Sony, the battle of the generations: from PlayStation to PS5, a look back at a strategy that changed the lives of consoles… and gamers

Over the past few weeks, we've started hearing a lot of rumors about the PlayStation 5 Pro. Even the next generation of consoles, represented by the PS6, was mentioned at one point. Before taking this step, Sony would have intended to reproduce the same strategy as the PlayStation 4, that is, to mark the life cycle of a generation by working on an advanced version, called Pro. If this process is part of Sony's marketing tradition, is it still that important?

An era and an ecosystem rather than a console

In many ways, Sony's recent strategy around the PlayStation 5 is reminiscent of the centuries-old traditions surrounding the brand's home consoles. This renewal of gaming media, this transitional stage between two generations of machines, has been around for a long time, even if, initially, the technological considerations were much less important.. Chronologically, regarding this strategy, we can go back to the first PlayStation of the name. In its time, Sony's machine had also undergone several revisions of its consumer models and, most notably, a more compact version thanks to the PSOne. The similarities to the marketing method of the PS5 and its 'Slim' model are quite funny since this PSOne was also a way to downsize the machine and make it the new entry level. The difference for the One is that it included other modifications and not just its aesthetics (interface, protection from modchips).

A few years later, the PlayStation 2 sank into the same rut. Between November 2000 and 2004, Sony's machine benefited from several modifications before revising its structure, becoming more compact and standard by the end of production. It was also during this period that the Japanese company is innovating and improving its entertainment strategy making his console a support for other activities thanks to a handful of accessories (remote control, SingStar/Eye Toy, etc.). This is also the implementation period of the PlayStation a real ecosystem by opening up the portable console market with the PSP. From now on, Sony's flagship licenses are no longer limited to home consoles, they can now be found in your hands.

Sony, the battle of the generations: from PlayStation to PS5, a look back at a strategy that changed the lives of consoles... and gamers

One thing leads to another, Sony is no longer content with a strategy that consists of one generation of consoles chasing another. From there, entertainment products bridge two generations. Between the PS2 and PS3, we had the PSP, and between the PS3 and PS4, it was the PS Vita. Moreover, between these two numbered consoles, Sony has once again managed to implement its usual marketing plan to the letter: improving its generation of consoles over the months, revising their storage capacities and aesthetics. In short, every time, we find this period of about three years which allowed Sony to update its product range to offer new buyers the latest possible product while gradually encouraging veteran players to migrate to more generous support. At the end of the day, this strategy will be the source of another idea which will change the way Sony will design the life cycle of its console generations: the famous Pro version.

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The PS4 era: time for change and professionalism

Sony, the battle of the generations: from PlayStation to PS5, a look back at a strategy that changed the lives of consoles... and gamers

The most convincing example of this guideline that Sony has set for several years is obviously the previous generation, namely the PS4 and PS4 Pro. What's more, the similarities are unsettling to say the least, proof that Sony is sticking very closely to an established improvement strategy for its home consoles.. Let's go back more than a decade. We are at E3 and, right now, Sony knows that we should not miss this meeting under any circumstances. So to mark a big blow, the reveal of the PlayStation 4 seemed to be a sure bet for this edition of June 2013. If the Japanese company is interested in this prosperous time of the year in terms of video games, it is also willing to The end of the year starts and sets the machine to launch in the last quarter of the year, which is November 29th for us European gamers.

Obviously, This fourth console is no exception to the rule, as it will face two minor developments until the acquisition, just under three years after the launch of the PS4, of a new model presented as 'Slim' by the media but not by Sony. We can see that the console boxes don't show that “Slim” reference at all. However, this was not the only revision : Almost three years to the day, the PS4 Pro entered the market and it is an opportunity for Sony to offer, after some time, a more stable console in terms of storage and, inevitably, more powerful (0.5 GHz and 2, 36 TFlops more (for a total of 4.2), helped by switching to an AMD Radeon 911 MHz with 36 graphics cores instead of 18). After all, for Sony, it's not the years that follow each other and are the same, but the generations.

Sony, the battle of the generations: from PlayStation to PS5, a look back at a strategy that changed the lives of consoles... and gamers

At the heart of a proven global health framework for the entire population, Sony and PlayStation reveal their plans for the future of their home consoles. Seven years after the PlayStation 4 – eight years separate the PS3 from the PS4 – the Japanese company is holding a live YouTube presentation to cover many details about the PlayStation 5: better bandwidth, RAM multiplied by two, and more. Once again, the mechanics remain the same and Sony follows the path it almost always takes : specifically, a release on November 19, 2020 (in Europe) before returning, a few years later and after complicated marketing for reasons we know (pandemic, supply chain), with a new version. In October 2023, then, the PS5 will be graced with a revised and tweaked design, the famous 'Slim' model that never really says its name and which will, like all the previous ones, replace the original version. PS3, PS4 and PS5: same battle!

One of the big differences is that the efforts made by the Japanese company to enrich this new generation will not all bear fruit. After the PS4's PlayStation VR, Sony is at it again with the PS VR2 but is currently dealing with the issues of a technology struggling to justify (or rather be interested in) the new machine. Finally, the new VR headsets are part of a policy aimed at creating a true gaming ecosystem for the PlayStation 5 : official headsets and headphones, customizable access controller for all audiences, HD camera, media remote, Edge controller and, above all, PlayStation Portal (a Remote Play device that would be popular, although we don't have an official sales estimate yet) .

Sony, the battle of the generations: from PlayStation to PS5, a look back at a strategy that changed the lives of consoles... and gamers

However, recent rumors and evidence have been confirmed by some initiates around the PlayStation 5 Pro version highlight a problem around this generation of consoles. Aside from the slow and laborious marketing of the PlayStation 5 – at least initially – which reduced the amount of time the console could really establish itself, It's the specs of the Pro model that challenge the appeal of the standard version of this console. Here, the gap seems much wider with the arrival of this Pro model than it could have been between PS4 and PS5. When we know the money that consumers have invested during these three and a half years to get their hands on this Holy Grail, we're not sure that the arrival of the Pro will please everyone. Besides, what do these revelations tell us about the PS5 Pro?

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The PS5 he wishes was like his elder brother

At the end of last week, the subject of marketing a new PlayStation 5 console on steroids resulted in a bombshell, between excitement and disappointment in the Sony gaming community. It is true that this generation of consoles has not been established under the best auspices. One of the main reasons is the difficulties in supply chains and the global health framework. However, the expected gap between the two generations was not as spectacular as one might imagine, especially since, for a time, many major video game releases came on the last two gaming machines: Sony. Between a massive fleet of PS4/PS4 Pro consoles and the PS5's complicated installation in the global video game landscape, the Japanese company has struggled to hide this somewhat early release. Today, it seems that, three and a half years later, the era of the PlayStation 5 is finally beginning, while we are already hearing about the next numbered console.

Grand Theft Auto VI, the essential tool for communication around the PS5 Pro?

Sony, the battle of the generations: from PlayStation to PS5, a look back at a strategy that changed the lives of consoles... and gamers

After months of not knowing which way to go, Sony has apparently made a decision and therefore could be preparing a PlayStation 5 Pro. First, sensitive information, to be taken with a grain of salt, surfaced to Tom Henderson, a reporter for the site InsiderGaming And knowledgeable known in the field, does not confirm the few facts disclosed providing details that made this leak a little more concrete and tangible. We shared information about this topic with you at the beginning of the week but in general, the features of this PS5 Pro showed a real monster of power (faster, better resolution, more efficient ray tracing, improved audio performance, more storage capacity, etc.), possibly under the tree for the next holiday at the end of the year. However, this release window is yet to be determined, as it will mostly depend on the release of first-party software that will support the marketing of this manufactured version of the PS5. In short, everything remains to be done for the PS5 Pro but, above all, everything remains to be proven.

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