A reader is frustrated at Sony’s decision to increase the price of the PS5 and argues it’s the turning point in their rivalry with Xbox.
I think when people look back at this generation and try to pinpoint where exactly Sony went wrong, they’re going to zero in on PlayStation 5 price hike that was announced this week. As the cost of living crisis gets worse and worse it takes a special kind of business person to think that raising the price of their luxury goods is the answer. People can’t live without heating; they can live without a PlayStation 5. Especially when there’s a cheaper alternative just desperate to take over.
I’m no fanboy, but Microsoft must be rubbing their hands with glee at the thought of Sony being forced into raising the price, as they almost immediately announced they aren’t going to follow suit. Microsoft are rich enough that they can take a hit, but Nintendo has said they won’t raise their prices either and they’re smaller than Sony.
The absolute worst thing though is the fact that America isn’t getting a price rise. Does that mean that the rest of the world is paying to keep their prices low? If everyone had a price rise, would it have been a smaller one overall, because it would’ve been more spread out? It stands to reason it would’ve but of course Sony will never admit that.
For years, decades really, Sony has been hyped up as this marketing genius, aloof from the games industry so that even when they mess up, like with the PlayStation 3, they still look like the classy one. That’s partly because Microsoft has always seemed happy to be seen as the loud, crass American newcomer but all this year it’s Sony that’s looked like the one without a clue.
Not only has their communication been bad but they’ve made it seem like they actively hate talking to their fans. That and the way they ‘promoted’ the PS Plus revamp made that seem like something they were being forced to do and didn’t want to talk about, like a kid with their chores. Everything, including the price rise, is announced via glib little PlayStation Blog updates that try to get away with saying the least amount possible.
Microsoft has Phil Spencer and Nintendo has Miyamoto and the other developers, but there’s no public face for Sony. Just Jim Ryan, who’s a terrible public speaker but who seems to be behind most of these changes. Or at least Sony only started acting like this once he took over.
It’s 11 months since we’ve seen any new gameplay footage for God of War Ragnarök and yet it’s out in less than three months. And that’s their big game for this year. We haven’t even seen any gameplay footage for Spider-Man 2 or Wolverine and that’s literally all the games we know they’re making. They must have more, but they can’t be bothered to tell us about them. Again, not even Nintendo is this bad.
The only thing they have wanted to talk about is PlayStation VR2. A VR headset that’s almost certainly going to be well over £400. In the middle of a financial crisis, just after a price rise. I mean, they didn’t know what the situation would be like when they started making the headset, but they sure did when this week they started saying it’ll be out early next year.
This has gone beyond Sony arrogance and into something much more dangerous for them. They seem to have gone completely insane and not only do they not have any obvious game plan but they don’t even seem to be trying. If they don’t realise that increasing the price of the PlayStation 5 before Christmas, thereby making the Xbox Series X/S seem even more appealing, is a bad idea I don’t know what to say.
Sure, they might have made a little less money without the price cut but at least they wouldn’t have been exposed for being out of touch and dangerously self-destructive. I really do worry that they’ve completely lost it and that this is the beginning of the end.
By reader Denethol
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