Throughout the console wars, every generation has a winner. Sony’s first two iterations of the PlayStation dominated the marketplaces when they came out, but the seventh generation of the console wars proved a fairly even playing field with both the Xbox 360 and PS3 selling a bit over 80 million units each while the Wii was a smash with 101 million units sold.
In the current eighth generation, Sony’s PlayStation 4 has been the clear winner with 100 million consoles sold as of this Summer, more than double that of both Xbox One and the Nintendo Switch which hover somewhere in the 40 million range. Those numbers will go up as the years roll on, but everyone is still prepping for the next generation of this battle.
Late 2020 will see the arrival of the ninth generation as both the PlayStation 5 and Microsoft’s Project Scarlett arrive. With PS4 holding the lead, Sony is hoping to exploit that as new PlayStation boss Jim Ryan says the company’s goal is to transition the community from the current generation to the new PlayStation 5 more quickly than we’ve seen with past generations. He tells Games Industry:
“We have enjoyed good times over this current generation, and when I stand back and look at the things that we’ve done quite well, we’ve done a good job of protecting and enhancing our brand. We’ve done well with exclusive content – that has been a point-of-difference. But I think the interesting thing this time is the community that we’ve built.
These are gamers who are networked and sticky and engaged and passionate about PlayStation to an extent that we’ve not seen in previous generations. As we move towards the next-generation in 2020, one of our tasks – probably our main task – is to take that community and transition it from PlayStation 4 to PlayStation 5, and at a scale and pace that we’ve never delivered on before.”
Ryan also says developers and publishers have given strong feedback on the PS5’s development tools, something which was a notorious issue with the PS3:
“One thing that makes me particularly optimistic that what we’re hearing from developers and publishers, is the ease in which they are able to get code running on PlayStation 5 is way beyond any experience they’ve had on any other PlayStation platform.”
The comments come as Sony’s three different PlayStation divisions – the US, Europe and Japan – have been restructured and centralised into one global organisation. That has led to the production and development of the PS5 being “massively more streamlined compared to anything we’ve done in the past”.