Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

How PlayStation Could Sign Xbox's Death Warrant

The console wars might rage on forever, but you reckon that one of the Big Three gaming hardware companies has to fall eventually, right? While Nintendo is definitely a major player in its own right, here we're taking a look at what many consider the two consoles that appeal to "core" gamers: the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One. Sony and Microsoft have been warring over gamers' dollars for years, and the fight doesn't seem to be slowing down. The Xbox One is a fine machine and all, but what could PlayStation do to bury its competition once and for all?

PlayStation VR

For starters, the PlayStation VR looks to be an exciting addition to the PlayStation lineup. As of this writing, the emerging field of VR wearables is headed by the Oculus Rift, the HTC Vive, and Sony's PlayStation VR, formerly known as Project Morpheus. According to Dave Thier of Forbes, PlayStation has the edge because of how well the headset's straps secure the device to the user's head, ensuring the clearest picture and experience.

"The best rig in the world won't show you a clear picture if you can't get the headset tight on your face," said Thier. While having good hardware is only half of the battle, if Sony can get some solid software for the PlayStation VR, the Xbox One will be left in the virtual dust.


Greater selection of PS4 games for PlayStation Now

Sony touts the PlayStation Now service for its ability to stream games straight to your device of choice, but the experience isn't exactly perfect. Since the game you're playing is streaming, you're not going to get much in the way of high definition. There's also a bit of difficulty when it comes to transferring saves in the cloud to other PlayStation Now-compatible devices, requiring you to manually import saves instead of simply being able to download your progress. But perhaps the greatest issue is game selection. According to Engadget's Timothy Seppala, "PS Now's best games are those you've likely already played before, own or will be playing on PS4." There's not much incentive to use the service if you're only going to be playing familiar titles with worse graphics. If the library of games were bolstered, however, then Sony could be in a better position to charge for the subscription service, even if the streaming quality isn't in perfect HD.

More console-exclusive games

A lot of what sells a console is its exclusive content, so it's a no-brainer that Sony would trump Microsoft if they had more console exclusives. That's not to say that the PlayStation 4 is hurting for exclusive titles, especially since there are 13 PlayStation 4-exclusive games headed to the console as of this writing, but more hard-hitting AAA titles like Uncharted 4: A Thief's End wouldn't hurt. Some consoles have found success largely on the basis of the exclusives they offer, so PlayStation should take note—especially since the PlayStation 3's Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception sold 6.8 million units through 2016, whereas the Microsoft-exclusive Gears of War 3 sold 6.23 million units.

The PlayStation 4 "Neo"

The PlayStation 4 "Neo" is a new version of the console featuring more powerful hardware that will "render in higher definition and allow for better VR experiences," according to Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter. One of the pros of releasing a new SKU for the PlayStation 4 is that it might entice newcomers to buy the more powerful version of the machine for a higher cost, rather than the original console that's been out for the last few years. With all of the price drops for the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One over the last couple of years, profit margins would definitely be helped by sales of a new SKU at a higher price.

Better Selection of Free PlayStation Plus Games

One of the perks of having a PlayStation Plus subscription is getting free games month after month. And as long as you maintain a subscription, you'll have access to those games. Unfortunately, while the selection of games is pretty decent for the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 users only get one or two worthwhile titles every other month or so. With the Xbox's Games with Gold program seeing more AAA titles made available for free, a bump in the quality or quantity of free games with the PlayStation Plus subscription would likely attract more subscribers. Come for the ability to play online—stay for the free games!

More Support for the PlayStation Vita

Oh, the PlayStation Vita—Sony's little portable that could. Since 2014 debut, it hasn't exactly stayed in the spotlight. Sure, it's got great games like Gravity Rush, Uncharted: Golden Abyss, and Killzone: Mercenary, but it's languished in the shadow of Nintendo's mighty Nintendo 3DS and its seemingly endless library of games. While the Vita still sees a major release every now and then, there's not a ton of software available for it that isn't already available on the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4. And given the choice between playing a AAA title on an actual home console or a portable, most gamers would probably choose the former. If Sony could get more support for the Vita and bring more in-demand games to it, or implement more second-screen uses with the PlayStation 4, maybe the handheld console wouldn't be relegated to "legacy platform" status.

Backwards Compatibility

Now we go back to the subject of PlayStation Plus and its free games, all of which are scattered across the PlayStation 4, the PlayStation 3, and the PlayStation Vita. One thing that the Xbox One's Games with Gold program has over the PlayStation Plus is the fact that you can play the Xbox 360 games that are offered. If you wanted to play any of the free PlayStation 3 games, you'd have to hop onto a PlayStation 3. Having the ability to play most of the games on a PlayStation 4 would likely make both the PlayStation Plus subscription and the console itself more appealing to PlayStation 3 owners who haven't upgraded—not to mention newcomers.