The holiday shopping season will soon be upon us! At this point, everyone’s starting to pull together wishlists. People are planning. They want to be ready to take advantage of Black Friday sales, among other deals, and want to be ready. The question is, has Sony put itself in a bad situation this holiday season? Could it have unintentionally done too much heading into the biggest shopping season of the year?
Normally, you have one type of console available from each manufacturer. There may be different bundles, with varying hard drive sizes and included games, but the basic system remains the same. Last year, we had a basic PS4, standard Xbox One, and regular Wii U. It was fine and easy to understand for everyone. This year, Sony’s gone overboard.
First, Sony brought out the PS4 Slim model. Which is fine. This is a regular occurance. Microsoft introduced its Xbox One S this year too. Except, at the same time it announced this console, it revealed the PlayStation 4 Pro, which is the more expensive and slightly better version of the system with 4K and HDR compatibility, will be out in November. It also launched the PlayStation VR, a $400 virtual reality headset. That’s a lot to spring on people in a short period of time.
It isn’t an issue for any of us reading this article. We’re tech savvy. We understand the pros and cons of the PS4 Slim and PS4 Pro. We understand how the PS VR will work. But, while we may be the majority online, we aren’t in real life. There will be a good number of people who will be shopping for systems this season and buying them for someone else. When faced with so many different models and decisions, they’re bound to be overwhelmed. Which wil be easier for them, when they have so many options? Probably an Xbox One S or Wii U, where each bundle’s system is largely the same and only the included games differ.
Which could be bad news for Sony. A single season isn’t going to make or break a company. This isn’t like Samsung, with its exploding Galaxy Note 7 ordeal. But, the NPD group noted the Xbox One outsold the PS4 in September 2016 for the third month in a row. Coming into this holiday shopping season, Microsoft only has one model to champion – the Xbox One S. Nintendo only has the Wii U to worry about, and frankly seems ready to push the NES Classic plug-and-play and 3DS until the NX launches. While Microsoft does have Project Scorpio, it’s waiting until after the shopping season for its reveal.
This isn’t to say the PS4 Slim, PS4 Pro, and PS VR aren’t great items. Sony clearly knows what it’s doing, as do Microsoft and Nintendo. Every company has products that are great in their own way. It just might not have been smart for Sony to try and do so much, so fast, in an attempt to make sure its PS4 Pro and PS VR beat Microsoft’s new console update to market.