Ah, the Console Wars. Although they don't exist in the raw form that many would like to perceive, there's no getting away from that fact that companies like Sony and Microsoft are competing with one another. And right here in April 2021, five months removed from the PlayStation 5's launch, PlayStation and Xbox are going head-to-head once more. It's obviously very early days as far as this new console generation is concerned, but given the recent news cycle, is it fair to say that Xbox is gaining ground on PlayStation? Is the Japanese giant letting its lead slip after years of immense PS4 success? As always, we want your thoughts on the matter.
On the Xbox side of things, there's no question that Game Pass has propelled the brand forward. Game Pass has become the consumer-friendly face of Xbox, and it's getting to a point where many a PlayStation fan would argue that Sony must respond (and rumours say that it will). But it's not just the perceived value of Game Pass that's doing damage — it's Sony's supposed lack of communication on its plans for the future.
The new PlayStation — the company that's headed by Jim Ryan — doesn't do things by the book. In all of our years covering the brand, we've never known it to be so unpredictable. Over the last year or so, it's made a habit of making significant announcements out of nowhere. Before the PS5's big reveal, Sony's silence was deafening. There were leaks and rumours everywhere, but the firm did nothing but sit and wait for its time to shine. When the reveal did eventually happen, the online discourse was flipped on its head, and Sony was almost immediately back on top.
And we bring up online discourse because that's where a lot of the current negativity surrounding PlayStation emanates from. Now, we all know that websites like Push Square exist in a kind of hardcore bubble — at least in part. The opinions shared by people who follow the gaming industry on a day-to-day basis are not necessarily the opinions of the much wider mainstream audience. However, the hardcore bubble is often where perceptions are planted, ready to bleed into the mass market — and that's what's happening with Sony's reputation right now; the idea that Xbox is making waves, and PlayStation has grown fat and lazy, gorged on the aforementioned success of the PS4.
The $70 price tag for first party PS5 games. The distinct lack of any official comment on the ongoing shortage of PS5 stock. The closure of the PS Vita and PS3 stores. The news that Sony-developed MLB The Show 21 is going to be free* on Game Pass on the same day that it hits PS5 and PS4 at full price. It's all bad press, and it all adds up.
It's a slippery slope, and we've seen it happen before with the PS3 — the "arrogant Sony" era. But is that really a fair comparison? After all, we shouldn't forget that the PS5 is selling extremely well, despite the fact that actually buying a console remains a nightmare for the average consumer. Is the negativity that surrounds PlayStation online really as prominent as some people think? Or is it overblown?
Again, we want to know what you think. Vote in our polls, and then give us your honest opinion of PlayStation's current situation in the comments section below.