Playstations dominance – Does it spell the end of innovation?

Everyone knows the Playstation has a significant lead over the Xbox One and the Wii U but does this lead to a change in the level of innovation we will see in future consoles? Both the Xbox One and Nintendo Wii U tried to bring something different to the table but these risks backfired and paved the way for the Playstation domination that followed. Are the general gaming public afraid of change? Surely there will be less risks taken due to the public backlash seen against the early Xbox One we seen pre-launch.

Sonys attempt at innovation
Sonys attempt at innovation

The PS4 is a wonderful machine, it’s slick, powerful and outperforms the other two by quite some margin but it doesn’t bring anything new to the table. It’s a console that plays games and basically a graphically superior PS3. It was because of the publics lack of interest in innovation that has ultimately led to its success. Proposed ideas of a digital future, second screens, revolutionary gamepads and the Kinect have all been failed ideas so far this generation, with gamers preferring a standard controller at an affordable price with slightly improved graphics. This is detrimental for the console industry as a whole, it was innovation that helped differentiate gaming on a console from gaming on a PC, the lines being somewhat blurred nowadays.

The public called for innovative cuts from the Xbox One - Their wish was granted.
The public called for innovative cuts from the Xbox One – Their wish was granted.

We must ask ourselves what our console can do that a PC cannot and the current state of play means that currently stands at not a lot.  Pretty much anything I can do on my PS4 my PC can do ten times better (albeit at a higher price tag). The Nintendo Wii should speak volumes in what innovation can lead to. The motion technology embraced by everyone, not just a select group of people with an over enthusiastic view on videogames. Unfortunately it seems like risks are going to be taken far less in the future, the public have spoken and don’t want change which for me is worrying and a big step back for console gaming.

Of course we have the recently announced VR and AR technology, but these are optional and because of this are likely to be ill-received by the average gamer. Microsoft had the right idea in the first place, they had a vision of the future of games which in DRM which is an inevitability but instead bottled it because of the vocal minority, something I feel they may regret. It’s because of the lack of innovation that consoles are now separated solely by their hardware prowess. Each console offers a very similar experience, with nothing really changing from last-gen. Hell, Nintendo made a bit of a turd with their gamepad but at least they stood by their turd, even if that meant failure. This bringing me to the conclusion that Microsoft are cowards and a victim due to their own wrongdoings.

Wii U turdpad - Not enough of a step forward from the Motion Technology offered by the Wii
Wii U turdpad – Not enough of a step forward from the Motion Technology offered by the Wii

It’s a sorry state for console gaming right now, arguments are about which console runs a game in 1080p and 60FPS, where the argument really should of been about what the console actually does that’s different to the others. It’s because of a lack of risk taken that we see the rabid fanboys trolling the internet about which console is better than the other, it’s because their is no clear answer to which is best.

If consoles fail and this the last generation we see then the big three companies only have themselves to blame. Sony for the lack of imagination and creativity, Microsoft for not sticking to their guns and Nintendo for not further continuing innovation in the way we all expected. Of course, no risks will be taken and mobile/tablet gaming will be seen as a cheaper alternative in the future and eventually take over. Their are many viable platforms for playing games these days, none of the consoles are keeping me interested enough to stay a console gamer forever. Sort it out guys!



17 thoughts on “Playstations dominance – Does it spell the end of innovation?”

  1. Vocal minority? It wasn’t the vocal minority, it was every gaming news outlet, almost every gamer in every comment sections, this wasn’t a matter of a few people shouting in outrage it was EVERYBODY, and Microsoft sure as heck didn’t help themselves by sugar-coating the issues and coming off as arrogant as they did. If they had been more open with it’s consumers, more honest about the potential that DRM had to offer than maybe we would’ve still seen their vision come to pass.

    And as for your debate on wither PS dominating will lead to lack of innovation, no I don’t think so. I think you are taking this the wrong way. Let’s wind the clock back at the PS3 launch, Sony had come off their high after dominating last gen with the PS2 and they had just announced PS3, naturallly everyone was excited but than…it happened, 600 dollars, Telling their consumers they’ll want to get a second job, they didn’t think of this as just a game console, sound familiar? That arrogance, the mismanaged launch, Sony was in the exact same boat as Microsoft is now. Xbox 360 was killing it but what happened? Sony finally caught up, they were humbled and at their lowest point and they managed to turn everything around, introducing amazing exclusives such as Journey, Uncharted, The Last of Us, Infamous, LittleBigPlanet, Games that helped push Boundaries, and at the same time Microsoft took the basic online-gaming and pushed it to a whole other level, bringing gamers together more than ever[for better or worse] with titles like Halo, Forza, Gears of War and turning Xbox Live into the go-to place to play and Nintendo fared better than all of them with the Wii.

    It’s the competition itself, each of the big three pushing one another to become better that lead to all these great things, to try new things even if it might not work. I just think your signing off on this lack of innovation a little too early. Kinect, VR, Second Screens, Cloud Gaming, PSNOW, they all have a future IMO and obviously Nintendo isn’t going anywhere anytime soon with it’s excellent software and amazing little 3DS. It’s a great time to be a gamer, and I can only see a bright future ahead for Console gaming as we see just how far these companies will push themselves this time.

  2. Yeah. . . no. Microsoft had the Wrong idea.

    I don’t know where you’ve been living. Look at the PS4 sharing games with freinds video that has more than 14 million views and 300,000+ likes.

    Look at the Jimmy Fallon show video where he’s talks about how much cooler the PS4 was than the Xbox One was because you could ‘gasp’ actually play used games and lend games to your friends.

    How you think this is just like one or two people sitting under a rock is very strange indeed.

  3. This whole article is written from the point of a whinny little Bitch.
    He tells us that he is not happy with the current console market because he does not like the desires or the average hardcore gamer. He seems to fail to realize that one person does not reflect an entire market.
    He goes on to criticize the console market as not being innovative enough to hold his interest. (No mind that this is possible the most innovation we’ve ever had in a console generation. Ever.) While not offering any solutions other than a console should force all people to comply with policy they have no interest in complying with.
    The article sums up with a air of shine and condencance towards other people for the crime of having a different opinion.

  4. Buddy. . .newsflash. If your not content with the current consoles. . . DONT BUY THEM.
    This is capitalism at work. If you don’t buy something, the company will be forced to change it in order to satisfy the market.
    But don’t sit hear and tell me that I’m wrong, for voicing my opinion.
    Of course I still want physical media. Oh course I still want to lend games to my friends so they can try them. Microsofts policy would have been akin to a war on poor people.

    1. To be fair you could just buy a PS4 if you wanted to do all that. The Xbox One is basically a dumbed down PS4 now they’ve removed innovative features. It’s not good for us, the consumers who want a genuine choice.

      1. “It’s not good for us, the consumers who want a genuine choice.”

        That’s where I feel like the concept of this article fails. Choice implies that there is an option at play. Take the Kinect, last gen it was an option, not something pushed on you. Now for all of the talk of having an implied Kinect will lead to justifying the peripheral, there still hasn’t been anything to do that, if this was such a game changing thing, the game would’ve been changed by now. Sony has continued to innovate, they have just given the gamer the choice in what innovations they would like to buy into, which is a great thing for consumers who want a genuine choice. Imagine if they launched the ps4 w/ the VR headset at around an 800 dollar price point, going by the logic in this article, this would’ve been the most commendable move for them, even if there was no software to support it and no real justification for it to be included. You said that the Wii U was right in adding the gamepad, but at what point is this just “innovation for innovation’s sake”? On the same sentence you admit that this has been a failure for Wii U, so would you have all of the console manufacturers “innovate” themselves into oblivion? It’s great for these companies to push towards the future, but it shouldn’t come at the cost of the present, otherwise that future will disappear completely. There will always be something to be said about a great core gaming experience, that’s the reason that Indies are flourishing, and that’s the reason that no innovation will usurp the controller until it is actually proven, consumers shouldn’t have to subsidize lofty R&D costs in a search for some mythical unicorn, they should have the genuine choice you mention.

      2. I fail to see how Sony have innovated in recent years. They seem to be stealing ideas of others and getting all the praise. The online aspect of their console was to rival the Xbox Live service and the camera is to rival the Kinect. The Playstation may offer a solid gaming experience but does little to promote anything new in the industry.

        I fail to see how they offer the best ‘core gaming experience’ too. I’d say the Xbox has the marginally better games and the Wii U has a library that puts them both to shame. We constantly hear about PS4 being all about the games but the games released so far have been underwhelming and not worth the asking price of the PS4 (this applies to the Xbox too)

      3. I won’t argue with you about Sony’s bandwagon jumping, but ideas in innovation are a shared thing, it’s not like any one company is truly pushing the medium forward more than any other, it’s a symbiotic relationship between all 3 boxes & the PC industry. Sony’s PSEye predated the Kinect by years and while Microsoft have been more keen to try to push it on consumers and push forward (w.o any clear immediate benefits beyond simple yet buggy menu control) that’s not necessarily some commendable thing. As far as online gaming, Sega’s Dreamcast was the first to the party w/ that on consoles if memory serves, so again, innovation isn’t about someone coming out of left field w/ some crazy idea, much more often than not it’s about simplifying & utilizing existing tech in new & different ways or perfecting certain experiences.
        Also not saying that one system offers a better core gaming experience than the other at this early juncture, but if hardware factors in at all, then it seems like the ps4 is the most capable of the new crop, regardless of what’s been put forward in the very early months of new consoles. At the end of the day, your gaming experience isn’t like mine, which isn’t like someone else’s, what you consider an underwhelming experience, someone else would see it as amazing. I’d say it’s way too early to call it in favor of any of the 3 boxes, but based off of what has been shown, I personally would be more excited about Sony’s offerings in continuing proven existing franchises while continuing to create new ip’s, coupled w/ the promise of VR which would definitely stand to be more compelling than motion controls for a camera that has been on the market for 2 generations and multiple years w/o a clear & concise gaming use to point to.
        More than anything though I’m just saying that core experiences are more important than taking risks w/ consumers’ money on products that can be abandoned at a moment’s notice. It’s better for everyone involved if Gaming companies continue to create great games first & foremost, innovation can be a benefit but more often than not innovations fail. Did anyone complain about the Snes only being a prettier system w/ a couple extra buttons?

  5. You want to know what’s really sad, that someone who tells us he no longer cares about consoles, writes an article caring so much about the console industry,

  6. I can kind of see where your coming from, but I don’t really see having the option for to purchase physical media as a bad thing.
    The more options, always the better. Always. In literally all scenarios.

  7. I was one who hated the Xbone’s launch event with it’s focus on everything other than gaming, and I was disgusted with their drm policies and take it or leave it attitude toward their early next gen plans. I had no plan whatsoever to purchase the xbone. However, I was pleased that the ps4 and xbone were approaching the next gen from completely different directions, with different focus. Sony stuck to making a great gaming device, Microsoft wanted to be the more well rounded entertainment device. Fair enough, gamers could choose. And while I personally despised what Microsoft was trying to implement for a wide variety of reasons (one being our internet infrastructure here in the US not even remotely being close to ready for an all digital experience, what with bottlenecks, sporadic coverage, and companies placing caps on data usage) I was glad the consoles would be different. As it stands, the differences between the two are pretty minimal. So gamers make their choice based on performance, price, and multiplats. Pretty much just like last gen. I was hoping the next gen would be really eye opening, but it’s not. It’s pretty much more of the same, only prettier. I love my ps4, and if Microsoft pulls it together and delivers some games I want, I’ll probably buy an xbone at some point as I’ve always owned multiple consoles. But I was definitely hoping this generation we would see something revolutionary, not merely an evolution of what we’ve already experienced. Maybe we will. Maybe VR will be that something special. Maybe a game like The Division or Destiny really will be different. But as it stands right now, those are future promises that have not yet come to fruition. I’m hoping that they do not disappoint.

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