Who will win the console wars?
As the gaming world gears up for the battle of the consoles, our Creative Partner, Marta Swannie, talks to the BBC about the launch of the Microsoft Xbox Series X/S and the new PlayStation from arch-rival Sony launching hot on its heels. Timing is everything. Both consoles are ready to pre-order ahead of the all-important Christmas season, and during another set of COVID-19 lockdowns, which have proven very beneficial for the gaming industry. So, which one will win?
BBC: Marta Swannie, Senior Creative Director from WPP branding agency, Design Bridge and Partners, joins us - so who’s your money on?
Marta: It’s going to be a pretty close battle. Both consoles are amazing, with great tech specs, and very fast. We haven’t really seen this great game play outside of gaming PCs. They're quite a step forward in terms of gaming experience. Ultimately, I think it’s going to come down to what legacy platform you were on before, and what games you’re looking for that are launching on each console.
BBC: What is THE game that's driving the market right now?
Marta: There are lots of high-profile games, like Fortnite, that will be available on both platforms. What's more important is the games that are exclusive to each platform. For example, games like Demon Souls or Spider-Man Max Rallies which are exclusive games on PlayStation 6 will use that technology in a great way for game play. When you have a game that's been made exclusively for that platform, you can expect to have a much more immersive, better game-play experience. Whereas on Xbox, they've had a bit of bad luck with one of their main games, Halo Infinite, being delayed until next year.
BBC: There's been a massive marketing campaign around this launch. Consoles have been put on pre-order sale and you can't get hold of one. Is that all part of the management of us as consumers?
Marta: This actually happens a lot, if you look at previous console launches. Often, it's a complex story behind the scenes due to manufacturing and where the consoles are being made. This year, the pandemic hasn't helped for the fact that it's slowed down manufacturing in many areas. It's also slowed down the launch of some games, which has had some effect on the launch of these two consoles.
BBC: But we have to admit that COVID-19 has given the gaming industry a massive boost.
Marta: Absolutely. Gaming is no longer for a niche audience. It is permeating through the lives of all of us these days. Particularly during the pandemic and lockdowns, gaming with friends has actually been a form of social interaction. We can really start to see the benefits of gaming through this experience.
Watch the interview here from 6mins 30secs.