Some of the most watched topics for hardware enthusiasts over the past few years is what will happen to the next generation of consoles. The answer to that is now pretty clear, as is the winner, but we told you that over a year ago.
GDC this year made one thing clear, Sony wins the next generation console race, period. This came as a bit of a surprise, but the real shock was that Microsoft didn’t even show up to the fight. No, we are not joking, Sony made a gaming console in the PS4, Microsoft made all the wrong moves to counter with the XBox 720. What you end up with are two very different products, one with a purpose, the other without. Microsoft didn’t try this round.
Time and time again at GDC developers who had both consoles praised the job Sony had done with the PS4. There were several demos run on the PS4 dev kits too, the author saw at least one dev kit directly and knows of a few more at the show. XBox 720 kits were as absent as the praise directed at Microsoft, some devs even mocked the hardware Redmond is offering.
With a little bit of knowledge about the hardware one thing became very clear, why this happened was not actually a technical problem. Microsoft didn’t screw up, Microsoft didn’t misjudge the market, and Microsoft didn’t botch the design, they got exactly what they were aiming for. Anyone who has been following the company of late may see an eerie similarity to the rest of their business, management is so out of touch with customers that they don’t understand what to make anymore.
Lets take a look at what is coming and what it means. This will give you a good idea about why each party made the choices they did as well as why we are declaring a winner. Non-technical miscalculations can have clear traces in the tech itself, and those fingerprints can be quite easy to read.
[Editor's note: The following is analysis and so will only be available to Professional and Member level subscribers.]