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PS5 vs. xBox

Episode Notes

  • On the surface the PS5 and xBox on the surface have a similar strategy with two options
  • Microsoft really wants to own the living room
  • There is no dominate platform for the internet even through more and more people are using computers on their tv
  • PS4 outsold xbox one 2:1, PS4 clearly won
  • Ps5 two editions dont have any difference than the disc drive
  • PS5 will invest in exclusives which are more finely tuned the console
  • Microsofts approach
    • 2 Models one with a disc drive and one without
    • similar but not exact specs
    • series S is lower resolution (HD+ vs 4K) and has a smaller hard drive
    • Subscription pricing option with xBox game pass

What kind of family are we

Its interesting that game consoles are still a pretty split market. I was watching the "Video Games" documentary on netflix last night and they talked about you were either a Sega family or a Nintendo family. My family was clearly a Sega one for a whole slew of reasons but mostly came down to timing. Right as I was about to turn 9 is when the genesis came out. It was a lot newer than the Nintendo and the difference is specs made a huuuuge difference back than so the Genesis was clearly better. The folks who were Nintendo families generally bought them before the genesis came out so they were already hooked.

The timing isnt really a factor these days with the consoles being largely in sync release date and spec wise but the landscape is similar. Its still the case that while Sony continues to sell better neither one is dominate enough to force the other out of the market all together. Add to that its unusual for families to have both consoles and you're left having to make a choice.

We are actually a Nintendo family today and Orlando is right around the same age I was when I first got my Genesis. He's made it very clear that he isn't super interested in the things that make Nintendo unique. He couldn't care less about Mario games and while he had brief obsession with Smash bros he's so focused on shooters, specifically Fortnite but I think thats largely because we wont let him have any other more violent shooters. There's a whole rabbit hole about why Fortnite was acceptable to us that I'll save for another post.

So if I asked our son what he wanted I'm positive that he'd pick a PS5. He sees himself as a "hard core" gamer and sony's always been focused on hard core gamers. They have great exclusive games you cant get anywhere else and have the highest end specs. The switch is in a bit of a unique position and Nintendo clearly likes it that way. They arent saying anything about a next generation console because they consider themselves in a different market all together than Microsoft and Sony. Nintendos flagship console is portable and way lower specs than even the current xBox and PS4 but I have no doubt it can remain competative with the next generation, for a while anyway.

Microsoft on the other hand is going toe to toe with Sony. Its no accident that they are both releasing their consoles within a few weeks of each other. But instead of trying to compete on specs or prices or exclusives Microsoft is going all in on cloud gaming. They thing its more appealing to pay $25 a month and get not only a console but a huge library of games. Despite the popularity of subscriptions in todays economy its still very unusual to see a subscription pricing for hardware but I think its really appealing.

I promised to save the Fortnite rabbit hole for another post but I think it points to why I feel like the xBox might be the path for our family. Fortnite became the most popular shooter game for one simple reason. It was free, full stop. I had already downloaded it on the switch before he moved in because it was free. I had played it a couple of times just to try it out but largely ignored it. But when he came it was the only shooter available to him. Free got it in the door and thats huge. The genius of fortnite was understanding that getting installed was the biggest hurdle to cross in gaming, once you were installed it was way easier to convince folks to spend money later.

Is the game pass subscription idea similar? Will it accomplish our goal to get him into ANYTHING besides fortnite because he can try it all for "free". Or will he just end up playing 1-2 games all the time anyway. Does he even "need" a new console or is the switch good enough for the next couple of years? Theres also practical questions, he doesnt have a tv in his room right now but he can take the switch in there with him and put on headphones. If he gets an xBox hes in the living room blasting through the speakers.

Clearly a lot to think about and its interesting that in a lot of ways just like when I was a kid this is a decision that almost all families with pre-teen and teenage kids are going through. As a second generation gamer family I feel a lot of pressure to get this decision right for the Mancuso Roa family.