It has been six months since the release of Sony’s PlayStation 4 (PS4) and Microsoft’s Xbox One and so far Sony is on top. The console debate among gamers still continues and leaves consumers wondering, “Which console is better?” Well that question still is up in the air. Granted it all can change in almost an instant, and it is clear Microsoft is racing to be back as the top contender.
Upon the release of both gaming systems, the Xbox One from Microsoft was selling at a whopping $499 compared to the PS4 by Sony which sold at $100 cheaper. The big gap in price was largely due to having Microsoft’s Kinect included with the sale of the console as opposed to paying separately as with the Xbox 360. Sony on the other hand, gave their customers the option of purchasing the camera separately, at the cost of around $59.99. Both systems had similar internal hardware, making the real choice for users to look at the different external hardware and overall functionality. Sony’s ability of their Remote Play for the PS4 and PS3 to allow remote access on the PlayStation Vita as one of its most attractive features. While the Xbox One uses the Snap feature to navigate through multiple apps without having to stop gameplay.
In order for Microsoft to help try and close the gap and get back the number one spot, the price of the Xbox One has gone down to match that of its rival. Even with Microsoft’s success of the much anticipated game title Titanfall in March, it did not give them the edge they needed to surpass Sony. So far Sony has sold over 7 million consoles since its launch against Microsoft’s 5 million. Given those numbers, Microsoft is also getting rid of the need to have the Xbox Gold Membership for apps that users are already paying for. Yusuf Medhi, head of Xbox Business Strategy and Marketing admitted that some people did not want to pay $499 for a gaming system. Another downfall for the Xbox One is that is geared more toward entertainment rather than hardcore gamers, a feature which Sony tries to hold onto with the PlayStation 4.
Later this year Sony could strike a blow to Microsoft with the release of PlayStation Now. A streaming service that would allow you to play older games without inserting a disc. It would initially only have PS3 games available but eventually would add games from the PS2 and PS One. With the Electronics Entertainment Expo (E3) approaching, Microsoft needs to come up with a “strong lineup against PlayStation4 and get back to focusing on gamers” said Brian Blau of Gartner’s. This could be the factor that keeps Sony on top.
Sony may be putting a damper on Microsoft at the moment, but it is still early in the game. Both consoles have great features to cater from the casual gamer to the hardcore. Regardless of sales, both companies have a loyal fan base that keep users going back for more. As long as developers keep pushing out games people are willing to play, gaming industries will have a constant struggle. Which one is best, the Sony PlayStation 4 or the XBox One? The great console war will continue, but the winner is clearly the consumer.
Commentary by Melissa Monk