Outspoken Activision’s CEO Bobby Kotick said during the company’s recent Q1 2013 Earning conference call that the next Xbox and the PlayStation 4 could face the same challenges that Nintendo has faced with Wii U thus far. Kotick says that console manufacturers are now competing against an influx of low-cost tablets and smartphones that provide gamers with a quick gaming fix at a cheap and affordable price point.
“There are still many unknown factors, such as pricing, launch dates and quantities, the level of first-party support and, importantly, consumer purchase intent in a world where consoles are no longer just competing with each other, but also with new platforms, such as smartphones and tablets.”
U.S. market research firm NPD Group believes that around 29% of core gamers are looking to buy the PlayStation 4 and next Xbox console at launch. The data for this survey was conducted by U.S. respondents age 9 and older who currently play games for five or more hours per week on an Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC, or Mac. Out of the of the 6,322 respondents surveyed, only 887 qualified as a core gamer. The survey suggests that just over one in four plan on purchasing the PlayStation 4 or the next Xbox.
Nintendo shares have risen after Sony revealed its long-awaited PlayStation 4 console on Wednesday. Sony’s U.S shares were down 2.7% to $14.08 by midday, with Nintendo’s shares up 2% to $11.79. Trade on the Japanese market were similar as Sony slipped about 1.8% by the close of that session, and Nintendo Japan gaining about 1.3%. There isn’t any real explanation as to why Sony shares dropped and Nintendo’s rose, but it’s good news for the Kyoto based company.
The Witness will first be released on Sony’s next console, the PlayStation 4, which is scheduled to launch this holiday season. The game’s developer, Johnathan Blow, the creator of Braid, told Joystiq that he and his team want The Witness to be playable on as many platforms as possible, and he suggested that the upcoming 3D puzzle video game may eventually come to Microsoft’s next console and Nintendo’s new Wii U console.
“Basically, you’ll see The Witness on PS4 before you’ll see it on the next Microsoft console or on the Wii U, presuming we eventually do ports to those consoles. Ideally we want the game to be in as many places as we can get it, but since we are a small developer and it’s a complicated game, we can only do so much at once.”
According to CVG sources, Sony may very well abandon the DualShock controller design with the release of the company’s inevitable next-generation home console, which will probably be called the PlayStation 4. Instead, Sony’s PlayStation 4 controller will supposedly include biometric sensors and an LCD touchscreen, not unlike Nintendo’s new Wii U GamePad. Similar to how the Wii U console is compatible with Wii Remote controllers, gamers may be able to interact with Sony’s forthcoming home console via DualShock controllers.
Although the Wii and PlayStation 3 released roughly six years ago, Shuhei Yoshida, the president of Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios, says it’s too early to talk about the end of the current generation of video game consoles. However, Nintendo will be launching the first next generation video game console, the Wii U, on November 18th, which is less than two weeks away.
“The life of consoles is also extended by services online, which continue to make a new offer cloud and new social functions. It is therefore too early to talk about the end of this generation of consoles.”
According to Sony UK boss Fergal Gara, Sony respects Nintendo as a competitor and will watch what it is doing with Wii U very closely. Gara admits Wii U is an intriguing device but says he doesn’t exactly know how successful the new console will be.
“We respect Nintendo as a highly successful competitor. Of course we will watch what they’re doing with interest. It’s [Wii U is] a very interesting product they’re bringing to market. I don’t have a clear view on how successful it will be. And to a large extent it doesn’t matter what I think. It matters what the great British public think. So we will see.”
-Fergal Gara, Sony UK head
Satoru Iwata has explained that the company isn’t bothered at all about how powerful the next generation console’s from Sony and Microsoft will be compared to Wii U. Iwata says that Nintendo isn’t trying to compete against them, instead they’re trying to offer something new and unique for gamers – like they did with the original Wii.
“We have not changed our strategy. In other words, we just do not care what kind of ‘more beef’ console Microsoft and Sony might produce in 2013. Our focus is on how we can make our new console different than [others].”
Nintendo announced that the Wii U will be powerful but they are also seeking a ‘reasonable‘ price-point for when it releases later this year. Sony hasn’t shared much information regarding the successor to the PlayStation 3 but a Sony executive confirmed – over Twitter – that the ‘PlayStation 4′ will be more powerful than Wii U. How much do you think the ‘PlayStation 4′ will cost?
Remi: Hey, have a quick question. A friend says that WiiU will be more powerful than PS4…yes PS4. He really said that. What is your take?
Shuhei Yoshida (President of Worldwide Studios, Sony Computer Entertainment): Let him dream.
Sterne Agee’s Arvind Bhatia has been questioning publishers on the E3 show floor to find out what they are most excited for. The majority that Bhatia questioned were more excited about the potential of the next Xbox and the PlayStation 4, than they are about Nintendo’s next console, Wii U.
“Publishers [are] excited about PS4 and Xbox 720. Publishers seem to be a lot more excited about the potential for the next consoles from Microsoft and Sony than they are about Nintendo Wii U.”