Sony is the leader in the console race. There’s no doubt about that. But the king stumbled this week, and Microsoft didn’t wait to start taking advantage.
Earlier this week, Sony finally unveiled the systems we’d known about for weeks and months – the PlayStation 4 Pro and PlayStation 4 Slim. The announcement was, for many gamers, underwhelming. The Pro looks to many like a way to push gamers into buying a 4K television. Despite that, though, the PS4 Pro doesn’t do something the Xbox One S does. Both systems support 4K upscaling and HDR color, but only the Xbox One S can handle Ultra HD Blu-ray discs.
In the long run, it might not be much of a problem, but right now it looks like a glaring oversight. In response, the official Xbox Twitter had this say:
That’s on top of an underwhelming upgrade that seems incremental and inconsequential to most PlayStation 4 owners. I wrote about that separately – I don’t think Sony is expecting current PlayStation 4 owners to buy this thing.
Then, today, developer Bethesda announced that their long-awaited mods would not be coming to fruition on the PlayStation 4 the same way they had on the Xbox One.
Bethesda wrote on their official blog that “after months of discussion with Sony, we regret to say that while we have long been ready to offer mod support on PlayStation 4, Sony has informed us they will not approve user mods the way they should work: where users can do anything they want for either Fallout 4 or Skyrim Special Edition.”
There’s some room for interpretation as to whether it was Sony or Bethesda that was finally unwilling to budge, but the fact is that mods are not coming.
Microsoft jumped on that one right away:
Xbox UK piled on as well, poking at Sony’s online gaming network. While Xbox Live has had its share of problems, Sony’s continued slow speed, poor interface, and lacking features have been a headache for many gamers.
Fans of either console are going to have a lot to say about this but, standing in the middle, it looks like a case of karma:
At this point, Sony could take a page from Microsoft. After a week of misses, some quick, responsive words from Sony would go a long way toward showing gamers they care. Explain the situation with Bethesda. Let us know if Ultra HD Blu-ray support could be patched in or if it’s a hardware choice. Acknowledge PSN’s weaknesses and lay out a plan to improve them.
In the meantime, though, it seems Microsoft has taken all their experience with cloud gaming to create some shade.
I have to admit, it’s kind of fun watching huge companies fight.