Did Microsoft Vastly Underestimate The Release Date of the Playstation 4 And Enter Damage Control Mode As A Result

There has been much speculation about the PlayStation 4 ever since Sony announced it back in February. Aside from the usual things such as pricing, specs, titles, and features, one of the biggest questions from gamers has been what Microsoft’s response would be and when they would announce their new system. Conventional wisdom has Microsoft announcing the successor to the Xbox 360 during the E3 convention this June. In light of the attention Sony is getting with their announced system there has been speculation as to why Microsoft has not decided to make some kind of announcement sooner rather than later.

We checked with various technology and gaming insiders regarding this topic and will naturally nobody was willing to go on record regarding this topic they did provide some very interesting information. The development of a news console involves millions of dollars in research and development as well as a significant amount of outlay in strategic partnerships and other licensing related to the games and hardware for the system. Combine that with the billions of dollars in revenue that can be generated over the lifespan of the console, it is evident why it is important to do everything your power to ensure a stable and successful launch.

From what we have heard there is much speculation that Microsoft may have underestimated Sony as they did not believe that the next PlayStation would be announced as early as it was and did not expect the unit to be shipping to retail in November. Some insiders reported to us that they anticipated and E3 announcement on the system with a release date sometime in 2014 similar to the way that Nintendo announced the follow-up to the Wii at the 2011 E3 with the launch date of November 2012.

As a result, there reportedly has been debate amongst the Xbox team as to the best course of action. It was reported to us that some believe that the system should be delayed six months or so beyond its planned but as yet unannounced launch window so that further refinements could be done to the system. There are also those that are concerned that launching two systems so close to each other might be detrimental to sales as many gamers will only be able to buy one system during the coveted holiday season with the first system to the market having a significant advantage amongst the more casual gaming consumers.

Naturally there are those who also state that the production and release of the new system will continue as originally planned and that the timing of Sony’s announcement although unexpected, does not alter in any way the release schedule for the new system.

I had to admit that when I first got the announcement from Sony that they would be making a significant announcement in Feb. by the World Wide Web and to assembled media, it did strike me as a rather unique way of making the announcement. The timing was indeed earlier than I had expected as was the release date. While Sony has indeed fired the first shot in what is to be a hotly debated topic, for now the world can only wait, wonder, and speculate as to what Microsoft’s response will be and which are the systems will spark gamers imaginations to become the must own console upon their release. I for one plan to get both systems and look forward to seeing what both companies come up with in the ensuing years as I believe that when the two companies really push one another, then gamers win in the long run from better products.

SKNR Cover - March 2013
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