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The PlayStation 5 suffers a stumbling block in its communication strategy




On March 18, Sony renounced its secrecy by revealing all the characteristics of the Playstation 5. While the company had already made it clear that it would be a technical chat – originally scheduled for GDC 2020 – led by Mark Cerny, lead hardware architect, the presentation has generated a wave of confusion and misguided opinions about the technical potential of the console. The Internet has been filled with publications that denote the alleged inferiority of the PS5 compared to the Xbox Series X, and precisely the wrong communication by Sony is the root of everything.

Remaining silent for so many months, while your direct rival is following a flawless ad strategy, helped raise expectations for Wednesday's presentation. In fact, Sony itself promoted their digital event through their social networks, so they clearly intended to reach the widest possible audience. The problem is that the talk was focused on developers, not the final consumer. Most of the audience did not understand what Mark Cerny was explaining, despite being an impeccable speech on a technical level.

Players do not have to master technical knowledge of hardware architectures, that is not their role. One of the main differences between the console market and the PC market is that consumers of the former do not have to worry about issues of components, controllers, ventilation and other items. Although the consoles also integrate them, they are "invisible" to the user. The latter all you want is to get the best experience possible by connecting it to the TV; the technical process required to achieve this is in the background – for most.

What happens when few understand your technical conference? In the absence of understandable data, the normal thing is observe the specification table looking for numbers that help us to "better understand" what the console offers. The problem with these figures, both in the new generation and in all the previous ones, is that they don't mean much when they are only captured on paper. Starting to draw conclusions based solely on a table would be irresponsible. I return to the same thing, ignorance is not the fault of the viewer, but the presenter and his strategy to communicate it.

Why publicize a conference clearly geared towards game creators? If the goal was to make everyone aware of the console's potential, perhaps a second consumer-focused presentation would have been a better option. Instead of talking about the SSD and its 6 priority levels of data access, better visually expose how a video game can benefit from that innovation

. Unfortunately for Sony, much of the audience already thinks that the PS5 is inferior to the Xbox Series X, and possibly not so – we don't really know at the moment.

I understand that when comparing the specification tables there are differences in favor of Microsoft hardware, especially in the performance of the GPU. The PlayStation 5, meanwhile, boasts an ultra-fast SSD that promises to forever change the way we enjoy video games. This promise, in fact, goes far beyond eliminating load times. But when you don't make it known in understandable language, you generate the false idea that you are only embracing a technology that has been around for more than a decade in computers.

The reality, despite the figures and promises shared by both companies, is that we cannot currently determine which console will offer better overall performance. Many variables will come into play and each one will try to compensate for its deficiencies with other technologies. The proper thing will be to wait for its launch to make comparisons that make us forget the now irrelevant specification tables, which these days have only served to drive ridiculous fights between "fans" (the industry has matured, but some consumers have not yet). Let's also take into account that the technical potential of PS5 and Xbox Series X is only a percentage of everything they will offer as platforms. We need to know, for example, the catalog of launch games.

Despite the above, it is quite evident that Sony already started off on the wrong foot, at least in your communication. It is incomprehensible that, after the overwhelming success of PS4, whose communication strategy was phenomenal from the beginning, they have made a mistake of this size. We can be sure that in the following presentations they will change their tone and focus completely; We will see if it is not too late. The opposite has happened with Microsoft, which has been successful in time and form in its planning of announcements of the Xbox Series X.


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