While we’ve still got a long old slog ahead before the next-gen consoles officially launch, the promotional head-to-head between the PS5 and Xbox Series X continues to dominate the discussion.
With no hands-on experience – or even proper gameplay for that matter – fans are left to judge the merits of each console based on Sony and Microsoft’s marketing campaigns alone.
And in that race, the Xbox Series X seems to have an unassailable advantage.
It isn’t unreasonable to say that Microsoft’s Xbox Series X strategy – one of transparency, hyper-communication, and early reveals – contrasts sharply with Sony’s almost furtive drip-feed of PlayStation 5 details.
The gaming community’s perception is that Microsoft currently has the upper hand, with many questioning the wisdom of Sony’s approach.
The assessment seems justified based on how much we know about both consoles.
From the early reveal of the Xbox Series X design late last year and subsequent press tear-downs to last week’s third-party game showcase, there’s a sense that Microsoft has very little left to share other than first-party titles.
The fruits of Sony’s strategy, on the other hand, tally up to a comparatively thin spread. There’s Mark Cerny’s technical deep dive, a quick look at the DualSense controller, and an underwhelming logo reveal.
Yet the word from Sony’s camp is that the platform holder is unfazed by Microsoft’s perceived advantage.
Sony’s earnings report, published today, covered financial performance, detailed another stellar year for the PlayStation 4, and briefly touched on the PlayStation 5.
Sony confirms that everything is on track to hit a holiday 2020 launch, but this didn’t stop participants in the investor call from inquiring about how the company sees itself stacking up to Microsoft, especially from a marking standpoint.
Bloomberg tech reporter Takashi Mochizuki took to Twitter to detail one such exchange. When asked if Sony would give the PlayStation 5 team a passing score in the wake of suggestions that the PS5 is falling behind the Xbox Series X, Sony CFO Hiroki Totoki said:
We consider things strategically, but [we’re] doing our best. As for pass or fail, I would wait for PS5 sales to make that judgment.
Whether Sony’s almost combative wait-and-see retort is out of touch bravado akin to the PlayStation 3 days or genuine confidence in a carefully crafted plan, only time will tell.
And, as Totoki remarks, Sony will measure success in PlayStation 5 sales.