Home Gaming Friday Debate: Is Sony losing the next-gen console war before it even begins?

Friday Debate: Is Sony losing the next-gen console war before it even begins?

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As much as I like to think that the console wars are best left in the past, I have to admit that competition between giants of the gaming industry is healthy stuff. Just look at the current generation of gaming we’ve all been a part of: Sony won it hands down with the PlayStation 4, besting Microsoft at every turn and ushering in an era where its games spoke volumes.

While Microsoft’s Xbox One kicked off its life with a Kinect 2.0 camera tethered to it like a bad tumor and Don Mattrick completely cocking up the messaging of the console, Sony forged ahead and created an ecosystem of high quality exclusive games, gambles and the best operating system a console has ever seen.

Microsoft would eventually turn things around with numerous announcements and the ballsiest of acquisitions, aiming to create not just a great console but a terrific ecosystem at the same time. On the twilight of this console generation, the Xbox One has been transformed into something fantastic. The Xbox One X still has plenty of horsepower to spare, Xbox Game Pass is a stupid amount of value for a low price, and the groundwork for the Xbox Series X has been a confident push of big reveals and transparency.

And then there’s Sony with the PS5. While I still think the console will be superb in the long run, right now it’s a device that’s playing second fiddle to the Xbox Series X. Does it have great games and studios? Absolutely, but those products are mostly a long way away from being realised. If there’s a war on, then Microsoft is winning hearts and minds by telling its audience everything it wants to know about its console: Its strengths and it weaknesses.

With the PS5 though, there’s so much that we don’t know currently about it:

  • Why are save-games locked behind a cross-gen barrier?
  • What SSD expansion options will there be?
  • How much of the 825GB hard drive space will there be to store games on?
  • Can I store PS5 games on an external hard drive?
  • Is there a Quick Resume feature like what the Xbox Series X has?
  • What does the operating system look like?
  • How long will the DualSense battery last?
  • Can I create custom button assignments like on PS4?
  • What does the create button do?
  • What sound systems will the Tempest audio technology support?
  • Is Dolby Atmos supported?

Sony’s lack of transparency has been…odd, to say the least. Maybe there’s a great console ready to rock the market, but with muddy cross-gen potential, a small library, and a very limited stock of consoles, it’s easy to see why the Xbox Series X is currently emerging as the first choice amongst gamers in these more cash-strapped times.

The first salvos have been fired, but what do you make of the latest reports from the front? Has Sony lost the first battle in the new console wars? Sound off below.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Critical Hit as an organisation.

Last Updated: October 2, 2020

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