E3 could be a “turning point” in the Xbox One / PS4 war, says analyst

Vu Anh Nguyen

Just Cause 3 on Xbox One

This year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3 for short) – the largest gaming expo of the year – is fast approaching, and gamers can again expect another fierce battle on the stage and showroom floor between the two behemoths of the console gaming world, Sony’s Playstation 4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One. While big X has undeniably been trailing behind its Japanese-born rival in recent years, new analyst opinion suggest that this time, the favor could be tipping towards Redmond’s machine, reports gamesindustry.biz.

Specifically, IHS director and head of game research Piers Harding-Rolls offers his insight on the Xbox/PS4 race and how the former may be able to gain an edge. Sony has been busy with expanding their PS4 tie-in offering in a totally new territory, virtual reality (VR), with the Playstation VR. This new product category poses the risk to “alienate the early adopter gamers,” and, combined with the split development effort, will create an opening for Microsoft to double down on “its focus on gamers” using its Windows resource, according to Harding-Rolls.

“Microsoft holds a unique platform role and is strongly positioned to bridge the community divide between core PC and console gamers. With over 300 million Windows 10 users, a unified Xbox app coming to both Windows 10 PCs and Xbox One later in 2016 and the evolution of Universal Windows Platform apps, the company has the framework to build a unique cross-platform gaming offer.”

Such a scenario would indeed be ironic, as console gamers may remember it was by using exactly this tactic that Playstation 4 was able to gain a huge lead over Xbox One in the early days of the current-gen, at a time when Microsoft was steeped in controversy with its 24-hour-online policy, and just generally didn’t seem to know if its new console would be a gaming machine or an oversized multimedia entertainment box. Microsoft has certainly been trying hard to go back to the Xbox’s gaming roots, and it arguably has a better chance than ever to turn the tides at E3 2016, where a new version of the Xbox One is expected to be unveiled.

Of course, it’s all just opinions at this point, and with how bad the gaming industry seems to want to push VR as the new gaming nirvana, it’s hard to say whether the Playstation VR will be a burden or yet another leading point for Sony. E3, however, is right around the corner (it’s happening next week), so stay tuned for hot Xbox One news, and find out the winner of console gaming this season.