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The PlayStation Gloom is Hilarious (But so are the Defenders)

PlayStation is doomed, and the Sony empire is going to crumble under the weight of the egos of a few executives. That’s what I’ve heard anyway.

PlayStation 5

An unfortunate series of events for the blue camp has led to a troubling air of dismay, and it’s some of the PlayStation die-hard who are feeling it the worst.

MLB: The Show coming to Xbox and being on Game Pass, Kojima supposedly working with Xbox, the closure of the PS3 and Vita stores, more exclusives coming to PC… it’s been a bad couple of weeks, and that’s before we take into account Jason Schreier’s most recent article for Bloomberg.

The stream of gloom has been too much. Every major gaming forum has been filled to the rafters with people wondering whether this is the end of a successful PlayStation. Are they following in the footsteps of 2013 Microsoft, abandoning their core for moneymaking schemes fed from focus groups?

No. They’re not. It’s ridiculous to even suggest it. But in all this, it is the defenders who are even worse.

Launch Window Whinging

You’d think some of these people had never been there for the launch of a console before. Or that they’d never seen another console doing well.

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Every generation has a slow start, usually made worse by a lack of backwards compatibility, developers taking forever to switch to new tools and an extremely liberal use of the phrase “next-generation”.

This one has been made worse by coronavirus. In this case, Xbox has also had a load of positivity since the end of January. The contrast – purely in terms of potential based on current announcements – is stark.

This is a problem. It was a problem last year when Sony shut down all communication as well, although people like to point to a very successful launch as to why that didn’t matter. But it does matter, and it will continue to do so.

Microsoft, on the other hand, have shown they are willing to put the money in to make their efforts a huge success. Game Pass is jumping from strength to strength and can’t be played down. They’re killing their systemwide features, such as Auto-HDR and Quick Resume, and FPS Boost is an interesting concept that will continue to be built upon.

And the good news is all of it can be true, and Sony can still be very successful. Xbox can have a great generation, Sony can screw up a few times – you’ll still get the next God of War.

PlayStation could go a whole generation without releasing a single game, and the PS6 would still sell pretty well. That’s just how the gaming industry is today. Nintendo is the same. The Wii U could be a disaster and the Switch could bring it back as though it never happened.

“LEAVE PLAYSTATION ALONE!!!”

So the doom and gloom is massively over-stated. PlayStation isn’t going to crash and burn any time soon. They might hurt their future by being too cautious, but there’s no black hole waiting to remove Sony headquarters from the planet.

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In all of this smog of overblown madness, there’s been a confident few who’ve cried the likes of Destruction AllStars and Returnal as evidence that Sony isn’t forgetting its roots. The Vita store fiasco didn’t matter, apparently because nobody uses it anyway. MLB: The Show is just a baseball game. Game Pass isn’t sustainable (and don’t get me started on that one).

The Sony supporters take no bad news at face value, but their praise might end up making their experience worse.

If you think a game that was greenlit years ago is a sign of any decisions being made today, you’re mad. There’s no reason to celebrate a focus on too-big-to-fail video games. There’s no celebration to be had from Sony not at least looking to improve their PS Now offerings.

The problem here should be obvious. Anything that’s too big to fail ultimately does. Game Pass could well become the status quo for gaming – Microsoft executives certainly hope it does – and what happens when Sony has serious no answer?

The landscape is changing, and Sony must change with it. Fans holding onto the current way of doing things just because it’s Sony’s way of doing things are not helping.

Conclusion

It’s been a bad week for the PlayStation Nation, and that’s okay. There’ll be a conference some day in the future, and you’ll love it.

But don’t defend the status quo too much, else you risk being left behind. Be careful defending that $70 increase too much. Be careful trashing MLB just because.

The discussion around PlayStation lately has been bizarre, but it’s not uncalled for. Sony can’t be allowed to coast, because no fan will like it when they do.

 

Article By

blank Mat Growcott has been a long-time member of the gaming press. He's written two books and a web series, and doesn't have nearly enough time to play the games he writes about.

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