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Cringe Sony Is Being Defensive With The PS5 – And That Is A Smart Move

Solid_Snake_

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Sony Is Being Defensive With The PS5 – And That Is A Smart Move

Sometimes, defense can be the best offense.

Posted By Pramath | On 24th, Feb. 2020 Under Article, Editorials

Recently, I asked what Sony is waiting for when it comes to showing off the PS5, because we are now almost done with February, and while the console is still due to launch later this year, Sony is being surprisingly reticent with sharing details about it. But in a sense, the question has already been answered by Chief Financial Officer Hiroki Totoki. Speaking to investors during Sony’s financial briefing, he said that Sony hasn’t revealed the PS5’s price because they are waiting for Microsoft to show their hand first.

Now, to be very honest, no one needs Sony to reveal the price of the PS5 right now, really. Most consoles don’t have their price announced upon reveal, which is instead reserved for showing off the hardware, controller, the system’s capabilities, and so on. The price announcement comes much later. But this statement by Totoki gives us an insight into Sony’s mindset – they don’t want to be the first ones to go.

This is actually in line with how Sony has handled PlayStation for most of its life, and it has brought them nothing but success so far. Sony waited for Sega to play their hand with the Saturn, before sweeping the rug out from under them with the announcement of a much cheaper console, with far more cohesive hardware, and a unified launch strategy compared to Sega’s slapdash approach to, well, everything. Sony waited for Sega to fire the last bullets in its chamber with Dreamcast, before, again, totally sweeping the specter of that console away with the promise of the PlayStation 2. Sony waited for Nintendo to announce the 3DS and its pricing before they announced that the much more capable and more attractive Vita would be available for that same price. And most recently, Sony let Microsoft make fools out of themselves during the Xbox One reveal, before stepping in and letting the clarity of vision and design of the PS4 (which, by the way, was also cheaper) win the masses over.


This strategy has always worked for Sony, with the one exception being the Vita, where Nintendo, in a bid to secure the handheld market, undercut the Vita before it had a chance to get going, and ended Sony’s portable ambitions once and for all.

But the Vita aside, Sony has always found nothing but success with this strategy. The PlayStation dominated the competition; the PlayStation 2 is the highest selling console of all time to this day. The PS4 reigned at the top of the market, and had no true challenger until Nintendo had to reboot its entire brand with the Switch.

In fact, the few times Sony has been forthcoming with what they are planning on doing with their hardware, it hasn’t gone that well for them, with the PS3’s early reveal only confusing and antagonizing a whole lot of people. While with the PS3, too, Sony waited to reveal the price until aftet the Xbox 360 had already launched, the early announcement and details Sony shared about the console had already cast a cloud of doubt and misgivings around the system going into E3 2006, which was when the infamous $599 moment happened.

Sony ended up turning the PS3 around, of course, and it was ultimately a great console, but that came at a great cost to them. The PS3 is single handedly estimated to have wiped all the profits Sony made with the PS1 and PS2, in spite of the PSP also bringing in money at the time. That’s how much of a financial hole that system was.

And that brings us to the crux of the matter with the PS5. Totoki noted that Sony intends for the PS5 to be profitable over its life; this means that Sony is, at the very least, not planning on selling it for a huge loss at launch (since it would be harder to get the console in the black if they launch at a low price, even accounting for economies of scale), and at best, planning on selling it above cost.

But what they also don’t know is what Microsoft might do here – with the PS3, Sony was entirely undercut by an aggressive Microsoft, who sold a cheaper Xbox 360, and managed to siphon a lot of PlayStation’s success over to themselves. If Sony, for instance, wants to sell the PS5 for $499, but Microsoft, in an attempt to be aggressive, wants to price the Series X at $399, then Sony will find itself in the same situation as Microsoft found themselves in 2013 – or Sony themselves were in 2006. For the mass market, the bulk of the people who buy consoles, and mostly only use them to play FIFA, Madden, GTA, Call of Duty, and Assassin’s Creed, the single most important element deciding what console to purchase is the price. If Sony has the more expensive system on the market, then Microsoft will take that audience, and bolster its install base substantially, at the expense of Sony’s.


On the other hand, Sony can’t pre-empt this scenario by pricing the PS5 low as well. If they decide to, for instance, sell the PS5 at $399 to prevent Microsoft from having the price advantage, but then Microsoft prices the Series X at $499, then Sony cut into their profits for no reason whatsoever. And while Microsoft, a trillion dollar company that has finally started to take video games seriously, can take big hits per hardware unit sold, Sony cannot. By its CFO’s own admission, the PS5 should be profitable over its life. Sony may be healthier now than they were in the PS3 era, and a leaner and more streamlined company, but if they get into a financial war with the richest company on the planet, they would lose – as, again, they almost did with the PS3, losing an enormous amount of money in the process.

So Sony’s decision to wait makes sense. There really isn’t much of a hurry. Not for the price, not even for the console’s release later this year. This is a business that has cultivated the strongest console gaming brand in history – they know what they are doing, as much as fanboys on the internet want to see their latest and greatest creation now.

One could argue that this betrays a defensive mindset from Sony – but see, the thing is, being defensive isn’t a bad thing. In fact, most of the times, it’s the exact opposite. Sony has demonstrated that for 25 years, and they might just be about to do that again soon.

Note: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, GamingBolt as an organization.
 
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Aug 26, 2018
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Look, Microsoft decided to start giving out info earlier. It doesn't have to mean SONY is unsure of themselves or is waiting for a checkmate move. They probably decided on when they wanna do their own reveal and everything happening now has nothing to do with their own date.

These are big marketing decisions. Its not like all the higher up executives follow the news and decide on a whim "hey fuck our plans we have to go out now". Not everything has to be push and pull. Each company has their own strategy. Actually its better they both dont announce details so close to each other, let each company have their shine then you the consumer decide.
 

Sosokrates

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We just don't know why Sony hasn't revealed more info on ps5, so guessing is useless. It's based on no evidence , so it's pointless.

I mean you can come up with any reasons you like, it is just guessing. Right now, my 🐈 opinion is just as valid.

However waiting for the competition to show price does show a lack of confidence, Sony should know what price there console is good value for gamers, the fact that they are waiting for ms shows a lack of confidence which is never good in business.
 
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Stuart360

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No one knows why except Sony. Sony fanboys will say they are being smart and showing confidence, Xbox fanboys will say they are running scared and it proves inferior hardware.
No one knows. Sony just want to do it at their own pace it seems, and wont be drawn into a dick measuring contest.
 

Shin

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OP got GamingBolted, I saw this article on N4G,but didn't bother posting it as it's low tier.
They have their own plans probably and sticking to it (for better or for worse), it can be considered a strength.
I'm craving for more next-gen news from all the players involved just like the next gamer, though a leader* is expected to be or act in a certain way, it's what make them what they are.
In other words good thing comes to them who waits (hopefully :p)...
 

SleepDoctor

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The spinning continues. They sure af weren't defensive unveiling the Ps4 in Feb or making little videos poking fun at ms anti consumer bullshit.

All these show cancellations and forums closing while announcing new guys taking over certain divisions and closing their forums after only a logo unveiling doesn't look good right now.

Maybe they delay to next year and upgrade some specs if they aren't equal to the xsx.
 

darkinstinct

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I like how he words it as if Sony showed their hand later than Xbox One, when we all know that Sony made the first move in February 2013 and Microsoft was quiet for another three months. Sony not repeating what turned into a runaway success for them this gen is telling. The roles are completely reversed and that's not a good look. And no amount of excuses can make that look better. Sony could've taken all momentum from Microsoft by simply stating in a tweet that they are aiming at more than XSX performance back in early December. They did not. They could have easily avoided all that February reveal hype by giving a clear plan at CES. They did not. Instead, they canceled E3. Do you do that when you will be declared the winner of E3? Probably not.

I think Sony wanted to steal the thunder from Microsoft's E3 2019 by going two months early and talking about raytracing and SSDs. And they did, at E3 Microsoft only had stuff that Sony had already talked about. Ever since, Microsoft is going in with guns blazing, they are oozing confidence like Sony at E3 2013. The "at Microsoft we like to be transparent with our customers" line by Spencer was a clear jab at Sony's infamous "this is how game sharing works on PS4". Microsoft knows they have a winner, at least they are acting like it. Sony is acting like they are shitting their pants.
 

Leshita

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Thinking of it, they don’t need it. They got their massive insane base that’ll carry them all the way unlike Microsoft

When Sony starts talking about the PS5 you’ll understand what I exactly mean.
I understand what you mean. I am a diehard PS fan so I will never get an Xbox unless they stop releasing PlayStations.
I am just speaking in terms of the online fanboy wars. :messenger_savoring:
 

Shin

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Thinking of it, they don’t need it. They got their massive insane base that’ll carry them all the way unlike Microsoft

When Sony starts talking about the PS5 you’ll understand what I exactly mean.
True, yet Xbox has a higher attach-rate IIRC (sales age topic some months back).
I do expect the playing field to be more equal, but that's stating the obvious at this point.
 

Sosokrates

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Thinking of it, they don’t need it. They got their massive insane base that’ll carry them all the way unlike Microsoft

When Sony starts talking about the PS5 you’ll understand what I exactly mean.
Hes talking about the initial PR war.
This upcoming coming gen I don't think there will be a clear winner in PR, just different prefences.

Playstation and Xbox now seemed quite evenly match in terms of first party, hardware power, price and services. Sure, each company has one or two of these aspects slightly better, but overall it balances itself out so they are both very competitive with each other.
 

longdi

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I didn't click gamingbolt site

But normally when a shit team plays a superior one, they turn on the defenses, packing players in their box, employ delaying tactics, fouls and play acting. All in hopes to score a lucky goal against the run of play or just see out a draw or low score loss.
 

Sosokrates

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True, yet Xbox has a higher attach-rate IIRC (sales age topic some months back).
I do expect the playing field to be more equal, but that's stating the obvious at this point.
If Xbox also has the lockhart at $299 I think they will make up some serious ground because in that category they will have no competition from Sony, unless Sony goes $399 which seems unlikely.
 

phil_t98

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The question that needs to be asked is why ain’t Sony talking and letting Microsoft get a head start? they have been super quiet which has allowed negative things to be said, such as the gaming media saying Sony is struggling with price, Sony is waiting for Microsoft to name the price so they can match it

sony need to come out guns blazing now and show their hand.
 

Alx

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In fact, the few times Sony has been forthcoming with what they are planning on doing with their hardware, it hasn’t gone that well for them, with the PS3’s early reveal only confusing and antagonizing a whole lot of people. While with the PS3, too, Sony waited to reveal the price until aftet the Xbox 360 had already launched, the early announcement and details Sony shared about the console had already cast a cloud of doubt and misgivings around the system going into E3 2006, which was when the infamous $599 moment happened.
Nah, everybody was convinced the PS3 would be "a beast" (sic) and steamroll the competition. What killed its momentum was the "$599" reveal, precisely (coupled with other meme-generating items like Riiiidge Racer or Giant Enemy Crab, but those were just the icing).
 
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Shin

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The question that needs to be asked is why ain’t Sony talking
It's called power, power over your competition, brand loyalty is power, so is your gaming studios output.
They don't need to throw stones in the pond every time to see how it ripples, just throw one big rock and you'll get clear lines (Wired).
I firmly believe they will give more details regarding the important tidbits around E3, it takes some wind out of Xbox's sale - marketing 101.
Your average joe which is the bigger picture is most likely gaming right now or looking forward to their next game and not here on the forum(s).
 

phil_t98

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It's called power, power over your competition, brand loyalty is power, so is your gaming studios output.
They don't need to throw stones in the pond every time to see how it ripples, just throw one big rock and you'll get clear lines (Wired).
I firmly believe they will give more details regarding the important tidbits around E3, it takes some wind out of Xbox's sale - marketing 101.
Your average joe which is the bigger picture is most likely gaming right now or looking forward to their next game and not here on the forum(s).
possibly, or they are underpowered?

genuine question now what was Sony’s last AAA release? An in studio release
 

X-Fighter

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It's called power, power over your competition, brand loyalty is power, so is your gaming studios output.
They don't need to throw stones in the pond every time to see how it ripples, just throw one big rock and you'll get clear lines (Wired).
I firmly believe they will give more details regarding the important tidbits around E3, it takes some wind out of Xbox's sale - marketing 101.
Your average joe which is the bigger picture is most likely gaming right now or looking forward to their next game and not here on the forum(s).
They would be crazy to wait until E3... You will be giving free headlines to Microsoft and Xbox if they keep giving more and more information until their own event.
 

darkinstinct

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Thinking of it, they don’t need it. They got their massive insane base that’ll carry them all the way unlike Microsoft

When Sony starts talking about the PS5 you’ll understand what I exactly mean.
But they started talking about PS5 a year ago. They just didn't follow up on it. What kind of strategy is that? They were first to announce that they have raytracing and SSD and now they will be second to announce that they have 12 TF and RDNA2 and BC for all Playstation gens - if these things even exist.

And the PS2 install base didn't help Sony with PS3 (from 150 million PS2 to 85 million PS3) nor did it help Microsoft (from 85 million 360 to less than 50 million XBO) or Nintendo (from 100 million Wii to 14 million Wii U). Looks like that base is completely irrelevant aside from defining your minimum sales.
 

Shin

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possibly, or they are underpowered?

genuine question now what was Sony’s last AAA release? An in studio release
Could be either way, though silence builds to the momentum like any scary movie.
When the time is right they just might shock everyone making it all more impressive, I'm with the latter half based on "insider" outings.
Can't say about their studio output because hell the 3D over the shoulder action shooter became a meme...nor did I partake in the current gen of consoles so IDK :p
 
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phil_t98

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Could be either way, though silence builds to the momentum like any scary movie.
When the time is right they just might shock everyone making it all more impressive, I'm with the latter half based on "insider" outings.
Can't say about their studio output because hell the 3D over the shoulder action shooter became a meme...nor did I partake in the current gen of consoles so IDK :p
Well insiders have been saying 9tfp machine so who knows. They may equal the XSX but staying silent ain’t great
 

thelastword

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Oh if Sony doesn't reveal, something is wrong, it's the end of the world, Sony is doomed...….


Guess what, Sony will reveal at their own time, not on your time, theirs. Certainly not from pressure from mostly XBOX fans....PS will dominate next gen anyway, they can reveal 1 day before release and they will still win next gen...…..
 

GHG

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Being defensive when they have dominated the whole generation. This isn’t smart, this is pathetic. Exactly like the one that wrote the article
They still have PS4's to sell. They still have some huge games coming this year. They don't need to rush anything.

Xbox on the other hand can't wait to sweep the Xbox One generation under the rug, and for good reason.

I'm sick of the constant speculation and bickering on here as much as the next guy but people should just relax and play some games while they wait. I mean, that's what we're all here for right?

People are behaving like a couple of tweets revealing the hardware specs and a box reveal trailer announcement from Xbox really changes anything. The reality is that we've seen very little from both parties. No dates, no prices, no launch titles, nothing tangible for anyone to guy out and pre-purchase.
 
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Stuart360

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Oh if Sony doesn't reveal, something is wrong, it's the end of the world, Sony is doomed...….


Guess what, Sony will reveal at their own time, not on your time, theirs. Certainly not from pressure from mostly XBOX fans....PS will dominate next gen anyway, they can reveal 1 day before release and they will still win next gen...…..
 

Mista

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They still have PS4's to sell. They still have some huge games coming this year. They don't need to rush anything.

Xbox on the other hand can't wait to sweep the Xbox One generation under the rug, and for good reason.

I'm sick of the constant speculation and bickering on here as much as the next guy but people should just relax and play some games while they wait. I mean, that's what we're all here for right?
Yeah this also doesn’t mean that people aren’t allowed to be hyped for next-gen. watching Microsoft doing the work is what baffles me

Logically you’d expect Sony to do all that and Microsoft that waits and see. I’m not bothering honestly since I’ll end up getting both anyways
 
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X-Fighter

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Silence can only mean two things. They really are a bit taken back by the reveals of Microsoft and know that they won't have the most powerful console, OR like thelastword thelastword said they do it on their own time, because they have nothing to prove and probably still believe they have a better console.

You could also say that Microsoft already released this information because of how similar the consoles are and want to take some of the spotlight. Similar to Sony's Wired article where eventually PS5 said everything Microsoft wanted to say in their E3 presentation.
 
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phil_t98

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Oh if Sony doesn't reveal, something is wrong, it's the end of the world, Sony is doomed...….


Guess what, Sony will reveal at their own time, not on your time, theirs. Certainly not from pressure from mostly XBOX fans....PS will dominate next gen anyway, they can reveal 1 day before release and they will still win next gen...…..
Er I hate to point out it wasn’t the fans that revealed the XSX
 
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Shin

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Well insiders have been saying 9tfp machine so who knows. They may equal the XSX but staying silent ain’t great
For sake of discussion and why I think things are as is.
Tommy Fisher said back in December XS is 12TF (turns out to be true), he also said PS5 is 13xx TF.
On several occasions has Jason Schreier and IIRC Tom Warren said that both machines are equally powerful but PS5 having an edge here and there (for lack of a better word).
Then there's Bloomberg which I do trust stating that Sony is rethinking it's pricing scheme and having issues with parts, if PS5 is running at 2.0 and all the pieces of the puzzle come together nicely IMO.

Not going to push that on anyone, but that's where I'm at and not worried about the when and why's.
If it ends up being less powerful than XS then so be it and it might be a good lesson for Sony just like XO was/is for Microsoft.
 

phil_t98

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For sake of discussion and why I think things are as is.
Tommy Fisher said back in December XS is 12TF (turns out to be true), he also said PS5 is 13xx TF.
On several occasions has Jason Schreier and IIRC Tom Warren said that both machines are equally powerful but PS5 having an edge here and there (for lack of a better word).
Then there's Bloomberg which I do trust stating that Sony is rethinking it's pricing scheme and having issues with parts, if PS5 is running at 2.0 and all the pieces of the puzzle come together nicely IMO.

Not going to push that on anyone, but that's where I'm at and not worried about the when and why's.
If it ends up being less powerful than XS then so be it and it might be a good lesson for Sony just like XO was/is for Microsoft.
There are loads of rumours regarding the ps5, good and bad. Both 9tf and 12tf which is why I think Sony now needs to say or show something. There seems to be more negative than positive news. They could just show the console design and get the buzz going or show some game footage like MS did. They just need to get the ball rolling their fans want info or something to get excited about
 
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darkinstinct

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Well insiders have been saying 9tfp machine so who knows. They may equal the XSX but staying silent ain’t great
What we have:

VFX: PS5 9.2 < XSX 12
Jason Schreier: PS5 12 = XSX 12
Klee: PS5 12+ > XSX 12
OsirisBlack: PS5 12 < XSX 12.4
TommyFisher: PS5 13.3 > XSX 12.1
Andrew Reiner: PS5 > XSX
Brad Sams: PS5 9.2 < XSX 12
BGe: PS5 12 > XSX 12

And I think Heisenberg was told both are 10 TF?

AMD Leak: PS5 9.2 < XSX ? (no clock speeds for XSX given, but more CU)
Reddit Leak: PS5 8 < XSX 12

Looks like everybody knows something different. Hell, I wouldn't even be surprised if Microsoft is trying to make Sony look better by posting they are equal so the disappointment will be even bigger. PR companies have done weirder things in the past.
 
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phil_t98

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What we have:

VFX: PS5 9.2 < XSX 12
Jason Schreier: PS5 12 = XSX 12
Klee: PS5 12+ > XSX 12
OsirisBlack: PS5 12 < XSX 12.4
TommyFisher: PS5 13.8 > XSX 12.1
Andrew Reiner: PS5 > XSX
Brad Sams: PS5 9.2 < XSX 12
BGe: PS5 12 > XSX 12

AMD Leak: PS5 9.2 < XSX ? (no clock speeds for XSX given, but more CU)
Reddit Leak: PS5 8 < XSX 12

Looks like everybody knows something different. Hell, I wouldn't even be surprised if Microsoft is trying to make Sony look better by posting they are equal so the disappointment will be even bigger. PR companies have done weirder things in the past.
Well am sure both companies know what each other is peddling which is why am sure that MS are confident of at least equalling the PS5 or even bettering
 

GHG

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Yeah this also doesn’t mean that people aren’t allowed to be hyped for next-gen. watching Microsoft doing the work is what baffles me

Logically you’d expect Sony to do all that and Microsoft that waits and see. I’m not bothering honestly since I’ll end up getting both anyways
Nobody is saying don't be hyped, but as we've always seen too much hype is dangerous and often leads to disappointment.

My guess is that they want to reveal everything in one go at their own event. The specs, the box, some real gameplay, features, messaging, etc. I'd much rather that than some rush job like the PS3 reveal. Coming off a similarly successful ps2 generation, the PS3 reveal at E3 2005 resulted in a level of hype we've never seen before (and likely won't see again), and we all know what happened next. They lived it so they, more than anyone else, will be keen to avoid doing it again.
 

vkbest

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Well am sure both companies know what each other is peddling which is why am sure that MS are confident of at least equalling the PS5 or even bettering
Are you implying about Industrial espionage? Do you think AMD is telling to MS about Sony hardware and vice versa?