One of the big talking points emerging as part of Microsoft’s rumoured switch in strategy is that a reduction in competition could result in complacency from PlayStation and its army of first-party developers. The issue, according to some, is that if Xbox were to abandon its own hardware – which, for the record, isn’t what any speculation is suggesting – Sony would have no real reason to compete.
This is nonsense, of course, because PS5 and PS4 will always face intense competition from not just Nintendo, but also all forms of entertainment, like Netflix, Spotify, and so on. Sony is fighting for your free time, and whether Xbox is in the race or not, it’s going to need to continue making compelling products in order to earn it. This is just common sense.
Robert Morrison, an animator at Days Gone developer Bend Studio, certainly doesn’t believe any perceived reduction in competition will affect its first-party teams. “At the developer level, PS Studios don’t compete against Xbox or Nintendo studios,” he said. “We are all driven by an internal desire to create the best work possible.”
In some sense, while PS Studios boss Hermen Hulst has nurtured a culture of shared knowledge, Sony’s first-party teams are competing against each other – in a healthy way, of course. We’ve seen the likes of Naughty Dog, Santa Monica Studio, Sucker Punch, and Guerrilla Games all, quite literally, up their games in order to rival each other – and we don’t see that stopping any time soon.