This may sound like a ridiculous question at face value, and I agree – it is. Customers in the modern climate want the best value for their money, and when it comes to shelling out hundreds of pounds, dollars or euros for a machine that will be with you for the next decade, you want the very best. So when the Playstation 4 is $100 cheaper, and seems to be running on more powerful hardware, why are people still going the way of the Xbox One?
Because consumers don’t care.
“Madness,” you cry, “I care!” Yes, you most likely do, but the fact that you are here reading a video gaming blog means that you are considerably more invested than the vast majority of those who are looking to buy these consoles. You have read up on what Microsoft and Sony have done wrong and done right, and you are slowly forming an opinion based on this information.
I stayed up until the sun was shining through my window to watch the E3 reveal for the two leading next-generation consoles, and watched as Sony delivered body blow after body blow to the Xbox One’s pretentious reveal. Factor in price and revelations about the grief Infinity Ward experience when producing Call of Duty: Ghosts for the Xbox One and it becomes a struggle to conceive of a reason to buy one.
And yet here I am, the only person I know to have pre-ordered a Playstation 4. Why?
Because Microsoft has loyal customers. It might seem to be an oversimplification, but Microsoft delivered a stoic console which was unchallenged for over a year before Sony’s Playstation 3 was released around the world. By that point, customers had already invested in their console of choice, and Sony was playing catch-up. The dates for release may well be essentially equal now, especially with the hazy period around Christmas, but it still feels as though the Playstation 4 has a race to run for the starting line – a preposterous thought judging that the Japanese company have got just about everything right so far.
Erik Kain, a contributor over at Forbes, makes a fantastic example by comparing this to the nature of politics. Hardcore political advocates write lengthy, time-invested passages about what people should and shouldn’t do, how it affects them and what mistakes to avoid. They research, some more than others, and lay their knowledge bare for others to take in. They expect that by virtue of their opinion being given a platform, people will be struck by spontaneous epiphanies and conform to their way of thinking.
Unfortunately, this is not the case.
Microsoft are nobody’s fool – the Xbox One will not flop, and it will still remain a potent video gaming console. Each platform offers its nuances and features, and these are all things that consumers should look in to. For those that are remaining stalwart in favour of Microsoft’s next-generation console despite the utterings about price and performance, I can only hope that the naysayers are wrong.