Did Sony make a mistake revealing their launch date before Microsoft? No! No! No!
Now we know the exact date our grubby gamer hands will be able to touch the PlayStation 4, and the wait seems even longer now. Today a few news sites have editorialized Sony’s release date as a mistake. Most are saying this is an opportunity for Microsoft to take away Sony’s momentum by beating them to the punch and coming out ahead or around the blockbuster games like Call of Duty and Battlefield 4 this holiday season. However, everyone is jumping the gun a bit on calling the PlayStation 4 release date a mistake, just look at the facts.
What really happened during Sony’s announcement at Gamescom is they kept the boot on Microsoft’s throat. A $199 PS3, $199 PS Vita, and the inclusion of PS4 games at launch on PS plus indicate that Sony has prepared for almost every scenario that the Xbox One launch can pull off. Even if the Xbox One was to change yet another statement and release the last week of October, they still face the same challenge from the current console generation blockbusters like Call of Duty and Battlefield. In order for the Xbox to win over a crowd that will hold off on buying a new console because there are triple A titles that will be on the 360 they need to one up Sony’s discount program by practically giving them the games for the Xbox One and that’s not something Microsoft would do. In this regard the PlayStation discount program for the next-gen versions of popular franchises is how Sony can launch PS4 after Assassins Creed 4.
As it was announced during the Gamescom briefing, PS4 has already sold over 1 million preorders. What that means is a majority of the early adopters have already decided they’re going to pick up a PS4. The battle is really now about converting those that are waiting for Sony and Microsoft to abandon support of their current systems. On that front Microsoft has not done anything to tell gamers, “we understand you’re cautious with you’re money so here’s our solution to transition gamers…”
November 15th is as good a date as any to release a system, especially for the PlayStation 4. It’s enough time for word of mouth to spread making people who don’t buy PS4 on launch day envious enough to recant their decision in order to get them to buy during the Black Friday shopping frenzy the day after Thanksgiving. After E3, some gaming journalist were saying that Sony’s PS4 price was a reaction to Microsoft’s price announcement, but Jack Tretton has gone on record saying $399 was always their plan. So far the PlayStation 4 campaign has yet to do anything in retaliation to Xbox One, so why start now? Over the last few months Sony has shown they’ve listened to the gamers and found a way to give them what they want at a price consumers can afford. It may not have been their intention to go first but Sony has yet to deviate from their master plan and the gaming audience will appreciate that in the long run.
Obviously Microsoft still has to make their launch date announcement, and in response to Sony going first, that could very well come before the end of the week. Vegas betting odds would have Microsoft launching the Xbox One on November 1st in order to not look any weaker by rescinding yet another of their previous statements. The Xbox One is indeed far from out, Microsoft has taken all the right steps at the right time, so far, but they need to respond to these latest moves by Sony sooner than later. The window for the Xbox One to get one up on PlayStation 4 before this next-gen console war begins is rapidly closing.
Are you one of the over 1million PS4 preorders? How do you think Microsoft will retaliate to these latest Sony announcements? DId you enjoy Andrew House’s latest jab at Xbox? Let us know what you think.