The video game community is abuzz right now because of the sales figures emerging with regards to console sales. Quite obviously, touting an amazing 10 million units sold worldwide, Sony and the PlayStation 4 is the clear winner. Its competitor, the Xbox One, by comparison, only managed half of that with 5 million. While Microsoft certainly has nothing to be ashamed about (they have produced a very nice and powerful console in their own right, after all) the talk of a 2015 PS4 Slim release should have them quaking in their boots a bit. The initial details we have gathered seem to indicate that this isn’t going to be a mere repackaging, but a complete redesign that will actually IMPROVE what many feel is a near perfect console. Let’s explore some specific reasons why the PS4 Slim will likely act as another blow to the Xbox One’s popularity and sales…
Quite simply, the header here speaks for itself. Assuming that Sony is actually going to find some ways to make their flagship machine even more powerful or speedy, well, that’s it…call it game over for the Xbox One. At the same time, this could also mean that future titles (or even those currently in development) might be afforded additional capabilities which pushes conventional console gaming even further. Standard HDD’s will be replaced with SSD’s, etc.
There’s even been talk of completely getting rid of the Blu-Ray drive altogether apparently. Given the extreme popularity that most gamers seem to currently have with digital storage and so forth it doesn’t seem that radical, if you think about it. We already know that Sony is dead set on bringing continuously more advanced forms of cloud gaming to the forefront, so this seems like a logical step in that direction. At any rate, if they’re creating a streamlined console that is able to actually stream better and faster, you can count on lots more sales, we’re guessing. Do we have any evidence that this drive removal is going to take place? Well, not really. We’ll just have to wait until the details are revealed at E3 2015, won’t we?
A lighter, even sleeker design
Let’s face it, gamers are suckers for visual improvements and this doesn’t only apply to graphics either, mind you. The idea of an even smaller, lighter and sleeker-looking PS4 console is certainly delectable, wouldn’t you agree? When the PS3 Slim was released, it actually sort of rejuvenated Sony sales in many regards, surely they hope to replicate or even top this with the PS4.
This doesn’t even take into account any other neat additions that they might eventually include here, which could range from small aesthetic things to more substantial functionalities, like special support for their upcoming VR headset (aka “Project Morpheus”).
So, how are these factors going to hurt the Xbox One?
Consider for a second that the One is already getting trounced out there; basic logic tells you that if Sony actually improves its PS4 design / product, they’re likely to land even more sales down the line. Also, it should be noted that the PlayStation 4 is still on track to likely compete with the PS2 and PS1 where long-term sales are concerned, meaning that an additional benefit might really energize people’s motivations to purchase a console. Gamers always demand more in the end, and the PS4 Slim will certainly give it to them (ironically by creating an even more compact product).
Timing is also a factor here. It seems as though ever since the 8th generation console race started that Sony has been a few steps ahead of Microsoft. At every turn they’re either getting to market faster or making better overall decisions, which is probably what has ended up placing them in the lead in the first place. With the upcoming release of the PS4 Slim, they seem to be hitting their stride at just the right time to capitalize on all the impending games being released. It should also go without saying that the 2015 games lineup seems to be VERY strong indeed, with all sorts of new titles and IP’s dropping, some of which might actually innovate in major ways.
Lastly, we have the price issue. It’s pretty much a given that any Slimline console released is going to (or should soon be) cheaper than the initial build(s). Even if it hits the store shelves at the current MSRP, it won’t be long before that figure is rolled back. Again, this will mean even more sales and an expanding market for the console, which could certainly spell disaster for Microsoft and the Xbox One.
While not official release date or timetable has been put forward by Sony or its affiliates, all signs point toward 2015 as the intended drop point (this might range from early 2015 up through as late as 2016). Keep an eye out for official statements at E3 2015…
Could Slimmer result in yet another Winner for Sony? Will Microsoft counter the PS4 Slim with an XBOX One Slim? Only time will tell (we'll be keeping you updated about all the latest news with the PS4 Slim). One thing is for sure, the PS4 Slim will look absolutely amazing.