For the past year and a half, the PS4 has been selling extremely well, having now sold over 20 million units. For many PS4 players, the key factor was price as the console initially retailed for $100 cheaper than its closest rival, the Xbox One. Many players also bought PS4s after feeling unhappy with Microsoft’s Xbox One policies (such as the ‘always on’ requirement, which the company later reversed) and some statistics suggest that the PS4’s graphics are a big reason too. This is great news for Sony as the PS4’s runaway success has caused its share prices to double over the last year, while its estimated operating income has tripled.
However, the company will have to dig deep if it wants to continue to compete with the Xbox One. Recently, Microsoft launched an aggressive marketing strategy that has involved making the Xbox One a lot cheaper. In the last seven months there have been heavy discounts on the console and the price promotion that they launched over the holiday season has since been extended ‘indefinitely’ after it was initially meant to end in January. Microsoft may also be launching a new Xbox One with a 1TB hard-drive soon and combining this with the release of Halo 5: Guardians and Rise of the Tomb Raider later this year, the Xbox One is looking like a formidable opponent.
Sony, on the other hand, has been forced to delay two of its biggest games. Originally meant to release this year, the Ratchet & Clank movie and the PS4 reboot have both been pushed to early 2016, while Nathan Drake’s latest adventure, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, has also been shelved until spring. The company does still have massive space exploration game No Man’s Sky along with family friendly adventure Tearaway on its roster but these are slim pickings. Sony is still confident about its holiday lineup, though, according to UK PlayStation boss Fergal Gara.
Speaking to MCV, Gara explained that:
“I won’t go into any detail now. There is plenty for gamers to get excited about already, such as Tearaway for PS4 and No Man’s Sky. That’s just the start of what is on the table right now. So I don’t have any concerns that we will have a lack of strong software for PS4 this peak.
My sense is that the new platforms have opened up the ambitions of developers and the capabilities of what they can achieve. What has then happened since has been a bit of rushing to market and a couple of not perfect launches. That’s perhaps driven some conservatism to not overly force this and make sure we get it right – there’s been an adjustment of pace.
The good news is that the ability to stick to timelines will improve as people get experience of the hardware under their belts. I have been hearing stories from around the industry that give me assurance that developers have got a better grasp on things, so we will be in increasingly good shape.”
With E3 being right around the corner, Sony could impress fans. For example, the impossibly difficult Bloodborne was announced at E3 2014 and since its release earlier this year, it has become one of the highest rated games on either the PS4 or the Xbox One.
The PS4’s indie lineup may also include a few surprise hits as Gara says that some of the bigger budget indies will receive Sony’s full support, as though they are a first-party title and not an indie developed by an an external studio. Given that No Man’s Sky is one such game that has benefited from this policy and has since become one of the most highly anticipated games of the year, it’s not hard to expect big things in the future.
What sort of game would you like to see on PS4? Which PS4 game are you looking forward to the most? Leave a comment and let us know.