PlayStation 4 a Sure Winner12 Jun, 2013 By: Thomas K. Arnold
Even though it’s been such a long time since the debut of the PlayStation 3, PlayStation fans have demonstrated their loyalty by snapping up new games in record numbers. Sales north of 1 million are routine, and as of March 2012, consumers had snapped up nearly 600 million games on top of the more than 1.2 billion games for the PlayStation 2, which Sony and its legion of game-making licensees wisely continued to service. Indeed, nearly 300 million of those PS2 games were sold after the PS3 was launched.
PlayStation fans haven’t tired of their PS3s, largely due to the fact that most gameplay is now online — an observation that comes not just from the obligatory stats and figures (which give PS3 the edge over Microsoft’s Xbox largely because the network is free), but also from my own experience, watching my three boys literally grow up with their PlayStations. In fact, I still have now-17-year-old Justin’s original PlayStation console somewhere in our garage, along with the last game I tried to master, the original Spider-Man.
In the past, my boys would have a friend or two over and play against each other, taking turns. Now, they have virtual parties — even conversing with each other, as though a dozen of them were all together in a single room (God forbid!). Even the youngest, at 11, routinely plays with friends from school — and from time to time widens his social circle, under close scrutiny from Dad.
Brand loyalty and a free network of ever-changing online “friends” aren’t the only things the PlayStation 4 has going for it. Sony made a brilliant move in issuing its next-generation console at a list price of $399 – undercutting the new Microsoft Xbox One by $100. That’s a big deal, folks, given that most game players are teens or young adults and generally aren’t high earners. I’ve always felt that the PlayStation 3, which bowed at $599, succeeded in spite of itself, given its high price tag. PlayStation 4 won’t be saddled with that burden.
According to senior reporter Chris Tribbey’s story in this week’s magazine (see XX), the PS4 also comes with second-screen capabilities for Android and Apple devices and remote play with the PlayStation Vita portable gaming device. And all sorts of video applications will be available at launch, including Flixster, Redbox Instant, Netflix and Hulu Plus.
PlayStation 4, slated to come out just before Christmas, is going to be big. Real big.