If fan reaction is anything to go by, Sony's messaging around PS5 is well behind what Microsoft has been doing with the Xbox Series X. We already know what the Xbox Series X looks like, have seen a fair amount of gameplay footage, and have a clear roadmap of reveal events to look forward to.
Meanwhile, other than revealing the DualSense controller, a logo, a different logo and some specs during a questionably long-winded deep dive, Sony hasn't given gamers many reasons to get excited about the PS5. But Sony still seems confident that its next-generation console will come out on top, according to comments made by company CFO Hiroki Totoki during a recent investor call.
As reported by Bloomberg's Takashi Mochizuki, Totoki was asked for his response to the perception around PS5's marketing being inferior to that of the Xbox Series X.
His response? "I would wait for PS5 sales to make that judgement," said Totoki.
Q: some say PS5 promotion is falling behind Xbox. Would you give passing score to what PS team has done?A: we consider things strategically but doing our best. As for pass or fail, I would wait for PS5 sales to make that judgement. (by CFO)https://t.co/nXnfljR8FzMay 13, 2020
While Totoki may earnestly be asking that people wait for both consoles to hit shelves before calling either a winner, the subtext of his statement suggests that Sony is bullish on PS5 sales despite some poorly-received marketing tactics.
And it's hard to blame the Japanese tech giant for being confident. At its CES 2020 press conference in January 2020, Sony reported that it has sold over 106 million PS4 consoles since the system first launched in 2013. Compare that to the reported 46 million units that the Xbox One sold as of January 2020 (according to VGChartz), and Sony's current-gen console has nearly double the install base of Microsoft's.
However, we've also seen Sony and Microsoft trade rounds over the past few console generations, possibly in part due to each console maker being a bit overconfident about their success at the time. The Xbox 360 had a much stronger start than the PS3 did — partially due to it launching a year earlier, and partially due to Sony's somewhat preposterous $599 launch price (remember the "get two jobs" debacle?)
And Microsoft made a similar mistake at E3 2013, revealing that the Xbox One would cost $499 due to its bundled-in Kinect sensor. Once Sony revealed that the PS4 would be just $399 a mere few hours later, it felt as if the Xbox One's fate had already been written.
Regardless of which next-generation console comes out on top this holiday, you can at least expect both of them to launch on time. Mochizuki previously reported that the PS5 is still on track for a Holiday 2020 release despite coronavirus-related production issues, and Microsoft has shared similar assurances about the Xbox Series X. That's good news for gamers, and should lead to quite the interesting console war come November.
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Mike Andronico is Senior Writer at CNNUnderscored. He was formerly Managing Editor at Tom's Guide, where he wrote extensively on gaming, as well as running the show on the news front. When not at work, you can usually catch him playing Street Fighter, devouring Twitch streams and trying to convince people that Hawkeye is the best Avenger.