Is Sony Losing Ground in the Next-Gen Console War?

Microsoft has written quite the apology letter to the gaming community over the last nearly 3 months. Restrictive DRM, gone. Kinect requirement,gone. Independents being able to self-publish, on board.

With the many about-faces that Microsoft has been executing in the last while, it makes me believe that Sony might be in a little bit of trouble.

This next generation of home consoles was clearly going to be awarded to Sony after E3 once they detailed that they would not be on board with the consumer restrictions set in place by Microsoft as well as undercutting the price of their new hardware under Microsoft’s by $100.

The later months would show Microsoft go into an absolute panic, pulling “feature” after “feature” to fall in line with the vast majority of consumer wishes.

Hardware wise, the two main core consoles are more or less the same. The only real advantage that Sony has over Microsoft at this point is the $100 undercut on the price point, yet Sony remains undeterred.

I still feel so strongly about Microsoft’s initial screw-you to us that I will not be picking up an Xbox One. Not to mention that the DRM still exists. It, like cancer, will be in a dormant state. Who’s to say it won’t resurface at some point? After all, it’s only a patch that enables “Offline Mode”.

Alas, many gamers are either very happy or (a vocal minority are) extremely upset due to these changes. As much as many detractors of either side want want to say that this is “360-2 and PS3-2” in the upcoming generation, there are many (in most cases needless) new features and gadgetry being available to both consoles.

Many felt that just the DRM reversal alone was enough to go back to the Xbox One, and everything after seems to be sweetening the deal. Removing many “features” that consumers took issue with is getting people more excited over all.

Sony, on the other hand, is attacking sales from the vantage point of the consumer’s wallet. They just announced a price drop for the PSVita and are touting the remote play feature attached to same.

Still, I am growing concerned for Sony. This will be a competitive race right out of the gate, but I believe that with Microsoft listening to consumers and the fact that their sales would be negatively affected will keep many people in the Xbox camp.

Consoles are always loss-leaders out of the gate, but I hope the competition and the burgeoning indie community coupled with the re-emergence of console exclusivity will lead both consoles to much success, and will leave us as gamers as the winners.

 (Archived article, original post from Tumblr on August 22nd, 2013)