All of the big three managed to release some new hardware in one form or another in the tail-end of the year. Whether it was Microsoft’s sleek Xbox One S, Nintendo with its nostalgic NES Classic, or Sony’s trio of hardware releases, there was something for everyone.
Unfortunately, Nintendo has faced a few issues with the mini version of its classic console. Mainly, the NES Classic’s release was hindered by demand far outstripping the limited supply of the system. As a result, if you were eager for a NES Classic, you were at the mercy of scalpers and their inflated eBay selling prices.
Over with Microsoft, its Xbox One S was a hot seller this holiday season. Not only did the company release a console 40% slimmer than the original, without the hefty external power brick, and with 4K media streaming and HDR capabilities, but they packaged in some of this year’s biggest games, too. Whether they were first-party offerings such as Gears of War 4 or Forza Horizon 3, or one of the excellent EA titles like FIFA 17 or Battlefield 1, there was a great deal to be had if you were in the market for an Xbox One.
On the blue side, Sony’s hardware trio had all bases covered. The PS4 Slim released at the same price as the original system, offering a standard gaming experience for those yet to join the PlayStation ecosystem. A month later, Sony released its PlayStation VR headset to offer players otherworldly experiences, and the PS4 Pro rounded off the trio with 4K resolutions, an improved VR experience, and heftier performance overall.
Sony’s VR headset is predicted to outsell both of the PC alternatives quite significantly, and a steady stream of software releases has ensured that early adopters have had a fairly solid launch library to enjoy as they await more experiences in the future. Unfortunately, the PSVR has been pretty hard to get hold of, leaving many fans in the market for the headset without one over the holiday season.
Finally, Sony’s PS4 Pro has hit the market and brought the 4K era of gaming with it. While it’s difficult to say just how well the PS4 Pro has sold, the PS4 family did manage to reclaim its throne at the top of the NPD hardware sales for November, following a four-month stint at the top for the Xbox One.
When it comes down to it, Sony really delivered on the hardware front. Offering a completely new way to play with PSVR, the very best gaming experience on the market with the PS4 Pro, and a sleeker iteration of the original system, all bases were covered.