We Can’t Forget The Last Console Generation Launch
In the past decade, Sony has had two pretty memorable console debuts. This past year when showcasing the PS4, they weren’t afraid to take shots at Microsoft and had the audience chanting their name. Back in 2006 when they unveiled the PS3, it was an entirely different story, one filled with giant enemy crabs, Ridge Racer, and “599 U.S. dollars.” The Internet was laughing at Sony before the launch of the PS3 in the same manner that they’re laughing at Microsoft before the launch of the Xbox One.
There was very little Sony did right leading up to the release of the PlayStation 3.
The general consensus of the Xbox One after E3 2013 looked like that of the PS3 back at E3 2006. Instead of “Xbox Done,” we were saying “Riiiiiidge Racer!” We upgraded from “giant enemy crabs hit for massive damage” to “what a waste Kinect is going to be.” There’s very little difference between the two console announcements. Both companies believe they have the next big thing in the world of both gaming and technology. After all, Kaz Hirai did say that the PS3 “requires huge financial investment…but we must take risks to reap the rewards.” Thankfully for him, there were enough embarrassments for this to get lost in the shuffle. For Microsoft, however, that wasn’t the case. That price point is a pretty big sticking point.
Remember this pricey beast at launch?
So to sum things up: 2006 said that Microsoft would take over this generation, that Nintendo has the next big thing with the Wii, and that Sony was doomed. Looking back, it’s pretty funny to laugh at how wrong we were. The Xbox 360 was successful, but ultimately succumbed to red rings of death and the surge of their rivals at Sony. The PlayStation 3 started slow, eventually becoming a gaming behemoth with quality exclusives and PlayStation Plus. Then there’s Nintendo, the handheld master who continues to have trouble making a dent in the console world. Both the Wii and Wii u are enjoyable, but they’re lacking in the games department compared to their counterparts as well as lacking when it comes to hardware power.
The important lesson in all of this is the fact that despite the back-to-back embarrassments for Sony (their 2005 press conference featured pre-rendered trailers displayed as actual gameplay), Sony found a way to rise up from the ashes and become the internet darling that they are today. They overcame an awful start, embarrassing memes, and even a massive security breach. How did they do it? By listening to gamers, offering consumer-friendly policies, and delivering quality exclusive games from their own studios.
If you think Microsoft isn’t about to do the same, then you’re clearly blinded by the hivemind. They’ve already backtracked on their controversial policies, announced an extensive list of exclusive AAA games, and will continue to work hard to earn your trust.
There isn’t an “Xbox Done” just like there wasn’t the PS3 fail. The console war is far from over; it’s only just begun.