Checkpoint News Opinion PS5

Checkpoint: As Current Generation Winners Sony Are In No Rush To Unveil PS5

Jim Ryan PS5

At well over 100 million PS4 consoles sold to date – a figure which eclipses the total global sales of Microsoft’s Xbox One and Nintendo’s Switch consoles combined, it’s certainly fair to say that Sony has ‘won’ this console generation.

Now though, as we look to the next generation of consoles, PlayStation gamers are becoming increasingly frustrated and worried at the lack of any sort of PS5 unveiling – especially as Microsoft has been freely dishing out details to all and sundry; providing welcome illumination on the detailed specs of the Xbox Series X all the way through to images of what the machine will look like at retail.

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Comparatively, thus far Sony has relied on the somewhat unorthodox strategy of drip feeding PS5 technical details through well-respected tech journal Wired – and that’s pretty much it. We have no idea what the machine looks like (rumors and ‘leaks’ notwithstanding) and neither do we really have a solid grip on the specs of the machine – let alone if Sony plans to launch one or even two PS5 models this holiday season.

Xbox Series X Spec Leak
In the time that both Sony and Microsoft have confirmed that they are working on next-gen consoles, Microsoft has given us a detailed tech breakdown of the console, the infrastructure supporting it and even what the machine will look like in the flesh when it releases later this year. Sony on the other hand has been comparatively tight-lipped – maybe that’s because they can afford to be?

In the past, I believed that Sony was locked into an industry sized game of chicken of Microsoft – that the platform holder would wait for Microsoft to tip its hat and Sony would follow suit (or vice-versa). I was clearly mistaken. Now, some three months after Microsoft has shown what the Xbox Series X will look like and a good few weeks after Phil Spencer himself confirmed everything from the number of Teraflops the machine will be capable of, to the level of cross-gen support that the console will offer, Sony has remained quiet – and that is because it can be quiet.

As the victors of the current generation of consoles, Sony are acting from a position of power. They don’t need to furiously match Microsoft announcement for announcement – they instead have the luxury of time and being proven commodity, which is something they did not have at the beginning of the current console generation when all bets were off thanks to the mixed fortunes of the PlayStation 3.

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Microsoft on the other hand have a lot to make up for and prove. Coming off a comparatively lacklustre performance this generation, they need to impress and grab the biggest portion of the consumer mindshare as quickly as they possibly can.

Despite the comparative lack of communications regarding the next PlayStation however, Sony has nonetheless made the most of everything it has communicated thus far regarding PS5.

Every announcement and news reveal about the PS5 appears akin to a surgical strike designed to create maximum impact. Take the reveal of the PS5 logo for example; seemingly a trite thing in the wider picture, the unveiling of the PS5 logo far outstripped social media impressions for the entirety of Microsoft’s Xbox Series X unveiling back in December 2019.

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While I’m sure Sony knows exactly what it’s doing, it must surely understand that the patience of consumers at large is not infinite and that the goodwill produced from what has been a stellar current console generation will only go so far – especially in the face of an increasingly aggressive and confident competitor, and one that is looking more and more like it has learnt all the right lessons from this current console generation.

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