Well, dang. There’s still a lot we don’t know about the upcoming successors to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, but one thing’s for sure: it’s not too early to start boasting about your ‘hardcore gamer’ appeal.
Now, PS4 and Xbox One released way back in November 2013. Nintendo Switch came along much later, in March of 2017, but that’s largely irrelevant. Nintendo, as ever, has zero interest in whatever their competitors are doing (unless they’re collaborating in neat things like the Cuphead Switch port), so they don’t really come into the equation here. What we’re really getting at is that Sony and Microsoft’s systems are both turning six years old soon, and there have been rumblings about the systems’ successors for some time now.
PS5 and Xbox Scarlett, as they’re tentatively known, are going to have a whole lot to prove. The technology we all use every day of our lives is advancing at a frightening rate, and gaming tech is no different. Upgrades are darn pricey (just ask iPhone owners), and in these uncertain times, it’s less and less enticing to just hop on board on day one for the sake of it.
With consoles in particular, that’s even more of a problem. PC gamers have long snarkily regarded themselves as the master race; gaming on a system capable of more than consoles could ever dream of achieving. What’s going to convince them to buy one of the next generation consoles? Probably not a whole lot.
For those of us who buy into particular systems, the deciding factor seems to be an obvious one: the exclusive games. This is something that Xbox One and PS4 both struggled to provide around their launches, but the PS5 isn’t going to be about that life. According to Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida, the system is going to focus on two things: big AAA exclusives and the hardcore gamer market.
As Esquire reports (via The Wall Street Journal), Yoshida’s vision of the system is of a "'niche product, aimed at serious players' rather than chasing casual gamers… [it] will focus on high-grade, big-budget games exclusive to the platform. There apparently isn't much of an appetite for indie developers and games which you can also play on your phone.”
Well, there we go. As we saw recently, PlayStation really can knock it out of the park exclusives-wise when they want to. Marvel’s Spider-Man and God of War were two of the very biggest games to hit consoles last year. A system buoyed along by quality titles like this, catering to a market of hardcore gamers (who love being called hardcore gamers, of course) could well be a powerhouse.
There’s no saying how all of this will play out, of course, but we may not have long to wait to find out. The report goes on to say that industry boffins believe the system will be available in time for the 2020 holiday season.