After having thought about this overnight, here are my thoughts on this whole ordeal.
Colin Moriarty from Kinda Funny Games put it this way yesterday: “It’s an unforced error on Sony’s part.” I have to disagree. I feel like this was a forced error.
Nintendo lost… HUGE this gen and scrapped their console to reboot it next year. They needed to do this to stay competitive, to keep their relevance in the gaming industry and probably just to survive without going third party like Sega.
Microsoft also lost. Not financially, since the XBO is selling better than the 360 during this same time period. But when compared to the PS4, they tanked worldwide and are behind by a large margin in their own territory—one the X360 dominated last gen. They needed a refresh, something to generate more interest in their platform. Hence… the Scorpio. To reboot this gen next year was their only real way to compete against Sony.
So, Nintendo and MS felt they had to do this. And they probably had this in mind early on when they saw Sony’s sales take off. More time to prepare. More time to develop revisions, whereas Sony probably were more focused on VR to even consider a console upgrade.
I think the PS4 Pro was haphazardly thrown together after they got wind of MS’s plans. Probably from developers who were now working with Scorpio specs. Also, this is new ground for all companies involved, switching from the generation model to the smartphone model with slight upgrades every few years. Things are going to be odd for everyone involved, especially the consumers. Where is the sweet spot? Doing a minor revision like the iPhone 5S/PS4 Pro or a major revision like the iPhone 6+/Scorpio? Where will people spend their money? Where will the demand be? How will software companies deal with multiple SKUs? Will indies be able to handle it? How will forward/backward compatibility work? Will there be Scorpio exclusives and will that anger fans?
For me, I initially hated this when the leaks first began, but after seeing the PS4 Pro reveal… I realize that I just don’t care. The Pro/Scorpio is not for me. I am not a graphics connoisseur. I don’t have a 4K TV. As long as I can play everything the Pro can play, I can stay a casual. And if MS/Nintendo/Sony are moving towards a platform/smartphone model and leaving the generation model behind… that’s actually a good thing. If ALL games become forward compatible (I’m not sure I’m using this correctly), where all PS4 games will be playable on ALL Sony systems going forward, that I can keep my catalogue like I can with my iPhone… that is awesome. And allowing the customers to upgrade when they want to, when games start arriving that can’t be played on your old system, that is actually a better system. I think.