The smell of gunpowder in the new-generation host war is getting stronger.
Last week, Microsoft announced the price and release date of the next-generation Xbox game console. The flagship model Xbox Series X is priced at only $499. Such a price is definitely a loss, and the loss is more than a little. Although the game console industry’s “hardware loses money and software makes money” model has lasted for many years, such prices are still beyond everyone’s expectations.
A week later, Sony also showed its “trump card.” PS5 is priced at US$499 and the CD-free version is US$399. It will go on sale on November 12th , only two days later than Microsoft. In addition, Sony has also announced a series of game lineups that will land on PS5, continuing to increase its monopoly.
The situation is already at the tip of the needle. Can Sony replicate the success of PS4 and win again?
In the past 20 years of game console history, cheap consoles have won the market every time.
In this protracted price war, only Sony and Microsoft are left, and they are still tit-for-tat on the standard configuration and price. Both companies are very cautious, because the mainframe update cycle is very long, and the first generation of products will span 7 years. Both Microsoft and Sony have tasted “lost the start, and then the whole generation falls behind.” PS3 in 2006 and Xbox One in 2013 both lost the start because they were more expensive than their opponents.
The two companies were originally very cautious, and due to the impact of the epidemic, all offline game exhibitions and activities were suspended, and all news releases became more fragmented. Finally, we saw a “Tai Chi Push Hands” product launch, which lasted more than a year.
The PS5 release process is like squeezing toothpaste|Sony
Since last year, Microsoft has successively revealed the name, appearance and parameters of the next-generation Xbox. Sony is the same, first announced the PS5’s naming and logo, and then accepted an interview with WIRED magazine, revealing some PS5 features, and finally announced the specific configuration parameters to game developers.
In June, Sony officially announced the appearance of the PS5 and a series of game lineups under development, leaving only the last suspense of “price”. Some media analyzed the configuration of the Xbox Series X and found that the material cost of the entire machine may be as high as 500 US dollars, plus the cost of promotion and sales, it can barely be maintained at 600 or even 700 US dollars. PS5 performance is a bit behind Xbox Series X, but the cost will not be much lower.
Both families dare not act rashly. Hosts are sold at a loss, as long as they don’t lose money, whoever loses more will win. On September 10th, Microsoft finally announced the price of the next-generation console on Twitter, Xbox Series X priced at $499. This price means that Microsoft’s Xbox hardware may not be profitable in the next two years.
A few days later, there was news that Sony temporarily adjusted the pricing of PS5. On September 17th, Sony finally finalized the final price of the PS5, which is the same as the Xbox at $499, and there is also a version without optical drive for $399.
The two stood on the same starting line.
Based on the game
PS5’s paper performance is not as good as Xbox Series X, but Sony has accelerated the pace of layout game works.
While announcing the PS5 price, Sony also announced the PS5 game lineup. Two exclusive masterpieces, “Devil Soul Remaster” and “Spider-Man: Miles” will be released on November 12th.
Both works are very heavy. “Spider-Man” is an important work of Insomnia Studios. The previous series “Marvel’s Spider-Man” sold 13.2 million copies and was nominated for the 2018 TGA Game of the Year. The predecessor of “Devil’s Soul Remake” was a PS3 game in 2009. Although only more than one million copies were sold at the time, it was only a fledgling work by producer Miyazaki Hidetaka. Later, Hidetaka Miyazaki gained fame with the “Dark Souls” series, and the total sales of the series exceeded 20 million. “Soul” has even become a game style. At this time, Sony chose to remake this “Devil’s Soul”, which also has great potential.
PS5 escort exclusive “Spider-Man: Miles”|Sony
Not to mention this treatment compared to Xbox, even in Sony’s own history is very rare.
Seven years ago, when the PS4 was first released, the escort exclusives were “Nake’s Adventure” and “Kill Zone”, which can only be regarded as two “small pieces”, and the evaluation after the release is relatively average. In 2014, the two most popular games on PS4 were “GTA5” and “The Last of Us”, both of which were ported from PS3. It was not until 2015 that the first highly acclaimed masterpiece “Blood” on PS4 was released. The producers of “Curse of Blood” and “Devil’s Soul” are both Hidetaka Miyazaki, and Sony seems to want to reproduce its previous success on PS5.
Except for one party. Sony also announced a series of third-party games under development. Including “Final Fantasy 16”, Harry Potter-themed “Hogwarts: Legacy”, “Resident Evil 8: Village” and “Devil May Cry 5 Special Edition”.
In order to solve the problem of too few game choices when the console was first released, Sony also launched the PS+ Collecton service. Players who have subscribed to PS+ members can directly download 18 PS4 games for free on the first day of PS5 launch. These include a series of award-winning works such as “God of War”, “Curse of Blood”, “Monster Hunter World”, “Persona 5”, “The Last of Us Remake” and so on. Sony hopes to transform the PS4 generation’s lead into the PS5’s first launch advantage.
At the end of the launch event, Sony also released an “Easter Egg” and announced the new “God of War” series “God of War: Twilight of the Gods”. This will be the sequel to the 2018 TGA game of the year “God of War”, developed by Sony’s Santa Monica studio, and will be released in 2021.
This means that within one year after the release, there will be 3 exclusive masterpieces landed on PS5, and all of them are excellent masterpieces with guaranteed quality. Coupled with a large number of excellent works on PS4, many players said that “Sony has won.”
Explore the boundaries
A new generation is coming, and Sony wants to win again.
Seven years ago, when PS4 and Xbox One debuted at E3 at the same time, Sony can be said to be a “lying win”.
At the time, Microsoft was in the limelight, but at the press conference it came up with “mandatory bundling of Kinect somatosensory kits”, “requiring players to play online games all the way”, and “banning second-hand transactions”. When Sony releases, the PS4 will have stronger performance and higher resolution, without any restrictions on second-hand games, and the price will be $100 cheaper. Players in the audience cheered. From that moment on, PS4 won the game generation.
When the PS4 was released, Sony advertised a lot of “fancy” features. Including somatosensory camera, handle built-in gyroscope, touchpad, social sharing, live broadcast functions, and cloud games. In contrast, the release of PS5 is much more “simple” and “conservative”, returning to the core element of a game console, the game.
After 7 years of accumulation in the PS4 generation, Sony’s studios and game IP have begun to show more and more powerful strength. Before the release of PS5, Sony integrated its multiple party game development studios under a new brand name, “PlayStation Studios.” We must continue to increase efforts to invest in game development and strengthen our game brand. In the PS5 generation, continue to win with high-quality game content. This time, Sony seems more confident than before.
But this is not everything Sony dreams of. In addition to console games, Sony is trying to bring its well-known game IP to more places, port exclusive games to PC, or make it into film and television programs. Sony has already collaborated with HBO to produce a spin-off series of “The Last of Us” and is also shooting a “Uncharted Sea” related movie starring “Dutch Brother”.
Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan said in an interview with the Washington Post, “I hope that through the crossover and cooperation of these IPs, it will bring more fresh blood to the PS gaming community.”
The reason behind it is also very simple: by keeping an eye on Microsoft, Sony may be able to win the console war. But it is clear that there is no future for the host industry, which only has commercial competition.
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