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Sony Will Apparently Let Microsoft Make The First Move

We've heard Sony say they don't want to be second to market again behind Microsoft, as it pertains to new video game hardware. We've also heard them say the PS3 has plenty left in the tank, and they don't require a new system right now.

So which is it? Well, the recent update said both Sony and Microsoft will unveil their next-generation consoles in March but even if that's true, the PS4 (or Orbis) may indeed launch behind the new Xbox.

In speaking in the business section of the New York Times (as cited by IGN), Sony CEO Kaz Hirai basically stated that his company wouldn't mind following Microsoft:

"Why go first, when your competitors can look at your specifications and come up with something better?"

Not only does this imply that Sony's machine will launch later, it also implies Sony will wait to see what the next Xbox is like before even settling on specs for the PS4. Hence, their console could be a long ways off. However, what Hirai said can hardly be considered a confirmation of any kind, so perhaps we're reading too much into it.

Tags: ps4, playstation 4, next gen, next generation, sony, kaz hirai

1/21/2013 12:58:22 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (35 posts)

Simcoe
Monday, January 21, 2013 @ 1:15:40 PM
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I'm wondering if they will wait and see how much RAM Microsoft's machine will have and then match it. I've read the speculation online that Microsoft's machine will have 8 GB RAM while I've read both 4 or 8 GB RAM for Sony's new machine. This shouldn't be an issue with developers as the dev. consoles usually have more RAM than the consumer consoles.

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Temjin001
Monday, January 21, 2013 @ 1:22:12 PM

I won't let the RAM thing bother me too much. If MS's machine has 8 and Sony's 4gb there's still a whole lot to consider. DF's report seems to make it clear Sony's machine has the graphical advantage. MS may very well be implementing a Windows 8 hybrid OS on the next Xbox that may eat up a generous portion of memory, including also reserved processor cores. Other factors like speed of ram, IO speed between storage devices etc can really offset the RAM capacity advantage.

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Beamboom
Monday, January 21, 2013 @ 1:31:33 PM

What Temjin said.
If Sony keep their OS sleek and effective 4gb should be plenty enough.

The *only* reason I can think of where it would be preferable if they both had the same amount of memory is if a multiplat developer build an engine that utilizes the entire ram storage on the xbox. Like if they made something like RAGE 2 and stuffed one gigantic texture straight into the ram, and took advantage of that read speed.

But 4gb should be enough for a gaming console, I really can not understand anything else. I'm not worried.

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OxyFenix
Monday, January 21, 2013 @ 1:35:22 PM

Sure but there are other things to consider. I read an article that said the ps4 would have super fast ram. DDR5. While the Xbox would have slower ram. Also the Xbox would use at least 3GBs reserved for the os, for background applications while the ps4 would only reserve about 500mb. When you look at it that way the 8gb is not that much of a difference since you can't use all of it.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, January 21, 2013 @ 1:41:22 PM

I have a general understanding of all that (I haven't been a computer tech in many years though) but I don't understand why they wouldn't just overstuff their consoles with RAM just in case someone like Bethesda can't figure out what to do. It isn't like it used to be when RAM was literally worth its weight in gold, it's relatively cheap stuff.

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Temjin001
Monday, January 21, 2013 @ 2:07:47 PM

Yes, world, RAM is very cheap these days. So depending on the type of RAM Sony may have thought that better, faster ram would serve PS4's design better that lots of slower cheaper RAM.

and really, if Sony sees MS's spec and changes their mind, last minute design changes to RAM capacity is an easy fix before production, just as MS bumped up the 360 leading up to its launch.

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Simcoe
Monday, January 21, 2013 @ 4:08:57 PM

Thanks for bringing me up to speed on the RAM issue (Sony vs. MS)!

My comments were based on the assumption that both consoles would be launching a relatively the same time (say autumn 2013) and that Kaz was referring to console announcements.

Aside from HDD size, hardware specs aren't something that can be changed once the console is launched (all PS4's will always have to be able to play PS4 software). Given the time frame remaining, I can't think of any other spec. that can be altered so easily.

OxyFenix, you're right, I do remember reading that Sony was planning on GDDR5 RAM but reference to the type of RAM MS was going to be using was never really spelled out in the stuff that I read (though, don't read as many articles on the next XBOX).

Temjin, going to find Digital Foundry's report you mentioned right now!

World and Beamboom, You are right about Bethesda. I do remember reading about texture issues (PS3 vs. 360) due to RAM and their solution of HDD buffering for the PS3.

Also OxyFenix, I didn't realise that MS is reserving 3GB of RAM for the OS on the next xbox! Wow!

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Beamboom
Tuesday, January 22, 2013 @ 4:44:21 AM

Regarding the prices of RAM, they are cheap right *now* but as opposed to other computer components, the price of RAM fluctuates like stock prices. And if you are planning a hardware setup to last for many years you have to take that into account.

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Cesar_ser_4
Monday, January 21, 2013 @ 1:18:23 PM
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It wouldn't be such a bad idea for Sony to wait for Microsoft to make the first move. The thing is to not be a full year behind the competition and have a roster of ports. Although it would be a waste on the PS3 side since Sony says the machine still has quite a bit to offer.

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Temjin001
Monday, January 21, 2013 @ 1:24:29 PM
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Good. I don't believe the early bird gets the worm theory when it comes to consoles so I like that Sony looks to want to scale their product BETTER than MS's. thus maintaining that premium offering advantage in the market. That's been Sony's identity in the market and I'd like it to stay that way.

Last edited by Temjin001 on 1/21/2013 1:25:32 PM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, January 21, 2013 @ 1:42:06 PM

Ditto

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CrusaderForever
Monday, January 21, 2013 @ 1:32:07 PM
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Hmmm, I thought this pertained to announcements not launch. I could be wrong though.

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Simcoe
Monday, January 21, 2013 @ 3:01:22 PM

That's how I interpreted the article.

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Beamboom
Monday, January 21, 2013 @ 1:35:24 PM
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That statement made no sense if we talk +/- one year difference.
If Microsoft reveal their stats this march there's no way Sony all of a sudden can do any major redesigns and release their PS4 just one year later.

This is just marketing talk, to calm consumers into investing in more games for their PS3 before they break the news.


Last edited by Beamboom on 1/21/2013 1:36:06 PM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, January 21, 2013 @ 1:46:02 PM

Why not? I know nothing about manufacturing so how long could it take to get the new specs to the builders (presumably with a few tweaks) and have them make enough for a launch?

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Beamboom
Tuesday, January 22, 2013 @ 2:02:28 AM

Because they have to order the components well in advance, they have to get the damn things produced too. :D

It's not a small operation. There are negotiations to be made in regards to price, conditions and delivery dates to be set, assembly lines to be prepared, all while the software for the system (low level) is made, etc.

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Excelsior1
Monday, January 21, 2013 @ 1:46:52 PM
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Well Sony has also said it would be ridiculous to let MS get another huge jump on them again so don't expect the PS4 to arrive a year later.

Sony tried that strategy. It's not a bad idea. Making sure your system is more powerful but if you say it's more powerful then you better make damn sure you show up with games at launch that show your system is more powerful. The PS3 did not do that and in fact had inferior versions of multiplats so Sony caught some flack for not keeping their promises. Gamers didn't care whose fault it was when it came to bad multiplat games on the PS3.

Another thing. Back when Sony ruled the console market they didn't have the most powerful system. The PS1 was not as powerful as the N64 and the PS2 was the least powerful of the three systems last gen. Sony did not dominate the previous two generations because they had the most powerful systems. It was the PlayStation's superior software library that carried the day. Mainly third party exclusives from Japan. GTA3 also deserves a mention last gen. That game sold a lot of PS2s.

The market has changed a lot since then. Third party exclusives are almost dead and the influence of Japanese developers has declined dramatically. The PlayStation brand is not as strong as it was during the last two generations either. Sony has had some finincial problems as well. A lot of pressure on Sony to get the PS4 off to a good start.

Last edited by Excelsior1 on 1/21/2013 2:03:28 PM

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Bonampak
Monday, January 21, 2013 @ 4:15:12 PM

You make good points. Sony was #1 and with consoles that weren't exactly the most powerful out there.

The PS3 was a bit more powerful than the 360, and that didn't matter much.

So I dunno what type of advantage they would get by making the PS4 too powerful and letting MS have at least a 1 year head-start.

If the PS4 is too powerful, the devs might ignore it. Why? because developing games just for the PS4 would be too expensive (a similar thing to what happened to the N64 - more powerful than the PS1, but a lot more expensive to make games for).

And by allowing the 720 to have a rather big head-start, most devs could spend that time focusing all their efforts on MS' new console and we could have a situation where they only give the PS4 nothing but watered down ports.

Things to think about.

BTW, did anyone else read the story that came out today about Sony buying the Xbox brand? LOL

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Simcoe
Monday, January 21, 2013 @ 4:19:00 PM

I also think the fact that the PS2 played (movie) DVD's was another big contributor to it's early success, whereas you had to buy a $50 remote control to enable that feature on the xbox.

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Simcoe
Monday, January 21, 2013 @ 4:23:02 PM

@Bonampak remember too that N64 used flash memory ($$$$) and PS1 used CD's ($)...and if a game didn't sell (-$$$$)!

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Bonampak
Monday, January 21, 2013 @ 4:36:31 PM

@Simcoe

I remember reading several articles about devs complaining that making games for the N64 was just too complicated and expensive. That was beside the fact that it used an archaic format (carts).

The PS1 was developer friendly. Not as powerful as the N64, but in the end, that was irrelevant. The PS1 ended up with all the 3rd party support. And also with all the games everyone wanted to play (everyone as in mainstream gamers, not just cores).

Sony should look into that as their nextgen strategy. Making a console that everyone should want/need (not just cores and techies).

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Simcoe
Monday, January 21, 2013 @ 5:15:01 PM

@Bonampak, thanks for the additional insights!

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shadowscorpio
Wednesday, January 23, 2013 @ 1:35:09 AM

Excellent points made here. I feel like Sony should be looking at this thread .

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, January 21, 2013 @ 1:48:22 PM
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If this is pertaining to launch and not announcement then I think they should make sure not to launch any longer than 6 months after MS. And not be coy about if/what/when during those months, just spend it all generating massive hype because in the gaming community hype about what might be will easily overshadow reality and what promises to be a rocky start for the 720.

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Cesar_ser_4
Monday, January 21, 2013 @ 2:26:05 PM

I'm certain a good chunk of the 360 crowd will think about it before purchasing the next MS console on launch. Talking about the mature crowd, not the pesky teenagers who get their parents to buy them.

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Nynja
Monday, January 21, 2013 @ 2:39:32 PM
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I think people are reading his quote out of context. I believe he is merely talking about next-gen console announcements.

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Simcoe
Monday, January 21, 2013 @ 3:00:42 PM
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Ben, just a heads-up, IGN was quoting The Times, not The New York Times.

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Wrote
Monday, January 21, 2013 @ 3:54:40 PM
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I interoperate the comment from kaz as them announcing after M$ not necessarily launch after them. I'd even be willing to bet they annocue the ps4 as soon as a day or a week after the Xbox is revealed.

I'm kinda getting sick of all the rumors and speculation. There needs to be real solid info from both companies soon. Though this is technically an official word from Sony's CEO about next gen. Which hasn't really happened yet if I recall correctly.

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CH1N00K
Monday, January 21, 2013 @ 4:15:51 PM
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I'm okay if Sony takes more time, I've still got lots of life left in my PS3. I'm in no rush to replace it just yet

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Knightzane
Monday, January 21, 2013 @ 4:46:07 PM
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Sony plays this like a chess game. I respect that. But i also don't think their going to purpousely make their console better when they see the new xbox. Its not in their character.

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Douchebaguette
Monday, January 21, 2013 @ 5:20:56 PM
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I don't think this is a good idea.

Following the pattern of the previous 2 generations of Sony's valiant success, it's obvious that the console with a headstart normally fares well. People lack patience; they want the only next gen item when it's sitting there. Deals are made with publishers; a market is established, a norm is established.

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Bonampak
Monday, January 21, 2013 @ 7:42:50 PM

I agree with this.

Sony cannot afford to let MS take the lead. Not when MS has so many mainstream gamers on their side. Most kids, teens and adults from the mainstream demographic are 360 users.

And Sony cannot allow that demographic to buy the nextbox. Because once they do that, it's very likely that they will stay there and will not emigrate to the PS4. More so if the nextgen consoles & the games end up being too expensive. Lets consider that unlike cores, most mainstream gamers do not buy more than 1 home console.

Therefore, Sony has to have the PS4 ready for showtime either before or on the same week as MS' next console hits the market.

Because after this year's E3, a lot of mainstream people will want to play all those awesome looking nextgen games. Games that will probably blow away anything that exists at present.

These people (who are important to have on their side, in order to gain a huge advantage in the next console wars), they will not wait for 6 months or a year until Sony provides that for them. So Sony needs to avoid making people wait too long for the PS4.

Sony needs to be more aggressive and assertive.

Last edited by Bonampak on 1/21/2013 7:49:42 PM

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Underdog15
Monday, January 21, 2013 @ 8:40:29 PM

N64 was before ps1, was it not? And where did the game cube compare too ps2?

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Bonampak
Monday, January 21, 2013 @ 9:26:29 PM

"N64 was before ps1, was it not?"


^^^ Actually, the PS1 came out first and the N64 came out much, much later.


"And where did the game cube compare too ps2?"

^^^ The PS2 came out first and the gamecube came out like a year later.

In both of those cases, Sony was able to establish a user base earlier than their competition. Just like the 360 was able to do this gen.

Sony must not give MS that advantage again. In fact, Sony must not give MS any breaks at all.

And the PS4 being a more powerful console is not a guarantee that they will win.

The PS3 is the most powerful console of this generation and yet its still lagging behind the 360 (albeit not by much - and the PS3 might take the lead eventually).

And the PS1 and PS2 were the champs of their respective generations despite not being the most powerful consoles of their time.

Therefore, it probably won't be wise of Sony to try and win the nextgen war only by way of fancy specs. They should not wait to see what the 720 does in terms of power. Without the games, the 720 will be obsolete. So they should try and secure some 3rd party games or having them available first. And Sony will only be able to do that if the ps4 comes out either first or on the same month as the 720.

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___________
Monday, January 21, 2013 @ 8:53:15 PM
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thats a bit silly though, its not that simple to just go switch things, especially if the 6 month gap from announcement to release is accurate.
M$ did a last minute switch up, did not do the R&D they should of done, and look what happened there with the RROD and E75 error issues.
not to mention the ps3s YLOD, RLOD, and bluray issues.
not to mention all the leaks and such, chances are both companies already have a pretty good idea on what each other is doing.
not to mention they hire people exactly to do that, assess what the competition could be planing in future and make sure their company can counteract it.

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