Paige FTW: The Console Wars

You’d think that by now we’d be over the whole console war mentality.

Internet commentators have recently begun speculating that the PlayStation 5 could be Sony’s undoing, as it is a traditional, disc-based console in a world where the cloud is everything. Microsoft is gambling hard that that statement is true, as its next Xbox will be primarily a subscription cloud-based console. The Google Stadia, a console that no one I know owns, also is cloud-based.

Sony does have a toe in the cloud world — PlayStation Now, after all, does exist, slow as it is — but the company seems content to stick with its more traditional route.

If the cloud is the future, is Sony stuck in the past?

I don’t know if I totally buy that.

For one, latency remains an issue for the majority of people because not everyone has access to lightning-fast connections. Yes, the tech exists. No, it’s not yet widely available, and it won’t be for quite some number of years. It’s going to take a huge investment that, thus far, has not been made.

Second, a console does not live or die by how the games get to you — it lives or dies depending on the games. Sony won this console generation (if we must put it in those terms) because it simply had better exclusives than Microsoft did. Nintendo (who cheerily went back to cartridges for this gen) manages just fine because it, too, has a strong stable of franchises and compelling titles. Microsoft just … didn’t, at least for this go-round.

I mean, tell me what hot, compelling titles have come out as Xbox exclusives and only Xbox exclusives. Sure, there are some. But compare that to Sony’s jewels: God of War, Uncharted, The Last of Us, Final Fantasy, Death Stranding, etc. 

The medium is less important than the message — don’t we know that by now?