News Article

Talking Point: Is the PlayStation 4 Launching Too Late?

Posted by Sammy Barker

Not what we expected

There were plenty of shock announcements during Sony’s big GamesCom press conference earlier today, but the PlayStation 4’s release date certainly rubbed against our expectations. We were confident that the system would deploy in late October, as part of yet another one-two punch on the Xbox One – but Sony confirmed that the next generation console will actually arrive on 15th November in North America and 29th November in Europe. For those residing in the latter region, that’s roughly 100 days away.

The date gives Sony opportunity to replenish stock ahead of the Black Friday shopping extravaganza in North America

Erase the competition, and the date is not necessarily a terrible choice. Yes, it sits somewhere after the release of many of the big third-party blockbusters – Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, Call of Duty: Ghosts, and more – but the platform holder’s partially eradicated that problem by announcing a generous – if not absolutely ideal – upgrade path for impatient consumers. It also gives the manufacturer ample opportunity to replenish stock ahead of the all-important Black Friday shopping extravaganza in North America, as well as ensure that the console maintains buzz through until Christmas.

But we’d expected the Japanese giant to beat Microsoft to store shelves, and that’s now looking unlikely. Granted, the Redmond-based manufacturer hasn’t attached a date to its console yet, but unless it launches within days of its counterpart, we can see the North American firm beating the PlayStation maker to the punch. Considering the recent spate of Xbox One alterations, getting its box out first may just slightly tip the balance of power out of Sony’s hands. And that would be a colossal shame considering the strides that it’s made throughout the year to engineer an advantage.

With both systems pretty much sold out of pre-orders, a very brief launch advantage is not going to make an enormous difference. However, the hunger for new systems is palpable, and fence-sitters may be tempted to plump up for whichever console comes first. This is furthered by the fact that multiplatform software will be available on one machine ahead of the other – though both consoles will have to compete against the very relevant current generation systems in that department, too.

There are other factors to consider, though. Whether it arrives first or not, the Xbox One will only release in 13 territories this year, while the PS4 will hit a lot more regions. That means that – despite launching later than expected – the console will definitely be available first in some countries. It’s also worth keeping in mind that the software needs to be properly finished – a late October release would have been great, but perhaps not so fun for Guerrilla Games and Evolution Studios who are working on launch titles.

The later than expected release date isn’t a disaster – but it is still a touch disappointing

And then there’s the small matter of allocations. Sony noted that there are already one million pre-orders in place for its next generation console, and presumably it hopes to sell a lot more than that over the Christmas period. If neither manufacturer can satisfy demand, then it doesn’t really matter when the systems launch. Indeed, the console that wins the sales war this year will likely be determined by production capacity, rather than consumer interest.

So, the later than expected release date isn’t a disaster – but it is still a touch disappointing. It’s now down to Microsoft to play its hand, and reveal when the Xbox One is due out. Sony’s undeniably given the firm a small window of opportunity by confirming a late November launch for the PS4, but other than take the gloss off an incredible six months for the manufacturer, it's not the end of the world. All that it needs to do is keep consumers hyped for the next generation system for another three months, and we're sure that that won't prove too tough.

What do you think of the PS4’s release date? Do you think that it’s too late, or are you comfortable waiting until November to get your hands on the console? Let us know in the comments section and poll below.

Do you think that the PS4’s release date is too late? (58 votes)

Yes, now Sony’s given Microsoft the momentum


It’s disappointing, but I’ll cope


No, I think that the late November launch is fine


Please login to vote in this poll.

User Comments (38)



Gamer83 said:

The launch date is fine, unless X1 hits in September or early October it's not going to have more than a 2 weeks headstart. The real concern is how much better the X1's day-one lineup is.



ShogunRok said:

"It's disappointing, but I'll cope" sums up exactly how I feel. While it does help to have a stronger launch lineup, and it does help to not rush the launch, it means the Xbox One has an advantage that can potentially cause a lot of damage.



Punished_Boss_84 said:

No problem, at least it ain't a year head start.
The problem like stated above is the lineup, where are the first year exclusives. Anyway the lineup isn't a problem for me Killzone, Driveclub and a few others. But i am sticking with PS3 for a while.
A few days or weeks from Xbox One ain't going to kill anyone.



IAmNotWill said:

I think Sony is just scared they're not going to meet demand, so I think that's why the went with a later launch.

And everyone is forgetting that the PS4 is $100 cheaper. The PS4 is clearly the favorite here.



CrazyOtto said:

I thought both of them were going to come out in 2014 before the February PS4 reveal.



Squiggle55 said:

I am actually quite surprised. I thought for absolute certain that Sony was going to do everything in their power to beat Microsoft to the shelves. It won't be much of a head start, but I'm surprised that Sony opened the door for Microsoft to have a head start at all.



sajoey said:

Whatever, the later it comes out, the more time I have to make money for it.



InsertNameHere said:

@Gamer83 " The real concern is how much better the X1's day-one lineup is."

Bigger doesn't always mean better, that rule remains true even now. Plus, you're not counting the plethora of indie and digital only exclusives.



get2sammyb said:

I'm really quite surprised by the comments about the lineup (not just on this site, but around the web). I get that people want to see everything now, and that's fine — but I would have thought that people would have learned by now. I remember a time when the PS3 had no games, too, but over the course of the generation Sony left everyone in the dust in terms of first-party development. And they've strengthened the first-party a lot over the past three or four years...



mistakable said:

It wont make a difference if they're first out of the gate or not. PS3 launched a Year later, not a few days/weeks and its neck and neck with the 360 on sales, Not to mention the lack of compelling software etc for the time, Its now competing on a much more level playing field, the idea that a week or day will make a difference is mind boggling.
Both systems will still sell out regardless; Its the year after that really matters in terms of sales.



Lopezdm said:

The release date is fine, 87 days is nothing and I will be really busy these next few months. I will have to wait outside my local gamestop on the 14th but I expected as much.



Snkfiend said:

Well I wanted to know how X1 day one line-up so amazing because I really cannot see it regardless of that "wannabe" Killer Instinct and Halo 5 which in my opinion Halo 4 wasn't even that good so Halo 5 isn't in my category. The only games I see that are interesting from Microsoft is Quantum Break and Titanfall which is a timed exclusive. So sorry i'm not trying to be biased or nothing just stating my opinions.



divinelite said:

Great for you Americans and

We Asian got December release date (as far as I know, Japan included)



ShogunRok said:

@get2sammyb I think it's a backlash caused by people (once again) setting their expectations far too high. It was always improbable that Sony would announce more AAA titles, but I think that's what people expected. They expected something like E3 all over again, and now the PS4 lineup "sucks" because no huge games have been added to it. Insane.



Madd_Hatter401 said:

Looking at the launch titles from xb1 I'd assume it will release after the PS4, besides it wouldn't come out so soon as to sway the enormous pre orders and smart gamers.



Madd_Hatter401 said:

P.S sorry EU the 29th is BS but you do always get the best of PS+ so stay patient I'm sure you'll still be treat 1st class on the plus front lol



8vpiper said:

I still think October launch would have been perfect both for first party software and for giving the competition a kick while it's down! Replenish stock quickly and watch the world burn lol Now was the time to be ruthless and go for the jugular A tease for the VGA/TGS would have been icing and kept forums ablaze with what was that? is it a ND or SSM game ect. you get my drift.



rjejr said:

The WiiU launched an entire year earlier at an even lower price, hows that working out for Nintendo?

Sent from my Gamepad



Subie98 said:

Im not buying in its launch window but even if I was id be happy with the release date and the lineup is fine to me.



Ginkgo said:

Honestly, at the moment it is just a battle for US and Xbox isn't going to launch significantly earlier than the 15th Nov. With their non announcement, there has to be a risk that they will not launch at all this year, though I still think they will at least in the US.

Sony already owns virtually the rest of the world and with XBox180 delays in so many regions that trend isn't going to change. The real question is can Sony win in the US, even by a small margin. If yes, then Xbox will have some real trouble, because its footing is so low everywhere else. I know that XBox is bigger in UK, but in the context of Europe which heavily favours PS, if the US switches to Sony, the UK will also follow.

I do agree that the XBox180's 1st party launch lineup looks marginally better, but with pre-orders it looks like Sony will already win the launch sales. The question will be which company maintains better consistent new games throughout 2014.



ViciousDS said:

This might have been a 3rd party and 1st party collaboration. I think Evo needed more time for driveclub and 3 weeks is a huge period of time for developing a game, plus watch dogs being day 1 would also have had to pull launch 3 weeks earlier. With microsoft saying watch dogs is also releasing day one.....I have a feeling that the xbox one is going to release in america the following Tuesday on Watch Dogs midnight while Sony payed a little extra(they do have an insane partnership with Ubisoft) to allow PS4 users to allow it on day one launch. So instead of disappointing people microsoft decides to launch it where every single blockbuster that exists is available for their console instead of having them choose between the current gen and the new one.



rockman29 said:

2 weeks won't do much in the grand scheme of things.

PS3 launched a year late in all honesty, and it lost sales because of that.

But at the end of the day this is a marathon, to support a product for several years. 2 weeks will not even be a dent in the overall sales, even if it does manage to affect momentum in the short term (I doubt that will be the case).



Damianc78 said:

Sony will be fine a few weeks (PS4) is not as bad as almost a year (PS3). And the 1 million pre-orders won't be affected!



Jaz007 said:

It might give MS a very small advantage, but we don't even know it's launching before PS4 yet. On a personal level, I'm disappointed, I want my PS4 sooner dang it.



NathanUC said:

I guessed it would launch November 11th anyways... cause 11/12/13! I'm not sure what people would have been expecting in all honesty? Anything pre-holiday season in Dec seems like a good window to me.

Now... just tell me FF14ARR will allow me to use the touchpad as a mouse and also full remote play on Vita and I'll be ultra happy camper2.0



Daryusp said:

The X1 will not release before COD Ghost or BF4 does. Activision an EA want us to buy those games twice. Look for it to release on the 12th or the 13th. Yes that's the same week. Let the battle begin.



Scorpio73 said:

I'm disappointed but only for personal reasons, I want my PS4 now! Overall, in the grand scheme of things, the release date is just fine.



Sanquine said:

I'm more concerned of the AAA titles. I hope sony shoots some ammunition



longshot28 said:

I don't see MS releasing before Sony the XB1 hasn't cleared the FCC yet here in the states, and I believe they are a little behind in the distribution game.



Gamer83 said:


It's not just that it's a bigger library, it's got the quality to back it up. And just like with Vita, indie games, however awesome some of them are, don't make up for a severe lack of blockbuster retail games. As much as I like Guacamelee and Journey I'll take a new Halo, Splinter Cell, Killzone, GTA or Uncharted (just to name a few) over either indie production any day. MS, as much of a pain in the a$$ as it can be to indie developers, still manages to get good indie games but it also realizes how important big productions are as well. Looking at PS4's lineup, I'm not so sure Sony realizes it. The company is so obsessed with indies it's completely forgotten about the other part of the market.



Gamer83 said:


You're right when you say the PS3 become a great console over time, the problem is it took 3 damn years. For me it wasn't as big a problem because I had a 360 and Wii as well which were both kicking a$$ at the time and when each started to slow down, PS3 picked up. But it shouldn't take 3 years to make a system worth purchase. If Sony wants to play that game again, it can enjoy lagging behind the competition for the majority of the generation just like this one.



rawr1234 said:

Nothing but damn indie games and a late release date, Sony really annoyed me at this event..



uchinakagema said:

It isn't a late, it is in the perfect placement for for it in the U.S and probably Europe. You seem to forget that most of the preorders that are being sold out are the ones mainly online. The placement of Nov 15 gives the people who hardcore gamers exactly two weeks to have their fun with their consoles and show it off to their friends and family during the Thanksgiving Holiday which also includes "Black Friday" also known as the biggest shopping day of the year in the U.S. A lot of stuff gets sold out during this day so PS4(if it doesn't have enough product to sell) will easily have back fall to get stuff up around Dec when people go Christmas shopping. For the Europe it might be a late, but considering that there is a strong PlayStation following that include with the price compared to the Xbox One they don't have anything to majorly worry about.



Batman said:

On the one hand it gives me enough time to put aside the cash, but, as with a child at christmas, I want it right now.



moomoo said:

In the grand scheme of things, a few weeks or a month won't make a difference. I don't see why this ultimately matters outside of people just wanting it earlier.



Gamer83 said:


Glad to see I'm not the only one who realized what a sh*t show this was. Unless of course you get hard over indie games and hate big prodcutions like GTA, CoD, Battle Field, Splinter Cell, etc because all it's the 'cool' thing to do right now. TGS had better be better than this, A LOT better. I'm going to be pissed if this console goes the same way as PS3 and takes 3 f'ing years to become worth a damn.



artemisthemp said:

Releasing in EU this year gives Sony the advantages over Microsoft, who first releases in 2014.

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