It’s all in the Game: Console Updates for Players
For those of you who were expecting the launch of the PlayStation 5, it may be surprising to learn that this particular release is most likely years away. Before you enter into a state of panic, however, this does not mean that Sony are not planning any new releases before 2016 is over... In fact, the 7th September will see the launch of the PS4 Neo, which represents a mid-generation upgrade on the latest console and introduces ground-breaking 4K graphics. While the precise specification of this device has remained a closely guarded secret, a recently-released image is thought to showcase a slim-line version of the PS4 with a powerful, 500 GB hard drive.
What Else does Sony have up its sleeve for 2016?
Sony only confirmed the rumours surrounding the launch of a mid-generation, PlayStation Neo days before the E3 2016, while also confirming that the device would remain under wraps until its official release. It is being initially marketed as a complimentary product that is intended for use alongside the PS4, although this is a risky proposition given its cost and status as a standalone device. With both platforms likely to be sold through the lifecycle and until the release of the PlayStation 5, there is a danger that even loyal gamers may feel a little cheated. As if this was not enough, recent reports have also cast light on the rumours that Sony’s September 7th launch will see the release of two products rather than one. More specifically, it is suggested that the upcoming launch event will see the brand release the PS4 Slim, which will provide a portable and slimmed-down alternative for casual gamers. Leaked image of the PS4 Slim Make no mistake; this represents an assault on all fronts from the console gaming giants, as they look to dominate the market and optimise sales ahead of Christmas.
What about the Competition? How will Microsoft Respond?
While it would be inaccurate to suggest that rivals Microsoft had responded in kind, they have taken steps to compete aggressively with Sony new releases. While the brand’s so-called Project Scorpio (or the launch of the Xbox 2 as it will eventually be known) has a proposed launch date of next summer, Microsoft have been busy upgrading their existing platform and merging the existing Xbox and Windows Stores into a single, purposeful entity. Players should expect to see progressive upgrades made to the Xbox One and its affiliated app, which will draw the online community of gamers closer together and usher in an age of cross-platform gameplay across consoles and Windows 10 devices. Later in the year we will also see Cortana arrive on the Xbox One platform, alongside the aforementioned unification of alternative game stores. There is a clear theme being established by Microsoft here; as the brand look to replicate the fluidity of mobile and PC gaming without increasing the cost to players.
Who will Win the Battle of the Consoles?
In some respects, the absence of a PlayStation 5 or Xbox 2 launch makes this renewal of hostilities between Sony and Microsoft something of a phoney war. Rather like two boxers sparring and trading jabs before their fight explodes into life, these two console giants appear to be testing the market and laying the foundation for future campaigns rather than engaging in all-out war. While it may seem as though Sony have adopted the more aggressive marketing tack, however, Microsoft’s more studied and thoughtful approach could reap dividends in the end. After all, gamers are more switched-on and price conscious than ever before, while the advent of flexible and freemium mobile gaming has also created an affordable, recreational alternative. In this respect, Microsoft’s holistic approach and focus on cross-platform gaming appears to be more in tune with the modern market, whereas Sony’s launch of a mid-generation upgrade that is similar to the PS4 runs the risk of disarming customers and deterring them in equal measure. And of course you could always get your game on at Royal Vegas via your PC or on your mobile device!