Sony is no longer for the players

E3 2017 Impressions: Sony is now holding back the gaming industry

Every single time a console holder becomes the top dog, they also become disdainful of their fans. They lean on their past and current success, then try to maximize profits by utilizing unsustainable business practices, instead of pleasing gamers and third parties. This is why Nintendo had such a terrible reputation for decades. It’s why Sony’s expectation of PS3 dominance got BTFO by XB360 and Wii. It’s why the Wii U failed so miserably. It’s why the XBOX will possibly be Microsoft’s last console. It’s as inevitable as the tides: When a company becomes too successful, it stops playing by the rules of good sense and gets smacked down.

Once more Sony has taken the lead, and once more they’re going down the old dark path, but this time the situation is different, and there’s a real danger of there being no corrective force to put Sony back in line. However, before we continue, we need to take a step back and set the scene.

The second tragedy of King Nintendo.

Wii U deadThe Wii U repeated and exacerbated the mistakes of the N64. [Source]

The Nintendo Wii was a genius move, a side step that avoided competition and became one of the most profitable platforms ever. At the same time, the Nintendo DS was lighting the world on fire, as the smartphone had yet to handicap handhelds. Nintendo would go on to brag about their war chests being so deep they could run a $250 million deficit for almost 40 years straight and be fine. Which is a good thing, because the Wii U was a money-consuming-black-hole of a disaster that ate up a large portion of said rainy day fund, and the 3DS failed to be half as popular as its predecessor.

Nintendo, once again the absolute king of the gaming industry in terms of sales, became arrogant. They were convinced that their games alone could support their new system, as they had done for the Wii, and that third party developers would come flocking back to their first HD console to get in on the action. The Wii U didn’t need to use a common architecture, or modernize itself like its competitors, it had the Nintendo name, Nintendo games, and would have Nintendo sales.

Unfortunately for Nintendo, it was the N64 all over again. The company’s archaic practices, and utter disregard for the development environment of the time, pushed third parties to better deals with Sony and Microsoft. At the same time, Nintendo was a generation behind in tech, and had underestimated the difficulty of HD development. This led to the long droughts that arose from their inexperience with new HD development techniques, and lack of third party support to fill the gaps. There were other factors, such as the awful marketing, but these two things are what primarily lead to the Wii U’s pathetic, gasping death, years before it was made official.

Bloody E3: The murder of the Xbox One.

Sony masterfully sells people on features that literally every previous generation of consoles had.

In the lead up to E3 2013, rumors had been circulating about a bit of collusion between Sony and Microsoft in regards to DRM practices. Both companies wanted to implement a strict DRM policy that would hurt gamers’ wallets, but they knew it would be unpopular. As the Wii U was a non-factor, the two relevant console giants would both implement the DRM feature, so fans would just have to accept it as the new standard of the industry, regardless of how they felt. As an ongoing theme of this article, this claim that seemed like a conspiracy theory was proven true after the fact.

Microsoft went on stage, announced the DRM requirements, the bundling of the Kinect with every console, and a $499.99 price tag. All of this happened while Sony was frantically changing their E3 presentation at the last second. Sony backed out of the DRM plans, cut the mandatory bundling of the PlayStation Eye, and dropped the price by $100. Sony had planned to do everything Microsoft had done, but backed out because it was so poorly received, instead using the chance to kick their like-minded opponents while they were down, and it worked.

In one night, Microsoft lost all of the goodwill it had earned from fans over the course of the XB360’s lifespan, while Sony, a company that was eager to implement the very same features, came out looking like a hero, masquerading as a company that fights for the rights of their fans. In spite of a wave of great, consumer friendly practices since then, Microsoft’s Xbox brand has never been able to recover, and the recent reveal of yet another $499.99 system isn’t going to save it.

Sony becomes king, and the mask slips.

Star Ocean 3 Till the End of TimeLook, we know you already bought it from us, but for $20 you can actually play it on our latest system with higher resolution and trophies.

The PS4 has sold more than twice as many units as the XB1, and the Wii U has been discontinued. As soon as the PS4’s dominance was established, Sony went down the path of becoming a tyrant. The most immediate, and least egregious, example of this is backwards compatibility.

XB1 revealed backwards compatibility to the excitement of all, even Sony fans. This is because PS4 users thought the move would lead to Sony making a counter move for them. However, Sony continued to downplay it. The King of Consoles claimed that everyone says they want the feature but nobody uses it, in spite of the fact millions of users have played hundreds of backwards compatible games on the XB1. The statement is technically true though: Most console gamers play on PS4, and they don’t use backwards compatibility…because they can’t. Sony has no intention of implementing the feature, barring a legitimate threat arising, because they can make more money without it.

Jim Ryan’s inflammatory “Why would anybody want to play this?” in reference to classic games comes with an underlying implication. Sony would rather sell players the games they already own, with upped resolution and trophies, than allow gamers to play their old games conveniently. Ryan’s comment should be read as “Why would anybody play this [when they could pay us for better looking remasters]?” If gamers really don’t want to play older games, why is Sony still pushing their awful PlayStation Now service? The only function of said service is being an overpriced form of backwards compatibility.

Sony likes the money that remasters and their terrible PlayStation Now service provides, and it would be virtually non-existent if the PS4 had backwards compatibility. Xbox implementing the feature is just hurting Microsoft’s wallet, and though it provides them some goodwill among gamers, Xbox is no longer competitive. Sony has no reason to respond in kind.

It’s smart business in the short term, so should we really hold it against Sony? Under normal circumstances, no. We have to accept that companies exist purely to make money, but there’s always a line that shouldn’t be crossed: When producers begin to actively take something of value from consumers, against their will, in an effort to monopolize their capital.

Sony wants a monopoly.

Monster Hunter World E3 2017 SonyOne case sets precedence, and casts doubt over others.

At its core, capitalism is a struggle where the consumer wants to get as much product/service as possible with as little capital as possible, while producers want to make as much capital as possible while providing as little product/service as possible. It works beautifully as long as there’s a healthy market, because producers have to compete to earn the consumer’s capital. It forces adaptation and evolution.

Unfortunately, it only works as long as there’s a healthy market.

Now that the PS4 has such a commanding lead, Sony doesn’t have to go tit-for-tat with their potential rivals. Instead of improving the value of their console, they’d rather just hold their rivals down. It’s a safer, cheaper alternative to actual competition, and it’s only possible because of that big lead of theirs. This is where Sony crosses the line that makes any company a cancer of its industry.

The recent Monster Hunter World is the perfect example. Allegedly, Sony made a backdoor agreement with Capcom before the Nintendo Switch went on sale. Capcom wanted to expand the Monster Hunter franchise to the West, because the console market in Japan was dying and handhelds weren’t going to survive another generation in the mobile dominated country. The deal was inked with the stipulation that Capcom could not make a version of the game for Nintendo’s upcoming console.

This deal came to light via leaked 4chan rumor, and should be taken with a grain of salt. For now, though, that infamous rumor holds enough water to be legit.

Monster Hunter 4chan Rumor

  • It called Monster Hunter XX before it was announced.
  • It called Monster Hunter 5. Monster Hunter World is now considered the next mainline entry by the developers, which would functionally make it MH5.
  • Says Sony wanted Japan, paid for a contract that didn’t care about XB1 or PC releases, but forbid Nintendo Switch. Announced at E3 as a game for PS4, XB1, and PC, but no Nintendo Switch port.
  • Claims the game will be open world, missions and timers are gone. E3 notes say the game is seamless, without loading screens between areas. The missions are back however.
  • Claims combat is being streamlined, E3 reveals the game has been greatly streamlined.
  • Other information is currently unverifiable.

There are subsequent posts, which to my knowledge are not verified as the same poster(?), that go into more detail. These details would count in horse shoes, but could just be guesses. For example, the weapons were indeed streamlined, but none were dropped. However, the claim wasn’t a guarantee of a drop, just that they weren’t planned “for now.” Keep in mind, the original leak came almost eight months before the game was revealed at E3, and well over a year will have passed between the leak and the current release window. Games can change drastically in that time frame, and nobody would want bad publicity in this situation.

There’s a chance it was a troll with some extremely dumb luck, though the chances of that are incredibly low, to a statistical zero. Also, it’s not as if 4chan hasn’t been right before, someone on the board did leak the entire plot of FFXV over six month before it released, so we know some posters there are legitimately made privy to insider information. Until the first rumor post is debunked, I’ll be accepting it as the most probable course of events.

Unfortunately for Capcom, the Nintendo Switch is now on pace to be Japan’s best selling console since the Wii, and will likely surpass the PS2 in their home country once the supply issue is remedied, while the PS4 is a flop in Japan. Now that the deal is already inked, Capcom has to hope an altered, some would say watered down, Monster Hunter World catches on in the West, because it’s going to massively under perform in it’s strongest market, Japan.

Ugly Chun li and DanteCapcom 2007 vs. Capcom 2017. Maybe Capcom should burn? [Source]

That vindictive voice that every scorned gamer feels, chirps in the back of my mind: Capcom deserves to fail. They’ve terribly squandered the goodwill they build up in the fifth and sixth generations of consoles. They have unused IPs that they could have given some TLC, but instead they were busy running their flagship franchises into the dirt. (Umbralla Corps anyone?) Their habit of cash grabs and incomplete games has now resulted in Street Fighter failing. Striking this kind of deal with Sony just ices my desire to see them continue on. At least then someone could acquire the rights to the IPs they haven’t been using.

Does that sound salty? Do I sound like a disgruntled Nintendo fanboy? That’s not the case at all. I love Nintendo, but I’ve been a much larger Sony fan overall. No joke, I almost had a tattoo of the original PS logo on my chest. I’ve owned all of their consoles, and their Judas machine is sitting on the same entertainment center as my Nintendo Switch, loaded with more games than most of you reading this will ever own. I’m not mad as a Nintendo fan, I’m mad as a fan of gaming.

This should disgust everyone. It isn’t Sony trying to improve the value of their product by money-hatting an exclusive, something that’s already a frowned upon, anti-consumer practice, it’s Sony spending money to sabotage console competition so they don’t have to make better deals for consumers like you and me.

Here’s a scary thought: Now that we know Sony has done this once, how many times have they done it total? Japanese game developers that wanted to make console games were limited to the PS4 in terms of viable platforms. Aside from a handful of companies/franchises, Sony could strong arm them into not releasing games on Nintendo Switch. Do you want to release your game on Sony’s worldwide install base of 60 million, or take a chance on the unknown quantity that is the Nintendo Switch? Before Nintendo’s hybrid took off, and considering their past history of dick moves, it would seem like a no brainer to go with Sony.

Now look at all the mid-tier Japanese games that could easily run on the Nintendo Switch, and would inarguably benefit from the wider audience that comes with supporting another console, but inexplicably don’t. We know it’s super easy to port games to the Nintendo Switch, especially if the game runs on Unreal Engine 4, so why are these games not coming to the platform? Dragon Ball FighterZ, Tekken 7, Code Vein, Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite, Valkyria Revolution, Ace Combat 7, the list goes on and on. None of those games are particularly demanding, save for Tekken 7, and even it could easily be scaled down if they dialed back the garish effects.

The easiest answer is that they’re waiting for more proof the system is a valid platform, unlike the Wii U. Games not on Unreal Engine 4 would take more time to port over too, up to a year. These companies could also have a better working relationship with Sony than the “reformed” Nintendo, even if the Nintendo Switch is going to dwarf the PS4 in their home markets. I really want this to be the case. I want to be the crazy conspiracy theorist that’s looking way too into this, like that weird, angry shirtless guy from the memes. Sadly, Sony’s crappy actions have given legitimacy to such questions and outrage.

Sony’s isolationism.

Cross-network play is coming, and Sony can’t stand it.

Sony’s biggest advantage isn’t its power advantage over competing consoles, power has never been an important factor in video game sales. In fact, for the last few console generations, the strongest console has under performed, so the PS4 is an anomaly in that it’s the most powerful base system and the most successful. The actual biggest advantage the PS4 has? Momentum in the age of social gaming.

People are more likely to buy a console if their friends have it, because they want to be able to play with their friends. Even the die hard Xbox fans in my circle of friends went to PS4, because the rest of their friends went with the PS4. Social gaming has made early momentum more important than ever, which is why Sony now finds itself practicing online isolationism.

Xbox and PC having cross-network play is no surprise, given Microsoft’s slight attachment to the PC market, but even Nintendo is getting in on cross-network play now. There are already two games that have confirmed cross-network play between XB1, PC, and Nintendo Switch, and all parties involved will push for it on any and all shared games in the future. It’s Sony that’s refusing to play with others, and it’s purely out of desperation to keep this massive advantage: Think of how many millions of sales Sony would have lost if Xbox fans could play with their PS4 owning friends on their Xbox, instead of feeling obligated to get a PS4.

A week ago, if I had told you that Nintendo was embracing cross-network play and Sony was refusing online features because they want to protect the children, you would have laughed at me and said I had confused Sony for Nintendo. Yet here we are during E3 2017, and Sony is stubbornly refusing cross-network play in an attempt to force more consumers into choosing PS4.

As cross-network play expands into several more games, it will reach a point that it begins to impact Sony’s bottom line. At that point, they’ll cave and allow it. They’ll even try to spin it as a positive, instead of the truth: Sony could have implemented this feature at any time, but held back in an attempt to make as much money as possible. It won’t matter though, Sony will eventually lose one of the most powerful tools at their disposal and the playing field will even a bit more.

Nintendo Switch is console gaming’s best hope.

Super Mario Odyssey Dinosaur T-Rex PossessThe Nintendo Switch is the sleeping giant of the console market. It’s gunning for Sony, first in Japan, and then on the world stage.

Xbox has been as consumer friendly as possible since that horrible gaff in 2013, and recently played the last card in its hand. I’d love for it to become competitive again, but I can’t see it happening. Microsoft is already laying the groundwork for the prioritization of the PC as their primary platform going forward, as seen by Xbox games coming to Windows 10. Traditional consoles are dying off, and the race to be the strongest, including the asinine PC-lite iterations that undermine the entire purpose of console gaming, is ultimately leading gamers to the PC.

With Xbox seemingly down for the count, the Nintendo Switch is the last opponent that can pressure Sony and force them to become more consumer friendly. Sony knows it too, which is why the company paid to keep Monster Hunter off of the Nintendo Switch, but not the XB1. Sony was so close to having a monopoly, and now Nintendo has tapped into the same magic that brought them the success of the Wii and DS. Except this time it has the additional threat of competing with Sony for third party sales.

Despite what gamers on various forums may think, the average gamer will put serious thought into purchasing a toned-down Nintendo Switch version of any multiplatform game, over a beefed up visual experience on the PS4. That’s how powerful the sheer convenience of the Nintendo Switch is. and Sony knows the importance of convenience. After all, the PlayStation Now service is an attempt to capitalize on the convenience they refuse to provide with backwards compatibility.

The Nintendo Switch doesn’t have to sell more than the PS4 total, it just has to sell at a similar rate to Sony’s platform going forward. As long as it becomes a legitimate competitor, Sony will be forced to participate in competition and be pulled out of its current state. Sony will lose the potential monopoly it’s after.

Nintendo has a lot going in their favor.

Nintendo SwitchNintendo Switch offers features and content unlike anything the competition brings to the table.

Eventually, Nintendo will totally unify all of the company’s developmental assets on one platform, leading to the Nintendo Switch receiving an unprecedented level of first party support.

The only reason the 3DS is still receiving so much support is because the Nintendo Switch is currently sitting at ~5 million units sold, and is facing a shortage of parts needed to manufacture more units. There’s no point in releasing a new Pokemon game on a console that doesn’t have an install base large enough to support it. Core Pokemon entries have all sold 7-30 million each, meaning if Nintendo were to drop a Nintendo Switch exclusive Pokemon title right now, it would have missed out on 2-25 million potential sales.

And no, releasing a Nintendo Switch exclusive Pokemon game would not have helped Nintendo sell more consoles: The damn thing is already selling out, it would have just lead to the most disappointing sales in the franchise’s history.

Another factor in the Nintendo Switch’s favor, is the ease of porting games to the console. Everything about the Nintendo Switch was designed around making it simple for developers to put their games on it, from the ARM processor, to the Vulkan API, and their work with Nvidia and Epic Games to create great development tools. It has worked too: Developers that have worked with the hybrid have universally praised Nintendo for making it easy to work with, especially in comparison to the arcane Wii U. If the game runs on Unreal Engine 4, the premiere middleware game engine, developers can get portions of their games functioning on the system in mere hours (though optimization and such obviously takes more time).

Developers also benefit from the portability of the Nintendo Switch, an exclusive bonus feature inherent to every game that graces the system. That portability is a game changer, it allows busy gamers to find more time to game by stringing together 5 minutes here, 15 minutes there. That doesn’t sound like much, but over the course of a week, that can add up to several hours being reclaimed for gaming. What developer wouldn’t want their games to be with their customers wherever they go?

Then, there’s Microsoft’s aforementioned push to make cross-network play a standard of the gaming industry. It’s an attempt to destroy Sony’s grasp on social gaming, and it’s already started to turn gamers’ opinions of Sony and has led to movements calling for the company to cave. Since the Switch is currently the platform with the smallest user-base, it’s the platform that benefits most from this push. As Psyonix pointed out, there are no downsides from the players,  it leads to faster matchmaking and better matchups, thanks to the larger pool of players, and gamers wouldn’t have to choose between the Nintendo Switch’s convenience or playing with their friends on PS4.

Also, Nintendo will dominate the Japanese gaming market, as it’s the only portable option going forward. Sony is trying to offer Japanese developers a window to the West, but at the cost of Japanese sales. Nintendo is now offering an equally legitimate path to the West, while improving Japanese console game sales. It’s only a matter of time until every Japanese third party release comes to Nintendo Switch.

Those reasons are why the Nintendo Switch is the best hope for challenging the PS4.

Sony fans should want their rivals to succeed.

Nintendo vs Sony vs MicrosoftHealthy competition plays to the benefit of all gamers, even Sony fans.

Some of you reading this will be die hard Sony fans, and think that Sony having a monopoly on console gaming won’t be so bad, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Competition will improve Sony’s consoles. If the Nintendo Switch were to fail, and Xbox does bow out in favor of PC, then Sony could leverage any shoddy business practice they want.

Sony wants that terrible DRM Xbox was going to have. Sony wants the PlayStation Eye as a mandatory bundle for their system. Sony wants their system to sell for $499.99. We know this as an absolute fact. The only reason they don’t have it yet, is because they had competition. If that competition doesn’t revive soon, they’ll have all of that with the PlayStation 5.

Besides not getting screwed, competition would also bring tangible benefits to Sony’s customers. For starters, subscription prices would drop, instead of increasing like they have been. Sony would have to provide cross-network play, or their console would lose out on social gaming thanks to the combined install bases of their competitors surpassing their own. Finally, backwards compatibility and a “classics store” would likely become an actual feature again.

As it is right now, Sony is holding the industry back in favor of profits. Consumers are losing out on features they want, because Sony has no reason to provide them. Gamers need someone to administer Sony a pride obliterating bitch slap, ASAP.

60 thoughts on “E3 2017 Impressions: Sony is now holding back the gaming industry”

      1. Whats you point? EVERY company on the planet has patents that they have never used…..Jesus you people are stupid, just because something gets patented doesn’t mean its actually going to get used, but you just go right ahead and live in your bizzaro reality where they only changed their minds because MS screwed up so badly….Maybe some of the people who have nothing better to do that scrub patents all day long should try getting a job and a life, unless its announced or implemented it doesn’t exist and looks stupid to cry about it

      2. I don’t understand how you think Sony is dragging gaming down? They released PSVR, is that holding the industry back?

        Your point about Sony not allowing backwards compatibility is idiotic because you leave out some crucial facts. Less than 2-3% of players use backwards compatibility on xbox one, so to Sony it’s not worth the effort. The other fact you left out is that the PS3 is a completely different architecture, so not easy to emulate.(unlike 360)

        I just find most of your points to be reaching and trying to make them fit your narrative.

      3. Companies releasing new product doesn’t change the fact they’re holding beneficial features back to bolster their bottom line.They didn’t release PS VR to make you happy, they released it as an investment.

        Your BC numbers are based on wrong information, a measurement of time spent playing does not equal a specific number of people playing, and even if you were right, you’ve failed to provide why Sony shouldn’t implement these features other than they want more money.

        Exactly where are my points reaching? Every single point fit naturally because they’re the same moves every monopoly seeker pulls to try to beat the competition and try to get a better deal vs consumers.

      4. Patent doesnt mean a thing, especially if in interviews leading to the release they openly denied it. And your second part of the article is built on speculation from the ramblings of a anonymous 4chan user. What a productive use of your time in contributing to fanboy propaganda. You tool.

      5. Wait, you mean Sony denied something that would be massively unpopular in the lead up to their newest release? SHOCKING!

        Sony has the patent for the thing, and several times they’ve said themselves that they dropped it from their plans once the fans told them to with their reaction to XB1, which I’ve linked to several times throughout the article from multiple sources.

        The initial, 8 month old 4chan rumor proved so accurate that there’s a higher chance of you being eaten by a shark than there is of it being completely made up. Please note that 4chan has had legitimate, massive leaks in the past, including the entire story of FFXV leaked 6 months before the game went on sale. That’s precedence and E3 provided virtual confirmation of its authenticity.

      6. You do realize that big companies will file for patents all the time. I am not saying a filed patent isn’t proof of something. What I am saying is that it is not necessarily proof of intent.

  1. Are you serious??????

    Poor Spencer is way worse than Don Mattrick!!!
    No Remedy, No Lionhead, no real exclusives, False Advertising …. 500$(!)

    sorry but Horizon Zero Dawn destroys xbox xxx.

    God of war 4 is untouchable

    SOTC Remake = Monster Kill

    Spider-Man, Days Gone, Uncharted LL, HZD The Frozen Wilds

    True Exclusives, True Next gen.. no Minecraft4k bullshit!!!

    More is coming… (PS Experience, The Game Awards…)

    1. I agree, the PS4 has actually saved the games industry and console industry, since launch it has absolutely sold like hot cakes and may even replicate the success of the PS2. And it has the best exclusive games. The evolution of PS4 Pro gives fantastic 4K checkerboard results for the price tag and you would have to buy a PC for more than double the price to match an optimised PS4 Pro title. And Playstation Plus is best value service I have ever had, $100’s of dollars worth free quality games every year for a small subscription fee – amazing value for money. Sony is doing great things with Playstation.

  2. So Nintendo is leading the industry with 3 year old hardware with no online component until next year. No game save backups, no backwards compatibility either(And proudly refusing to even hint it’s a possibility) and the same closed door 1st party first development constructs. This is the same company that ruled with an Iron fist during the NES and SNES days. I agree crossplay is important and Sony has done it on PS4(Street Fighter V for instance). I agree they should do it but thinking those lone decision is why Sony will choke the industry to death is silly.

    As for your belief in the 4chan source, even if it’s real and Sony dissuaded Capcom from bring it to switch. It’s far more likely Sony wanted to avoid a lowest common denominator developed game coming to their console. Don’t agree? Look at Destiny 2 and Assassin’s creed: Orgins Both will have the same stats on a PS4 Pro and XBOX ONE X.

    1. Please note that nowhere in the article did I say Sony need to be beaten by Ninendo, I’m saying they need competition to keep them in line, and even provide a list of benefits that competition brings to Sony fans at the end of the article.

  3. Where I’m from, we call this whole article crap.

    You’re saying that a month after that patent was found, DAYS after the PS4 announcement, they lied… even though the lie they told came to bear at E3? And EVERY interview during that time was a lie, too? When they said they were “dancing in the aisles” because they knew they had the XB1 beat on price, that was a lie? When they said they cut the camera from the bundle to keep the price down, that was a lie?

    But we should believe your unsubstantiated “article” because… what? YOU have some sort of track record of honesty?

    If THIS is what you call “common sense gaming,” you must not be acquainted with the meaning of any of those words.

    1. Do you think Sony PR would ever come out and directly say they were on the cusp of implementing the single most unpopular idea to ever grace console gaming? I’m just wondering exactly what your crazy world must look like that you believe anyone would ever admit to wanting this.

  4. This article is built on the premise that the statement from the one anonymous user on 4chan (where reliability and truthfulness is abundant/ sarcasm) has any credibility at all. Other than that it’s all speculation and ramblings of an anti-sony maniac spreading propoganda.

    1. >own every Sony product ever made
      >nearly get Sony logo tattooed to chest
      >own more Sony games than this guy
      >want sony to have competition that will make sony better
      >anti-sony maniac

      What dumbass logic. Even if the rumor that came true was fake, that’s only 1/4 of the examples given on why Sony is in need of legitimate competition.

      1. You have given us no reason to believe any of the claims you are putting forth about yourself. Your logic that you asserting a statement about yourself therefore it is logical for us to believe you is not really fully thought through.

  5. This is why I abandoned Sony PlayStation after my PS2 died 4 years ago… I went with Xbox 360E… now, after paying attention to everything that is going on, I have decided to enter the 8th generation with the Xbox One X. I will have the most powerful console, with BC of most of my Xbox 360 games plus, now, some original Xbox games maybe KOTOR and Baldur’s Gate. Also, all multiplat games will look and play better on the X and it has games that I want coming out. Ace Combat 7, Witcher 3 Complete, Elder Scrolls Online, Elder Scrolls VI eventually, Halo 6, Call of Duty WWII and Star Wars Battlefront 2, Vikings: Wolves of Midgard, Victor Vran, and they just signed deals for exclusives that will be available in a couple years… The X is only $499 and comes with a 4K Blue Ray player… Plus consumer and gamer friendly business practices.

  6. Your conclusion seems to be flawed. If everything you say about Sony is true, the solution is for gamers to say “we’ve had enough” and buy a different console. I don’t see why that other console would be the switch though given it’s dissimilarities with the PlayStation. It seems more logical to flock to Xbox.

    1. It doesn’t matter which console it is, as long as someone becomes competitive, Sony will get better. I was highlighting the Switch because it’s literally the last option, now that we know Xbox is out of the race, and it actually has strong sales and a method to comete with Sony. The fact that it’s so different means Sony has a tougher time competing with it. Nintendo isn’t competing in areas where Sony’s strongest, like Xbox tried to, it’s competing by offering stuff Sony actually can’t.

      1. Except that the switch is not really trying to compete with Playstation 4. You even allude to this in this very article. Clearly indicating that the switch is the successor to the 3ds.

      2. Guy I played and reviewed video games as a living, I’m going to have my bases covered.

        There’s some proof about my claims.

        The Switch is competing with the PS4.
        I pointed out that Nintendo’s handheld Pokemon hasn’t made the leap yet because the Switch doesn’t yet have the install base to support it, that has nothing to do with whether or not Switch and PS4 are competing. It will have many of the same multiplats from Japan, and if the FIFA entry sells well, Western third parties will be all over it.

        I’m not going to butt heads with you over Sony’s DRM plans, there are several links to different sources in the article, and a link to the patent itself. Everything is there short of a secret recording of Shawn Layden monologue-ing evilly to himself about DRM.

      3. Dude. I didn’t want you to try to prove it, because you literally can’t. I was rather offering the idea expecting people to take your word for stuff like that is simple minded. BTW sharing a picture on the internet means nothing.

        That article about the switch proves nothing of the sort. It only talks about the age groups that the consoles appeal to. That has nothing to do with competing over the same space. You see, the Switch doesn’t offer the experiences that PS4 or Xbox One does. Rather it is trying to create a different niche for itself.

        Assuming that western third parties will be all over it is quite naive. Where is the objective reasoning behind that? Come on. Use some of that common sense you so proudly display.

        “I’m not going to butt heads with you over Sony’s DRM plans, there are several links to different sources in the article, and a link to the patent itself. Everything is there short of a secret recording of Shawn Layden monologue-ing evilly to himself about DRM.”

        You don’t get it. My point is that even if it’s true. Your argument is still based on an assumption without any objective reasoning. You cannot claim knowledge, logic and common sense when you skip the logic and common sense part of it.

      4. I highly suspect you don’t know what logic or common sense are if you think I’m skipping them at any point.

        The Switch article proves that Switch is selling a video game console to the same main demographic as the PS4 and XB1, meaning they’re in direct competition. Just because Switch is leveraging portability doesn’t mean it’s not also in the same market as a regular home console.

        Objective reasoning for Western third parties loving a successful Switch: Any platform with a large install base leads to more sales for multiplats. More games are including in-app purchases, and the Nintendo Switch is with users far more often, meaning Switch players bring more opportunities for micro-transactions/DLC.

        If Sony filed the patent, and admitted to changing their plans because of XB!’s backlash, it’s safe to say they want DRM if they can get away with it. Sony has a huge lead right now, and is in the process of wringing as much money out of fans as they can get, showing they will implement or hold back any service/feature they can to improve their bottom line. If Sony had a true monopoly, and wanted to make the most money, then DRM would be the single largest increase to Sony’s income. That’s why DRM is all but guaranteed if someone doesn’t push Sony this gen.

  7. “Sony is holding the industry back” what a load of crap! Sony is doing just fine and their sales prove it. Backwards compatibility, c’mon give me a break! I personally have never bought a new system hoping it was going to play my old games because to me, it’s stupid. If I wanted to keep playing my old games I’d…..
    ….. well I don’t know, keep my old system. I’m not going to put a bunch of hours on my new system playing old games! And as far as cross -play goes, not playing with Xbox or PC or switch has ABSOLUTELY no affect on me nor will it to the majority of PS4 users because let’s face it we have a massive pool of players to game with and if our friends chose Xbox, well that’s their bad! Your headline is ridiculous because in more ways than one Sony IS the industry! Good gaming to all!

    1. You’re the type of person this article is mentioning, the kind that blindly accepts Sony half assing it and wants them to have a monopoly out of blind fanboy-ism. I Try re-reading the last section at very least. Your head is so far up Sony’s ass that you’re justifying them not providing available features to you out of misplaced belief that a giant company is your friend.

      And learn some economies, having one company be the industry is universally terrible.

      1. What the hell are you talking about? What is Sony half assing? I Never said I want Sony to have a monopoly you idiot! ” In more ways than one Sony IS the industry” simply means they have WAY more firepower and nobody is a threat! And my heads up Sony’s ass? Wtf? Why because they aren’t offering me shit I don’t care about? Lmfao!!!

  8. Backwards compatibility is the most overrated and overstated feature in the history of games consoles.

    Play them on the machine they were intended for in these cases. Simple. Really I could just stop there.

    But you buy a new machine to play new games. You have old games so keep the old hardware. There are so many (entirely whiny/entitled) little excuses against this but the fact is backwards compatibility is never a guarantee and you shouldn’t buy a brand new console based heavily on this premise. It’s a luxury at best.

    Sure it can be nice, it could be convenient, but it’s just not crucial to most gamers, especially if they learnt to not throw out their old systems. It’s not Sony at fault, it is YOUR expectations at fault. Fix them.

    1. The whole idea of competition is that it IMPROVES those competing. The article is about Sony’s lack of competition hurting the industry by preventing new player friendly standards. Nobody in these comments has provided one reason as to why, say Cross-play, shouldn’t be an industry wide feature. If there was a company competitive with Sony, it would already be universal, but since no one can challenge Sony, they’re holding it back from becoming the standard, because it hurts their bottom line.

      1. You’re bitching about Sony………. Now read your comment section, I’ll wait……… Have you noticed the pissed off Sony fans? Cross play between PS4 and Xbox = bloods and crips playing games together, an extremely hostile environment blaming the other console for all the problems a game has, them damn ponies, xbots blah blah blah it would suck and that IS a reason why cross play shouldn’t​ be across the industry!

      2. If anyone knows how to maintain their bottom line then its Microsoft. Why do you think more than 40% of Microsoft employees are Indian?

        Sony hasn’t done anything wrong. It’s just business as usual. It isn’t Sony’s fault if Nintendo and Microsoft can’t keep up with them.

  9. Thanks that was a good read, shame to see the fanboys out in full force to defend Sony (though If they read the article they’d know it wasn’t an attack but an observation)

    Do you feel the switch is worth jumping into now or in 12 months time?

  10. what do you mean a “watered down” MH game? Have you ever played one of those overrated garbage games? They are simplistic as hell. All you do in those games is grind till you get bored of it, that’s why MH has never been popular anywhere but in Japan just like those trashy Musou games. Not to mention this franchise was born in Playstation anyway.

    1. Monster Hunter has always been about using planning and well thought out combat to take on a creature that’s stronger than you. The slow clunk movements and big dumb animations were there to punish players for sloppy play. Streamlining the player’s abilities make the combat less tense. Some people see the ability to grappling hook recovery, the new shooting mechanics, camouflage, etc., as dumbing the game down, which is why some will call it watered down.

  11. “Sony wants that terrible DRM Xbox was going to have. Sony wants the PlayStation Eye as a mandatory bundle for their system. Sony wants their system to sell for $499.99. We know this as an absolute fact. The only reason they don’t have it yet, is because they had competition. If that competition doesn’t revive soon, they’ll have all of that with the PlayStation 5.”

    How are they gonna have all that with the PS5? Do you realize that a new consoles would mean starting from zero again?

    1. If they push the other out of the industry, they won’t have to compete with anyone, and thus can do whatever they want with their next console.

      Furthermore, they’re indoctrinating fanboys. Just look at these comments, filled with Sony fans screaming how they don’t even need all the nice stuff that Sony could give them, but don’t. They don’t need cheaper PS+, they don’t need better PS+ games, they don’t need crossplay, they don’t need the ability to play their old games, they don’t need the ability to resell their games, they don’t need a PS5 without PS Eye.

  12. “We know it’s super easy to port games to the Nintendo Switch, especially if the game runs on Unreal Engine 4, so why are these games not coming to the platform? Dragon Ball FighterZ, Tekken 7, Code Vein, Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite, Valkyria Revolution, Ace Combat 7, the list goes on and on. None of those games are particularly demanding, save for Tekken 7, and even it could easily be scaled down if they dialed back the garish effects.”

    Do you even understand what you’re saying? Because to me it sounds like you’re the one that wants to hold back gaming for the sake of the Switch and its under-powered hardware. The Switch’s GPU isn’t even 500 gflops, it’s more like 400-something, and let’s not even talk about its pitiful, almost non-existent, Cpu or the fact that the system is even weaker when not docked.

    1. Games are scalable. There’s no difference between an UE4 game on PS4 and Switch aside from how much the effects are scaled down on the Switch port, which does literally nothing to hurt the PS4 version.

  13. I’m not a big commentor in general, but having thoroughly enjoyed your article, and then reading how much hate you were getting in the comments (as entertaining as many of them were), I have to say, well done.

    A great read with much to think about. I, like yourself, don’t believe in an allegiance to any console, I’d say if anything I’ve been going the strongest on all the xboxes, but have now made a the switch to the PS4 pro and I’m enjoying myself more than I have in a long while. But am slowly becoming more and more interested in the switch.

    I honestly believe a lot of what you’re saying here, I don’t think it’s hard to imagine the Sony PR spin doctors seeing an opportunity to kick Microsoft when they were down post conference, any company would do it, its dirty but savvy business.

    The monster hunter thing is also day to day business I’d imagine, not the type we hear about everyday but the type that goes on behind closed doors every day.

    Anyway, great work!

  14. How people don’t understand the main key basic story here (no completion makes for terrible business practices) is beyond me.

    In any industry if one company has outperformed all its competitors to the point it’s completely unchallenged, there’s nothing to stop it from doing whatever it likes. And to imagine this potentially effecting the shape of your PS5 is well within the realm of reality.

    It’s nothing for you all to get upset about. Hahaha!

  15. What’s up with all the fanboys commenting on the article? Are you guys all blind? I wish people would stop seeing things in black and white and try to percieve the point the author is trying to make. It’s a very common problem and a mistake pretty much every market leader does eventually, regardless of Industry, and has nothing to do which console/company/platform you currently think is the best.
    Well written article James and a problem not spoken about enough.

  16. So you’re bitching about two features that the PS4 doesn’t have and all of a sudden Sony is holding back the gaming industry? WTF? So did they hold it back at the start of this gen? I don’t give a shit about BC or crossplay. Is it good to have the option of BC and crossplay? Sure it is. But most people don’t give a shit about BC and/or crossplay and sales reflect that. If they did, they would’ve gotten an Xbox One and not PS4. People bought the PS4 because they want to play NEW GAMES.

    At the start of this gen, the PS4 wasn’t going to have BC. Did that stop people from purchasing it? Did that stop you? But Sony is holding the industry back, right? At the end of the day, I don’t give a shit what Sony does. As long as they keep pumping out new games, I’m good. And so does most people.

  17. I find a lot of this to be reaching. The one thing you forgot to include is when Sony reached out to Microsoft to try and push Cross-Platform play when FFXI came out and Microsoft said no. This was during the time that Microsoft was at the top and now that Microsoft isn’t leading in the market anymore suddenly it’s Sony that’s holding the market back. Also, Nintendo will have it’s own Monster Hunter game on the Switch. Monster Hunter XX will be available in Japan and they mentioned that XX at this time they didn’t have any information in relation to a XX US release. When you’re trying to make a point, don’t include rumors because it’s very true that World requires too much power to run on the Switch.

    It’s Microsoft’s fault that they are in the position they are in. Microsoft needs to invest in exclusives instead of cancelling the exclusives we are excited for *Cough* Scalebound *Cough*. It’s healthy for competition that both sides create reasons to buy their consoles and without exclusives… power doesn’t matter because I can go buy every game that Microsoft announced on PC where the real power is.

    Nintendo has exclusives that people love. Sony has exclusives people love. Microsoft has exclusives that people love but NOT ENOUGH to drive the high end console market.

    I do agree that Sony needs competition to keep them in line but unfortunately… Microsoft isn’t keeping up anymore. If they announced that Anthem was a exclusive with NO WINDOWS 10 RELEASE… I’d buy a One S or MAYBE a One X just for that experience but I can play it on PC and PS4 just fine.

    I had more points but I forgot them as I was typing this up. lol

    1. 1) The article literally starts by pointing out that this happens with every single company when they get to the top, not just Sony.

      2) Monster Hunter World does not require too much power for the Switch, and even saying that proves how little you know about gaming. Games are scalable, every single one of them. All they have to do is drop the Switch version’s resolution and possibly cut some effects and it’s golden. Switch can run FIFA at 720p 60fps with PBR, it can sure as hell manage MHW.

      3) No one is saying it isn’t Microsoft’s fault they’ve fallen so low, it was totally their fault. That doesn’t change the fact that it sucks that they’re no longer competitive, so Sony can increase PS+ costs, release lesser PS+ games, refuse crossplay, refuse BC, refuse digital refunds, refuse proper game sharing, etc. Their refusal to provide these features and implement them as an industry wide standard is Sony holding the industry back for personal gain. Something they wouldn’t be able to do with legitimate competitors.

      1. I am going to focus on number 3.

        Release lesser PS+ games – lesser as in lower quality or less games?
        if the former that is a subjective opinion and would therefore not be part of a objective discussion. If the latter it is simply a lie. Ps+ now gives you Ps4 games, Ps3 games and Ps Vita games. You might not own or play on all those platforms. However objectively you would now be getting more games, not less.

        The idea that cross-play and backwards compatibility is simply something you refuse is quite preposterous. These are things that needs to be invested in.

        Digital refunds and game sharing as industry standards? Digital refunds will probably be a thing within the next 10 years regardless of what Sony does. This is governed by state policy, not companies. Digital game sharing however I am not sure we will ever see as a industry standard, and I don’t necessarily think it is as healthy to the industry as you do.

        The idea that Sony is holding something back because of lack of competition is kind of backwards logic. Competition would be healthy, yes, but you cannot blame companies because they are successful.

        The reason Sony is dominating this gen is not so much because they are better than the competitors as much as it is their competitors have decided to not compete. Last E3 showed how Microsoft had decided to move their focus from selling consoles to establishing a digital storefront.

        Nintendo dropped out with the release of the Wii. Which was probably one of the weirdest success – failures in the history of the industry.

      2. Lesser as in less valuable or less content. As competition fades, so does the need to put the bigger games in the PS+ deals. Just look at the difference in price of games for the PS3, when XB360 was winning, vs PS4 since the console race has become a farce. In PS+ third year on PS3, we got Spec Ops The Line, Vanquish, Ninja Gaiden, Sleeping Dogs, Deus Ex HR, RE5 Gold, Tekken 6, Demon’s Souls, Uncharted 3, BF3, Hitman Absolution, SotC, Dragon’s Dogma DA, and Borderlands 2 all in a single year, on top of the smaller games.

        Crossplay does not need to be invested in. It can be implemented with a literal press of the button according to PSyonix, no need for any investment whatsoever, Sony just refuses to say Okay.

        So you’re saying Digital refunds are going to be the standard eventually, and we’re just waiting on the largest console-holder in the industry to implement the feature. Almost like they’re holding back the industry…

        We can’t blame companies for being successful, but we can still point out their shitty practices. That doesn’t mean we want them to fail, it means we want competition to rise up and make them better.

  18. I’m a Sony fanboy. Your article makes sense and I do agree that now that Sony is at the top, some of the things they do will be monopolistic in nature but alas I just don’t care.

    It’s exactly what Microsoft would do and did do in the past when they were in Sony’s position so its fair play, and I don’t blame them, why shouldn’t Sony make as much money as possible. They are a business after all.

    I did want to play one or two old PS3 games on my PS4 but since I can’t do it and Sony keeps pumping out kick ass exclusives, I don’t mind it.

    There are a lot of us on PS4, we already have more than enough people to play with and if Sony’s customers don’t care about cross play then Sony has no reason to enable it.
    Microsoft players can play with pc players and the folks on switch. Everybody wins.
    Sucks for Microsoft but this is a feature that we don’t mind not having.

    I don’t see the switch being a threat to Sony’s dominance because Sony players and Nintendo switch players are inherently different kinds of people. If Sony is losing players then those players are most likely moving to the xbox.
    So unless Sony releases a new handheld device then they have nothing to fear from Nintendo cause switch players wouldn’t have bought a PS4 anyway.

    Microsoft isn’t going anywhere, Sony can’t just force out the competition just like that and even if Microsoft does exit the console market I don’t think Sony will implement arrogant things like drm and forced accessories.
    Sony fanboys are loyal but we aren’t stupid, if Sony does something like that then even die hard fans will give them the middle finger and get a pc.

    It’s possible that Sony will fail because of these anti consumer practices but I don’t see that happening man, Sony PlayStations’ customer satisfaction levels are off the charts.
    As Long as they keep giving us these exclusives then we’ll happily drink the playstation cool aid.
    Just look at the comments, the few of us that know about these things just don’t care and actively defend Sony’s actions.

    Nice article and although I agree with everything you said, I hate to break it to you but
    Sony is trash…and so am I 😊

  19. For the fanboys in the denial stage about Sony, let’s remind a little of their arrogance in past years:

    ”With the DS, it’s fair to say that Nintendo stepped out of the technical race and went for a feature differentiation with the touch screen, but I fear that it won’t have a lasting impact beyond that of a gimmick – so the long-lasting appeal of the platform is at peril as a direct result of that… Nintendo knows its target audience, because it has really narrowed that down; and it’s pretty much defined by a boy or girl’s ability to admire Pokemon.” – (Phil Harrison, 2005)

    “If you can find a PS3 anywhere in North America that’s been on shelves for more than five minutes, I’ll give you 1200 bucks for it.” (Jack Tretton on the PS3 launch, 2007)

    “Microsoft does not concern us. Microsoft is not a technology company.”(Nobuyuki Idei, Sony chief corporate adviser, 2007)

    ”We’re not going to equip [the PS3 with] an HDD by default, because no matter how much [capacity] we put in it, it won’t be enough.” (Ken Kutaragi on why he was hesitant to include a hard drive, 2006)

    ”some of our competitors, seemingly, are losing the plot” (Jack Buser, head of Sony DP, shortly after the company spent a significant portion of their E3 2012 Press Briefing focussing on the Wonderbook)

    “It’s difficult to talk about Nintendo, because we don’t look at their console as being a competitor.” (Kaz Hirai, 2009)

    ”The environment where PlayStation wins is best for this industry” (Jack Tretton, 2009)

    ”We don’t care”. (Ken Kutaragi provides Sony’s response to the successes of the Wii and 360, 2006)

    1. Exactly, Bruno. I definitely have to agree with you & James about it.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if Sony goes through what Microsoft tried to do with the Xbox One. If they do, here’s what’s going to happen:

      1.) More & more hardcore gamers will instantly switch to PC gaming, making it even more popular than ever before while a lot of casuals will be picking up the Nintendo Switch (or Nintendo’s next gaming platform after that, if there is one).

      2.) Sony will be forced to exit the gaming industry, in which they could go bankrupt (or near bankrupt) because of the PS5’s huge failure. They couldn’t even afford for the PS4 to fail (Andrew House even said that), because they lost so much money because of the PS3 & because the rest of their studios that are crippling financially (& they still are).

      3.) Nintendo & Japanese 3rd party publishers will start to slowly reclaim the market as a whole outside of Japan, just like back in generations 3-5. The only reason why they’ve “lost” to the western 3rd party market in generations 6 & 7 is because of Microsoft & because of the higher costs of HD development, in which even Japanese 3rd party publishers & even Nintendo have now started to get the hang of it’s development ever since they have gotten their hands on Unreal Engine 4.

      Just my thoughts about it.

      1. Sorry, meant to say that “& because that most of Sony’s own divisions that are crippling financially”.

        Please edit that in.

      2. Edit 2: “Just like back in generations 3-6”, not 3-5. Plus “The only reason why they’ve “lost” to the western 3rd party market in generations 6 & 7” should be changed to generations 7 & 8.

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