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Gameverse | December 19, 2018

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PlayStation 5, Xbox 2, Switch: How They Can Win the Console War

Matthew Byrd

PlayStation 5 Xbox 2 Nintendo Switch

All reports indicate that we’re going to get our first look at the net generation of video game consoles in 2019. Once that happens, a lot of gamers are going to have to decide which console to invest in.

How can each company capture the attention of the most gamers? That’s going to depend on a number of factors, but we ultimately think there are a few things each console manufacturer can do to win the upcoming war.

PlayStation 5

PlayStation 5

Find the Perfect Price Point

One of Sony’s greatest advantages in previous console wars has been the price of the PlayStation. Right from the start, Sony has generally emphasized undercutting the competition. It’s part of the reason why the PlayStation brand is so prominent and strong.

It’s hard to imagine Sony deviating from that strategy. The PS5 will likely be cheaper than the Xbox 2, but that might depend on something we’ll talk about later.

Don’t Rely on the Same Exclusives

Yes, the PlayStation 4 had some brilliant exclusives. Bloodborne, God of War, Spider-Man, Until Dawn…the list goes on. However, it’s important that Sony not catch a case of “sequel-itis.”

We expect to see sequels to some PS4 exclusives, but Sony needs to prove that they can continue to encourage the development of new and exciting properties. After all, their exclusive lineup isn’t quite a legendary as Nintendo’s.

Continue Supporting PlayStation Now

By the end of the next console generation, video game subscription services are going to be system sellers. It’s hard to imagine the path that leads us away from that future.

Quite frankly, PlayStation Now is just not on the same level as Xbox Game Pass in terms of price, features, support, and selection. It’s vital that Sony continues to grow and improve this service as we enter the PS5 era.

Xbox 2

Xbox 2

Release Multiple Consoles

Microsoft is in a bit of a bind when it comes to pricing their next console. While it make sense to release a cheaper console, they’re also a company that has become known for emphasizing console power. Clearly, it’s difficult to release a more powerful console that’s also cheaper.

The solution seems to be to release multiple consoles at launch. Microsoft has done this before with the Xbox 360, and by taking this approach again, they can appeal to both their fans and a broader market.

Don’t Stop Buying Studios

Look, Microsoft’s war chest is absurd. We’re not saying they are going to give all that money to the Xbox team, but Microsoft can beat the competition through cash alone. That’s why they’ve purchased some exciting studios in recent weeks.

Microsoft needs to continue aggressively purchasing studios. They’re still slightly behind Sony in terms of big-name exclusive developers, and they’re way behind in terms of Japanese studio support. It’s not time to close that checkbook just yet.

Lean on Xbox Game Pass

Game Pass is quickly becoming essential. As an affordable subscription service that is technically sound and loaded with recent exclusives, it’s by far the most aggressive and impressive digital delivery program of its kind.

In the coming years, Microsoft needs to turn Game Pass into something that every Xbox owner will feel compelled to subscribe to. By doing so, they might just be able to change the game in terms of how console gamers access new titles.

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch

Leave No Franchise Behind

When Nintendo released a new Mario and Zelda in the Switch’s first year, they sent a message regarding their faith in the Switch and their desire to bring fans back. Now is not the time to deviate from the message.

We’ve already got a new Metroid, Pokemon, and Animal Crossing game on the horizon, but Nintendo needs to continue reviving and revisiting their biggest franchises. The biggest name on that list is probably F-Zero, but honestly, they need to wake up just about every dormant series.

Add More Classic Games to Nintendo Switch Online 

Nintendo has suggested that they’re not interested in releasing more classic consoles or a Virtual Console service for Switch. As such, people are starting to wonder how they’re going to (legally) get their classic game fix.

We think they ultimately decide to expand Nintendo Switch Online’s classic game selection beyond the limited roster of NES titles currently available. By adding more games from more consoles to the service, Nintendo could make it a must-have.

Keep Chasing Third-Party Games

Nintendo has done an excellent job when it comes to attracting third-party developers to the Switch. Diablo III, Dark Souls, Skyrim…we’re seeing a lot of games on the Switch that we wouldn’t have seen on previous Nintendo consoles.

Simply put, they need to keep chasing these games. Such titles have really helped fill in the months between major Nintendo releases and should continue to do so moving forward.