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The PlayStation 4's release date is Sony's first big next-gen mistake

Sony has spent the last six months locked in a brutal war with Microsoft, with each attempting to best the other for next-gen supremacy. From the outside, it's been hilarious to watch. Seriously, I haven't seen this much smack talk and passive-aggressive banter since SEGA was claiming to be doing what Nintendon't.

But it hasn't really felt like a fair fight, has it? Despite starting on an even playing field, Sony has been outright humiliating the Xbox One, like LeBron James dunking on a twelve-year-old. When Microsoft said $500, Sony said $400. When Microsoft said "no used games," Sony promised to support them. Xbox One went always-online, and Sony stayed off, Microsoft packed in a camera no one wanted, and then Sony took it out. But now, for the first time, Sony has slipped up, making a mistake that may end up being more costly than any of Microsoft's pre-release follies.

Today, Sony revealed that the PlayStation 4 would be releasing on November 15 in the US. At face value that sounds great--mid-November has traditionally been the dumping ground for new hardware and it's early enough to assure that supplies will be on store shelves come Black Friday.
But this generation is different. Next-gen consoles aren't just going to be competing against each other, but with the current gen. In previous years, the next-generation was such a massive leap that it was blatantly obvious to everyone why the new hardware was needed. Publishers and developers have also chosen to continue supporting the current generation, meaning that nearly every major AAA release from Call of Duty: Ghosts to Watch Dogs is going to be released on the PlayStation 3/Xbox 360 as well as the PlayStation 4/Xbox One. Or, as is the case with Grand Theft Auto 5, it's the next-gen consoles that are being skipped this year.

Are people really going to wait for the next-gen consoles to buy games they can already buy on their current hardware? If the Wii U's launch lineup is any indication, that's a resounding no. Assassin's Creed 4 and Battlefield 4 are hitting two weeks earlier and Call of Duty: Ghosts releases on November 5. Those are some of the biggest games of the year, and it's a tall order for Sony to ask those franchises' ardent supporters to hold out for them. Those gamers--the ones who anxiously await buying products as soon as they're released--are the same ones Sony and Microsoft are fighting over. And Sony might lose them.

Sony knows this. At its GamesCom event it revealed a sort of trade-in program to allow players to upgrade select PS3 games to PS4 games for a "severe discount." What that discount will be is unknown. (Sony used similar wording to convey a "significant discount" on PS Vita memory cards, but that ended up being just 20%). That said, I can't see this ostensibly dramatic price reduction being enough to lure people to the PS4 versions, especially if Microsoft capitalizes.

And I think it will, if for no other reason than Microsoft finally finds itself in a position to get in the last word. Thus far, many of Microsoft's pre-release blunders can be attributed to making the first move and allowing Sony to one-up them. Microsoft revealed its price first, giving Sony the ability to to react by removing the previously included camera and slashing the price by $100 (something Sony denies was reactionary, but c'mon). By going first and revealing the restrictions on game sharing, it gave Sony time to not only react in terms of branding, but to release a freaking viral video about the situation. This time, Sony blinked first. Microsoft waited it out, and now it's in a great position.

If Microsoft is able to get the Xbox One out the door by the first weekend in November--or, hell, by the end of October--it would be a coup that could trigger the goldfish memory core housed within all gamers' minds. If people have Assassin's Creed 4, Call of Duty: Ghosts, Battlefield 4, and other hot-ticket items staring at them on store shelves, rest assured that any indignity or moral stand against the Xbox One's policies will fade away. Who cares if the system was going to make you check-in online every 24 hours? Big deal if the Kinect is or is not always watching you sit on your couch. So what if used games and backward compatibility are questionable. 

Oh, and $5 says Major Nelson reveals a release date by the end of the week. Any takers?

You know that kid at parties who talks too much? Drink in hand, way too enthusiastic, ponderously well-educated in topics no one in their right mind should know about? Loud? Well, that kid’s occasionally us. GR Editorials is a semi-regular feature where we share our informed insights on the news at hand. Sharp, funny, and finger-on-the-pulse, it’s the information you need to know even when you don’t know you need it.

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71 comments

  • fsu56 - October 19, 2013 7:55 a.m.

    Get games really cheap at whismand.gps5.com
  • Joystick - October 7, 2013 8:54 p.m.

    HAHAHAAH the 10 $ difference its a smart move to win money ... why ? some of us don't have the patience to buy battlefield 4 on the ps4 they have the money and buy it on ps3 and then they upgrade it to ps4 whit all the stats .. some of us don't have the money to buy the console this year so they buy the game (until they have 400 $ ) and when they be able to buy the console they upgrade the game(...... others wait a bundle pack. SO EASY
  • blaze-firestarter - September 15, 2013 8:28 p.m.

    Brainless click bait article.
  • cricket0 - September 12, 2013 5:48 p.m.

    So Sony's bad move was to release it on the 15th, when Microsoft is releasing in the 22nd? Yup, cause getting it out first is a horrible move, just look at how badly the Xbox 360 flopped when it came out before the PS3. Sarcasm
  • RockZilla - September 2, 2013 8:43 a.m.

    "goldfish memory core housed within all gamers' minds" bwah hahaha
  • Heny - August 23, 2013 10:20 a.m.

    According to this article, I must be the only person who has cancelled pre-orders on PS3 games after the release date for PS4 was announced, and who can actually wait a few more weeks for the next-gen edition.
  • stephen-swan - August 26, 2013 11:13 a.m.

    for single player games, sure. But who will you play against in the Multiplayer games he mentioned above?
  • TheMariner - August 26, 2013 4:46 p.m.

    Probably still millions of people. Perhaps not as many millions, but still millions.
  • Beartoe - August 22, 2013 7:55 a.m.

    I'm pretty sure that most of the comments on this article proves that the writer of this article is really losing touch with what his readers want and think. Personally, as a consumer, I've always had faith in Sony and the Playstation simply because they have always put the consumer first. Making their system easily accessible and offering the biggest bang of your buck. Not penny and dime-ing ($20 and $30?) us with an over priced sub-par system every step of the way as with Microsoft every since the first xbox came out. In the end, it is only business. But just because it's business doesn't mean you have to try to bend the consumer over and fuck us at every turn. Call me a Playstation fan boy if you want. But I will carry that title with pride because Playstation actually care about and are connected with their fans.
  • albiokay - August 21, 2013 2:57 p.m.

    do you really think gamers are that vain and shallow? "Oh, Xbox One sucks, but I mean.....it's already out, n so are games for it. I'll just ignore all the things I hated about it anyway and get it, rather than waiting a week for the ps4, because I'm an impatient, stupid consumer!" real nice assumption there GR
  • jacob-bryant - August 21, 2013 2:14 p.m.

    I don't see how this is a mistake, and saying it's a bigger mistake than microsoft's is flat out bullshit, i can wait an extra two weeks for a better console
  • Fro4show - August 21, 2013 12:09 p.m.

    "Are people really going to wait for the next-gen consoles to buy games they can already buy on their current hardware?" Yes. Yes I am.
  • mbavalo - August 21, 2013 11:17 a.m.

    Really doubt this will be a major deciding factor. I think pre order numbers alone will show that most people have pre ordered the PS4, and I doubt MS will have such an early release date. Considering that they have already let some countries know that there will be a significant delay in the release of the Xbox One. Really doubt this one GR
  • rainn'sgaydar - August 21, 2013 9:47 a.m.

    Isn't also an outside possibility that the reason the release date is so "late" is because Sony wanted to give themselves a few more weeks to manufacture a few more launch day consoles? That would certainly explain why we keep hearing there are no more PS4's left to preorder, and then two weeks later there are. I kind of doubt that's the case, but it wouldn't be too bad an idea to sell launch day preorders for as long as you can, even if it costs you a couple of weeks. Just a thought... Also, Coop wasn't being a fanboy with this post. It's a valid point. Please stop. Double also, I like the "Oops" with the PS logo, Coop. Or whoever did it. Nicely done.
  • lewis-barclay - August 21, 2013 8:13 a.m.

    Wait. What. A mistake. That's coming from the same people who tried to say give the xbox one a second chance in another article. I have 2 xbox 360s so I'm not a sony fanboy. But how can you guys say all these things? Playing both sides of the fence? Plus yes I will be getting ps4 since microsoft slapped me in my face then tried to apologize.
  • tommy-dii - August 21, 2013 9:11 a.m.

    indeed and Microsoft still hasn't got the go ahead from the fcc thats to show they are still behind schedule this a a bias fanboy post if they don't get approved by the fcc how can them release before Sony i think they'll release the xbon after ps4 about November 29th or 26th
  • jsty3105 - August 22, 2013 6:35 a.m.

    They can play both sides of the fence because that's what a site like GamesRadar is supposed to do... offer different points of view.
  • rcarrasco121 - August 21, 2013 5:35 a.m.

    The PS4 still has over a million preorders regardless of the date it's released. It would have given them a safety net to launch in October but given the amount of changes and setbacks the XBone has gone through in the past few months, I doubt Microsoft is ready for an October release date.
  • RSQViper - August 21, 2013 5:26 a.m.

    What day does Call of Duty ghosts get released? Nov 5. It's a launch title for XBox One. Doesn't that tell us XBox One releases the 5th or later? So it could come out a single week earlier than PS4? How does that make much of a difference? Heck, they could even come out on the same week and that would actually be pretty awesome.

Showing 1-20 of 71 comments

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