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Next-Gen Launch: Could Reliability Have An Impact On Sales?

Heading into the launches of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, most analysts are predicting that the sales tally will be close to equal.

The PS4 has the current lead in terms of pre-orders but that lead has been dwindling for several months, and after Microsoft rescinded those policies that everyone hated (but nobody should ever forget), the Xbox One has been rising. Still, there's no doubt that currently, the PS4 has the edge.

We know the launch lineups and we're aware of the contrasting interfaces, available services, controllers, etc. So what else is left that could have a significant impact on the first six months of sales? Could it be reliability? Is it possible that either the PS4 or Xbox One could end up with a significant issue that deters consumers from buying the console? Historically, launch systems have always had issues; both Xbox consoles sucked - and in the case of the 360, continued to suck for many years - in terms of reliability, and the PS2 had that problem of scratching discs in the vertical position. That issue was resolved relatively quickly, though.

With reliability being a question for all new hardware, maybe this is the X factor. Maybe this is what we have to think about. Then again, as both consoles are using pretty common off-the-shelf PC components, we're hoping that both will be pretty darn sturdy. That being said, I'll still be getting a warranty with my PS4.

Tags: ps4, playstation 4, xbox one, next gen launch, next generation

10/22/2013 11:35:07 PM Ben Dutka

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Legacy Comment System (23 posts)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013 @ 12:15:56 AM

I wonder if the red ring fiasco will have a big impact on this generation, many people replaced many consoles with that debacle and may not be quick to repeat the process. The YLOD did exist but wasn't even close to being as prevalent.

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013 @ 8:25:40 AM

I doubt it. People seem to forget rather easily, just like they have already forgotten about the Xbox's policies at the announcement.

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013 @ 12:25:29 PM

Man, I wish you were right World, but I just didn't see it as being unwilling to put up with the hassle. I worked as an assistant manager at a gamestop during the worst of the RROD and I would see the same people coming in every month or so getting a new or used console while their system was being repaired. Some people, even employees under me just didn't care that they had to replace their console every three weeks (exaggerated but you get my meaning). Most of the people I spoke to about it and the people I worked with said they didn't care because they were getting repairs for free and they would just return the systems they bought after their repair came back.

I don't understand it, because personally if a company proves that unreliable I don't want to own their product. But, for some people I suppose the expectation of reliable and solid service doesn't exist.

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Lawless SXE
Wednesday, October 23, 2013 @ 3:08:23 AM

... Things don't change. If reliability was going to be an issue for many/most, the 360 would have been dead in the water within a year of the PS3's release. My guess is a resounding no.

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013 @ 11:18:27 AM

You're probably right, but for people who already had a library of X360 games I think that kind of forced them to keep replacing. It won't be the case this time, the numbers won't be staggering but they could show up.

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013 @ 3:15:55 AM

I'd have to agree with Lawless. Though running into hardware issues is a pain in the neck, dedicated gamers will shell out the money regardless. Perhaps it is just a matter of dismissing it as "this won't happen twice." (Only, the "twice" is variable.) For someone like me, who has a family and limited play funds, I am automatically weary of something that is initially problematic. So, if it turns out that the PS4 is having some particular problems at launch it won't be a problem for me to just wait.

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013 @ 3:48:19 AM

of course reliability will have a impact on sales!
hell ask 1000 people whether they are buying a system on launch and see how many say no than cite first hardware releases always have problems as one of the reasons of not buying on launch.
every system always has cooling issues for its first hardware iteration, and playstations been synonymous with cheap faulty disc drives.
i remember back in the ps1 era having a garage full of faulty ps1 drives, almost every console sent in was done so because the drive was not reading discs.
ps2 was not any better, and the ps3, well, first few times mine went in for release was exactly that wouldent read blurays.
exactly why i never leave after buying new hardware without buying extended warranty.
small piece of mind for when things go belly up, and they WILL!

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Thursday, October 24, 2013 @ 5:31:00 PM

For the Xbox One maybe, but the PS4 is solid.

It took freaking 12-14 straight hours of operating in an unventilated plastic cube barely larger than the system for the demo PS4s to start overheating, and as soon as the case was opened, the PS4 resumed normal operation near instantaneously.

It's a freaking tank, and I'd bet you some of your Aussie Dollars if I thought you had the backbone to pony up once you're proven wrong.

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013 @ 4:04:00 AM

Do you have to pay extra for a warranty on consumer electronics in the states? If not you're screwed if the product fails within a few months after purchase?

Last edited by Beamboom on 10/23/2013 4:04:54 AM

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013 @ 4:24:04 AM

almost all electronics are covered by a one year manufacturer warranty. what Ben means is more than likely a 2+ year warranty. a lot of retailers offer those for extra money. even sony offers then on the vita and ps3 now at this point. but if it dies within the first year sony should replace it free.

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013 @ 7:47:41 AM

I wish the US had the same consumer protection laws I keep reading about. One day after warranties expire is the day products are destined or "made" to die.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, October 23, 2013 @ 3:51:08 PM

No, the default manufacturer's warranty is often only 90 days. That's why places like GameStop offer 1-year and 2-year warranties for extra money; they have to replace a busted system with a new system during that span of time.

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013 @ 5:46:37 PM

I thought the 90 day warranty implies to refurbished products? Well you could be right, bought a new Sony Vaio in 2001 and it only came with a 90 day parts and labor warranty (that pretty much sucks big time), luckily the cpu lasted so many years.

Last edited by AcHiLLiA on 10/23/2013 5:50:27 PM

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013 @ 7:14:31 PM

well i know for sure ps3 has a one year limited warranty

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Thursday, October 24, 2013 @ 5:36:22 PM

Thanks frylock.

Ben, and Everyone else,

All PlayStation systems come standard with a limited 1 year warranty.

The PS protection plans offer 1-2 extra years after the limited warranty expires.

Other Sony hardware might only be 90 days, but I know for a fact about the PlayStation ones, because my second PS3s 2 year protection plan just expired a couple months ago, and my Vita's will be kicking into effect at the end of this month.

Last edited by JROD0823 on 10/24/2013 6:08:27 PM

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013 @ 6:27:27 AM

yeah i haven't considered a warraty but i've had my sli ps3 for over 2 years no problems. before that i had my fat ps2 for about 8 years and only had it in 2 times for checking the disc drive for reading issues when we went away so i wasn't when we were at home but it was fantastic went tirlessly for years(around 8 give or take a couple months) and then just died and mum and dad got a new one the slim one one oof the last at the store brand new cos we still have so many gud ps2 games that we go back to from time to time. but yeah reliablity will be key for me i've only got cash for one console and if it has to get fixed or replaced it'll be a pain in the ass to have no ps4 over christmas bu i've come to trust sony's hard ware its always been pritty gud to me got 3 console bluraye player laptop tv and dictaphone and they all work well haven't failedus yet.

happy gaming =)

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013 @ 7:38:25 AM

One would think that faulty hardware will have a definite impact on sales. An impact that may last the entire generation as far as I'm concerned. I've been lucky so far, all my PlayStation consoles worked flawlessly for years. My Nintendo systems as well. The one Xbox and 360 that I did acquire still work to this day. I'm sure that if I do not buy a XB1 the 360 will mysteriously die. We shall see.

I am in disbelief that people repurchased so many 360s this generation. A second one, maybe but after that I would've jumped ship. People stating they bought 5 or 6 or more amaze me. Is there any other industry that can make such claims? A car brand would not survive that. TVs, refrigerators, washers and dryers. None of the companies that manufacture such products would. How is it that MS accomplished such brand loyalty. I know LIVE is a hook for some but damn!! I'll say it again... That Red Ring is some form of hypnotism. See that Red Ring circling.. Go buy new 360.

Last edited by FatherSun on 10/23/2013 7:43:51 AM

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Solid Fantasy
Wednesday, October 23, 2013 @ 9:46:59 AM

We won't know for a good few months after launch what the reliability truly is. In the past it would make sense to see some fail issues. The PS3 had a somewhat foreign CellBE and the 360 had an inadequate fan to keep it cool. Which I suspect was all part of a money generator. This time around the hardware is better, but doesn't sound like any massive leap. Based off the comparisons we've already had in terms of tech, wight, size, and noise level. This might be the generation of stuff that actually works! It's like the play and go days of yesterdecade.

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013 @ 4:39:30 PM

Both consoles are built like PCs. I've had good luck with computers; one hunk of junk lasted a good 6 years. I expect it will be different when it comes to console build this time; that the machines will both be built to last. If anything, it will be a download that might brick the thing. I will make sure before I download any firmware for the PS4 that I hold off a few days. Have a feeling on Day 1 there will have to be something major downloaded.

Last edited by Brighat on 10/23/2013 4:40:37 PM

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013 @ 6:00:42 PM

I'm not too worried this time. The RRoD and YloD problems were largely associated with inadequate cooling solutions for hot chips. These newer low voltage chips should keep these kind of failures under control.

EDIT: and I will say, between the two consoles, Sony's looks to be in better shape. MS made several last minute frequency increases to the Xbox One's componenets. Increases in frequency means increases in heat. If MS didn't do much to amplify it's heat dispersion solutions then they might find them selves in hot water =p
One other thing. The XboxOne has parts coming from all sorts of places, more so than the PS4 does. This was revealed by information released some time ago as to where each company gets supplied for their assembly components. The XBoxOne was outsourced all over the map. Deductively, that doesn't bode too well for MS.

Last edited by Temjin001 on 10/23/2013 6:05:55 PM

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013 @ 6:13:25 PM

and I do still have a bit of a problem with the "off the shelf" description of the next-gen. While the ISA's of the new tech is common, that being x86, the memory system and interaction between CPU and GPU and system BUS is not. It's why some referred to the PS4 as a PC from the future.
Yes, higher powered machines like my own can muscle their way through, but the underlying design behind how the components work together are definetly not 'off the shelf' There's nothing off the shelf about GDDR5 and unified memory at this point. Hence the reason why games, PC side, are calling for 6-8GB's of discrete DDR3 system memory and 2-4GB of VRAM. This is made more the point when one considers that the cosnole games are only really using up to 5gb's of silicon to get the same job done. Whereas PC's power through it, unfashionably, at 8-10gbs.

EDIT: and realistically the 4GB of VRAM for PC's is in consideration of 4K image resolution. It would seem 2GB will be sufficient for 1080p frame buffering

Last edited by Temjin001 on 10/23/2013 6:17:38 PM

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Thursday, October 24, 2013 @ 5:37:51 PM

The Xbox One is already teetering on the brink of overheating issues, otherwise the power brick would be an internal power supply. :)

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Thursday, October 24, 2013 @ 6:38:53 PM

I would like to point out that reliability, or lack thereof, has NEVER had an adverse effect on sales. In fact, I'd almost swear it was the opposite: The PSX, the PS2, and X360 never suffered no matter what hardware issues they had.

Conversely, reliability has never been much of a factor in sales. The PS3 was much more solid than the PS1 or PS2, but the PS3 was stuck in 3rd for six years (and still trails in the US and the UK, never to catch up). The IIRC the Gamecube and the original Xbox both had more reliable hardware than the Ps2, but that didn't help them at all.

Of course, other factors played much greater roles. But when it comes to purchasing a system, "reliability" seems to be waaaaaay down the list of priorities for the majority of people.

Last edited by Ultima on 10/24/2013 6:39:20 PM

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