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Sony makes the same mistake the Xbox almost killed

Sony's PlayStation 4 is by far the most popular and best-selling gaming console in the world.

Over 91 million PS4 have been sold and are tens of millions of units ahead of the competition. From the three major manufacturers of video game consoles – Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo – Sony leads a comfortable leadership.

But video game consoles work with cycles, and nobody stays at the top forever.

Every five to ten years, new consoles are coming from each of the three big companies. And every five to ten years they play musical chairs, who will "win" this generation. Sony and Microsoft are in direct competition from the three companies, with both companies producing very similar game consoles capable of playing many of the same games as their competitors.

And that has been the case for the last 1

5 to 20 years.

The PlayStation 4 (left) and Xbox One (right) are very similar in terms of performance and performance.
Sony / Microsoft

With the PlayStation 2 in the year 2000 Sony dominated the video game market; Microsoft's original Xbox was hardly a competitor. However, with the PlayStation 3 in 2006, Sony lost its dominance in the video game market. Microsoft's Xbox 360 has become the standard for video game consoles of its generation. This remained until 2013, when Sony and Microsoft introduced the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One respectively.

With the PlayStation 4, Sony is back on top.

Microsoft's Xbox One is good, as is the PlayStation 3, but it's a far cry from Sony's PS4. And now the game of music chairs has begun to stir up rumors and even some official talks between Sony and Microsoft about the next generation of game consoles.

With such a big lead, it is losing the game of Sony – and there are some worrying signs that Sony is repeating the same mistakes that Microsoft made in the launch of the Xbox One.


The Crossplay Debacle

"Fortnite" is the largest game in the world, and pretty much anything that runs video games is playable: your smartphone (both iOS and Android), your computer ( PC and Mac) as well as any current game console (PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch).

It is exactly the same game on all these platforms, and in many cases you can play with the players on the platform they play on – the so-called "cross-play". If you play Switch "Fortnite", you can play with users of phones and Xbox One and computers.

Until recently, there was only one important exception: PlayStation 4 players were shielded from Microsoft's Xbox One and Nintendo's Switch. Worse, if you bought stuff in "Fortnite" on PlayStation 4, none of this would have occurred if you had played the game with the same account on another platform. Pity!

After months of back and forth, after Sony repeatedly made some excuses to the fans for not allowing cross-play, the company finally gave in in September 2018.

Sony's refusal to allow cross-play not only bothered fans talking to some major game publishers. Sony – a company that has enjoyed good will with players for years after the introduction of PS4 – looked like arrogant.

It was reminiscent of Microsoft messaging around the launch of the Xbox One, which often felt like Microsoft was not listening to its most loyal fans.

Shuhei Yoshida (left) and Sony VP of Developing Relationships, Adam Boyes (right), worldwide PlayStation Studios head, starred in a cheeky Sony promotional video for the PlayStation 4.
Sony / YouTube

Xbox One ?

In early 2013, Microsoft's Xbox 360 was still the most popular and best-selling gaming console in the world. Not only was it the sales director, but the Xbox brand had evangelists – the so-called "core gaming audience" – at his side.

But in May 2013, Microsoft introduced the Xbox One in a press conference at its headquarters in Redmond, Washington. It was not good.

"This Xbox One revelation was a disaster, was not it?" At that time Kotakus Luke Plunkett wrote. A revamped "Supercut" version of the Xbox One revelation has even been made viral – providing an impressive glimpse of how Microsoft messed up the launch of Xbox One:

Here are some highlights of the catastrophic launch of the Xbox One: [19659027] The Xbox One requires a permanent Internet connection.

  • The Xbox One would not play used games – you would insert a disc, install it on the hard drive of the console, remove the disc and it would be virtually useless.
  • Each Xbox One comes with a Kinect motion sensor.
  • The Xbox One cost $ 500 at launch, or $ 100 more than the PlayStation 4.
  • Between unclear messaging (Microsoft freaked out on the first two of these four bullets and later on the third bullets), which means a big boost for non-gaming applications (the Xbox One has an HDMI input so you can connect your cable box directly to it) and an unbelievably high price ($ 500!). Xbox fans were upset .

    Can you blame them? Microsoft introduced a video game console that did not focus on video games. The company has repeatedly shown that it does not listen to its main consumers and has lost a lot of its momentum.

    And now Sony shows first signs of the same mistakes.

    The former Sony Interactive Entertainment America CEO, Shawn Layden, in 2017.
    Christian Petersen / Getty Images

    What's going on at Sony?

    In a New York Times pre-consumer electronics show in early January, Kenichiro Yoshida, CEO of Sony Corporation, had plans to integrate the hugely popular PlayStation Network – the digital backbone of PlayStation consoles – with Sony's music and film businesses set out.

    According to Yoshida, PlayStation Network is "a very strong entertainment platform for all Sony – very suitable for video and music content."

    Traditionally, Sony has separated the gaming, music and film businesses. In the coming years, these groups have been instructed to work more closely together.

    While PlayStation Network is unable to digitally purchase and manage content, this is a service designed specifically for the latest PlayStation game consoles. Although PlayStation Network could be upgraded to an "entertainment" service, should not be . Major gaming audiences have repeatedly demonstrated that they are not interested in expanding the gaming platforms.

    Look no further than Microsoft's announcement of the Xbox One – the focus on television, sports and "smart" functionality was a perfect trifecta for the console.


    Sony is trying to turn its highly popular gaming service into an "entertainment service", showing a lack of understanding as to why people love PlayStation. is handled very well by Gaming and attempts are likely to be made by its most loyal users.

    Combine that with the cross-play situation, and you have two clear signs that Sony demonstrates hubris – much like Microsoft did before and after introducing a console that many people did not want.

    Part of this had to do with Microsoft's Xbox leadership at the time, which went through many changes. Sony apparently does the same, executives are exchanged everywhere. Former PlayStation boss Shawn Layden is no longer responsible for PlayStation – now it's called John Kodera. Kenichiro Yoshida, the company's latest CEO, is the man quoted on the PlayStation Network. He was named CEO in April 2018, replacing former PlayStation chief executive officer Kaz Hirai. Yoshida's background is in finance. Nonetheless, we're still at least a year away from new Xbox and PlayStation consoles – rumors point to 2020 as the year for new hardware.

    Sony is far from where Microsoft was in this first year of the Xbox One, but recent signs point to the kind of shift we saw before launching the Xbox One at Microsoft.

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