Track the companies that matter to you. It's FREE! Click one of these fan favorites to get started: Apple; Google; Ford.



Gamescom 2014: Sony’s Biggest Announcements for the PS4

Sony (NYSE: SNE  ) recently made some important announcements about the PS4 at the Gamescom trade fair in Cologne, Germany. The company confirmed the console's whopping sales growth, unveiled a slate of impressive exclusive games, and introduced a new feature that allows players to "share" games.

Let's take a look at what these announcements reveal about the future of the top eighth generation console.

Source: Wikimedia Commons.

10 milion units sold
Sony revealed that it had sold 10 million PS4s since last November. That makes the PS4 Sony's fastest selling console ever -- the original PlayStation took over two years to cross 10 million, while the PS2 and PS3 both took over one year. That also keeps the PS4 far ahead of Nintendo's (NASDAQOTH: NTDOY  ) Wii U, which has sold 6.8 million units, and Microsoft's (NASDAQ: MSFT  ) Xbox One, which has sold 5 million. 

Sony's PS4 gained an early advantage over the Xbox One due to its price. The PS4 debuted at $399, while the Xbox One cost $499. The Kinect, which was responsible for that $100 price gap, was intended to be the control hub for the console, but it never felt like a required peripheral. Microsoft eventually removed the Kinect in May to lower the price to $399, then launched several bundles including Titanfall and Forza Motorsport 5 to boost sales. However, those efforts failed to help Microsoft gain much market share against the PS4.

The Wii U, on the other hand, is still an unpredictable competitor. Although many analysts believed that Nintendo would eventually axe the Wii U, it mounted a late comeback after Mario Kart 8, and might gain even more momentum with Super Smash Bros. Wii U, Hyrule Warriors, and new Amiibo figurines.

Therefore, 10 million is a solid sales figure, but it's hardly a declaration of victory -- Nintendo's Wii only topped the seventh generation console race after selling 101 million units.

New exclusive games
Sony announced four new exclusive games at Gamescom -- Bloodborne, Until Dawn, Wild, and a new Silent Hill game. A fifth game, Hellblade, will launch on the PS4 before other platforms.

Bloodborne is a new RPG. Until Dawn and Silent Hill are survival horror titles. Hellblade is an action adventure game from Ninja Theory, which previously created Heavenly Sword and DmC: Devil May Cry. Wild comes from Rayman and Beyond Good & Evil creator Michel Ancel, who boldly declared that the open-world game will be the size of Europe.

Beyond console exclusives, Sony will bring the PC survival horror hit DayZ to the PS4. Media Molecule will also launch a PS4 version of its PS Vita title, Tearaway, next year.

Sharing games
Sony also introduced Share Play, which allows players to share games online with friends who don't own the game. It also lets a player take control of a single-player game to remotely assist a friend. Share Play will be added with the PS4 system update 2.0 this fall, and will be available to players with PlayStation Plus subscriptions ($50 per year).

Share Play expands Sony's dream of gamers playing one game on multiple screens, as seen with PS Now. Yet it's also a throwback to an older business model of "spawning" copies of games. Blizzard did this since the old days of RTS (real-time strategy) games -- if four people wanted to play StarCraft, for example, only one disc was needed. The other three players simply installed "spawn" copies, which could only play the multiplayer mode with the host. The idea was that those three other players would be more inclined to buy the game as well after playing it with friends.

The biggest drawback of Share Play is that it is only allowed over a local connection. This likely isn't due to bandwidth limitations. Instead, Sony probably doesn't want Share Play to interfere with PS Now, which is currently in a price-testing beta, since it might eventually add PS4 rentals to the cross-platform cloud service in the future.

The Foolish takeaway
In conclusion, Sony's outline for the future of the PS4 at Gamescom strongly builds upon its previous presentation at E3. The company intends to capitalize on its position as the market leader with a steady stream of exclusive games and new sharing features that integrate well with its PS Plus, PS Now, and Remote Play strategies.

Strong sales of PS4 hardware helped revenue at Sony's Game & Network Services business surge 95.7% year-over-year to $2.55 billion last quarter. The business also posted a profit of $43 million, compared to a loss of $16 million a year earlier. If Sony maintains its disciplined approach to expanding the PS4 ecosystem, the segment's top and bottom lines will continue expanding along with the PS4's lead over the Wii U and Xbox One.

Leaked: Apple's next smart device (warning, it may shock you)
Apple recently recruited a secret-development "dream team" to guarantee its newest smart device was kept hidden from the public for as long as possible. But the secret is out, and some early viewers are claiming its everyday impact could trump the iPod, iPhone, and the iPad. In fact, ABI Research predicts 485 million of this type of device will be sold per year. But one small company makes Apple's gadget possible. And its stock price has nearly unlimited room to run for early in-the-know investors. To be one of them, and see Apple's newest smart gizmo, just click here!


Read/Post Comments (2) | Recommend This Article (4)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On August 14, 2014, at 6:29 PM, awang0718 wrote:

    It is a bit disingenuous to say the PS4 is selling faster than the PS2 becasue the PS2 had only been released in Japan during its first 8 months.

    That being said, the PS4 is beasting, and will likely see sales hit 16 million or more by the year's end.

  • Report this Comment On August 15, 2014, at 11:21 AM, littlebuddababy wrote:

    My son likes to play with this friends his home..he doesn't need to be one of these kids on some head set with his friends right next door playing. Why can't there be more games that allow same screen play? I wish I had know that there were not going to be more multi-player games when I bought this system.

Add your comment.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 3069175, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 8/29/2015 5:27:42 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Leo Sun

Leo has covered the crossroads of Wall Street and Silicon Valley since 2012. Follow him on Twitter for more updates!

Today's Market

updated 20 hours ago Sponsored by:
DOW 16,643.01 -11.76 -0.07%
S&P 500 1,988.87 1.21 0.06%
NASD 4,828.33 15.62 0.32%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

8/28/2015 4:03 PM
SNE $25.87 Up +0.01 +0.04%
Sony Corp (ADR) CAPS Rating: **
MSFT $43.93 Up +0.03 +0.07%
Microsoft CAPS Rating: ***
NTDOY $24.85 Up +0.07 +0.28%
Nintendo CAPS Rating: **