While Microsoft and Sony go head to head with their Xbox One and PlayStation 4 consoles, many gamers have come to consider Nintendo’s systems as complementary hardware. According to Sony, the most popular combination among consumers is a PlayStation sitting next to the latest Nintendo release.
“When you look at our numbers, I think it shows that a lot of gamers are a two-console family,” said Sony Interactive Entertainment America head Shawn Layden in a recent interview. “And quite often those two consoles are PlayStation and Nintendo sitting side-by-side.”
It makes a lot of sense of gamers to choose this particular duo of consoles. The PlayStation 4 offers access to all the biggest multiplatform releases, as well as its own range of desirable exclusives, while the Switch is a must-own for anyone who’s looking to play the latest and greatest Nintendo software. Not to mention, PS4 offers a high-end home console experience, whereas Nintendo focuses a lot of its efforts on experiences for gamers on the go.
However, Layden’s comments really speak to the way that the video game industry has changed over the past couple of decades. Sony originally started work on the PlayStation to compete with Nintendo, after their Super Nintendo PlayStationpartnership fell apart, but now it seems that the company is perfectly happy to coexist with its old rival.
The fact is that Nintendo probably doesn’t cut into Sony’s hardware sales as much as Microsoft does anyway. There are a lot of pros and cons to weigh up when deciding between an Xbox One and a PlayStation 4, whereas the Switch has its own unique appeal, and as such has removed itself from direct competition.
When Nintendo launched the Wii in 2006, the company came to realize how advantageous it can be to offer up a wholly different video game experience. Instead of scrapping over core gamers, Nintendo has splintered off to become a category all of its own — and Sony seems to be well aware of how that has changed the battleground. Things might change come fall 2017, though, as Microsoft is poised to release Scorpio, which will likely be the top home console experience available at the time. Perhaps gamers that pick up two gaming devices this holiday may turn to Switch and Scorpio as their duo.