In the world of console gaming, the battle between Sony’s PlayStation and Microsoft’s Xbox will likely never be over. Early reports from 2017 show that the PS4 is actually outselling the latest Xbox One with 60 million PS4s selling compared to the Xbox One’s 26 million, which shows the resounding popularity of the console. With new (old) releases, such as the much-awaited Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy bringing fans back to the console (Microsoft didn’t have a horse in the race when Crash originally spun onto screens), 2017 looks to be the year of the PS4 – and that’s because of the growing diversity and cross-platform approach the console is taking. The world of gaming has changed since Sony brought the PlayStation to us – and in order to remain a behemoth of the industry, they need to remain on the cutting edge of technology.
Cross-platform approaches help the PS4 retain its competitive edge. That is, by interacting with other modes of gaming such as online gaming and online casino gaming. For example, now it is possible playing online casino games on a PS4 console. This means that much-loved gaming franchises such as Hitman and Tomb Raider have become available as slot machines, which allows players to connect with them in a different way. As for games such as FIFA, Call of Duty, Street Fighter V or Star Wars Battelfront, they can all be played online by PS4 players who are PlayStation Plus members. The cross platform of course goes both ways – as older PS4 games are also being offered on PC in a streaming capacity for the first time ever.
The growth of console gaming follows the rising popularity of computer gaming i.e. Minecraft. The console has always offered parity for everyone playing through the visual graphics offered. However, much like the PC gamer, whose computer decided how strong the graphics would be, the PS4 Pro and Xbox X offer a chance for higher resolution and better graphics, despite playing the same games in the same generation. This advancement in graphics changes the game – literally – for console gaming, with the ability to afford a better system that would undoubtedly influence how good the gameplay would be. The decision has obviously attracted a polarised opinion on the change of the parity originally offered by the console. Some critics argue that the console’s pull stems from the universal experience all players have from the system. Others commend the move forwards for console gaming for a newer audience.
The biggest improvement for console gaming in the coming year is likely to be enhanced VR capabilities. Since the dawn of VR, it has always been dealt with at arm’s length and never really being picked up by the average consumer. But the lower price of the software, and the further possibilities appearing for what VR could look like, are set to give it the best chance of surviving on a mainstream consumer level. For example, the game The London Heist features VR capabilities as a taster of what the functionality can look like in the future. The immersive experience heightens the other benefits of the PS4 (stellar graphics and gameplay). VR is likely to infringe on other areas of our lives, so it makes sense for the PS4 to showcase some of the features.
The PS4 continues its rise in the battle of the consoles, and by connecting to the future of what gamers want, essentially: better gameplay, better graphics, better range of games, there is no reason they can’t reign supreme.