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Different strategies of next generation consoles from Microsoft and Sony

We are only a few days away from the next generation of consoles with the upcoming release of Xbox Series X / S and PlayStation 5. And now that we are close to that launch date, we have one Pretty good idea how both companies are approaching this next generation.

Microsoft is building a future where the hardware you’re playing doesn’t matter. If you want to play Xbox games, Microsoft is trying to make that possible across a variety of devices. In contrast, Sony is sticking with a more traditional approach to the PS5, where you can only play exclusive PS5 games on the console itself. But at launch, both companies relied heavily on libraries of older generations to fulfill the roster̵

7;s first few months.

It should be an exciting new generation. Here’s what we know about the strategy of Microsoft and Sony.

Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S.
Tom Warren / The Verge’s photo

Microsoft X / S series

First, you’ll be able to get your hands on Microsoft’s latest consoles, the $ 499 Xbox Series X and the slightly less powerful $ 299 Xbox Series S, when they launch Nov. 10. launch marquee – that’s supposed to be Halo Infinite until 2021 is delayed.

But that doesn’t mean you won’t have a lot to play with on day one. Series X will be backwards compatible number of Xbox categories back and you’ll also have access to over 100 titles if you subscribe to Xbox Game Pass. The ability to play a wide variety of Xbox games, whether you already own them or are paying Microsoft a monthly fee for the privilege of doing so, is key in Microsoft’s approach to its new Xbox console. me.

Let’s talk about backwards compatibility first. If you still own multiple Xbox One games, they’ll work on the new console unless they require Kinect. And Xbox Series X and Series S will also support backward compatible Xbox 360 and original Xbox games. That alone gives you a huge library of potential games you can play, and Microsoft has a list of every backward compatible game right here.

Backward compatible games will run natively on the new console, meaning they can leverage more powerful hardware for faster load times, Microsoft’s new Auto HDR feature, etc. My colleague Tom Warren noticed that the preview version of Series X loads most games much faster than the Xbox One X.

And many games are getting patches or updates to take advantage of the new hardware in upcoming consoles. On launch date, some of the older games will be optimized for Series X and Series S, incl Gears 5, Forza Horizon 4and Sea of ​​Thieves. While, Halo: The Master Chief Collection will get the update on November 17, just a week after the launch of the new console, adding 120 frames per second in both campaign and multiplayer modes, among other updates.

You’ll also be able to play through any of the more than 100 games available on Xbox Game Pass, Microsoft’s game subscription service. And the value of that subscription will only increase over time, as full versions of all upcoming first-party games will be available on the service on release date. With some developers pushing game prices to $ 69.99 for this next console generation, getting access to brand new games with a $ 9.99 monthly subscription or $ 14.99 is a bargain by comparison.

And signing up for the Xbox Game Pass will be even sweeter when Microsoft acquires Bethesda Softworks’ parent company ZeniMax Media. The acquisition means that Microsoft now owns such major franchises Death, The Elder Scrollsand Fall outand any new entries from those franchises will be available to Game Pass subscribers on day one. And existing Bethesda games will be added to Game Pass from time to time, according to Phil Spencer, Xbox director.

A $ 14.99 per month Game Pass Ultimate subscription also includes access to Microsoft’s cloud game service, called xCloud. Currently, xCloud only allows you to stream compatible Xbox games to Android device, meaning you can basically play Xbox games wherever you carry your Android phone (say that you have a Wi-Fi or cellular connection capable of handling it). Some games even have touch controls, which means you don’t need an Xbox controller to play them on a cloud game service.

xCloud will be available on Windows PC at some point next year, and a web app for iOS is expected to launch in early 2021. There is another way to play Xbox games on your phone. You – Microsoft provides a remote play feature that lets you stream games from your own console to your Android or iOS device.

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate will also includes EA Play games starting November 10, which means you play some of EA’s biggest titles without having to pay for a separate subscription.

And if you don’t have plans to upgrade to Microsoft’s next-generation console yet, some Xbox One titles will support Microsoft’s Smart Delivery program, allowing you to upgrade the Xbox One version of the multiplayer game. Us to Xbox Series X version of it for free.

PlayStation 5.
Vjeran Pavic / The Verge’s photo

Sony’s PlayStation 5

Sony’s PlayStation 5 will launch on November 12, just two days after the Xbox Series X and Series S. While Microsoft is focused on letting you play games from your entire Xbox console lineup, wherever you are. want to play them, Sony seems to be focusing more on selling you next generation games to play on next generation consoles.

The company is said to have a more powerful launch product line than Microsoft’s new console, with the soul of the devil rework and Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales as highlights, not to mention the package Astro’s playroomserves as the ideal showcase for the new DualSense controller. And we also got to know about some of the most promising first-party titles planned for 2021, including Horizon Zero Dawn next part Horizon Forbidden West and the next part of God of War. (Microsoft has also announced some interesting first-party titles, including one Fables games, but many of them do not have a release window yet.)

That new DualSense controller is also a big part of Sony’s strategy. It has haptic feedback and adaptive triggers to help you get more immersed in your game, and early hints that they might change the feel of the game. Sony will certainly integrate new controller features with first-party PS5 titles, but third-party games like NBA 2K21 and Fortnite also features DualSense exclusive. The controller helps to evolve the idea of ​​exclusivity: if the developers support DualSense, they’ll provide an experience you can’t get on any other console.

Sony’s promise to deliver big games from its beloved brands in the future is similar to how they approach the PS4. You could pose the case that the PS4 has a limited set of launch titles – Killzone Shadow Fall is Sony’s most notable exclusive – but the day before the PS4 was released, Sony revealed what would become Uncharted 4 and give a release date for Notorious: Second son. And throughout the PS4’s lifecycle, Sony’s strategy to continuously roll out major exclusive games has worked very well. Uncharted 4 was a huge success, as did the headlines Marvel’s Spider-Man, Bloodborneand The Last of Us Part II. All of Sony’s big exclusive hits are the main reason why the PS4 is the fastest home console to hit 100 million sales.

But Sony hasn’t completely abandoned the PS4 yet. Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales was first announced for the PS5, but we did know in September that there will be a PS4 version. Horizon Forbidden West will also be coming to PS4.

And Sony is focusing a little more on this multi-generational gaming, as the PS5 is backwards compatible with more than 4,000 PS4 titles. (Some games “may have bugs,” according to the company, although only 10 will not work.) “Selective” PS4 and PSVR games will also have “faster frame rates and smoother ”. Ghost of Tsushima, for example, will run at 60fps and have faster load times on the PS5, according to developer Sucker Punch.

Sony will also provide a new game subscription service for the PS5 called PlayStation Plus Collection. It allows Premium Plus users to play any of the 20 PS4 games in their PS5 collection, including games like God of War, Person 5and Bloodborne. But it’s a much more limited library than the Xbox Game Pass, allowing you to play games from generations and have first-party games on day one.

Sony has said that PlayStation Now, their game subscription service to PS4, PS3 and PS2 games, will be coming to the PS5 at some point, but we don’t have a schedule as to when that might be possible. happening. And the PS5 won’t support PS1, PS2, or PS3 games, so you’ll need to keep an older PlayStation console if you want to play them.

If you don’t plan on immediately upgrading to the PS5, you’ll have a few options if you end up wanting to get the next generation experience for the games you played before on PS4. Some PS4 games can be upgraded to a digital version of PS5 – although that will be decided by the developer and the developer can decide whether the upgrade is free, paid or just. Available for a limited time.

And similar to Microsoft, Sony also offers remote play functionality for the PS5, though your options with Sony let you stream PS5 games to PC and Mac in addition to Android and iOS.

Vjeran Pavic / The Verge’s photo

An exciting new generation of console games is about to begin

Choosing between the next Xbox or PlayStation will have nothing to do with hardware and more about the Microsoft and Sony philosophy of this generation of console games. With Xbox Series X and S you’ll get access to many older games at launch, but we’ll have to wait and see if next-generation games actually make a compelling case for an upgrade. or not. Meanwhile, Sony is betting on an exclusive-focused strategy for the PS5 that works well with the PS4, but that will only work if Sony releases exclusive features worth buying a PS5 to play with.

In the past, choosing between a dashboard meant comparing specs and analyzing release schedules. This time, the choice is much more philosophical.

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