How Microsoft’s Strategy With Xbox Scorpio And Windows 10 May Possibly Shape The Future of PS5

The Scorpio and Windows 10 have some lessons for Sony to imbibe with the eventual PS5.

Posted By | On 22nd, Apr. 2017 Under Article, Editorials | Follow This Author @Pramath1605


The Xbox Scorpio is coming. And for all its substantial merits, it is unlikely to actually change the course of the console war much all by itself. For now, it is clear that Sony is the incumbent who cannot be unseated, not this generation, anyway. However, the Scorpio’s true merits will not be in whether or not it can win the console war for Microsoft- that may be its utility to them, sure. But for us, as gamers, the true merits of Scorpio (and indeed, Microsoft’s larger gaming strategy with Xbox and Windows 10) will be in what the lasting impact of them, at least of the good decisions Microsoft is making with them, can be.

And Microsoft is making a lot of good decisions. I am not convinced yet on its ability to deliver on the games, content which is necessary to ultimately make any games ecosystem compelling, but the actual policy and service decisions surrounding Xbox and even Windows 10 at the moment are great. Backward Compatibility, Play Anywhere, Xbox Game Pass, Cross Platform Play, full game refunds, these are all just some great decisions Microsoft has made in the last year or so- and these decisions are all areas where Microsoft now far outpaces Sony. Sony may have more and better games for now – and there is no question that they do – but there are definitely areas where they can learn from Microsoft going forward.

"Backward compatibility is not a system selling feature, and it is honestly not even one that a lot of people use even once. But it is an essential feature nonetheless, one that inspires consumer confidence, invites consumer investment in your ecosystem, and is just a friendly move that generates goodwill in general."

Consider, for instance, the all important question of backward compatibility- backward compatibility is not a system selling feature, and it is honestly not even one that a lot of people use even once. But it is an essential feature nonetheless, one that inspires consumer confidence, invites consumer investment in your ecosystem, and is just a friendly move that generates goodwill in general. Sony has adopted the x86 architecture for the PS4, presumably with the aim of avoiding the kind of compatibility issues that custom solutions like the Emotion Engine or most infamously, the Cell, caused. To Sony’s credit, they have doubled down on the notion of inter- and backward compatibility with the PS4 Pro, showcasing full compatibility between two hardware variants.

One would think this is indicative of Sony, too, choosing to invest in integrated ecosystems going forward- but it’s not that simple. At the same time as the PS4 Pro, Sony has released PS2 games on the PS4 PSN Store, not honoring prior digital purchases of PS2 games made on the PS3, and it has released multiple Vita hardware SKUs, which are not compatible with each other. This is not the kind of broken ecosystem Sony can afford to present, especially in face of the unified front Microsoft is putting forth- backward compatibility, and an emphasis on a continuous digital ecosystem, are essential at this point. This is one very important lesson Sony needs to learn from how Microsoft is handling Xbox and Windows 10 gaming.

It’s interesting, because this idea of an integrated ecosystem was basically pioneered by Sony to begin with, at least in the gaming market- with the PS3 and PS Vita, Sony briefly offered a continuous online identity, with a purchase of a game on the PS3 unlocking that same game on the Vita too (and vice versa), and with both systems placing a strong emphasis on legacy content (PS3 and PS Vita both offered PSOne Classics, and Vita offered PSP games, while PS3 offered PS2 Classics). It’s with the PS4 that Sony seems to have lost sight of a concept that it brought to the market- and that Microsoft has now made its own with Xbox Play Anywhere and Backward Compatibility features.

ps3 ps vita ps4

"It’s interesting, because this idea of an integrated ecosystem was basically pioneered by Sony to begin with, at least in the gaming market, with the PS3 and PS Vita."

An integrated ecosystem isn’t the only area where Sony can learn from Microsoft, either- the Game Pass is an excellent example of Games as Service (and a far superior offering to PS Now, which isn’t getting ahead of itself, either). That is something Sony might want to look at as a viable offering in that area which is viable in the here and now, rather than being primed for some nebulous future. Game refunds are another- you cannot expect customers to invest in your ecosystem if they don’t feel like their purchases are secure. And they won’t feel like their purchases are secure unless they are protected from poor purchases in the first place. Microsoft has blazed the trail with a truly consumer friendly refund policy- and this is one area where Sony should look at shamelessly copying Microsoft.

Cross platform play is another area where Sony has ended with egg on its face- for the longest time, Sony claimed that it would allow full cross platform network play, and it was only Microsoft’s insistence on keeping Xbox Live closed that was causing any holdups in that ever happening. But then Microsoft went ahead and opened up Xbox Live to connecting with other networks, and Sony still continues to block cross network play. And lastly, Microsoft have revealed their plans on how they plan to tackle digital refunds…this is once again not a system selling feature but it generates goodwill among gamers.

Really, services and policies are the only area where Sony needs to look at, and learn from Microsoft. The PS5, when it comes out, will be a powerful system- it will be more powerful than the Scorpio is (and the Scorpio successor will probably be more powerful than the PS5, and the PS5 Pro will probably be more powerful than that, and so on). Hardware power is no longer the issue here- at last, both companies have competent, easy, powerful, flexible, and scalable hardware solutions on the market. But where Sony is winning in terms of building an appealing games library (and that is an area Microsoft could stand to learn from Sony in), Microsoft is definitely winning in the services area. If both companies were to learn from each other in areas where they are weak respectively, we as gamers would be far better off as a whole.

Note: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to GamingBolt as an organization.


Awesome Stuff that you might be interested in

  • QUIMICOMORTAL

    Aww no xbrick exclusives!!!!

    Lol at the x bot lack of intelligence! didn’t you see the PS5 in the title? so it is not just a scorpio title!

    LOL
    at you prot begging with psnow! when you get Uncharted 4 and Horizon
    (wich are not hack and slash or anime, fool) you can celebrate that you
    can FINALLY play the great exclusives of this gen!

    Yet it offers
    the most and the best games out there (with Zelda’s exception)! And have
    The BEST MULTIPLAYER GAMES which are 3rd party not the xbrick
    exclusives!

    But most importantly, IT HAS NEW EXCLUSIVES! remind me, what 2017 new x1 exclusives do you have? when will you get the next one?

    You are not even a defense force, you are laugh stock!

  • Rasta4

    I hope Sony learns something indeed…the ps4 “pro” is the worst purchase I ever made…and Sony’s single player hack n slash games are a waste of $ with no replay value. May as well just beat em on PC and save the $. At this point Sony offers me….No native 4k games (some as low as 720p), no back compat, inferior multiplats, no upgrade to shader model 6 textures, no real improvements on 1080p TVs, no dedicated servers, no game pass downloading service, no 4k bluray, no digital refunds….and NO MULTIPLAYER GAMES as good as Xbox’s. Yeah…Scorpio for me.

    • drjonesjnr

      Well its working great for them 55 million vs 25 million
      Ouch 🙂
      People like a good verity of exclusive games you don’t get that on the irrelevant box :

    • Rasta4

      PS4 is not totally irrelavant. It’s still has the wierdo anime and single player hack n slash games…even if they are playable on Xbox scorpio. Didn’t they announce that was coming UWP…or is that just windows 10.

    • drjonesjnr

      Its the xflop thats irrelevant mate 25 million vs 55 million
      They don’t even have exclusive games they have to beg pc gamers to buy their games so they can sell its hilarious to watch 🙂

    • Rasta4

      Don’t be upset. Sony knows its close to closing the doors…it had to write off $1 billion last quarter. Now it’s begging PC gamers to buy its single player hack n slash and anime games on PC. Sad it’s doesn’t own the platform to really develop it like MS is with windows 10 and make the $$$. It will be a few years before Sony is completely irrelevant.

    • angryguy77

      Do you think Sony has any more buildings it can sell to balance the books?

    • Rasta4

      Doubt it…if the peasants don’t start paying for PSnow….it’s over.

      PsVR was almost a complete flop. Where are the games for that ??…completely forgotten.

      Digital refunds for Xbox…none for PS4.

      I mean it’s getting blatantly obvious with no back compat, no EA access, no digital refunds etc that Sony is a piece of crap company that I want nothing to do with moving forward.

    • QUIMICOMORTAL

      Do you think xbrick has more games? To play, 1st party, 3rd party, Indies! Anything?

      #xbotstarvation

    • drjonesjnr

      Oh the playstation brand is a massive success its going nowhere.
      Microsoft will probably spin off xbox or sell it to amazon.
      Mind you its probably not worth anything now that’s why there turning back to pc for help.
      25 million LMFAO how the mighty have fallen no wonder its so dry on games who wants to sell games on a flopped console? Lol

    • Rasta4

      Bwahahah
      A $1 billion dollar write off
      Vs ownership of an Xbox platform and the largest PC platform in the world..in addition to ownership of minecraft and Havoc in which every game sold regardless of platforms is $ in MS’ pocket. Every time you peasants buy a game using havok you are paying MS !$ ..Sony is close to bankruptcy for a reason little twit…cause the company sucks.

    • drjonesjnr

      Yea Microsoft are just crap at hardware.
      Windows phone console.
      Loving the playstation domination tho. Hehe

  • angryguy77

    ouch? Do you own stock in MS? Is that why the sales hurt?

    What else can I say? I already pointed out your hypocrisy. It’s sad when you can’t even see Sony does the very same thing you accuse MS of. It’s why you drones are viewed as the worst fanboys in the gaming industry.

    • drjonesjnr

      Not at all but more sales equals more exclusive games.
      Hence why its been so dry on the xflop this year

  • angryguy77
  • XbotMK1

    “Backward Compatibility, Play Anywhere, Xbox Game Pass, Cross Platform Play, full game refunds, these are all just some great decisions Microsoft has made in the last year or so- and these decisions are all areas where Microsoft now far outpaces Sony.”

    This is ignorant, misleading or delusional.

    – First off, backwards compatibility.

    What Pramath doesn’t tell you is that Microsoft backtracked on backwards compatibility. When Xbox One launched Microsoft stated it was a waste of time. Sony stated backwards compatibility was too difficult because of the PS3 Cell so they created PS Now. Years later Microsoft backtracked and figured out a way to add partial backwards compatibility because Xbox is losing. Sony maintained their stance on backwards compatibility because of the PS3 Cell. The 360 was not as complex as the PS3 Cell and the PS3 Cell is actually stronger than the PS4 and Xbox One CPU which creates a problem in allowing PS3 BC on the PS4. Microsoft did not add bc out of kindness. And if backwards compatibility were easy, Sony most likely would not have stated it was too difficult and they have done it because they would’ve known Microsoft could do it as well. And it is safe to predict that the PS5 will be backwards compatible because the PS4 is now X86 and doesn’t have the Cell problem.

    “It’s interesting, because this idea of an integrated ecosystem was basically pioneered by Sony to begin with, at least in the gaming market- with the PS3 and PS Vita, Sony briefly offered a continuous online identity, with a purchase of a game on the PS3 unlocking that same game on the Vita too (and vice versa), and with both systems placing a strong emphasis on legacy content (PS3 and PS Vita both offered PSOne Classics, and Vita offered PSP games, while PS3 offered PS2 Classics). It’s with the PS4 that Sony seems to have lost sight of a concept.”

    Are you blind? Sony has been doing that with the PS4 this whole generation. Many of the games they give away on PS+ are cross compatible. And your comparison is incredibly flawed. Many PS4 games are not on the PS3 and Vita so how are they going to offer crossbuy? The PS3 is being phased out because it is old and the Vita isn’t a major seller. The PS One and PS2 games that were on the PS3 and Vita had to be coded for those systems. That is why they are not on the PS4. They would have to be reworked or repermitted by devs to be on the PS4. Your entire point makes no sense.

    “At the same time as the PS4 Pro, Sony has released PS2 games on the PS4 PSN Store, not honoring prior digital purchases of PS2 games made on the PS3, and it has released multiple Vita hardware SKUs, which are not compatible with each other.”

    The PS2 games that people purchased on the PS3 are coded for the PS3. Same reason why the PS4 is not backwards compatible with the PS3. That is why digital PS2 games do not transfer to the PS4. Each PS2 game has to be reworked and permitted by the developer to be placed on the PS4. The Vita TV was a niche device and it flopped.

    – Next up is Xbox Play Anywhere.

    Xbox Play Anywhere is not necessarily a good thing. Microsoft created it to lock developers and consumers to Microsoft’s Windows operating system and API. They also made it to create a monopoly on the PC market and to compete with better alternatives such as Steam. Xbox Play Anywhere also cannibalizes consoles. If you’re a console fan who values physical media it would not necessarily be good for the industry or gamers if Sony created their own PS Store on PC.

    – Next up is the Xbox Game Pass.

    “An integrated ecosystem isn’t the only area where Sony can learn from Microsoft, either- the Game Pass is an excellent example of Games as Service (and a far superior offering to PS Now, which isn’t getting ahead of itself, either).”

    Xbox Game Pass is not necessarily better than PS Now. They’re both very different services just like PS Now and EA Access. PS Now offers 450 games for $20 a month. That is far greater than what XGP and EA Access offers.

    You’ve done nothing but bash PS Now and support Xbox One since it launched but now you’re praising Xbox Game Pass which Microsoft created as a response to PS Now.

    – Next up is digital refunds.

    “Game refunds are another- you cannot expect customers to invest in your ecosystem if they don’t feel like their purchases are secure. And they won’t feel like their purchases are secure unless they are protected from poor purchases in the first place.”

    Sony already has game refunds. Just because they don’t have a self refund system doesn’t mean they don’t do refunds. And how does a self refund system make your purchase more secure or how is this a necessary feature? If you were dumb enough to purchase a game you didn’t want from the store, should you get a refund?

    “Microsoft has blazed the trail with a truly consumer friendly refund policy- and this is one area where Sony should look at shamelessly copying Microsoft.”

    Steam was doing self refunds before Microsoft and there are drawbacks to this self refund system. It can be a great feature but not necessarily for people who buy physical copies.

    – Lastly is cross network play.

    “Cross platform play is another area where Sony has ended with egg on its face- for the longest time, Sony claimed that it would allow full cross platform network play, and it was only Microsoft’s insistence on keeping Xbox Live closed that was causing any holdups in that ever happening. But then Microsoft went ahead and opened up Xbox Live to connecting with other networks, and Sony still continues to block cross network play.”

    That is one giant mountain of false info. Sony has always allowed cross platform play since the PS2 era. They allowed it with FF11 on Xbox. The PS4 has always been allowing cross platform play with PC since day one. Rocket League, FF14 and Paragon offer cross platform play with PC.

    Microsoft is the only one who blocked cross platform play with both PlayStation and PC. Microsoft did it as an anticompetitive business move. That is why FF14 is not on Xbox One.

    Then Microsoft tried to mislead people into believing that they were offering cross platform play when they announced the Windows 10 store. But really all they were doing was allowing it on Xbox Live. They were still blocking it on Steam and PSN.

    Then after the backlash, after years of losing in sales and after seeing the popularity of Rocket League Microsoft finally did a complete 180 and opened up their network to other networks.

    But the only one who benefits is Microsoft because they have the smallest install base. So why should Sony allow cross platform play with Xbox?

    This article is just another Xbox One sales pitch. The reason why Microsoft has added these things is because they’re losing in sales. You’ve been supporting and defending Xbox One since it launched.


 

Copyright © 2009-2017 GamingBolt.com. All Rights Reserved.