What Does Sony’s PlayStation 4 Announcement Mean to Microsoft?

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 04:08 -- RLWaterman

On the morning of the 20th of February, 2013, the gaming community around the world waited with bated breath to hear Sony’s announcement. We already knew that the next generation of game consoles was in development, but finally, some solid information about what to expect! Or so we hoped.

There’s no denying that some of the updates from the Sony PlayStation 4 team were interesting, but in general the announcement didn’t provide us with the solid detail that we were expecting. Aside from a vague ‘holiday 2013’ promise for a release date we weren’t told anything specific about when the PS4 would be available for purchase, and due to the actual design of the new console being only recently finalized they didn’t even have that to show! Granted, what’s inside the console may be more important than its outward appearance, but in general the announcement did seem more of a top-level look at what Sony has planned for the future rather than a detailed look at a new console.

Perhaps the lack of detail provided by Sony is the principle reason for the reasonable drop in the share value of the company immediately after the presentation. Not really what you want when you’re planning to get ahead of the curve with an early presentation!

Despite that, let’s take a look at a few of the details that were presented on the 20th:

  • What Does Sony's PS4 Announcement Mean to MicrosoftNext gen controller. Sony may not have had the console to show off, but they did have a controller. The DualShock 4 has some similar features to its predecessors with the usual button and stick alignment; however it also features a Touch Pad in the center, something that will undoubtedly be useful for tasks such as navigating menus.
  • Motion sensor. After the undeniable success of Microsoft’s Kinect technology it’s not really surprising to see a new technology in the form of the PlayStation Eye. This motion sensing technology will no longer require you to have separate Move controllers as it will be able to recognize the standard DualShock 4 controller within the room. Sony didn’t mention the cost of this device or whether it will come packaged with the PS4 by default.
  • Social sharing. Social networking has become a huge part of our lives; we share everything with the world these days. The PlayStation 4 has taken big steps to make sure the process of sharing your gaming achievements with the world will be as easy as possible, with a Share button on the new controller allowing you to do things such as capture and upload a video clip to send to friends or upload to the internet.
  • Games. We were very interested in hearing about the games that will be released with the new console, as it’s likely that those on shared platforms will also find their way onto the Xbox One. Although it’ll be E3 when we know the full list of titles that’ll come out with the PlayStation, a few release games were shown off such as Bungie’s Destiny, Final Fantasy from Square Enix, Watchdogs from Ubisoft and even a reported Diablo III for next generation consoles.

Other information related to specific specifications and some further detail on all of the above, but as already mentioned there was no specific release date provided, nor any indication as to the cost of this console.

So what does this mean to Microsoft? The developers of the Xbox One may have smiled to themselves at seeing Sony’s share price plummet following the announcement, but at the same time even though the details were vague it’s still the PlayStation 4 that has fired the first shot in the war of the next generation consoles. Microsoft and Sony will constantly be striving to bring their console out on top, and with the Xbox 360 beating the PlayStation 3 out to release Sony may be looking to capitalize on beating their rival to market.

Having seen the specifications of the PS4 with its 8 core CPU, AMD graphics engine and 8GB of RAM we’re convinced that the two consoles will be relatively similar when it comes to power, so it’s more likely to be in software that we see real differences. Sony’s commitment to sharing could leave Microsoft trailing behind, whereas with its experience with motion technology it’s likely that the Kinect 2 will be the more accurate in gaming when compared to the PlayStation Eye.

Rumor has it that Microsoft may be considering their own announcement for the Xbox One in April of this year, despite initial predictions that we’d need to wait until E3. This could be because the developers are now feeling the pressure in needing to keep up with Sony, so it’ll be interesting to see what details we do see provided from Microsoft in the run up to release.

No matter which console will be your gaming platform of choice, it’s going to be interesting to see how Sony and Microsoft square up to each other in the next few months!

Article by - Rebecca Waterman
Insert Date: 2/26/2013

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