For well over a decade, gamers have been debating with each other about which of the two biggest gaming consoles, PlayStation or Xbox, is the better device. Meanwhile, PC gamers continue to tout the PC as the ever-present superior platform, reminding console gamers of the better graphics, computing power, and title releases available on PC that can’t be found on console.
It’s no wonder then that both Sony and Microsoft are breaking from their regular six-to-seven-year console cycle and introducing new, upgraded devices just three short years after releasing the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One respectively. As gaming PCs become more affordable, many console gamers may be looking to jump ship and join the ranks of PC gamers. And based on a few comments by PlayStation president Andrew House, Sony and Microsoft are both hoping to keep gamers on consoles for as long as possible with the new mid-lifecycle consoles.
Speaking with The Guardian, House was candid about the role he hopes the PlayStation 4 Pro will play in keeping gamers on console:
I saw some data that really influenced me. It suggested that there’s a dip mid-console lifecycle where the players who want the very best graphical experience will start to migrate to PC, because that’s obviously where it’s to be had. We wanted to keep those people within our ecosystem by giving them the very best and very highest [performance quality]. So the net result of those thoughts was PlayStation 4 Pro – and, by and large, a graphical approach to game improvement.
The discovery House made isn’t a surprise to most gamers. Over the last decade, technology has advanced quickly and only seems to be speeding up. The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One were released in 2013 and both are already behind the curve compared to the graphic and processing power of many similarly priced gaming PCs.
At the moment, the two new flagship consoles, the PS4 Pro and Project Scorpio, look to bring the console generation back in line with most gaming PCs. The new PS4 Pro boasts 4.2 teraflops of GPU performance, along with 4K video quality (as long as owners aren’t planning to watch 4K Blu-rays). Microsoft’s Project Scorpio, set to debut next year, will come with 4K video capabilities and 6 teraflops of computing power. While those are some impressive specs, gamers will no doubt be anxious to see how they stand up against PCs over the next couple years.
One of the most useful features of a gaming PC is the fact that owners can easily switch out components to keep the whole system updated over time. Additionally, those looking to enhance their experience by spending a little extra cash are able to do so any time they wish. That’s not the case with consoles, and is one of the biggest factors working against the console industry.
That said, it’s a bit surprising to see Sony continuing on the path of a set device with no opportunities for upgrades with the PlayStation 4 Pro. It’ll be interesting to see if Microsoft follows the same closed-system design for Project Scorpio, or if the Xbox maker will make the device customizable over time.
What do you think of House’s comments on the PS4 Pro keeping players from jumping ship to PC? Will the strategy work?
Source: The Guardian