When Playstation 4 launched over the holidays, it had fewer games than Xbox One, one of the advantages Microsoft held over Sony, despite significantly fewer sales. The skirmish between the two consoles is one being waged on two fronts: hardware and software. Well, three actually when subscription models are included. Some games require subscription to each console’s service in order to play online.
In the realm of software, Microsoft might well have shot itself in the foot by denying access to an off-limits portion of its graphics processor to Infinity Ward for an 8 percent increase in performance of its Call Of Duty: Ghosts game. This is nothing new. Microsoft has closed itself off from a significant source of revenue from the PC gaming community by making the Halo franchise available only on Xbox. It was over a year before Halo PC followed the release of Halo: Combat Evolved on the Xbox, and longer between the release of Halo 2 on the console and PC. The Halo franchise has since been released on Xbox exclusively. The amount in lost revenue because of Microsoft’s marketing decision to not release the remainder of the Halo franchise to PC (despite the fact is own operating system, Windows, is the mainstay of a huge chunk of the PC market) could amount to the millions.
According to E3 2013, there was somewhere around 140 games in development for the Playstation 4, though only a small number of solid games was available at launch. The lack of parity in premium titles ready at launch was likely the second shot fired in the console skirmish. Sony is looking to make up for that with a vengeance with games set to launch this year. That list includes games such as Diablo 3, Planetside 2, and Final Fantasy XIV.
In spite of its strong launch, Moody’s Corporation, which provides marketing data and analysis on a global basis, has relegated Sony’s credit rating to BA1, just below investment grade, which in turn makes it more expensive for Sony to borrow money. Sony reported a slump in sales in the quarter ending September 30th. If developers have a say in the matter, that may not remain true for much longer.
Everquest Next, the latest in the Everquest franchise, set for release sometime between 2014 and 2015 will be released on Playstation 4. Everquest is one of the longest running MMOs still in play. The much-anticipated Elder Scrolls Online will release on Playstation 4 and Xbox One, with the difference that it will only require one monthly fee to play on the Playstation 4, and not the fee for the game as well as subscription to the service as it will on Xbox One.
A list of almost 70 games a slated for 2014 release on Playstation 4, with many of them highly anticipated. The list includes Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition, the Witcher 3, The Crew, and The Order 1886. In the last title, gameplay footage generated in-game depicts an immersive, moody setting of an alternate earth.
Many say that Xbox One has no hope and will lose the console wars for this generation, but the skirmish isn’t quite over and so remains to be seen which one will remain on top.
Editorial by Lee Birdine