Sony must think that the Gods are smiling on the PlayStation division right now. Nintendo's NX was rumoured to release this holiday, which would have undoubtedly stolen some of the limelight away from PlayStation VR and the leaked hardware revision, PS4K. However, the House of Mario has announced today that its new console won't launch until March 2017, and it won't be on display at E3 2016 in a couple of months either. It's another Christmas that the PlayStation maker could dominate, then.
It's important to stress that we don't know Microsoft's plans just yet, but the removal of NX from the holiday equation will at least free up dollars for Sony's own impending hardware initiatives. And that's particularly important when you're talking about pricey peripherals such as PlayStation VR – few people will be purchasing the $399 virtual reality headset on a whim. But with Nintendo's new system put on the backburner for the time being, there will at least be a little less competition for consumer's dollars this Christmas – it's good news for the magical mask.
And it's also good news for PS4K, which is rumoured to release before we drunkenly recite Auld Lang Syne as well. The souped up system revision may be a source of anxiety among some gamers at the minute, but if Sony can message it correctly, then we could see it connect. And considering that the PS4 already has an established library and plenty of buzz behind it, there's a chance that those waiting for the NX may give up and seize the opportunity to join the PlayStation party while there's a hot new piece of hardware ready and waiting on store shelves.
It's all ifs and buts, of course, and it depends on many mitigating factors that are impossible to predict. Indeed, today's news does not give Sony an open goal: it still needs to convince consumers that PlayStation VR is worth its asking price; it still needs to explain why PS4K is the right step. But if it can pull that off, then the lack of a new Nintendo console this Christmas will mean that there's more money to spend on PlayStation's products – pending any potential major announcements from Microsoft, of course.
Sony seems to be running its own race this generation, so any reveals from Nintendo or Xbox are unlikely to change its course. But it's bizarre to think that, before the PS4K leaked, many assumed Sony would be the only organisation at E3 this year without a new console to show. Just a few short weeks later, though, with Xbox chief Phil Spencer having ruled out hardware half-steps and Nintendo pushing the NX back, it may actually be the only manufacturer with a fresh machine. Add PlayStation VR to the mix, and the stars appear to be aligning in its favour again – if, of course, it can get that all-important messaging right.
Do you think that the Nintendo NX's release date has given a bit of breathing room to Sony's upcoming initiatives? Has it changed your purchase plans, or is it too early for you to say? Shop till you drop in the comments section below.