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Sony’s silence on PS5 has done wonders for the next-gen Xbox

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All eyes are on Microsoft, for now

front left angle shot of Xbox Series X with controller standing in front of the console’s bottom right corner
The Xbox Series X and its controller.
Image: Microsoft

A new generation of gaming consoles will arrive in 2020, but you wouldn’t know that from how Sony is handling its marketing of the PlayStation 5. So far, in terms of new information this year, we’ve got the unveiling of a new logo ... and that’s kinda it.

There are other bits and pieces, of course — we know that the PS5 will be powered by AMD tech, and that it will be backward-compatible with PlayStation 4 games. Most of this information came out in 2019. Beyond that, the latest whispers surrounding Sony’s next hardware foray paint a troubling development picture, notably when it comes to keeping the PS5’s price point down for consumers. Mostly, though, there’s silence.

“We’ve begun to share some of the incredible features you can expect from PlayStation 5, but we’re not quite ready to fully unveil the next generation of PlayStation,” Sony notes on the official PS5 web portal, which launched a month ago. Accordingly, the website doesn’t have much on it yet.

Microsoft, on the other hand, has been lapping up the next-generation headlines. We know what the Xbox Series X looks like, what specs we can expect. We know of a couple of exclusives, like Ninja Theory’s Project: Mara. We know that Smart Delivery means that if you buy something like Cyberpunk 2077 for Xbox One, you’ll also get to play the Xbox Series X upgrade for free. We know that the Xbox Series X can resume wherever you were in a game, even after a reboot. We know that if you decide to not upgrade, first-party games will be available for both the Xbox One and Xbox Series X. We know what the ports look like.

Why are we talking about ports, though? They’re important to a degree, yes, but some of the Xbox Series X information that is being published on news sites is mostly incremental coverage right now. At the same time, they’re headlines. Microsoft has spent years trying to brighten up the public’s perception of the Xbox brand through experiments like Xbox Game Pass and the Xbox Adaptive Controller, but many of these innovations aren’t embraced on the level of say, Sony “announcing” that it will continue to let players share used games among their friends. That video of a thing that isn’t even a feature has 17 million views.

But right now, Microsoft doesn’t have to fight for attention. And that’s allowing people to realize that, hey, Microsoft will be trying some interesting things in the next generation, to the degree that consoles may not even be the best point of comparison. Eventually, Sony will unveil what it’s got in the works, and business might go back to the usual. For now, though, Microsoft is stealing the spotlight in a way it hasn’t for a long, long time.