them on your brand new system since they were not built to play them. At least, that was the case until the 7th generation with the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Nintendo Wii. The PlayStation 2 could play the Original PlayStation titles, but console makers began to embrace the ability to play games from the previous console on a current generation. By the time we reached the end of this 8th generation, the digital stores of the Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 will ensure that if anyone were to buy a system right now, they have the ability to download a wide range of titles and enjoy them at any time.
Every generation of gaming was a giant leap and by the end of 2020, we will be taking another giant step. It is almost hard to believe that this generation has gone on for seven years and yet for some, it seems like we reached a pinnacle. Not to say we can’t improve it further, but when you have “Pro consoles” to enhance current systems, it’s hard to say What the future will look like or even how we will transition to that future.
From one console to the next
While Sony will be showcasing the PlayStation 5 next week, we got some information about their upcoming plans. Through an interview on Gamesindustry.biz, Jim Ryan (Sony Interactive Entertainment’s President and CEO) talked about the upcoming launch. When asked about the ability to play games from the PlayStation 5 on a PlayStation 4 (under the same circumstances like games on the Series X on the Xbox One) he had this to say:
“We have always said that we believe in generations. We believe that when you go to all the trouble of creating a next-gen console that it should include features and benefits that the previous generation does not include. And that, in our view, people should make games that can make the most of those features.”
“We do believe in generations, and whether it’s the DualSense controller, whether it’s the 3D audio, whether it’s the multiple ways that the SSD can be used… we are thinking that it is time to give the PlayStation community something new, something different, that can really only be enjoyed on PS5.”
So we have a safe confirmation that any games that will be on the PS5 will be exclusive. Nothing shocking there, but it’s also possible that (until it is officially said otherwise) Sony will likely not enable a “smart-delivery” like service. Perhaps this is to say that any games that will be on PS5 will be intended to be optimized for the system (as far as first-party titles are concerned). But at least games on the PS4 will likely have a better overall performance on the PS5 than on the PS4 Pro, while there will still be games developed for it as it won’t be like all 100 million PlayStation 4 owners will get a PlayStation 5 right away.
The right move?
Would Playstation 5 be doing the right thing if they don’t do a smart delivery like Xbox Series X? The answer is simple: Why should they? While it would be nice to see this feature move onto the next-gen console it isn’t like Sony will be putting themselves at a disadvantage by not following.
It doesn’t seem like we should call Microsoft’s Smart Delivery a gamble as much as it could be an experiment of sorts. If you were to allow your fanbase to choose between two platforms but allow them to upgrade and enjoy the benefits of an “upgraded system” without having to buy the same game twice, that could give players the ability to still enjoy games without missing out (at least for the short term). One could put forth the argument that by Microsoft taking this approach, they are ensuring that their console launch will not have to bank on, “How many consoles they sell at launch,” since games will be on Xbox One and Series X. On the other hand, Sony will need to make sure to have a strong launch with exclusive titles to justify buying a PlayStation 5 at launch.
Console sales are important, but if there’s one thing fanboys will argue to the end of days, it is how “games sell systems.” And really, it isn’t about how many consoles you sell as much as it is how many games you’re selling. We’ll see how well this plays out for both companies in the future, but let’s hope that there is a strong line for both PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X when we get to the end of 2020.
It certainly will be interesting to see Sony’s presentation next week and see how that will play out & what details we’ll get. Hopefully, we will get to see a nice range of titles as well as the console itself. It might seem less likely we will see the cost of the platform, but as long as Sony has a strong showing, they should be just fine by the time for their launch. The same can be said for Microsoft for their first-party generation in July. They will take the lessons they learned (the hard way) about what they need to do while showcasing titles that will be made available for both Xbox One and Series X and maybe even examples of how games will perform on both platforms. Give fans reasons why they should consider upgrading when the time comes.
But what do you guys think? Should Sony consider a “Smart-Delivery” like feature? Or stay the course and focus solely on a pure PlayStation 5 experience? There’s nothing wrong with sticking with what works and if Sony’s launch lineup is strong to justify buying a new console, then they have nothing to worry about. As mentioned earlier, Sony will continue support for the PlayStation 4 too, so it isn’t like a lot is riding on a strong launch. We’ll see how all that plays out by the time we get to the end of the year, but for now, all eyes will be on Sony come June 4.
Be sure to follow here at Culture of Gaming as we will be covering the event. Let the good times roll and let’s hope we see some fantastic titles.