Sony says they are going to wait until Microsoft announces the next Xbox to show off the PS4, but is that really a good idea? I think so.
When this generation began in 2005 the Xbox 360 was first right out of the gate. Microsoft laid the foundation for the next generation with things like Xbox live, and new next-gen gaming right before anyone else, and it worked very well. Microsoft sold over 600,000 units from the November launch to the second week of January. While Sony did outsell the Xbox during its launch period, moving 1 million PlayStation 3 units in the first 6 weeks, it didn’t change that fact that more people bought Xbox 360’s eventually. Currently Microsoft has sold 74.25 million consoles worldwide while Sony has sold 72.49 PlayStation 3 consoles worldwide. Sony did however just out ship the Xbox 360 worldwide, totaling 77 million units shipped opposed to Microsoft’s 76 million units.
If the trend continues we could realistically see the PlayStation 3 outperform the Xbox 360 globally. So why should Sony come out of the gates with their console first? The way I see it Sony is in a good position when it comes to their home consoles. The PlayStation 3 is growing in popularity despite the fact Sony is in dire straits financially. Fortunately since Kaz Hirai has taken the reigns as CEO Sony is reporting that they will have their first profitable quarter since 2008. While the Vita is selling slowly and the PlayStation 3 is nearing the end of its life, it’s time for the next generation.
Sony already said they plan to wait on Microsoft to announce the next Xbox first before Sony unveils the PlayStation 4. If the last generation is an indicator Sony doesn’t need to get out of the gates first. Sony already has the exclusives and the software to beat out Microsoft. Microsoft might sell more copies of games like Call of Duty but they sorely lack software. Only one or two big exclusives come out for the Xbox a year while the PlayStation 3 has quite a few. Sony also has PlayStation Plus on their side, which has also been gaining a lot of momentum.
If Sony wants to dominate the next generation they need to be smart and avoid many of the problems they had with the PlayStation 3. For one they shouldn’t over price the console right out of the gates, if they were to price it competitively with the next Xbox Sony stands of chance of being top dog once again. They also need to do a better job of pushing the PlayStation Vita and getting more developers on board to make games. If Sony keeps up this momentum and truly brings something special to the table for the next generation, they shouldn’t have to worry about Microsoft’s offering too much, or trying to get out of the gates early.