February 20th 2013, Sony took centre stage in New York City to showcase the next generation of console gaming with the Playstation 4.
May 21st 2013, a baffling 3 months later, Xbox took their swing at the next generation by announcing the Xbox One.
Both conferences were exciting, well organised, informative and came with a clear, albeit diverse, message.
This article will look at both events and see how they compared to one another, looking at the presentation, hardware shown, games and said message the companies put out. I’ll definitely not be discussing everything but that would make for one huge article.
There’s no way to say which company won this first battle, in a very-long war to come, simply because who won is really up to the individual watching. Some people will have preferred Sony’s, others Microsoft, and of course plenty will blindly support the successor of their current console regardless.
Let the analysis/ comparison begin!
The look, length and presenters are a huge aspect of such events. Much like E3, both events were long, loud and colourful with charismatic presenters. These are really important factors in getting across the company’s plans and goals but making sure not to bore the audience.
Sony really set the bar for all these areas; it was much longer than anyone expected, its set design and video packages were colourful, entertaining and to the point, (at one point the screen read ‘Playstation wants to win’), and with an array of presenters of both Sony and numerous developers they set an important tone; we’re here to talk about games. Sony managed to discuss hardware specifics, software, cloud storage, Playstation Store, Playstation Move, PS Vita, social media and more in two hours, enjoyable and far from boring; the length was perfect. (Besides the odd Playstation Move segment that seemed misplaced).
Microsoft had the comfort of watching Sony’s event and taking notes, to improve upon everything. The difference, however, was that the two companies messages were so separate that the events were naturally dissimilar anyway. With a similar runtime Microsoft told much, without drawing things out and, as with Sony’s, it definitely felt like there is loads more to discuss.
For presenters and guests Microsoft pulled out the stars to discuss their machine; Steven Spielberg, JJ Abrams, Bill Gates, Steven Spielberg, Hideo Kojima and Jon Jones were just a few of the big names we seen. Such names never fail to impress and Microsoft’s money and influence were on display.
In terms of set design, Microsoft’s was somewhat unspectacular. It was a very simple design that didn’t exactly fit with their stature or spending-spree. However their video packages were impressive and the set design really isn’t a big deal in the grand scale.
In terms of presentation I’d have to say things came too close to call. Sony’s set-up looked better, the panoramic screens were awesome, but both did what they needed too. Length-wise both events were really similar and Sony proved 2 hours was a great length, so Microsoft couldn’t have made theirs much shorter.
When it comes to presenters Microsoft’s star power was undeniable but this really comes down to what kind of gamer you are, Sony made a point of simply getting game developers to talk about their system and games, Microsoft had celebrities discussing the entertainment possibilities of the Xbox One. If you’re all about games, then Sony’s conference was for you but if you like your console to be your entertainment hub, then you’ll have preferred Microsoft’s.
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This article was first posted on May 25, 2013