The big day will be tomorrow, and tomorrow is when Sony will likely shake gaming to its core. Video games has never seen mid-generation hardware upgrades like we’ve heard about and PS4 Pro is expected to take center stage tomorrow.
While the PlayStation Meeting will take place tomorrow at 12 p.m. Pacific Time, there are a number of topics you might have running through your mind. Sony will hopefully address a number of issues and one of them is absolutely trade-ins.
Trade-ins exist now for current hardware, games and accessories, but many are wondering what deals will be in place once PS4 Pro arrives. Michael Goodman, who is the director of digital media strategies at Strategy Analytics, discussed what a lack of trade-ins for current PS4 owners might result in for Sony.
“There will be a lot of hardcore gamers, that early adopter market, that if you didn’t have some sort of hardware trade-in program, you’re going to alienate them. I would be very surprised if you don’t see some sort of trade-in program. One interesting part of that is since Microsoft will be second to market, they’re going to learn so much from the Sony launch and how to do it.
“Does Sony do a trade-in program or do they not? What kind of reaction is there? What happens to the marketplace when all of a sudden you flood it with low-cost PS4s? If you’re looking to get people who haven’t bought a PS4 and now pick-up one, what impact does that have? The intelligence that Microsoft is going to glean from this launch cannot be understated because both companies are heading into uncharted territory,” Goodman said.
This is uncharted territory for both Microsoft and Sony, and perhaps the best argument against a trade-in program is the surplus in inventory retailers would have. Once those have been traded in, it’s dead money to places like GameStop, so there would need to be a balance if a trade-in program does happen.
Microsoft will learn plenty from Sony’s launch, presumably this fall. The fact that Project Scorpio doesn’t launch until 2017 should help Microsoft in theory, but it’s not a slam dunk certainty. Goodman expanded upon the valuable knowledge Microsoft will gain from whatever happens with PS4 Pro’s launch.
“Microsoft will basically do the same thing a year later and they’re going to learn the lessons for here’s what happened right, here’s what happened incorrectly and here’s how we position things. This is almost unheard of to be able to gain this level of insight into a new product launch, particularly when you’re doing something so different that both [companies] are doing. You will learn so much from your competitor,” Goodman said.
PS4 Pro seems more obvious to fit with PlayStation VR simply because it is Sony’s product. On the other hand, Microsoft doesn’t have as obvious of a VR solution right now. Yes, HoloLens is a piece of hardware that is out there, but how ready will it actually be come holiday 2017?
Everyone knows of the struggles Xbox One endured at launch, mostly because of the messaging and choices leading up to November 2013. Since then, Microsoft has made excellent moves to better position themselves and gamers have responded. Goodman acknowledged Microsoft’s struggles back in 2013 and spoke about what they’ve done thus far with Scorpio.
“Microsoft did right the ship, but you only get one chance to make a first impression and they blew that opportunity. While they blew that initial impression, Sony was hitting on all cylinders with their rollout and they’ve reaped the benefits of that ever since then. So far [with Project Scorpio] Microsoft has done everything right. They’ve sort of wet the market’s appetite with specs because hardware specs are what people get jazzed up about anyway.
“Now they are sitting on the nitty gritty sorts of launch details and quite frankly, there’s no reason for them to be giving out any of that information at this point. They’re a year plus away from their launch, so they just need to sit back wait to see what works and what doesn’t. This is not the same as a historical console launch has been,” Goodman said.
Project Scorpio is slated to launch during the holiday period of 2017, though no release date has been given quite yet. Stick around here at We Write Things for more regarding PS4 Pro.