The next console generation is almost upon us and it is shaping up to be a battle for the ages.
And, while everyone has their favorites, some people are already trying to call the next battle for one or the other.
That’s definitely too early, and probably not totally wise.
Plus, there’s a hot dash of fanboyism thrown in there for good measure.
What we can do is speculate what each console will bring to the table and how this may or not play out over the next console generation.
Here’s what we think the PlayStation 5 and “Xbox Two” will bring to the table:
Sony PlayStation 5
Expected to arrive in the fall of 2020, the PlayStation 5 will probably be more of what made the PlayStation 4 great and then some.
This means you can expect a slew of exclusive titles and even a more developed and deeply integrated virtual reality effort.
Online gaming might be Sony’s weakness compared to Microsoft, but they have come a long way in making the PlayStation Network as good if not better than Xbox Live.
Launching on the dual pillars of high-end console and VR gaming, the PlayStation 5 will likely appeal to hardcore gamers who enjoy Japanese software.
Where it is not as clear is what Sony plans on doing in terms of streaming games and the like.
We definitely think that Sony will be gung ho about a streaming service and a digitization of most of its library, but we doubt that the company will be as robustly dedicated to this as Microsoft.
On the online gaming front, whether or not Sony decides to play nice online could become a big deal for the PS5 when everyone starts with a clean slate.
Since games like Fortnite are becoming more and more a source of inspiration when it comes to business models, Sony’s unnecessarily limited audience for online games and matchmaking might hold it back.
Combine that with the rising importance of eSports, and you’re going to see a lot of pressure being place on Sony to open the gates and let friends play with one another.
But make no mistake, whatever advantages the Xbox Two has will likely be short lived and Sony has shown it is “all in” with the next console generation. The increasing importance of the PlayStation division to the rest of Sony as a company will also place incredible pressures on the company to perform that Microsoft (with its multivarious divisions) cannot replicate.
The Xbox Two
While less is known, what we do know about Microsoft’s next system is that it is looking at doing things in a new way.
If you’ll remember, the Xbox One wanted to do the same thing and nearly got torched before launch.
How bold Microsoft is with their plans for the Xbox Two remains to be seen but we expect streaming games, online gameplay, and multimedia to be the pillars of the next machine.
We also think that Microsoft will play hard for exclusive games and, barring that, will make it as easy as possible for companies to release games on the Xbox Two.
Beyond that, we really think Xbox Two will leverage the back library of a lot of game publishers in an effort to construct a monthly subscription service that is the Netflix of video games.
The current console generation was largely decided by exclusives, and that is Microsoft’s one weakness. If VR proves to be really important, that could be a sticking point for the Xbox Two’s landing as well because there’s no word about a VR strategy at this stage.