Traditionally speaking, the Xbox One has been considered the direct competitor to the PlayStation 4 throughout the current generation. It’s hard to look at today’s console offerings in any other light. But according to a new interview published by The Guardian, Xbox isn’t exactly Sony’s rival this time around. This time, it’s the PC.
Interviewing Sony Interactive Entertainment Global CEO Andrew House, The Guardian found that House was much more concerned with the graphical appeal of the PC during a console’s mid-life years. This, he found, was pulling away from console sales. Why? Because a PC can be upgraded, but a console cannot. Once a model has been built, there’s no way to (officially) change the specifications inside. So PC rigs are able to provide “the very best graphical experience,” as he puts it, while a given console’s family largely stays the same.
“We wanted to keep those people within our eco-system by giving them the very best and very highest [performance quality],” House said. “So the net result of those thoughts was PlayStation 4 Pro – and, by and large, a graphical approach to game improvement.” That “graphical approach to game improvement” has already been considered into the 20 million units that Sony wants to sell by the end of the year, with House hoping that the PlayStation 4 Pro encourages PC fans to stick around with the PlayStation a little longer.
House also told The Guardian that Xbox’s upcoming Project Scorpio never factored into the PlayStation 4 Pro’s considerations. Instead, when PlayStation 4 Pro was being developed, House said “there wasn’t a word about Project Scorpio in the marketplace.”
Is House’s idea largely hopeful? It’s hard to say for certain. The PlayStation 4 Pro proved a controversial reveal this week. And with news that Fallout 4 and Skyrim Special Edition won’t be seeing mod support any time soon, it’s hard to say Sony’s target mid-cycle demographic has a strong reason to stick around with the PlayStation 4.
But House seems convinced that the PlayStation 4 Pro will keep consumers around. “At that point we’ve got a pretty good sense of where the momentum of the lifecycle is,” he said, “but I think the Pro can be something new, innovative and possibly take us in a slightly different direction.” When the PlayStation 4 Pro ships in November, we’ll know for certain if House is correct.