Microsoft had its big annual meeting E3 party today. Of course it is not E3 because it’s in a graveyard somewhere pointed out by industry know-it-all Jeff Grubb. But unlike Sony, the team in green decided to keep their summer showcase slot on Sunday nights, so if you ignore the fact that this was a pre-recorded live stream – there was no Maseratis or Keanu Reeves on an extremely expensive makeshift stage – it somehow felt like E3. A little. Where were we going with this?
Oh ok, yeah! So the showcase targeted titles that were due out in the next 12 months, but there probably should have been a big asterisk next to star field because, uh, Yes. We’ll believe it when we see it. Other games included a nice new Forza MotorsportArkane’s next co-op shooter red falland some updates to existing versions such as sea of thieves and Based. The platform holder broke its “coming next year” condition for an announcement with Hideo Kojima, but we guess that’s fair enough – even though it looks like the cloud-based project is in the works. eons.
All in all, it was a perfectly respectable showcase with a selection of good if not mind-blowing titles. There was a lot of gameplay, a mix of first-party and third-party content, and we’d say a reasonable handful of budgets and scopes. The best-received announcements seem to be the ports of Character – no word on if these will come to PS5 or PS4by the way – but we’re talking about a title that first released on the PSP in 2009 and another that launched on the PS Vita in 2012. You know!
Anyway, our big takeaway was that it’s all on Game pass – Where almost all anyway. They really have really hammered this house. Like, as each trailer ended with a “Play It Day One on Game Pass” ID and now we see it every time we close our eyes. But, if it wasn’t already obvious, it really highlighted how Sony has an uphill battle with its new PS Plus levels. Recall: the redesign will launch tomorrow in North America and we still don’t know if PS1 games will use NTSC ROMs or not – and we absolutely don’t know the full range of All PS Plus Games.
Sony, of course, sees its craft a little differently. It’s paced aimlessly on the “virtuous circle“, and how he fears that releasing his first-party games on day one in a subscription could affect the quality of its content. (Well, the Sony developed MLB The Show 22 aside, anyway!) This is all almost certainly true, but at what point does consumer perception start to frown at a $69.99 copy of The Last of Us: Part One when the competitor gives everything for free*? Said competitor may have pockets that amount to trillions of dollars, but that’s not really the point, is it?
Now, to be fair, we haven’t seen what the content flow will look like yet for PS Plus Extra and PS Plus Premium – it will take a few months before any definitive conclusions can be drawn. And, while it looks like Microsoft’s business is booming, it’s not like it’s a zero-sum game: the PS5 is doing just fine too, aside from the fact that you can’t not buy any of the bloody things! Perhaps the Japanese giant will strike a balance between adding big first-party releases in a timely manner and logging huge full-price sales – sort of a best of both worlds that satisfies everyone, including including shareholders.
But another Xbox storefront down and we’re kinda back to the cyclical conversation: Games were fine, but services do the heavy lifting. Can Sony compete with this, given that its parent company has a much smaller cat? Or is the impact of a competitor’s business model exaggerated? It will certainly be an interesting generation; the industry seems likely to be unrecognizable in the end.
Don’t forget you can keep up to date with all the latest Xbox news from our friends at Pure Xbox. Before your traitors leave us, be sure to share your thoughts in the comments section below. Does Sony have a Game Pass issue, or are you ok with paying for the games you want to play? Think about it in the comments section below.
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