Sony on PS4 vs. Xbox One -- "It's a marathon, not a sprint"

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The battle between PlayStation 4 and Xbox One is a long-haul effort, according to Sony UK managing director Fergal Gara. Speaking with Eurogamer, the executive said Sony is confident in its launch position, but acknowledged that release this November is just the beginning.

"This format war, if you want to call it that, is a marathon, not a sprint," Gara said. "We're coming out of the blocks in a strong position, but we're conscious that is nowhere close to job done, and we have to continually improve the proposition, proving what PS4 represents."

Gara said Sony has a history of doing just that. The PlayStation 3 launched sixteen months after the the Xbox 360 and at a steeper price. Yet over the platform's lifecycle, it has caught up to Microsoft's console in terms of overall shipments worldwide, a process that "took a lot of hard graft," Gara said.

"You've got to start good and keep on your toes. PS4 is a platform that can and will evolve. It will be great on day-one but it will be far better in year two and year three as expectations rise and ideas are generated and these new tools are executed," he said. "That's the way to win. And obviously the gameplay and the core experiences are hugely pivotal to that. They are going to start really strong, but they have to continue to grow and continue to improve."

The PS4 and Xbox One launch worldwide in November. According to a new Reuters poll, more shoppers in the United States are interested in the PS4 than the Xbox One.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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360 comments
digitaltiger
digitaltiger

Good article by Eurogamer, what Fergal Gara said makes sense. It's nice to have an article that isn't bashing the competition but just's gives a persons view on the industry.

Doctor_Colossus
Doctor_Colossus

In other words - "We don't have any good games at launch, but give us a few years..."

so_hai
so_hai

A marathon? Then I suppose the to-be-released Kenyan built console will be the victor.

JulyAeon
JulyAeon

....sigh....I am bored....

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

Guys, we get it.  It's a marathon.  We know.

shreddyz
shreddyz

Sony making up the rules now? Good to know. Don't worry Sony, the fanboys got your back. 

megakick
megakick

PS4= bad network poor updates, what a mess I should have bought a PC

XBOX ONE = good network good updates, less cumbersome then a PC more gaming.

cronjob01
cronjob01

Playstation 4 = quality made product, more powerful, on track to be the system of choice for the next decade

Xbox One = Complacent american design, broken on day one, asking customer to fix it as soon as they get it  (seems like the story of the American car industry)

Commissariot
Commissariot

I am unsure how this is exactly news.

Of course the ps4 will get better with age. Every console does as developers learn to really wield the new awesome hammers they have been given. The same will be true with the XB1 and any other console you can rightly imagine. As long as it stays on the market long enough to work itself through these growing pains. 

Im not a fanboy of either system, but I fail to see the reasoning behind saying this, not to mention reporting it.

Sephiroth-X
Sephiroth-X

I probably won't get a PS4 until Christmas or right after, but when I do I'll be getting Knack with it. I'm getting and XBO at launch, though... 'cause I need Crimson Dragon in my life ASAP.

jtthegame316
jtthegame316

PS 4 has nothing i want to play. well tell a lie it has games i want to play just them games are on other formats to so i am hardly going to buy a ps 4 to play them. xbox one for me as that is where the exclusives games are that i want to play. Anyone getting a ps 4 happy gaming to you i know i will be enjoying my games.

KiriharaZro
KiriharaZro

Oh really?????? what a clever man.....

UnstoppableKARL
UnstoppableKARL

"A marathon, not a sprint".  Yeah, but the Xbox One is 300lbs.

Khasym
Khasym

Personally, I could see this evolving far past a ten year console life cycle. We are reaching a plateau in hardware updates. It's not that they aren't happening. It's that the cost of them isn't coming down enough to bring them into mainstream. Moreover, as Cloud Computing steps up, the console itself could stop being so much a processing center, as a data reception device like your phone, letting developers build games that literally run on supercomputers. :-) If there's no new tech revolution in the next few years, we could reach a 15 or even 20 year console life with the Xbox One and PS 4.

steelmouth
steelmouth

Please note that he said the PS3 has caught up to X360 in overall shipments worldwide, He did not say they have surpassed the X360 as most fanboys would like to say, and I for one think if PS3 had surpassed the X360 he would have emphasized that and not just said "it has caught up to Microsoft's console in terms of overall shipments worldwide"

DevilD2005
DevilD2005

What he is really saying "Because if this was a sprint they would be screwed. We kicked their asses."

Unfallen_Satan
Unfallen_Satan

I'm not hearing any substance in this comment. It could be Sony is unwilling to disclose any specific details at this time, but it runs the risk of sounding like Sony has no solid plan for the future. Since MS made its positions clear with its initial plans on connectivity and DRM, I am sticking with Sony as long it stays true, but maintaining the status quo isn't evolution or improvement.

bubba_1988
bubba_1988

I guess you could call me a Sony fan . . . but i have fond memories of playing games on PS1&2 which still work fine. I love their exclusives and how they always bring new IPs to the table. I am glad MS knocked them down a notch after PS2 and made them step up their online game though. The choice is clear i'll be getting the PS4. .  .  in a year or two. 

Gamer_4_Fun
Gamer_4_Fun

I wish the store updates is bit restricted to weekly schedule, but as soon as a game or content hits.

GodOfSyn
GodOfSyn

There is just no comparison for most people.  They see it as this.... Do you want a DVR or a gaming machine? I think it really is that black and white for the average consumer, and unless MS can sell the system as a gaming machine, it'll just end up a FAD like the Wii.  So in a way, it's win win for MS, because the Wii did sell a shit ton before it died out.

Muteki_X
Muteki_X

Actually, it's a little more like a slaughter.

toyo75
toyo75

Right now I'm leaning towards getting the PS4 because I was initially turned off at XBox One's game policies but I'm still not discounting the fact that I also plan to own an XBox 1 later on when a significant price drop occurs, because it has its own exclusive game titles the same way the PS4 does.

cooldudemayur
cooldudemayur

But This Marathon as usual will be won by PC

bunchanumbers
bunchanumbers

The ps3 was a disaster for sony. While they may have sales now the ps3 ate all the profits from the PS1 and the PS2 and ended up costing Sony billions. If they don't get it right this time it might be the last sony home console. 

MrMan2000
MrMan2000

@megakick How exactly do you know this when neither console has come out?  I've heard of insta-judgement but pre-judgements?  

Oh?!  You're a fanboy!  Silly me; I should have guessed.  

cyclonebw
cyclonebw

@cronjob01 

The game consoles and cars where you are from sound so much better.

Albaficas
Albaficas

@jtthegame316 no games  ? lol

are we back in 2007 or something ?


say that again once naughty dog

santa monica

quantic dreams

eat sleep play

media molicule

ready at dawn

japan studio

level-5 will bring their AAA exlcusives

jenovaschilld
jenovaschilld

@jtthegame316 Truth being none of the games coming out has me really all that excited. They all seem to be more clones of the 7th gen or serialized repeats of franchises I have already seen. Now true some of the software slated for 2014 seems really intriguing, just not this novembers launch titles. 

Also I am a huge RPG and Adventure fan - there really is nothing at launch to work the rust off my wallet. The PS4 lower price, better performance, and revamped architecture does have my interest. MS xbox1 though still needs some clarification regarding used game/ digital game policies. Whether they will allow publishers to implement harsh restrictions. The, 'have to log on before playing a new game first' gags me, and whether allowing publishers to push Always online for their games like diablo 3, sims, etc.  

jenovaschilld
jenovaschilld

@Khasym There were a couple of articles over at Polygon.com and some game journalists Q/A regarding the 7th gen and the lethargic game market as a whole 2012 through now. One universal consensus was that the overly long 7th gen (going on 8yrs, wii u doesn't count) really dragged out IP's and innovation waned to the point of stagnation. Blame it on the world wide economy, mobile devices, social gaming (zinga), Japanese development imploding, Katrina, Obama, 9/11, take your pick. A few facts cannot be overlooked, despite mobile/tablet and social gaming console market grew but by late 2011 2012 sales plummeted. Serialized games like madden, something 4, another III, fighter this all took a nose dive. 

What they all agreed was that the video game industry, following almost exactly in the footsteps of the movie industry in its early days, cannot go another extended console generation again without huge loses. It is not that the gaming dollar is not growing or that the middle income class worldwide is not growing it is a matter of waning focus and lack of excitement in the industry as a whole. Yeah the ps2 still going on and even getting games is fine, but what advances the industry and pushes excitement is that shiny 'new' thing that makes gamers hand over money like it was the golden ticket to the chocolate factory.   

So I do not see another elongated console gen past 5yrs - regardless of power, platforms, pc, free to play, economy, etc etc . If apple would have only came out with the original Iphone, and tablet but never made any more versions would they have doen as well. This has been a hard lessons the gaming console makers, and developers have hopefully learned. 

Albaficas
Albaficas

@steelmouth the ps3 has surpassed the 360 worldwide already

but hey if it make u sleep better at night ok...360 is ahead

jenovaschilld
jenovaschilld

@steelmouth For that matter the Wii is still probably the highest selling console worldwide (fall 2012), but dismal at software to hardware or 'tie-in ratio'. 

For instance ms xbox 360 sold very poorly in Japan 340,000 compared to millions by the other console makers. BUT the tie in ratio was nearly 7.9 - games to console, highest there was. Still it no where near did the software business the others did - but hell razor companies would love to have that kind of business. And it more then made it costs back to push that system in that region. 

But anyway none of that really makes a bit of difference - the xbox 360 did far and away better then the other two, breaking into markets that even surprised the industry (Europe, South America, south africa) BUTTT 

I think that Sony's ps4 has enough momentum to carry it to the top for quite a few years to come. Partly MS own faults, and the complete and total architecture change by sony. Hey let the games begin - either way we gamers will win. 

WolfGrey
WolfGrey

@steelmouth  

Please refer to all sales charts and sites.

The PS3 did surpass the 360 in unit sales but however the 360 has the upper hand in software sales by a large margin.

It even outs or even gives the 360 the edge in profit.

jenovaschilld
jenovaschilld

@GodOfSyn The wii sold well for sure, but software tie-in ratio was abysmal and has just about locked out any hope for third party support. The ceos made a lot of cash but has just about insured an early demise. Now as for MS and Sony: early on the heatseekers, early adopters, the hardcore gamers will by a new console for the 8th gen games. PC this or that will not matter, tablet, mobile, etc will go on deaf ear. The overly long 7th gen is over and the 8th gen is ready to start. 

Sooo all the talk of tv functions, dvr, motion controls, will go on deaf ears for the first year - it will be hey look at this new console and game that it can play in it, (not hey I recorded the latest episode of the 'Voice'). But you are right later down the road, ancillary (woo big word) applications and uses will start to become somewhat important. 

I feel if Sony can revamp their online interfaces and streamline a fast simple OS they will be hard to beat. MS still greatly needs to clarify used game, digital game ownership, and if they will allow publishers to take such actions.  

WolfGrey
WolfGrey

@Muteki_X  

Being 3:1 worldwide right now on pre-sales..ya pretty much

PlatinumPaladin
PlatinumPaladin

@cooldudemayur For PC to win it would actually have to finish a race, but it just keeps going and going and going. Console generations have a more defined start and finish point. They're the only ones in the race. PCs are off doing their own thing, like an omnipotent being watching all the lower lifeforms bicker amongst themselves.

steelmouth
steelmouth

@WolfGrey Please refer to Fergal Gara the Sony UK managing director who said and I quote " it has caught up to Microsoft's console in terms of overall shipments worldwide"

sladakrobot
sladakrobot

@Monsterkillah I wouldnt call it disatster too but to lose 50% of the audience(PS2 sold 150 millions) is dissapointing for Sony for sure.
And Vita doesnt help either.

jenovaschilld
jenovaschilld

@Khasym @jenovaschilld You are very right if the console makers can or do make the shift towards cloud gaming and processing it would make the console generations last much longer and the consoles themselves get even cheaper. 

But that is at least a generation or two off. America has so many different forms of broadband and standards that even cloud computing for college campuses and hospitals has not been able to establish. Latency the biggest enemy of cloud computing, even hybrid, is all over the place from 40-2000ms +, here in the USA and around the world. 

I also see a world where Oculus Rift will be playing the latest Skyrim. But it to will be very far off because the engineers expect it will take 25ms or less to allow multiplayer 3d Oculus rift to work and developers and publishers want more and more players online. 

It may or may not come to pass but I just do not see it for quite a while longer. 

Khasym
Khasym

@jenovaschilld That's true, but there is a format shift possible now, that wasn't possible years ago. Fundamentally, all devices take on the task of computing, designing, rendering and interfacing a game instance themselves. Even in MMO's the bulk of the work is on the individual computer. It may send tons of data up and downstream, but the gameworld is built on your home machine. 

But as broadband gains stability and speed, and server farms become more popular, it is becoming possible for the gameworld to be created and instanced on large scale server farms, and then streamed to your device. This will then free up more power for graphical rendering and graphics options. This would ALSO mean that devices themselves no longer are the final standard for whether or not a new generation are needed. I think we could get the same processing power out of a 360 and a PS 3, if the infrastructure was there to offload the work those devices do to a superserver. 

That's why this new generation could go longer. Not so much because what is done with new consoles makes THEM last longer, but what's done with data-handling makes developing games for them easier.