According to the gamers out there, the Xbox One reveal was an hour long train wreck in the form of a press conference. Instead of focusing on the gamers’ needs, they focused on the general population featuring things such as live television control, movies, Skype, and other things that aren’t games. Although they did show off Forza Motorsport 5, a trailer for Quantum Break, some information and video for Fifa 14, Madden 14, and Call of Duty: Ghosts; it didn’t seem like that was enough to appease the game hungry gamers.
Looking back at the PlayStation 4 press conference that revealed the PlayStation 4, we saw them show quite a bit more gameplay from games like Knack, Killzone Shadow Fall, DriveClub, and Watch_Dogs. Some tech demos from Unreal Engine 4, and a trailer from Infamous Second Son, The Witness, and others. It wasn’t until recently that I noticed how many games were packed in to Sony’s PS4 press conference. But there is a something else that I can’t seem to forget about and I feel that it will lose them the top spot in the next generation console war.
In previous console generations the idea of a video gaming console doing anything except playing videogames was unheard of, that was until the current generation of the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3. The console that usually lived on a table or in your entertainment center was never used to play movies, music, television, or any other services. But now we have consoles that are more than just devices to deliver video games to our televisions, they are portals to the internet and all its media.
When we take a look back at each of the press conferences we look at content and sure, content is very important; but just as important is the method of delivery. The PlayStation 4 reveal was streamed online only. If you had access to a computer, you were able to log on to the Sony site or IGN and watch the live stream of the reveal. On the other hand for the Xbox One reveal we had live streaming options from Xbox.com, The Xbox 360 console dashboard, and most importantly on Spike TV.
You may be asking, why is Spike TV important? And that’s a valid question. And I’ll tell you, the viewership. While the PlayStation 4 reveal garnered a few hundred thousand live streamers on the various sites. The Xbox One reveal across the Xbox website, the Xbox 360’s dashboard, and Spike TV had millions of viewers. You might look at that and say, oh well the real gamers were the ones watching the PlayStation 4 reveal and you would be 100% correct; but that is the problem. While the PlayStation 4 was aiming itself towards the gamers, Microsoft and the Xbox One reveal were aiming their sights on the wider audience while still appealing to gamers. It is fact that Sony’s press conference did a much better job showing games and making the whole conference about games. But I believe that is will be Sony’s downfall.
The problem I see with who Sony targeted is that they should already know that they have the hardcore gamers who most likely already own a PlayStation 3 and should have targeted those who haven’t owned a PlayStation. And let’s face it, someone who has never owned a PlayStation is extremely unlikely to ever watch a live streaming event on their computers about the PlayStation 4. While Microsoft was unveiling the Xbox One, they aimed to target the casual audience who might have never owned an Xbox game console. They aimed to promote things like television because, hey guess what, they were watching the event on television and this helps control and navigate it. Microsoft knows that they are going to be providing the same great gaming experience that the Xbox 360 helped create and this allows them to not specifically target those who are already going to buy the console regardless. And help those who never thought about owning a gaming console because all they thought it did was play video games.
Even though the PlayStation 3 was the most popular Netflix device, Sony did very little to promote anything besides features that had to do with gaming. And because of this, I believe that they have already lost the next generation due to the public perception of their newest gaming console only appealing to the gamers rather than the general public.