Sony’s won the price war, but cloud gaming and virtual reality gaming are two fields Sony must master this year.
There’s no doubt that Sony took the prize at E3 2013. The company came out swinging with its PlayStation 4 console that was $100 cheaper than Microsoft’s Xbox One. Although many of tech analyst has said that Microsoft’s Xbox One experience is more technologically advanced, consumers sided with the PlayStation 4. Why? Because the game console was more affordable, tied to physical games rather than the cloud, and allowed users to take their gaming experience on-the-go without requiring a mandatory 24-hour check-in to access their games.
For Microsoft at the time, its Kinect motion sensor, in the minds of Microsoft officials, justified the additional money for the Xbox One game console. And Sony’s success at E3 2013 is what influenced Microsoft to remove the mandatory, 24-hour check-in and do away with the Kinect motion sensor in the Kinectless Xbox One Microsoft just released a few weeks ago for the same price as Sony’s PlayStation 4 ($399).
Now, with Sony’s success, the question arrives: Can Sony continue its momentum? The price competition can only go so far: at some point, if Sony and Microsoft continue to compete on the price point, game consoles will be a dime a dozen. The company must emerge with something new, groundbreaking, and innovative at E3 2014. In order for Sony to emerge victorious, the game console manufacturer must do a few things that’ll place it ahead of Microsoft.
Sony’s Project Morpheus has been the talk of the gaming world, and no wonder: it will take gaming to a whole new level in the future, beyond Microsoft’s Kinect motion sensor. The world behind virtual reality headgear is poised to be an immersive experience that makes the Kinect Xbox One look like a kid’s toy. If Sony wants to continue to lead past Microsoft, the PS4 maker should spend some time fleshing out some details about Project Morpheus, where it is in its testing stages, and when we could see it come to market. I’m thinking that a video or two, or even a public demonstration, might provide a little excitement for Sony customers. For those who abandoned Microsoft due to the company’s $499 Xbox One retail price, Sony has a golden opportunity to leave Microsoft in its trail this year. Morpheus has got to be one of the most drummed-up topics at this year’s E3.
PlayStation Now is said to be Sony’s new cloud-streaming service, but we know very little about it. The Sony faithful have been big on physical disc-gaming, but Sony’s new cloud service will have to live up to the faithful’s expectations. Will Sony offer long-time customers the chance to have cloud access to games which they already own? We don’t know the details of PlayStation Now, but Sony’ll have to take a chance on it – and detail its cloud service. Microsoft offended with its cloud-based DRM (digital rights management) restrictions at E3 2013, so Sony should tread into cloud-based gaming with caution.
A console is only as great as its weakest game. If the games are terrible, the game console doesn’t stand a chance with consumers. Many may be willing to give Sony’s game consoles a chance, but Sony’s game selection may be the thing that wins the Sony faithful to remain with Sony this coming year. For many customers, Sony’s PS4 is a good enough machine that they won’t plan to upgrade any time soon, but the main selling issue is gaming. Microsoft’s Xbox One may be overpriced, but the company’s technology is well-developed, and its games look nothing short of life-like. Sony has won the pricing competition, but it’ll have to come out of the price round and box with Microsoft in other areas this year.
E3 2014 looks to be even more exciting than E3 2013, and Sony and Microsoft will duke it out once more for consumer wallets – and excellent first impressions. Sony’s currently known as the gaming price hero, but it’s got some new battles on its hands. Stay tuned to Inferse as we cover E3 2014 and its surprises. Oh, by the way, don’t sell your games and game consoles just yet.