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Sony's plan to compete with Xbox: Stay the course

ChuckeRearmed

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Sunset Overdrive, Quantum Break (they had money to spend.(trust me bro)
None of them were the purchased time exclusives. Ironically the launch titles of Xbox Ones were better than PS4 but then....

PlayStation didn't have the budget that they have now. So I don't know what your point is.
Nah, Playstation has always have bigger budget than Xbox - they were always have a good support from Sony (though Sony like wasting money of its movies but whatever). The fact that Xbox was not even considered a separate entity but was thrown under Windows tells everything you need to know. You just should understand the scale of MS - its "Playstation" was literally just a division under another division. While Playstation was one of 4 pillars (or maybe 3) of Sony. Not the same level of importance. Like at all. To draw parallels - Xbox was for MS the same thing as PS Now for Playstation.

A good thing that MS woke up and stopped chasing Sony and instead went their own way.

We are running in circles in our discussion.
 
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Reality Czar

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JaksGhost

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didn’t Sony just close there studio in favor of having purchased stuidos like Naughty Dog and Insomniac making there games? Glass houses and all…
Naughty Dog has been making games exclusive to PlayStation since 96 with Insomniac closely following with only a handful of games being on the competitors platform. These are exclusive relationships that have lasted more than 25 years. It's not the same.
 
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Sony doesn't need to change anything to compete that they aren't already doing. Sony and MS can both have tremendous success and achieve it in different ways. I like that MS has a different approach.
 
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Tg89

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It comes from the number of AAA studios each have. Games take time and they will have a lot to show for it.

We'll see. It's not like they just acquired all these studios yesterday. They've had a number of them for quite some time with little to nothing to show. Turn10 is the only one that's produced with any consistency. They bought Rare at arguably the peak of their success and have managed to squeeze out one decent game in ~20 years. They allowed 343 to turn their most valuable IP into an internet punchline. Coalition hasn't made much noise with Gears.

From an outside perspective Sony seems better at managing the talent they have. I guess if Microsoft throws enough money in the right directions they can overcome that, but their batting average is pretty low right now.
 
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Its a hell of a lot easier than creating multiple studios.

You'd need to find a place for all the employees to work, then you'd need to find enough employees with a variety of different backgrounds of training in generally the same location. Then you'd have pay the rent and salaries. Then the employees would have to get together just to brain storm a game. Haven't even begun on working on games yet.

Or just hire third party devs to make some games
 

Agent X

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Xbox did not had the budget it has right now. It is not even a secret nowadays.

I do feel that people trying to disprove that Xbox was underfunded trying to justify why Sony cannot make the same big moves as MS, trying to blame MS for not playing fair and so on. People has been waiting for years for MS to start acting like it is a big company. Glad that is finally happening.

You're saying that Microsoft's game division was "underfunded", but were they really?

Microsoft paid $375 million for Rare back in 2002, according to their own press release. That's a large sum even by today's standards, but was enormous by 2002 standards.

The problem wasn't that Microsoft was unwilling to open their wallet and spend large sums of money, but rather that the competition was taking less money and spending it more wisely.

This is why some people here aren't fazed when Microsoft fans toss around this lofty $7.5 billion dollar figure, as if that amount alone is supposed to impress them. We've been down this road before. We don't want to hear about how much money Microsoft is spending. We want to see them manage their investments more wisely, to produce better games that will satisfy a hungry gaming audience. We want results.
 

Clear

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You wouldn't think from the article's title that Playstation has maintained a dominating lead over Xbox for the last 8 years!

It never ceases to amaze me how bullish people are about Xbox when its never really been that competitive outside of the few years where Sony seemed hell-bent on trying to commit seppuku by any available means. At which time it was Nintendo who were actually the market leader.
 
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MacReady13

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Sony just need to keep pumping out the amazing exclusives. No need to get excited and react to Microsoft. Sony are that far ahead of the game it’s not funny. Just keep doing what you’re doing.
 
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ChuckeRearmed

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The problem wasn't that Microsoft was unwilling to open their wallet and spend large sums of money, but rather that the competition was taking less money and spending it more wisely.
Sony could spend more money because due to market leader they have that privilege.
But considering how now it is wasting money trying to prevent the games to appear on Game Pass, it won't be that easy for Sony anymore.
 
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ZehDon

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Why would anyone think that Sony would change course? Their strategy with the PS4 created not only of the best consoles of all time, but one of the most financially successfully consoles of all time. Instead of going "Crazy Ken", they've settled into their clearly winning strategy with their proven team of winners and they're ready to go another round in the ring. On the other side of the aisle, Microsoft was forced to change its strategy because they tried playing the game Sony's way, and Sony fucking annihilated them. The Xbone blew Microsoft's incredible gains from the Xbox 360, and they had to re-build their brand. Microsoft are doing amazing right now, but as Sony has demonstrated, it all comes down to the games. Hopes and dreams will only carry them so far - they've got to deliver the goods.

Where Sony may hit a wall is in a year or two, when Microsoft's exclusives are releasing. If those exclusives - Starfield, Halo Infinite, Forza Horizon 5 - fail to hit the mark, Sony's strategy keeps winning and Sony laughs all the way to the bank. However, if Microsoft's titles land as well as Sony's exclusives, Sony has a major problem: Gamepass. If I can get incredible, top-tier, industry leading games on a subscription service, rather than paying AUD$125.00 per title on PlayStation, Xbox has a value proposition that Sony simply cannot match. Sony has shown stiff reluctance to entertain a more robust subscription offering - Jim Ryan said he believed their games are too special for such a service. If Microsoft's strategy works, Sony will fall behind, and that's when they'll have to change their strategy.
 

Agent X

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Where Sony may hit a wall is in a year or two, when Microsoft's exclusives are releasing. If those exclusives - Starfield, Halo Infinite, Forza Horizon 5 - fail to hit the mark, Sony's strategy keeps winning and Sony laughs all the way to the bank. However, if Microsoft's titles land as well as Sony's exclusives, Sony has a major problem: Gamepass. If I can get incredible, top-tier, industry leading games on a subscription service, rather than paying AUD$125.00 per title on PlayStation, Xbox has a value proposition that Sony simply cannot match.

These are very good points. This is also the reason why Sony absolutely should "stay the course. They've already got an impressive set of development studios, which are operating like well-oiled machines. They don't need to buy more studios right now. They just need to ensure that the studios they already have are able to crank out great games frequently and consistently.

I also have some doubts about what a subscription service looks like when future first-party games are strictly pledged to it on day of release. Some people appear to expect (or at least hope) that they'll get games of the caliber of God of War, Spider-Man, or Ghost of Tsushima each and every month. That's the picture that Microsoft (and some of their most ardent supporters) are fond of painting. That's what they want you to believe, but that hasn't been demonstrated in reality.

If Microsoft has been struggling to release games of that caliber onto retail shelves more than once a year, then why do we expect this to suddenly change now when they're practically giving them away? I have a hunch that "pledged day one" games will be scaled down and restricted in scope (more like a demo), and require the player to fork out considerable cash for DLC/microtransactions if they want to bulk them up to the level of Sony's blockbusters.
 
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Tg89

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Why would anyone think that Sony would change course? Their strategy with the PS4 created not only of the best consoles of all time, but one of the most financially successfully consoles of all time. Instead of going "Crazy Ken", they've settled into their clearly winning strategy with their proven team of winners and they're ready to go another round in the ring. On the other side of the aisle, Microsoft was forced to change its strategy because they tried playing the game Sony's way, and Sony fucking annihilated them. The Xbone blew Microsoft's incredible gains from the Xbox 360, and they had to re-build their brand. Microsoft are doing amazing right now, but as Sony has demonstrated, it all comes down to the games. Hopes and dreams will only carry them so far - they've got to deliver the goods.

Where Sony may hit a wall is in a year or two, when Microsoft's exclusives are releasing. If those exclusives - Starfield, Halo Infinite, Forza Horizon 5 - fail to hit the mark, Sony's strategy keeps winning and Sony laughs all the way to the bank. However, if Microsoft's titles land as well as Sony's exclusives, Sony has a major problem: Gamepass. If I can get incredible, top-tier, industry leading games on a subscription service, rather than paying AUD$125.00 per title on PlayStation, Xbox has a value proposition that Sony simply cannot match. Sony has shown stiff reluctance to entertain a more robust subscription offering - Jim Ryan said he believed their games are too special for such a service. If Microsoft's strategy works, Sony will fall behind, and that's when they'll have to change their strategy.

I unno, I think even in the world where Microsoft has a few hits Sony is fine going with the current strategy.

You look at the movie/TV industry. You have Netflix with tons of original studios making movies/shows for them these days (as well as buying 3rd party content), seemingly putting out more content every week...most of it isn't particularly good but every so often they get something that hits (Last Kingdom, Stranger Things, Witcher, etc.) You also have a large, diverse historical catalogue of shows/movies from the past that attract a wide audience. It's a palatable (if increasing) price point and many people see the value and have no problem paying (even in periods where they're barely using it).

You still have the big budget blockbuster movies/TV industry that's still putting out stuff at full price (either by way of the movie theatre, selling it directly on a service, premium subscriptions like HBO, etc...the point is that you're getting considerable less quantity of content for your money compared to Netflix).

These things still coexist. There may be some fat that gets trimmed off of the big budget side as a result, the lower tier of content becomes a bit harder to justify at that premium price, but there is inevitably content being created that people are willing to pay for despite it maybe not having the same "value proposition". I think people get too hung up on the value proposition of Gamepass. Yeah, getting all those games for $10/month or whatever it is sounds great. You know what else sounds great? Playing the new God of War. At a certain point it doesn't matter if Microsoft has games that are similarly incredible top-tier industry leading games to God of War, I'm still going to buy God of War if it turns out as well as the last, it'll just be in addition to gamepass. Nintendo has one of the worst value propositions in gaming and they're doing just fine. Entertainment is subjective and people like what they like, this isn't me going to the grocery store and saying why would i buy one box of cheerios for 3$ when costco will sell me two for $5.

The gaming industry is pretty damn healthy these days all things considered and it's able to support a wide ranging scale, quality, genres, etc. of games that have diverse delivery methods and price points/monetization strategies. Personally I think gamers win if it stays that way. The last thing I want is a bunch of streaming platforms all with varying libraries, fighting over exclusivity like the movie/tv industry. Give me the $70 TLOU 2 blockbuster, give me the F2P Rocket League supported by microtransactions and ads, give me the $15 indie game, give me the monthly subscription MMO, give me the netflix style library, hell - feel free to try making a game for $200 if you have a good idea that you think can't otherwise be realized. All are valid strategies resulting in sometimes unique output that wouldn't necessarily work under the other models and the beauty of being a consumer is that I can decide whether I want to engage in it. Maybe one day enough consumers will decide they don't want $70 games that publishers will be forced to stop making them, frankly I think that day is a long long ways away.
 
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Zannrebel

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You missed the point so I posted something random. The fact that you take it as an insult is telling. I'm sure you'll outgrow your insecurity someday.

When you need a Sony developed title to show how attractive Microsoft's platform is during its' first year, that's kind of the point behind the hopes and dreams that Microsoft is selling their fan base. Their acquisitions will pay dividends but those titles are years away.
You implied im a dummy with that post.
...
It's funny, the outlook of MLB makes it look like Sony treating its base like a 2nd class customer. (Knowing the deal has nothing to do with them) its still rich. Social Media paints that picture anyway. Thats a PR win none the less.
 

bender

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You implied im a dummy with that post.
...
It's funny, the outlook of MLB makes it look like Sony treating its base like a 2nd class customer. (Knowing the deal has nothing to do with them) its still rich. Social Media paints that picture anyway. Thats a PR win none the less.

If I wanted to call you a dummy, I'd have been far more blunt. I'd never imply something to an idiot as it would most likely fly right past them. Posting Jack Handey was as random and as worthless as you bringing MLB The Show into the conversation and exactly why I replied with it.
 
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Silent Viper

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Because Xbox has completely reinvented itself over the last 4 years. They are a completely different animal now, Sony are actually losing studios, either closing them down or losing contracts with third parties who worked exclusively with them. All that and the market is shifting, Sony are not shifting with it unfortunately and it could be to their detriment.
Guy you quoting advertise PS for free. Lol
 

Sub Boss

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The blockbuster argument... it's just so dumb. Ignorant. Unaware. Myopic.

Somebody give me a list of Blockbuster's IPs? What did they produce exactly? This idea of a physical video rental store that was just an intermediary between movie studios and home video being a good comparison is clown shoes. Gamestop is Blockbuster, what's so hard about this?

Nintendo is nowhere near being in a Blockbuster scenario either, and if push comes to shove and they need to go third party they will become Disney and eventually buy their own Fox. The sky is the limit for Nintendo, and the only reason why they aren't even bigger than they are, it's because you just know that shit is run by extremely conservative Japanese suits that don't understand exactly what they have in their hands.
The idea that Nintendo's leadership is 'out of touch' and 'conservative' that i see around very frequently on game forums is quite silly and based on wannabe business nonsense.

Yeah the company that made the NES, Wii, DS and Switch is conservative and never takes risks 🙄 those systems were big risks you only got used to their success so they don't count, but they are out of touch with reality they don't understand business, no it doesn't matter they earn millions from merchantise and are making theme parks they are stupid and wouldn't be able to adapt to GamePass future.
 
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Ozzie666

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Keep traditional, keep on the course. If not for COVID, I suspect, like everyone, more games would have been ready to make a more positive impact on the launch. It's great that all 3 major players have different approaches. Eventually someone will have to change course. But I think the traditional model Sony follows will work for this and the next generation. It will be really interesting when both companies start to release heavy hitters and what that does to Gamepass numbers.
 

El Pistolero

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didn’t Sony just close there studio in favor of having purchased stuidos like Naughty Dog and Insomniac making there games? Glass houses and all…

Insomniac and Naughty Dog were treated like first party from their early days. Out of all the games they have created, only one was multiplat (Fuse), and two others released on other systems exvlusively (Sunset Overdrive and that obscure ND fighting game on the 3DO, if memory serves). Both companies have always been first party, with their games published by Sony. Any attempt to compare their situation with how MS has proceeded reeks of bad faith...But I would expect nothing more -less?- from you. 😂🤦‍♂️
 
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DenchDeckard

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Sony, just do what they do. I’ve been a Nintendo fan since a child. Every time we hear that they will fail...they never do. Sony just keep bringing those quality games like we have seen with ratchet and nurture interesting new ip like returnal and we will all flock to it like moths to a flame.

great games. Surely if all companies are making money it is better for all of us. I genuinely think Sony wouldn’t have done a pretty robust back compat if it wasn’t for Microsoft and now I’m sat here enjoying ghost of Tsushima in glorious 60fps. We need all companies to do well to the others on their toes. Then ultimately WE win!
 
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El Pistolero

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Love Sony but I can't help but think if Gamepass starts reeling in some of the bigger 3rd party titles like the next Far Cry and Battlefield (They even made a play for the last COD) that Sony will need to change up something.

I think that people haven't grasped Sony's message: It is not that they consider that the services ala Netflix are not the future, for better or worse; They are thinking about the best way to slowly transition without incurring the losses that a sudden shift would entail. MS are filthy rich, and having been soundly beaten under the standard terms, they logically went "Fuck it" and invested in this model: They get to disrupt the market, first, and, second, they can absorb the entry costs because of their ocean deep pockets. Gamepass is most certainly in the red, and will be for some time still, given the initial expenditures, the costs of enticing publishers to join and the ridiculous deals offered; MS are in a position that allows them to do it, but Sony would be foolish to follow suit just because...at least in the next few years.
I believe that their strategy is to go a bit slower, in order to get as much money as possible within the current paradigm; Get their franchises on PC after 12-18 months; Work on improving PS plus, the collection side of it, and PS Now. Most important, however, is the need to create a few more IPs, as to have a string of iconic franchises join the current stable (Uncharted, TLOU, Ghost, Horizon, Gran Turismo, Ratchet, soon enough...), so that when they decide to shift gears, they will get tens of millions of customers almost immediately. They are certainly aware of the power of strong, iconic IPs, and their decision to leverage the existing ones to produce shows and movies around them serves generating more awarness. I see Sony adopting HBO or Disney's approach: The latter streaming services are gaining market share really fast (especially Disney) on account of the quality of their content, deemed prestigious by many. Netflix, while having had many, many years headstart, will no doubt be facing stiff competition from now on.
Now, I know that MS is no Netflix, and can throw twice or thrice the money Sony can inject into its potential platform, should they want to. All I'm saying is that Sony can adapt, and will probably leverage this current generation's output to be propelled when the time comes.
 
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El Pistolero

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None of them were the purchased time exclusives. Ironically the launch titles of Xbox Ones were better than PS4 but then....


Nah, Playstation has always have bigger budget than Xbox - they were always have a good support from Sony (though Sony like wasting money of its movies but whatever). The fact that Xbox was not even considered a separate entity but was thrown under Windows tells everything you need to know. You just should understand the scale of MS - its "Playstation" was literally just a division under another division. While Playstation was one of 4 pillars (or maybe 3) of Sony. Not the same level of importance. Like at all. To draw parallels - Xbox was for MS the same thing as PS Now for Playstation.

A good thing that MS woke up and stopped chasing Sony and instead went their own way.

We are running in circles in our discussion.

Bollocks. Xbox budget was never that removed from Playstation's, contrary to what you are suggesting. They have always had enough money to design, produce and launch powerful systems; Organize giant marketing campaigns; Lock in exclusive deals; Fund first party titles; Invest in accessories...They've simply been not that good at it for 17 of the 20 or so years they have been a player. The difference now is that they are playing with a way bigger bag of money than what SIE have at their disposal: The acquisitions alone must be around what? 8+ billion dollars? Add the inherent cost of launching two consoles side by side, the gamepass expenses...We must be already looking at 10+ Billions, easily, if not more. I doubt Sony has spent half that amount so far...
 
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Barakov

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Sony's plan to compete with Xbox: Stay the course | Opinion | GamesIndustry.biz

I can't really think of a reason for Sony to make drastic changes. Their first party output is stellar. Gamers obviously continue to invest heavily in the ecosystem. Sony could smooth out some bumps in their services, but for the most part, they continue to provide top notch games and that is what their customers clearly want.
Hard agree. When everything is going so swimmingly well it's best go by the old adage : If it ain't broke don't fix it.
 

ZehDon

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I unno, I think even in the world where Microsoft has a few hits Sony is fine going with the current strategy.

You look at the movie/TV industry. You have Netflix with tons of original studios making movies/shows for them these days (as well as buying 3rd party content), seemingly putting out more content every week...most of it isn't particularly good but every so often they get something that hits (Last Kingdom, Stranger Things, Witcher, etc.) You also have a large, diverse historical catalogue of shows/movies from the past that attract a wide audience. It's a palatable (if increasing) price point and many people see the value and have no problem paying (even in periods where they're barely using it).

You still have the big budget blockbuster movies/TV industry that's still putting out stuff at full price (either by way of the movie theatre, selling it directly on a service, premium subscriptions like HBO, etc...the point is that you're getting considerable less quantity of content for your money compared to Netflix).

These things still coexist. There may be some fat that gets trimmed off of the big budget side as a result, the lower tier of content becomes a bit harder to justify at that premium price, but there is inevitably content being created that people are willing to pay for despite it maybe not having the same "value proposition". I think people get too hung up on the value proposition of Gamepass. Yeah, getting all those games for $10/month or whatever it is sounds great. You know what else sounds great? Playing the new God of War. At a certain point it doesn't matter if Microsoft has games that are similarly incredible top-tier industry leading games to God of War, I'm still going to buy God of War if it turns out as well as the last, it'll just be in addition to gamepass. Nintendo has one of the worst value propositions in gaming and they're doing just fine. Entertainment is subjective and people like what they like, this isn't me going to the grocery store and saying why would i buy one box of cheerios for 3$ when costco will sell me two for $5.

The gaming industry is pretty damn healthy these days all things considered and it's able to support a wide ranging scale, quality, genres, etc. of games that have diverse delivery methods and price points/monetization strategies. Personally I think gamers win if it stays that way. The last thing I want is a bunch of streaming platforms all with varying libraries, fighting over exclusivity like the movie/tv industry. Give me the $70 TLOU 2 blockbuster, give me the F2P Rocket League supported by microtransactions and ads, give me the $15 indie game, give me the monthly subscription MMO, give me the netflix style library, hell - feel free to try making a game for $200 if you have a good idea that you think can't otherwise be realized. All are valid strategies resulting in sometimes unique output that wouldn't necessarily work under the other models and the beauty of being a consumer is that I can decide whether I want to engage in it. Maybe one day enough consumers will decide they don't want $70 games that publishers will be forced to stop making them, frankly I think that day is a long long ways away.
While this is a good post, the bolded highlights that you're not really responding to my original point: if Microsoft's exclusives miss the mark, and they turn up a few decent games but nothing amazing, then Sony's current strategy will win the day, just like it did with the PS4. However, if Microsoft's exclusives land as well as Sony's, Sony loses it's competitive edge.

You're still stuck on "Yeah, but I want Sony's amazing exclusives". And that's great - they're good titles. But, you want GoW2 because GoW is terrific, and you connected with it. You want TLOU2 because you already connected with it. Awesome, I'm glad you did - I hear it's a fantastic title. But, the snuck premise here is that Microsoft can't deliver games like this. And, I mean, looking at the Xbone, it's easy to see why: Microsoft hasn't put out a game that people have really connected with in an entire generation. If Microsoft fails to deliver this generation, then yep - Sony's titles will win the day. However, if Microsoft start putting out titles of this calibre, and they're all on Gamepass, it doesn't matter how many TLOU remakes Sony puts out - I believe the larger number of consumers will follow the highest amount of value. It's not about "I want Sony's chocolate, not Microsoft's vanilla". It's "I'll go to the ice cream parlour that gives me the best for less". Right now, Sony is pushing the quality angle. But, that only works if their competitors can't meet that quality. If Microsoft pulls off the impossible, and delivers equal quality on Gamepass, Sony will need to change their strategy.
 

longdi

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Path to mobile word like MTX heavy / designed for games vs just great games, engagement vs enjoyment … 🤔, yeah agreed not that hard to admit that you get what you pay for :p.

Phil pretty much said 'MTX heavy games' is nonsense, a fake concern and totally antithesis to the principle behind Gamepass. 🤷‍♀️
 

Heisenberg007

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While this is a good post, the bolded highlights that you're not really responding to my original point: if Microsoft's exclusives miss the mark, and they turn up a few decent games but nothing amazing, then Sony's current strategy will win the day, just like it did with the PS4. However, if Microsoft's exclusives land as well as Sony's, Sony loses it's competitive edge.

You're still stuck on "Yeah, but I want Sony's amazing exclusives". And that's great - they're good titles. But, you want GoW2 because GoW is terrific, and you connected with it. You want TLOU2 because you already connected with it. Awesome, I'm glad you did - I hear it's a fantastic title. But, the snuck premise here is that Microsoft can't deliver games like this. And, I mean, looking at the Xbone, it's easy to see why: Microsoft hasn't put out a game that people have really connected with in an entire generation. If Microsoft fails to deliver this generation, then yep - Sony's titles will win the day. However, if Microsoft start putting out titles of this calibre, and they're all on Gamepass, it doesn't matter how many TLOU remakes Sony puts out - I believe the larger number of consumers will follow the highest amount of value. It's not about "I want Sony's chocolate, not Microsoft's vanilla". It's "I'll go to the ice cream parlour that gives me the best for less". Right now, Sony is pushing the quality angle. But, that only works if their competitors can't meet that quality. If Microsoft pulls off the impossible, and delivers equal quality on Gamepass, Sony will need to change their strategy.
While this is true, it is a huge assumption that MS will match that Sony's quality (which seems to have improved even further in the last 2 years as if that was possible!), because it's not that easy or simple.

It often requires years and years of experience under a management, carefully cultivating talented human resources, and building years and years on the tech to power those games. Moreover, i don't think the Gamepass model will allow MS devs to create games like Sony's.

Xbox can't afford to make games like TLOU2 because single-player story-driven games would be finished in 20-30 hours. That's not good for a subscription service. MS would like to release two types of games: (1) really long RPG type games that take weeks and months to finish, and (2) GaaS type games full of MTX and in-game purchases.

More people -- especially the casual gaming market -- would be more intrigued with the type of games Sony is offering. That's a big dilemma for MS.
 

MastaKiiLA

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While this is a good post, the bolded highlights that you're not really responding to my original point: if Microsoft's exclusives miss the mark, and they turn up a few decent games but nothing amazing, then Sony's current strategy will win the day, just like it did with the PS4. However, if Microsoft's exclusives land as well as Sony's, Sony loses it's competitive edge.

You're still stuck on "Yeah, but I want Sony's amazing exclusives". And that's great - they're good titles. But, you want GoW2 because GoW is terrific, and you connected with it. You want TLOU2 because you already connected with it. Awesome, I'm glad you did - I hear it's a fantastic title. But, the snuck premise here is that Microsoft can't deliver games like this. And, I mean, looking at the Xbone, it's easy to see why: Microsoft hasn't put out a game that people have really connected with in an entire generation. If Microsoft fails to deliver this generation, then yep - Sony's titles will win the day. However, if Microsoft start putting out titles of this calibre, and they're all on Gamepass, it doesn't matter how many TLOU remakes Sony puts out - I believe the larger number of consumers will follow the highest amount of value. It's not about "I want Sony's chocolate, not Microsoft's vanilla". It's "I'll go to the ice cream parlour that gives me the best for less". Right now, Sony is pushing the quality angle. But, that only works if their competitors can't meet that quality. If Microsoft pulls off the impossible, and delivers equal quality on Gamepass, Sony will need to change their strategy.
Far too many "ifs" in this post for this to warrant concern, no? All of this also ignores the fact that Sony already has the infrastructure in place to pivot to a GP-like service in the future, with minimal lead time. PS+ and PS Now both offer potential avenues for such a venture.

This isn't like the music industry completely ignoring Napster and Kazaa, and actively fighting against the obvious trend. Sony has these functionalities there, but lying relatively dormant. When the time comes, they can just pivot PS Now in a direction more in line with GP, and presto, they're "competing". Sales demand currently doesn't suggest that such a pivot is necessary. The PS5 is the preferred next-gen system at the moment, and Sony already has had a strong head start on first-party hits being t churned out for their platform. They also have the bigger game library that they can onboard when the time comes.

Pivoting towards a GP model at this point might only result in short-term revenue loss for what is a long-term "potential" threat. It's online fans trying to wish dreams into reality, but there's no empirical evidence to support the stated urgency.
 
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Clear

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Phil pretty much said 'MTX heavy games' is nonsense, a fake concern and totally antithesis to the principle behind Gamepass. 🤷‍♀️

Yeah right Phil, the industry will be happy to take scraps off of your table.

Seriously, how's this supposed to work when you are promising regular first-party drops -that will no doubt get preferential treatment in terms of marketing and store placement- on GamePass? How are the people supplying that "other" product expected to make money beyond a basic-rate buyout payment?
 

longdi

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Yeah right Phil, the industry will be happy to take scraps off of your table.

Seriously, how's this supposed to work when you are promising regular first-party drops -that will no doubt get preferential treatment in terms of marketing and store placement- on GamePass? How are the people supplying that "other" product expected to make money beyond a basic-rate buyout payment?

I have to be clearer that MTX is part of the package these days.

What Phil has clarified is the FUD that games on Gamepass will somehow be affected in the quality and/or content.
Nope, that wont happen under his watch.
GP is nothing more than a distribution method to reach broader audiences.
The move from carts to disc to GP. 🤷‍♀️
 
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Heisenberg007

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Here is the thing why Gamepass really doesn't make sense for Sony.
  • PlayStation earned $23 billion in revenue in the last 12 months.
  • At 80 million subscribers, each paying the full $15 per month, Xbox will earn roughly $13 billion in revenue. And 80 million subscribers is a BIG ask. Yes, there will be other sources of income, such as MTX money, etc. but I'm ignoring that for the sake of calculation. Will add an estimate in the end.
At the moment, the best-performing gaming subscription service is PS+, which has 47 million subscribers. Its growth has been fantastic (20% YoY), but that 50M threshold is looking very steep. It couldn't get over that line in the last 4-5 months, despite improving tremendously in value.

It means that as subscribers grow in numbers, this will become even more difficult for PS+ and Gamepass. So 80 million subscribers (almost 2x of PS+) seems like a lofty dream at the moment.

But even then, MS would be earning 43% less revenue than PlayStation. Let's add in the MTX amount and additional revenue here and bring that 43% down to 20%. This makes it clear this is not the way, not unless MS gets 150M - 200M subscribers rapidly. This is not sustainable.

Why would Sony abandon its strategy to only earn 25% less revenue than what they earning right now YEARS later after building that subscribers base? And eat significant losses during that period? No sense.
 
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longdi

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Here is the thing why Gamepass really doesn't make sense for Sony.
  • PlayStation earned $23 billion in revenue in the last 12 months.
  • At 80 million subscribers, each paying the full $15 per month, Xbox will earn roughly $13 billion in revenue. And 80 million subscribers is a BIG ask. Yes, there will be other sources of income, such as MTX money, etc. but I'm ignoring that for the sake of calculation. Will add an estimate in the end.
At the moment, the best-performing gaming subscription service is PS+, which has 47 million subscribers. Its growth has been fantastic (20% YoY), but that 50M threshold is looking very steep. It couldn't get over that line in the last 4-5 months, despite improving tremendously in value.

It means that as subscribers grow in numbers, this will become even more difficult for PS+ and Gamepass. So 80 million subscribers (almost 2x of PS+) seems like a lofty dream at the moment.

But even then, MS would be earning 43% less revenue than PlayStation. Let's add in the MTX amount and additional revenue here and bring that 43% down to 20%. This makes it clear this is not the way, not unless MS gets 150M - 200M subscribers rapidly. This is not sustainable.

Why would Sony abandon its strategy to only earn 25% less revenue than what they earning right now YEARS later after building that subscribers base? And eat significant losses during that period? No sense.

because subscriber base can ebb and flow and is liquid.
If more gamers realise they enjoy Gamepass more, Playstation will not get the same level of revenue before if sticking to old ways. 🤷‍♀️
 

Clear

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I have to be clearer that MTX is part of the package these days.

What Phil has clarified is the FUD that games on Gamepass will somehow be affected in the quality and/or content.
Nope, that wont happen under his watch.
GP is nothing more than a distribution method to reach broader audiences.
The move from carts to disc to GP. 🤷‍♀️

He can control self-produced titles, but not the market generally. The transition on mobile to being primarily mtx-driven happened without direct intervention on the part of Apple too, its the natural consequence of removing/lowering buy-in cost.

So the more popular GP and services like it become, the more product all over will have to start to change in order to adapt to the new market conditions.

Sure, first-party stuff can be protected, but that's not the whole story. Not even close.
 

Heisenberg007

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because subscriber base can ebb and flow and is liquid.
If more gamers realise they enjoy Gamepass more, Playstation will not get the same level of revenue before if sticking to old ways. 🤷‍♀️
if anything, PlayStation's revenues will increase even more this generation. Xbox's revenue is $13B because they are also leveraging the PC space. Sony will be doing that too in the new few years. PS5 is also breaking records and will end up with an even bigger userbase. This means even higher revenue.
 

Greggy

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I think that people haven't grasped Sony's message: It is not that they consider that the services ala Netflix are not the future, for better or worse; They are thinking about the best way to slowly transition without incurring the losses that a sudden shift would entail. MS are filthy rich, and having been soundly beaten under the standard terms, they logically went "Fuck it" and invested in this model: They get to disrupt the market, first, and, second, they can absorb the entry costs because of their ocean deep pockets. Gamepass is most certainly in the red, and will be for some time still, given the initial expenditures, the costs of enticing publishers to join and the ridiculous deals offered; MS are in a position that allows them to do it, but Sony would be foolish to follow suit just because...at least in the next few years.
I believe that their strategy is to go a bit slower, in order to get as much money as possible within the current paradigm; Get their franchises on PC after 12-18 months; Work on improving PS plus, the collection side of it, and PS Now. Most important, however, is the need to create a few more IPs, as to have a string of iconic franchises join the current stable (Uncharted, TLOU, Ghost, Horizon, Gran Turismo, Ratchet, soon enough...), so that when they decide to shift gears, they will get tens of millions of customers almost immediately. They are certainly aware of the power of strong, iconic IPs, and their decision to leverage the existing ones to produce shows and movies around them serves generating more awarness. I see Sony adopting HBO or Disney's approach: The latter streaming services are gaining market share really fast (especially Disney) on account of the quality of their content, deemed prestigious by many. Netflix, while having had many, many years headstart, will no doubt be facing stiff competition from now on.
Now, I know that MS is no Netflix, and can throw twice or thrice the money Sony can inject into its potential platform, should they want to. All I'm saying is that Sony can adapt, and will probably leverage this current generation's output to be propelled when the time comes.
Completely agree with you that more than money, the most effective war chest in this generation’s battle will be iconic ips. The problem for Sony is that it takes 5-6 years to create a new iconic ip. Microsoft realised that and went and got 7 one swoop. Doom, Wolfenstein, Quake, Dishonored, Fallout, Starfield, The Elder Scrolls. I’m not listing below iconic but significant ones such as Evil within, Prey, Rage, maybe Deathloop etc. They turned their billions of dollars into gaming industry war currency and the article is right in saying that Bethesda’s purchase is an existential threat to Sony’s dominance.
Sony can’t just stand the course without an answer to game pass, with 8-10 vs 23 first party studios and with games at 80$. I don’t care how good R&C looks. Once Hellblade 2 hits game pass day one followed the next month by Quake 2022 and then by Machine games’ Indiana Jones that PlayStation owners will be asked 80$ for, the mass market will use common sense. There will be one ecosystem where the multiplats look slightly better, come to the service day one for some of them, the first parties are twice as numerous and just as iconic, come day one to the service without exception. And another ecosystem where everything cost 80$, requires the hard to find console to be played and the bangers do not come out as often.
Sony is wrong to double down on the old. They’ll need to change course or the mass market will.
 
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The problem for Sony is that it takes 5-6 years to create a new iconic ip. Microsoft realised that and went and got 7 one swoop. Doom, Wolfenstein, Quake, Dishonored, Fallout, Starfield, The Elder Scrolls
Let me remind you again, that if buying major studios means you absorb their great IPs, and that it was really that easy, then EA is the greatest game company on Earth. They bought more game studios and obtained more legendary IPs than anyone else, EVER.

Go ahead and list the IPs that MS has now own. But it is another thing to translate these IPs into popular games. If Microsoft couldn't manage the studios they owned last gen and make great games with them, don't expect them to be able to manage all these new studios they just bought. Don't forget that not a single game studio, or any of their great IPs, survived being absorbed by EA. Buying a studio rarely mean you buy the entire culture, more likely you just install the culture you already have and overwritten what the studio did before.

Much like what has happened with Blizzard, being absorbed by Activision.
 

longdi

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He can control self-produced titles, but not the market generally. The transition on mobile to being primarily mtx-driven happened without direct intervention on the part of Apple too, its the natural consequence of removing/lowering buy-in cost.

So the more popular GP and services like it become, the more product all over will have to start to change in order to adapt to the new market conditions.

Sure, first-party stuff can be protected, but that's not the whole story. Not even close.

still waiting for that GP 'transition', just as with the 'sustainable' concern 🤷‍♀️

if anything, PlayStation's revenues will increase even more this generation. Xbox's revenue is $13B because they are also leveraging the PC space. Sony will be doing that too in the new few years. PS5 is also breaking records and will end up with an even bigger userbase. This means even higher revenue.

it is hard to say, every gen is different. ps revenue will only increase if they can maintain userbase.
It is too early to make any confirmation
 

Clear

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Let me remind you again, that if buying major studios means you absorb their great IPs, and that it was really that easy, then EA is the greatest game company on Earth. They bought more game studios and obtained more legendary IPs than anyone else, EVER.

Go ahead and list the IPs that MS has now own. But it is another thing to translate these IPs into popular games. If Microsoft couldn't manage the studios they owned last gen and make great games with them, don't expect them to be able to manage all these new studios they just bought. Don't forget that not a single game studio, or any of their great IPs, survived being absorbed by EA. Buying a studio rarely mean you buy the entire culture, more likely you just install the culture you already have and overwritten what the studio did before.

Much like what has happened with Blizzard, being absorbed by Activision.

There's also the issue that the logistics of game production still apply to GamePass product. Its still 1 title per studio every 3-5 years. On top of that there's the persistent misconception that daddy MS will allow these studios to do whatever they want in order to feed the service's gaping maw. This aint happening. If Netflix can't afford to fund unpopular shows in perpetuity, does anyone really think that MS is going to continue pouring money and resources onto expensive, underachieving vanity projects?
 

Old Empire.

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You wouldn't think from the article's title that Playstation has maintained a dominating lead over Xbox for the last 8 years!

It never ceases to amaze me how bullish people are about Xbox when its never really been that competitive outside of the few years where Sony seemed hell-bent on trying to commit seppuku by any available means. At which time it was Nintendo who were actually the market leader.

Xbox ruined their own chances of domination with the Xbox One. Lot of sites predicted MS was going to take over as the market leader. Remember, in financial terms the PS3 was a failure, and very costly console for Sony. Even catching up to MS later was meaningless when the margin of profit was very low. What if- PS4 failed, Sony was heading into serious debt territory. Success of the PS4 was badly needed.

MS had a great console with the 360. So they have had success in terms of market share.

This a new generation again PS5 vs Series X and its barely began to take shape yet.
 

Clear

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still waiting for that GP 'transition', just as with the 'sustainable' concern 🤷‍♀️

These are things that will only happen in the long-term, but if you buy into the idea that GP is going to become a dominant success in that same long-view then you need to start considering the consequences both good and bad.

If GP ends up being an expensive added-value proposition, and the rest of the industry carries on as normal then obviously the argument is moot. But, I see people being bullish about its chances to the point where they seem to believe its triumph is a fait-accompli... So I'm just pointing out what the likely knock-ons are going to be in a broader sense.

I know how the business works having spent so many years inside of the belly of the beast. And I'm telling you straight-up there will be consequences for the nature of the product if subscription gaming becomes the norm. No if's or but's about it.
 
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Arun1910

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MS - Excelling in Game Pass / Value for gamers.

Sony - Excelling in 1st Party.

At least that's how I see it.

Sony really need a competitor to Game Pass and soon. Even though MS 1st Party output right now is dire, they'll catch up eventually with all their studio aquisitions.

As a primarily PC gamer these issues don't affect me at all (best of both, PC and PS5), however both companies have a massive crutch at the moment.
 

longdi

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These are things that will only happen in the long-term, but if you buy into the idea that GP is going to become a dominant success in that same long-view then you need to start considering the consequences both good and bad.

If GP ends up being an expensive added-value proposition, and the rest of the industry carries on as normal then obviously the argument is moot. But, I see people being bullish about its chances to the point where they seem to believe its triumph is a fait-accompli... So I'm just pointing out what the likely knock-ons are going to be in a broader sense.

I know how the business works having spent so many years inside of the belly of the beast. And I'm telling you straight-up there will be consequences for the nature of the product if subscription gaming becomes the norm. No if's or but's about it.

idk mate, GP has been around for years and the things supposed to happen hasn't yet happened. Their ceo recently squashed that happening FUD. .. 🤷‍♀️
 

Greggy

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Let me remind you again, that if buying major studios means you absorb their great IPs, and that it was really that easy, then EA is the greatest game company on Earth. They bought more game studios and obtained more legendary IPs than anyone else, EVER.

Go ahead and list the IPs that MS has now own. But it is another thing to translate these IPs into popular games. If Microsoft couldn't manage the studios they owned last gen and make great games with them, don't expect them to be able to manage all these new studios they just bought. Don't forget that not a single game studio, or any of their great IPs, survived being absorbed by EA. Buying a studio rarely mean you buy the entire culture, more likely you just install the culture you already have and overwritten what the studio did before.

Much like what has happened with Blizzard, being absorbed by Activision.
You're making a decent point but MS IS not EA. Their current management gets out the way That led to the resurgence of Rare. As for Bethesda, MS couldn't be more hands off. They won't even publish their games. They kept XGS separate from Bethesda/the Vault. Todd's job hasn't changed and there was already a great relationship between both parties. All initial signs look green but obviously we have to wait and see.
Are you suggesting that Sonys strategy should be to fall back and wait for the xbox-Bethesda alliance to implode? That might not work.
 
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You're making a decent point but MS IS not EA. Their current management gets out the way That led to the resurgence of Rare. As for Bethesda, MS couldn't be more hands off. They won't even publish their games. They kept XGS separate from Bethesda/the Vault. Todd's job hasn't changed and there was already a great relationship between both parties. All initial signs look green but obviously we have to wait and see.
Are you suggesting that Sonys strategy should be to fall back and wait for the xbox-Bethesda alliance to implode? That might not work.
Sony's strategy is to keep making quality games for their consoles.

MS buying Bethesda just means they bought a studio. How much of Bethesda survives the transfer is yet to be seen. Remember that the Activision merger with Blizzard seemed harmless at first... Until it isn't.

Saying Microsoft would be hands off with Bethesda is not a sign of confidence. That is suggesting you are agreeing that MS has no idea what to do with it. Technically the best case scenario is MS actually fixing the many major flaws that Bethesda had shown in the last decade. To have Microsoft doing nothing and just give Bethesda money, is NOT going to work. And if you really believe being hands off is what will work, then we will see who is right in 5 years.
 
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Greggy

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Sony's strategy is to keep making quality games for their consoles.

MS buying Bethesda just means they bought a studio. How much of Bethesda survives the transfer is yet to be seen. Remember that the Activision merger with Blizzard seemed harmless at first... Until it isn't.

Saying Microsoft would be hands off with Bethesda is not a sign of confidence. That is suggesting you are agreeing that MS has no idea what to do with it. Technically the best case scenario is MS actually fixing the many major flaws that Bethesda had shown in the last decade. To have Microsoft doing nothing and just give Bethesda money, is NOT going to work. And if you really believe being hands off is what will work, then we will see who is right in 5 years.
Indeed we will see. MS didn’t just buy Bethesda studios. They bought ZeniMax. A proven entity in the industry that can birth games that will remain popular for generations with no outside intervention. Skyrim is a good example. Xbox doesn’t have to go get involved in Starfield. They acquired all the infrastructure and competencies required to whip that game out and just need to put their stamp on it before it hits stores and game pass. That’s how strategically important that acquisition was. It’s a lot more than just buying Arkane and Bethesda softworks. Bethesda has its own identity and I think MS is right to preserve it. If anything there’s a lot they might be able to learn from each other.

As for making quality games for their consoles, nobody expects any less from Sony. The reason why it might not be enough this time is MS over the last 7 years wasn’t delivering quality in enough quantity to capture more mindshare. My paragraph above and my previous post explain well enough (I hope) why that will no longer be the case.