Ahead of E3, Sony confirmed it was working on a new and more powerful version of the PS4 called PlayStation Neo. But as Microsoft announced its Project Scorpio, gamers worried whether Sony’s upcoming console was an all-new console and not just an improvement on the first model. Now Shuhei Yoshida, president of Sony’s Worldwide Studios, has dismissed such concerns and said that the “new high-end PS4 is still PS4, so the life cycle is not going to be shorter.”
Yoshida is not following Sony’s policy to withhold details on its upcoming console until an official announcement is made. Sony said prior to E3 2016 that it would not be showing its new hardware at the conference, instead opting for a reveal at a later date. However, Microsoft’s reveal of Project Scorpio left Yoshida surprised and may have changed his announcement plans. “I was not expecting them to talk about [Project Scorpio], so it’s very very super interesting what they are doing,” he says.
Both consoles are leading in sales of the current generation, but Sony has a massive lead over Microsoft. In May of this year, the PS4 was reported to have sold 40 million units, whereas the Xbox One had sold just below 20 million by January (Sony had sold 36 million at the time). It’s unclear whether the PS4 has sold double the amount that the Xbox One has, but Microsoft needs to do something about the sales gap.
It’s possible that Project Scorpio is the software giant’s attempt to recapture gamers who have adapted to the mobile industry’s yearly cycles, and the Microsoft is trying to one-up Sony by adopting this new approach. If Microsoft is successful it would likely lead to a strategic shift for all parties involved in the console war. But we’ll have to wait for the new consoles to arrive and stay around for a while before drawing any conclusions.
It has been rumored that PlayStation Neo will be released this year, but no official announcement has been made.