The astounding success of the PlayStation 4 was a great thing for Sony in more ways than just benefitting their balance sheet. The company pretty much went all in on the division and it is paying huge dividends now for both shareholders and video gamers. A lot of this success is attributed to an awesome catalogue of first-party titles and the bold yet smart dive into VR with the gaming industry’s most successful console add-on ever, the PSVR. This brings up the question: Can Sony keep it going with the PlayStation 5? All signs are pointing to yet but we’ll explain to you why that is the case.
For one, the backwards compatibility announcement was no small deal. The last time Sony unequivocally guaranteed backwards compatibility for its previous system’s masterpieces was the PS2. Anyone that knows that console’s history knows it is the best-selling of all time. When you add to this that the console add-on and its games will also be compatible, you have one of the most consumer-friendly next-gen consoles we’ve seen in a while. Want to take the plunge on PSVR now? Go on ahead, you won’t be left in the cold with the PS5. Similarly, you won’t have to miss out on the PS4’s amazing games if you want to just wait until the PS5 comes out. The lists of reasons for buying a PS5 are many for current PS4 owners AND for those thinking about buying one.
That’s why it is more than likely that Sony will largely stay the course with the next PlayStation release and rely upon amazing first-party content and the burgeoning public interest in VR to buoy PS5 to success. There will be the attendant multimedia services and pushes to integrate multiple things as always happens with each new generation but we think that Sony will sell systems on the strength of the promise of the future and evidence of the PS4’s past. Transitioning between owning a PS4 and a PS5 promises to be as painless as possible and this ease of access means that the brand should experience relatively little market interruption in moving to the next generation.
There are a few issues that could disrupt this momentum such as the games sucking, the hardware being prohibitively expensive, or even the Google Stadia blowing up in ways no one expected. All of these threats will have to be addressed by Sony and Microsoft in the next gen but, as it looks now, Sony has the early edge moving forward and really needs to just maintain their current position if they want to continue on top.
Let’s also not discount the impact that cross-play and cooperation between the consoles could have on the next generation. Perhaps Stadia might be the thing to get Sony and Microsoft to start working together. As they say, the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Who knows what will happen but the next-generation console war is looking wild at the onset.