With the PS4 release date to see the next-gen console hit retailers later this year, high street presence John Lewis has suggested that the competition of an Xbox 720 launch could help improve the gaming sector.
Although Microsoft has yet to formally unveil its PS4 rival, it is widely expected that the mooted Xbox 720 will enter the realms of reality in the coming months, before being rolled out across commercial markets ahead of the lucrative pre-Christmas shopping rush.
“If Microsoft confirms the new Xbox for launch this year, I think it will enhance [the gaming sector], providing the consoles live up to expectations,” Robert Hennessey, a buyer for John Lewis’ gaming sector said speaking with TrustedReviews. “There hasn’t been this much potential for innovation within the market for quite some time; however all will depend on how these consoles are eventually packaged up.”
Despite the console having been formally unveiled, there are still a number of uncertainties surrounding the PS4, with Sony taking the launch event to focus heavily on a new touchpanel hosting controller rather than showing off what the next-generation device will look like.
Discussing the potential for a highly competitive gaming scene, Hennessey added: “If there is true innovation in the gameplay and style, particularly in terms of a more expansive and immersive gaming experience, then these consoles have the potential to transcend the gaming market like their predecessors did, broadening the consoles mass appeal and bringing in new audiences.
“However, if they are merely re-packaging the old models, a demographic shift in the gaming market seems unlikely.”
With recent reports suggesting that the PS4 release date will see Sony fulfil its 2013 holiday season launch promise only in the US and its native Japan, with the UK to follow in early 2014, Hennessey has suggested that in order to keep track with Microsoft’s next-gen offering, Sony needs to ensure a global rollout this year.
“With the latest Xbox also set to enter the market this year, Sony’s best chance of retaining their user base would definitely be to get the console out pre-Christmas,” the retail expert said. “Competition is bound to be stiff, so it’s crucial for Sony to maintain their loyal fan-base by making sure they start off on an even keel with Microsoft.”
Which next-gen gamer are you most looking forward to, the PS4 or rumoured Xbox 720? Let us know via the TrustedReviews Twitter and Facebook feeds or through the comment boxes below.