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Who is in the best position for the next gen: Sony or Microsoft?

Jubenhimer

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The next generation is rearing its head in gaming. With Nintendo off on their own Switch adventure, and industry newcomer Google, betting on Streaming with its Stadia platform. The main event will be the battle of the main 2 Platform holders. Sony Interactive Entertainment, and the Microsoft Corporation. Sony famously took back its crown this generation with the success of the PlayStation 4. Ditching the complex Cell architecture, record financial losses, and unfocused confusion that plagued the early days of the PlayStation 3, and capitalizing on the failures from the then Draconian Microsoft and the Rudderless Nintendo. Sony was given dominance of the console market, practically on a silver platter, and has kept the PS4 in a healthy condition with a steady stream of big first party games, the best third party support, and a stellar marketing campaign that made one thing clear. PlayStation was made by gamers, for gamers.

But things are a bit different this time. Sony is still doing well with the PS4, with sales and games that still break records each year, but they no longer have the market to themselves. Microsoft has salvaged as much as they could of the Xbox One and has made up for quite a bit of lost time. They're now prepared to take Xbox as a platform beyond the console, by bringing the brand to Windows 10 PCs, offering its Netflix style Xbox Game Pass, and is also betting on Streaming being a viable outlet with its upcoming Project xCloud. Nintendo has also found greener pastures, dumping its floundering Wii U, in favor of the sleeker hybrid Nintendo Switch, which has found a comfortable niche between the console and mobile landscapes. Sony doesn't have the luxury of taking advantage of corporate incompetence anymore, so the battle for next gen is going to be much more fierce.
The PlayStation 5's specs were first revealed earlier this year, and it sounds like a pretty good beast on paper. Even having improved 3D sound from what we've heard. With PS4 releases from Sony slowing down, the company decided to forgo a presence at E3 this year, as they prepare to detail the next generation at a later date. From what we've heard via rumors, Sony is deciding to double down on its existing audience, as being the premiere platform for AAA games from first and third parties. Interestingly, rumors also say that Sony is de-emphasizing indie games on the console, instead building on its relations with large third parties like EA, Ubisoft, and Activision. This is a surprising shift in gears, as Sony took advantage of Microsoft's outdated policies and attitude towards indies early on in the PS4's life, positioning it as the definitive indie platform. Sony is instead focusing on positioning the PS5 as the ultimate hardcore gaming console.

Microsoft however, is focusing on reaching a broader audience. With tings like its aforementioned Game Pass and xCloud services. But also its newly beefed up Xbox Game Studios, which hopes to beat Sony's Worldwide Studios in first party games thanks to its series of recent acquisitions, like Ninja Theory, the developers of Hellblade: Seuna's Sacrifice. Project Scarlett is also, for the first time in nearly 20 years, set to launch with a brand new Halo game, that being Halo Infinite. Project Scarlett's specs are also impressive, seemingly boasting frames of up to 120 per second. Microsoft has also recently trying to outbid Sony in attention from both Indie and Japanese developers. Sony's recent censorship policies on Japanese games, may convince many of them to bring their games over to Xbox as well. And their relationship with Nintendo has also been growing with rumors of xCloud possibly coming to Nintendo's neon-colored tablet toaster in the future.

On paper, Microsoft seems to be in the best position for next generation. They've cleaned house on the mess made of the early Xbox One days, made important acquisitions to solve its first party drought problems, and has grand ambitions for putting Xbox all screens. Sony seems to be following a "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" mentality, and doubling down on its core audience. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but it could make them look stagnant and stuffy once the battle starts. Next generation is going to be an interesting creature for sure. We've got two main console makers fighting for dominance, a successful hybrid system, and our upcoming streaming overlords, all competing for your attention.
 
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Boss Mog

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The current leader is obviously always in a better position going forward. All they have to do is continue what they've been doing and not fuck up whereas the other guys have to really go all out if they want any chance at taking market share away from the leader. It's basically up to MS to convince people that they must own a Scarlett, even more so next gen with full backwards compatibility. It's really going to be an uphill battle for them.
 

Ar¢tos

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If you consider next-gen hardware only, then it's Sony without any doubt. If you consider games services too then MS has a higher presence than in the previous scenario.
 
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Dont care about "game services". I only care about good first party games. And Sony has been delivering those for a long time.
Dont care about what hardware wil be 10-20% stronger next gen. I only care about who has the best first and second party games, so my next gen console wil be the PS5.
 
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JordanN

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MS position in the industry has always been precarious.

The original Xbox felt like a vehicle to bring the complete "PC" experience to home console market. Pack as much hardware power into a box, get the PC ports other consoles couldn't run, and back it with online support. MS also lucked out when Gamecube became another Nintendo failure but not only that, the 1st person shooter market Nintendo had curated with the N64 went straight to MS with their first console, essentially handing them second place.

Xbox 360 seemed to follow the same strategy as the above. Another "maxed out PC" being sold for home entertainment use, but this time Nintendo went completely blue ocean and Sony stumbled out of the gate by pricing PS3 too high and losing trust from third party developers (i.e games that would normally be Sony exclusive would now become multiplatform. A bigger blow to Sony in my opinion than the price tag. Even to this day, Sony lost that software exclusivity dominance they had with the PS1 and PS2).

Xbox One kinda showed Microsoft's weakness when they are no longer #1 most powerful console and their competitors actually got it right this time (although Wii U was still a flop).

Even if Microsoft does get it right this time, they benefit the most when their competitors are keen on giving up core market share (i.e the N64's first person shooter market) or when they just outright flail at launch (PS3's $599 price tag).

I think their best shot isn't actually being primed to be #1 hardware seller, but actually being able to last out the gen with profitable hardware. Despite their successes with the Original Xbox, it was still a massive money sink that funneled its profits directly into the mouths of Nvidia.

Xbox 360 made the switch to AMD to avoid the same mistake, but then they began to lose money on the red ring fiasco.

Xbox One despite selling less units, was actually their first "truly profitable" machine. So they were still able to salvage something out of it, even if at launch, their dreams of selling the "always online console" ended up pushing them back to second place.
 
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Ar¢tos

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Dont care about "game services". I only care about good first party games. And Sony has been delivering those for a long time.
Dont care about what hardware wil be 10-20% stronger next gen. I only care about who has the best first and second party games, so my next gen console wil be the PS5.
I'm at a whynotboth.gif stage.
MP games no longer interest me, so I'm not paying subscriptions.
I'll get PS5 first, then Xbox "whatever-stupid-name-they-give-it" when the price drops (should only be 3-4 months here in Sonyland) and then psvr2 (that is actually what I'm looking forward the most next-gen).
 

CeeJay

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Neither seem to have really fucked anything up with their next gen plans so far which is great for us as consumers. If the two are slugging it out to be the top dog then we all win.

MS have a decent first party studio setup which should be pumping out a good supply of games which will hopefully increase in quality as they expand outwards. They have some great services and a world class cloud infrastructure to back up their streaming options.

Sony look to be giving more of the same with PS5, no bad thing! They are looking to make it as easy as possible to convert all those PS5 owners into PS5 owners. They look to be expanding out their VR offering and will be ready with quality sequels to their flagship IP.

I hope they both come out the gate in the same time period and have a 50:50 share of customers between them.
 

Stilton Disco

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Sony. I actually wouldn't be surprised if MS slide further behind next gen quite honestly.

Streaming just isn't going to work for most people, and likely never will. I see it as yet another 'console killer' like the dozens of obsolete products or at the very best separate, irrelevant markets that cater to an entirely different audience like mobile, and I very much doubt it'll ever be as cheap or easy to access as the latter .

Purely as a console, Xbox is almost nonexistent globally, and offers the same experience as Playstation but with a poorer selection of first party titles. This might change in future, but theres no reason to expect that, and it would be at least not until 10th gen that we'd see any possibility of pay off.

Then there's gamepass, which yes, offers great value for money, but ultimately devalues the games on it, especially first party titles, and risks creating a mobile like market with casual players, while putting off core players due to titles being removed without warning, as we've already seen start happening.

Saying that, I am expecting them to do better in 9th gen, but to say they're in a position to be anything other than a distant third place again, only even really known of or cared about in a few countries, seems incredibly naive.
 

Klayzer

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Microsoft for me. With the paid and unpaid shills all over the media parotkeeting their pr playbook, it will be tough for Nintendo or Sony to compete with that type of assault.
 
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HE1NZ

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If hubris circle of gaming industry is real the Sony is in trouble next gen. They are back to their 2005 levels of arrogance. Will announce 799 US DOLLARS system with dedicated censorship chip and play catch up for years.
 
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FStubbs

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I'm at a whynotboth.gif stage.
MP games no longer interest me, so I'm not paying subscriptions.
I'll get PS5 first, then Xbox "whatever-stupid-name-they-give-it" when the price drops (should only be 3-4 months here in Sonyland) and then psvr2 (that is actually what I'm looking forward the most next-gen).
And by Sonyland you mean "the rest of the world". Microsoft has yet to figure out how to sell Xboxes in countries where English isn't the main language. Until they do, they have no chance of competing with Sony.
 

Birdo

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Microsoft's biggest problem is they they are the only ones that don't have a Brand Worship Cult.

Sony and Nintendo have Brand Worshipers. People who will buy that brand no matter what, because they grew up with it. Almost religious (Trust me, I know these people).

The most affected areas are Mainland Europe and Asia. And because of this creepy corperation loyalty, MS will never break those places, no matter what.
 
Jan 29, 2019
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The Soulja Boy, he already made his next gen move and he is about to take over the gaming world by storm!

Seriously, I think Sony will, but it may not be as clear cut as it was the last time around, I feel MS took their lessons learned sessions pretty seriously...

In therms of hardware and basic platform viability I'm pretty sure both will have their benefits, unloke last time where one side had all the important features, and MS only had the press to tell us how amazing their console was (it wasn't, neither were they ready to support it properly).
Microsoft's biggest problem is they they are the only ones that don't have a Brand Worship Cult.
I wonder what world you live in? MS is lucky to have its worshippers.

otherwise we wouldn't know that you can't see 1080p, so 720/900p were plenty good until the x had 4k games, now 1440p is a blurry mess. Every time Phil sends a tweet it's dissected, if he makes the most vague of statement, he is praised as the lord and savior off gaming.
 
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Mass Shift

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Sony.

It was very easy for Sony at the start of this generation. Given the way things started, all they had to say was "We're not Microsoft". In many ways at the beginning it wasn't so much a breakaway win as much as it was MS taking themselves out the game with unforced errors and tragic fumbles.

There's really no way to know how different things would have been had MS released a non-Kinect sku that matched Sony's $399 msrp and reassured gamers that they could keep playing and trading their games without fear of user penalties.

I don't see MS repeating any of that next gen so at the very least they'll give themselves a better than fair start. A strong launch with new IPs and shiny new hardware should create renewed interest in Xbox.

I don't place a lot of faith in brand loyalists. I've seen gamers swing back and forth too many times to believe that they won't give the other console a good look.
 
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Birdo

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Who do you think bought all those launch Xbox Ones? If anything, Microsofts fanbase is the most blindly loyal. They literally treat Phil Spencer as a Messiah...
There are some Xbox loyalists. But it's far less common. A LOT of people jumped ship this gen.

And Xbox loyalists seem to be more "I'm already invested in this icosystem, so I'll stick with it". Rather than "SONY 4 LYFE!".

Also..... Kaz Hirai. Do you not remember?
 
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I Love Rock 'n' Roll

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When you have to cut one of your product a year before launch, it really means there is something not going well inside your compagny. You don't introduce negative story when your hardware is mostly done and ready to be show to devs.

It seems Microsoft has still not figure out what is their main target (consoles, cloud, steam boxes, PC). I see it damaging a little more the XBOX brand to a point that if they don't change all the people in charge of XBOX, the hardware could stop being a thing sooner than later.

MS needs to sell more than 50 millions Scarlett to avoid a Sony monopoly no one wants. But i think some at MS want to rush the shift to the cloud in the very next few years. We don't know how it's going to end. We'll see if they were right and what the market, aka us, choose. To me, the whole cloud market communication today reminds me of the CDI, 32X, 3DO, Kinect and the tv tv tv marketing. It's such a pity they can't focus on one thing to make it work (the X is such a great harware).

When Sony has annonced BC it was more exciting and positive than anything Microsoft has delivered yet. Then the Spiderman thing happened in the long PS tradition.

They are more articles about PS5 than Scarlett. I see no signs of change in this narative today.
 
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Ar¢tos

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When you have to cut one of your product a year before launch, it really means there is something not going well inside your compagny. You don't introduce negative story when your hardware is mostly done and ready to be show to devs.

It seems Microsoft has still not figure out what is their main target (consoles, cloud, steam boxes, PC). I see it damaging a little more the XBOX brand to a point that if they don't change all the people in charge of XBOX, the hardware could stop being a thing sooner than later.

MS needs to sell more than 50 millions Scarlett to avoid a Sony monopoly no one wants. But i think some at MS want to rush the shift to the cloud in the very next few years. We don't know how it's going to end. We'll see if they were right and what the market, aka us, choose.

When Sony has annonced BC it was more exciting and positive than anything Microsoft has delivered yet. Then the Spiderman thing happened in the long PS tradition.

They are more articles about PS5 than Scarlett. I see no signs of change in this narative today.
It's a bit weird to say to people: "Buy the Scarlett! But remember, all these games, I repeat ALL these games are also available on PC! So if you have a PC there is ABSOLUTELY no reason to buy a Scarlett!"
MS is in a weird position, at least regarding the console market.
 

Mista

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Obviously it’s Sony since they sold more this generation and that’s what matters the most at the end. But, MS can start next-gen hot and turn it around. It’s possible but Sony already got a base that are willing to buy a PS5 even if they’re aren’t really gamers. That’s the type of base Sony got which is obviously the popularity of the brand. I got friends that aren’t gamers yet they buy a PS all the time just to play FIFA, Rocket League or even Call of Duty. Nobody does that when it comes to Xbox
 

nush

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I'm not going to call it right now,

In the red corner you have Sony with a bigger instal base and more exclusives and not coming off of a fuck up.

In the blue corner you have Microsoft that are focusing on more content and services but have to win back from that last gens fucked launch.

Games as. Service are hot right now. Staying in your lane has worked out well for Sony. I'm looking forward to how this plays out.
 
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MS are trying to fight too many battles on different fronts.

Those fronts each require a unique approach, not a one size fits all solution.

No one is going to care about different ways to consume your games if the games are lacking.

This is going to be painful lesson for Microsoft in the upcoming generation.
 
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mejin

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MS are trying to fight too many battles on different fronts.

Those fronts each require a unique approach, not a one size fits all solution.

No one is going to care about different ways to consume your games if the games are lacking.

This is going to be painful lesson for Microsoft in the upcoming generation.
they will be fine. they already recognized their platform xbox will never take off and that's why they are going multiplatform.
 
Hard question to answer since we only have ideas from Microsoft.
Obviously the incumbent has a serious advantage.
Personally I don't care, I'm excited for next gen the most in a long time. Both Sony and Microsoft are going to fight tooth and nail to keep their customers which almost always means good things for consumers
 
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they will be fine. they already recognized their platform xbox will never take off and that's why they are going multiplatform.
They will be selling games that no one cares about on multiple platforms, instead of just one platform.

Gaming has never been about the technology. It's always been about the games. It's a content driven business.
 
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Ulysses 31

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Who's that in your avatar? I know it's something with MS and I heard it's from an "interesting" presentation he was doing. >.>
 

zenspider

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They can spin it as much as they'd like: they're not really doing anything significantly different - though I would love to believe that 3D audio is a breakthrough of some kind.
Scarlett/PS5/Stadia might be the most homogenous gen yet in terms of services, power, and actual games as they all scramble for the same territory: it will not be a Console War, despite ours and the medias efforts to posture as such.

I hope something interesting will come to light with second screens, streaming, subscriptions, etc., but I think it will come down to pricing and exclusive titles, as per usual.

I honestly think Nintendo is in the relative best position going into the next gen - they get to stand pat and keep most of thier claimed territory for free: dedicated handheld, lead indie and 'AA' platform, and Japanese mindshare. They'll probably be the first console maker to properly transition to the coveted iPhone upgrade model as well if they step up thier production chain.
 

NahaNago

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As of right now I'd say Sony simply because Sony is more of a gaming brand than Microsoft's xbox one. Microsoft is making good moves but Sony has that nostalgia branded in to customers from the ps1 , ps2 , and now ps4 era. If Microsoft gets the marketing right they can at least be on par with Sony for next gen, which should happen anyways since I feel like arrogant Sony is making a comeback for next gen.
 

deriks

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The one leading always have the lead. It's simple logic.
Nintendo was in a tie with Sega during the SNES/Mega Drive era.

Nintendo lost to the PSX.

PS2 keep with the win, but PS3 lost to the Wii and it's a tie with Microsoft that started in first with the 360.

Nintendo lost with the Wii U, while Sony was starting momentum and won with the PS4 (it's not over, but everyone knows).

Nintendo launched the Switch and it's going strong.
 
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Torrent of Pork

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Personally I hope MS loses next gen as well. A thirsty MS gave us Game Pass, the greatest consumer value in modern gaming. I don't want MS sliding back into the culture prevalent during the end of the 360, and start of the Xbone.
 
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Clear

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Honestly, Sony are way ahead in present market/mindshare, have enough major product lined up to maintain it til the generational transition, and have made a point of holding their cards close to their chests regarding their future plans.

Obviously in business there are no absolute certainties, but that's about as strong a position as you can get.
 

jakinov

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Sony. Their accessories will probably work, and this gen was the first real big digital age of people buying digitally for consoles. They had options before but it was unpopular due to speed and what was available. Sony market share is huge and people are likely going to want to keep putting money into the ecosystem they've previously put all their money into.
 

MetalRain

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I think good streaming services will be here sooner than we might expect, something like 2020-2021.

I think Microsoft has better position than Google to take that market. Sony might do well in dedicated game console market, but is that enough?
 

Cert.in.Death

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MS, at least on paper.

Both companies are going to release similar products as they have since the PS2/Xbox days. MS is willing to diversify and convert its platform to an all-digital service that is device agnostic, while Sony doesn’t have that luxury. Consoles are the “AA” of hardware and technology is either going to swipe the rug out from underneath them or force them to move in one direction or the other.
 
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