The biggest threat to PS4 is PS3

Through all the talk of the Cloud, DRM, Digital Distribution and streaming videos on PS4 and Xbox One, both systems still have a lot to prove., the current-round of systems are in their golden years and are managing to produce some of their finest content yet.

It may not be in our best interests to give up on them just yet…

The announcement of Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus, a Playstation 3 exclusive, is an exciting and encouraging one. However, it’s just one more reason for gamers to stick with this generation of systems for another year as opposed to jumping on the upgrade bandwagon this Christmas.

One thing is abundantly clear. Sony are far from done with the Playstation 3. Meanwhile Microsoft are drip-feeding the 360 to keep it alive for just a few more months. The Summer of Arcade is the most exciting, in-house event we have to look forward to on Xbox 360, whereas Playstation 3 has Beyond: Two Souls, Gran Turismo 6 and now Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus, as well as all major third party releases coming over the  next few months.

Bold as it may be to say, the PS3 line-up at Christmas is a lot more attractive than PS4. But that’s as it should be. PS3 is still Sony’s current platform, it still holds their largest userbase and still has a lot left to give. But with the system still receiving a huge amount of attention, it  makes me wonder whether Sony were forced to move forward with PS4  ahead of schedule due to Microsoft’s own plans.

And with next-gen showing no signs of supporting backwards compatibility outside of re-purchasing games from the Cloud, this exciting line-up of games may have already hamstrung the launch of Sony’s newest platform.

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You can’t write this system off either…

Throughout the lifecycle of PS3, people have been waiting for a Gran Tursimo that takes full advantage of the system’s power. Gran Turismo 6 looks as if it will be that game. With all the quips and quirks one would expect from the racer, on top of the incredible power and wealth of content, the game is sure to keep gamers busy for months to come.

Then we have a long-awaited new game from Quantic Dreams. Heavy Rain proved to be a bit of a hit on PS3 with gamers of all types and the title has gone down as one of the finest this generation. Its been a long time since then and Dave Cage and the team have been hard at work on Beyond: Two Souls ever since. The game boasts the star power of Ellen Paige & Willem DaFoe and naturally eagle-eyed gamers the world over are eager to get their mitts on it.

Now we’ve got Ratchet and Clank: Into the Nexus coming. A big, popular Playstation franchise with a major movie set for release in the next few years. That’ll make a lot of people happy.

You’ve also got the established userbase already in place for Battlefield, Call of Duty and FIFA on current gen systems, the three major titles of the moment. Will gamers want to take the gamble of upgrading to a new system their mates can’t afford or get hold of, or would they rather settle on the system everyone does have and just play on there? Add to that PES won’t be coming to next-gen and Saints Row IV is popping up before the end of the year and there’s even more reason to stick with your current hardware. Oh, and there’s that relatively small title being released in September. Grand Theft Auto V something…

Don’t forget The Last Of Us. There’ll still be a big audience for that around Christmas time. Chuck in Puppeteer, Rain and other indie titles on PSN, as well as the incredible PS Plus offerings every month, and one has to wonder whether people will see much value in upgrading right away.

You have to ask yourself. Has Sony’s overly generous consumer-focus actually come back to bite them in the butt?

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…Or this one.

If you take all of that away from Playstation 4, what have you got left? The three main exclusives are Knack, Killzone: Shadow Fall and Drive Club. Users will also be getting F2P titles Warframe and DC Universe Online, but both of those will have already appeared on other formats. The question is, at launch, are those titles enough to sell a system?

If they aren’t, will people just keep their current platforms and spend Christmas adding to their library? Or will they do the complete opposite and decide to move across to Xbox One?

Xbox One is housing some strong day-one exclusives, including Ryse, Dead Rising 3, Killer Instinct, Forza V, Loco Cycle and Kinect Sports Rivals. Microsoft have the benefit of not dividing their attention between three platforms and are putting all their eggs into one basket with Xbox One.

The system has also been confirmed to be the exclusive platform holder of Respawn’s first game, as well as being the sole console provider for Minecraft. And with all the controversial elements of the console now dropped, it seems a much more attractive investment for early adopters.

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Under pressure to impress

Sony have played hardball with Microsoft since the start of the year. They went ahead and announced early. They’ve dictated the pace of this next-gen console race and tore their rivals apart at E3. Everytime Microsoft have tried to build momentum, Sony have smashed it back and brought things to their level.

However, the sales of a console will almost always be dictated by games. From the off, Xbox One will be offering more choice, but is that enough to divert people’s attention from present platforms, including Wii U.

Regardless, even if Vita and PS3 end up outselling their newest sibling, it’s still money in Sony’s pocket. It’s  fair to say that they’re going to have an incredible, healthy holiday season. Probably the most lucrative they’ve ever had.

It just feels as if the current-gen platforms have a bit too much life left in them – Playstation 3 in particular – and they may be the largest obstacle standing in the way of Christmas domination for Playstation 4 or Xbox One for that matter.

What are your thoughts? Are you sticking current-gen this Christmas? Are you upgrading? If so, what platform are you buying? Which games will you be getting?

About the author

Ray Willmott

Ray is the founder and editor of Expansive. He is also a former Community Manager for Steel Media, and has written for a variety of gaming websites over the years. His work can be seen on Pocket Gamer, PG.biz, Gfinity, and the Red Bull Gaming Column. He has also written for VG247, Videogamer, GamesTM, PLAY, and MyM Magazine,