If you thought they all have a modern video game system, you’re wrong. While MSFT, Nintendo, and Steam have new “current gen gaming systems,” SONY has created the future of home entertainment systems instead of just a video game box. The separation must be clear for the future as the 4K TV generation and Oculus Rift begin entering our homes.
While MSFT has been focusing on strategically advertising it’s video games at specific times (zombie games during The Walking Dead series – perfect timing and audience but this is no secret), SONY has been creating commercials that immerse the individual INTO the world of its’ entertainment system. You become the driver in Gran Turismo, you become the Dragonborn, and you become the soldier with infinite bullets and lives.
MSFT is great at creating a great online multiplayer experience for it’s XBOX users, which is good if they can keep pumping out Call of Duty’s, FIFA’s, and Battlefields. However, Sony has been setting the PS4 up as a necessity in every home as your go to source for entertainment.
Even though Microsoft will probably still win in terms of it’s online multiplayer service (which still seems to be a major focus today) I feel Sony’s overall strategy may be more sound into the future with a major focus on creating a social community. It will provide the great multiplayer experience, and then add on top of it. Just take a look at the new Playstation Home which is basically a modern day sims or GTA V without all the violence, a place to go once gamers get bored of gaming and want to fake interact. Now I’m not a supporter of social interaction alone in your own home through a medium. However I do see why and how some people may need or enjoy this, especially with the systems audience.
What Sony has created isn’t just a great entertainment system, but it is also a tool of study. Sony’s overall strategy with Playstation Plus, together with all of its’ new features is going to be a way to study behavior, and economics of a virtual world which may provide a wealth of knowledge to the real world. While Microsoft may be putting out statistics on how many bullets are shot in an hour of CoD, Sony will be able to provide statistics on the spending patterns of consumers thus enabling greater future profits, for themselves and anyone else willing to pay for this sort of information.
Microsoft will probably be good at allowing a person to play the same 3 types of games (racing, shooting, and sports) with lots of people somewhat successfully. Sony on the other hand is creating a virtual universe that can be a topic of economic and behavioral study.