Is Sony the new Lehman Bros. ?
The game market is changing, rapidly, still all are waiting for the next console generation. Sony presented its newest generation of consoles, the PS4. Nothing to say about its hardware, sounds great to me. I think that AAA titles are the problem, as already stated in a previous journal entry. With this hardware at hands, they will need immense budgets to lift the games to the next generation.
I compare it somewhat to the last DVD to blu-ray transition. After all the hype I bought a PS3, as blu-ray player and I have just bought one AAA title for the PS3 which was quite disappointing (streamlined version X of game francise Y, come on, this is no longer fun). So, most often I use my PS3 to watch DVD, not even blu-rays, because only highly polished movies with lot of effects really needs a blu-ray.
Back to the PS4. A lot of horse power, indie support (?). Therefor only highly polished and very expensive AAA titles would justify a PS4 ? If this is the only reason to buy a PS4, sony will be really in trouble. Sony has suffered in almost all of its divisions in the last years and PS Vita isn't lifting off either. So, what will happen if the PS4 flops ? Will be microsoft the winner ?
No, I fear not. I think that it could result in a chain-reaction similar to the one Lehman Bros. initiated. The reason is, that if PS4 fails, no AAA publisher will have the selling plattform to overcome the break even of the overaching costs of next gen titles (they already need to sell them on XBox+PS3+PC, even then many games failed the expectations).
This would hit microsofts new console too and I believe, that piracy killed the PC as selling plattform for AAA titles. A fail of the PS4 could rip off sony, microsoft would be fine, though the Xbox720 will suffer, but the AAA market will not likely survive such a hit, the bubble would explode.
There're hints, that others see the risk too. As example, EA is already preparing with stripping off titles and laying off workers. I think that the big publishers will focus on the most promising AAA titles, only a handful of tiles, but will this be enough to lift of a new generation of consoles ? Why the hack should I spend a few hundred bugs for a console to play the 10th installement of the same game, with the same story and streamlined, softened gameplay ? Maybe it is time to let go of the dinosaurs...