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Consoles are one of the most popular devices in video gaming. Among the gaming consoles, Sony’s PlayStation is the most popular gadget for users of all ages throughout the world. According to CBR, more than half of all US households have a gaming console.
In fact, PlayStation is the most popular console, with a market share of 92.24% in terms of the ‘console operating system’ market share as of December 2021. But what makes Sony’s PlayStation so popular throughout the world?
Overview Of PlayStation
Japanese tech giant and conglomerate ‘Sony’ is one of the world’s oldest electronics manufacturers. In the 1980s, Nintendo, the dominant player in the gaming industry, sought to collaborate with Sony to develop a new console.
However, when Nintendo pulls back from the collaboration at the last minute, Sony, which has no expertise in the gaming industry, decides to launch a console itself. As a consequence, Sony launched their first gaming console, the ‘PlayStation,’ in 1994, which quickly became popular. It was the first gaming console to sell over 100 million units.
Following the success of the PlayStation, Sony released the PlayStation 2, the best-selling gaming console of all time, in 2000. The PlayStation 2 has sold over 158 million units worldwide. Meanwhile, Microsoft’s gaming console ‘Xbox’ came on the market in 2001. Microsoft launched the ‘Xbox 360’ in 2006, a year before the PS3 release.
From then on, the competition started with gaming capabilities, exclusive game titles, and new technology implementations between the devices of both brands. Finally, in 2020, Sony introduced the ‘PS5’ and Microsoft introduced the ‘Xbox series X’ and S.
The launch of the PS5 stirred up a lot of hype among gamers worldwide, resulting in all units of the console being sold online from Walmart within 5 minutes of its debut. In addition to consoles, other console brands including PlayStation also sell different games separately. According to Statista, Sony sold 397.3 million PS4 and PS5 games in FY20 alone.
According to Statcounter, PlayStation is currently leading the global console market with a market share of 92.24%, while Xbox’s market share is only 7.72%. Furthermore, according to VGChartz, different PlayStation models have sold 482.48 million units so far. On the other hand, the Xbox has sold 172.97 million units throughout its various models.
However, with 157.68 million worldwide sold copies, “The PlayStation 2” is the best-selling gaming console in the world. In fact, in terms of worldwide sales, 4 of the top 10 gaming consoles are Sony’s PlayStation devices. But what exactly makes PlayStation so popular?
Why is it So Popular?
When it comes to console purchases, the exclusive game on the console plays a major role. These games are only accessible on dedicated consoles. For example, PlayStation-exclusive games can only be played on PlayStation. When it comes to purchasing a console, gamers are mostly concerned with the number of games available in the console’s game library and the availability of exclusive titles.
Gaming consoles with a high number of exclusive games are more likely to be purchased by gamers who wish to play those exclusive games. According to Techradar, both the Xbox One and the PS4 have about 2,000 games in their game library, but the PS4 has about 300 exclusive games, while the Xbox has less than half that quantity. ‘Marvel’s Spider-Man’, and ‘The Last of Us Part II’ are some exclusive games on the PlayStation. PlayStation’s popularity has also increased due to the popularity of these exclusive games.
In order to survive in the competitive market, Sony has been emphasizing bringing innovative features to the PlayStation from the very beginning. Among these features, are 3D graphics on the first PlayStation, and making PS2 in such a way that it can be used for gaming as well as a DVD player which eventually created a significant impact on the popularity of the PlayStation.
Apart from that, the PlayStation has popularised the backward compatibility feature for the first time, which allows previous-generation console games to be played on newer-generation devices. However, Sony placed an emphasis on designing the Playstation console in such a way that it could accommodate future technology. For example, PS5 will support an 8K resolution monitor or TV.
However, 8K monitors and TVs do not yet have widespread adoption. Sony’s PS5 will, however, be able to support 8K resolution through a software update whenever 8K monitors and TVs become more popular on the market. In addition, liquid metal has been placed between the AMD processor and the heat sink of the PlayStation, so that the console can reduce heat faster. Gamers prefer PlayStation because of the use of such new technologies. According to TweakTown, in 2020 Sony invested 4.5 billion in R&D.
Sony has always offered consumers competitive pricing for the PlayStation. The PlayStation’s latest console PS5 is priced at just $500, while a gaming PC with the same configuration costs more than $1,100. Hence, high-configuration games can be played on the PlayStation console at a relatively low price. Also, games can be played online by purchasing a subscription to the gaming console.
The PlayStation subscription service, ‘PS NOW’, offers gamers the opportunity to play up to 800 games in exchange for a $60 yearly subscription. On the other hand, Xbox’s subscription service, “Game Pass” subscription fee is $10 per month, and the premium service fee is $15 per month. However, the “Game Pass” of Xbox only offers 100 games. So, the PlayStation subscription package allows gamers to play more games at a lower cost than others, which is one of the reasons for the popularity of the console.
Advanced & Comfortable Controller
Sony always puts more effort into developing the PlayStation controllers. The latest PS5 controllers use advanced technology like haptic feedback, adaptive triggers, motion sensor, and speaker & microphone. In addition to advanced technology, according to console users, the PlayStation controller is quite easy to use.
Since the buttons are in a much more comfortable position, the controllers are easy to use for teenagers, adults, and even disabled users. Users also feel comfortable using the console as the PlayStation user interface is comparatively simpler than Xbox.
Sony often collaborates with other brands in order to increase their popularity. For instance, Doritos’ had a partnership with PlayStation where people would get a chance to win a PS5 by purchasing Doritos chips. Besides, PlayStation collaboration with Kitkat to launch a campaign named “One Break Away”. In this campaign, also, Sony gave the buyers of KitKat a chance to win a PS5. Such campaigns actually increased the popularity of PlayStation.
PlayStation has a large fan base who are loyal to this console. Currently, the console is so popular that every gamer, willing to buy a console, has a first choice for PlayStation. Likewise, game manufacturers also create their games to be compatible with the PlayStation, so that the games also sell better. The PlayStation, in turn, increased its popularity as well as attracted more fans.
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