If you were to ask the average consumer who won the Next-Gen Console War, the answer you are most likely going to get is Sony with the PlayStation 4. If you were to use sales to answer that question, the answer is unquestionably the PS4. Now that Sony has won the console war they need to ensure that they stay at the top of the mountain. To put the stamp on their victory against the Xbox One Sony is reportedly testing the waters on releasing a Playstation 4 bundled with their new PlayStation TV micro-console.
Microsoft has made no secret of their plans to turn the Xbox One into a multimedia console, shifting some of their focus towards the production of original television series. However, many feel that this will be a losing battle against Sony, a company that has far more experience with television and film production than Microsoft. On top of that, Sony had scored the television rights to the popular comic book series “Powers”, giving them a compelling project with long term storytelling potential that can also let them ride the wave of other superhero based TV shows such as Arrow. The only thing that Microsoft has going for it, thus far, is a live action Halo series. The Halo series may stumble due to the diminished interest in any form of live action adaptation that isn't shown on the big screen.
The biggest advantage that a PlayStation TV has over the Xbox One lies in its projected ability to stream PlayStation 3 (via Sony's PlayStation Now service) and PlayStation 4 games. This would essentially mean that you would have two PlayStation consoles in your home for one bundled price. This also means that you can enjoy PlayStation TV shows from multiple points in your home. One of the coolest perks of this is the Remote Play compatibility which will allow the player to stream games from their PlayStation 4 to a separate TV in their home connected to the PlayStation TV. If there is one drawback to this feature it would be that in its initial form the number of PS3 titles available through PlayStation Now would be relatively scant, though this is only a drawback for early adopters of the platform.
The other core advantage that Sony will have over the Xbox One is the power of the bundle itself. It is statistically proven that bundled products sell extremely well, and if Sony wants the PlayStation TV peripheral to take off in a big bad way then bundling it with the PS4 almost guarantee its success. In fact, bundling appears to be Sony's new weapon of choice for the PlayStation brand. There is already a rumored PS4 and PS Vita bundle in the works. There are also numerous insiders who think that a PS4 and PlayStation Camera bundle is in the cards, as well. If any one of these potential bundles were to be released with a AAA game title included, then Sony's continued console dominance is assured.
The overall success of the PlayStation TV may very well hinge on the success of the bundle. While the potential for it to be a rousing success PlayStation is likely to also be paying attention to Microsoft's recent decision to release a version of the Xbox One bundled without the Kinect peripheral. Microsoft's decision was fueled by fervent fan outcry at not wanting to pay extra for a feature that they feel does not work and that they did not want in the first place. However, it does need to be said that this was the direct result Microsoft only offering one version of their console, whereas Sony has embraced the multitude of preferences among their customers.
Conventional tech wisdom says that one should never adopt a new game console within its first year so that the bugs can be worked out and so that the system can mature to a state of usability. However, the PS4 has been out since November and Sony is looking to show gamers the benefits of adopting their next gen console within the first year. Sony wants to offer gamers more for a reasonable price rather, unlike Microsoft who is now having to rely on price-cuts and stripping back unwanted features. The PlayStation TV bundle may not be the Xbox killer that some hope such a bundle would be, but it is certainly not doing Microsoft any favors either.