The holiday season is big business in the video game industry. Black Friday Christmas see a sharp rise in the sales of consumer electronics, and the turning weather has everyone inside wanting to use them. As a result, the quarter has traditionally always been a battleground between rival manufacturers to win over the minds and wallets of the gaming community, leading to sharply priced discounts and the release of exciting new content to play. This year’s shaping up to be a particularly intense battle, so let’s review all three of the major console manufacturers and see who’s most likely to end on top.
Sony’s PS4 has run away with this generation, not only continuing to record exceptional sales but also continuing to increase the gap over its main rival, the Xbox One. Yet if there’s been one chink in Sony’s armor throughout the console’s lifespan, it has been the holiday season. In a break from the rule of thumb that applied during the PS3 era, Sony hasn’t really managed to line up any of its major exclusives for the fall, choosing instead to rely on third-party releases to sustain the console over the past few years. In truth, though, not only have exclusives played less of a role in determining the market-leading console this generation, missing the holiday window has hardly any negative effect PS4’s commercial performance.
However, with Microsoft attempting to take back the initiative with its souped-up Xbox One X console, and Nintendo’s hugely popular Switch finally more readily available, Sony’s position as top dog this holiday is far from assured. So what does it have up its sleeve?
In regards to new content, the answer is not much. Two of its biggest exclusives of the year, Horizon Zero Dawn and Nioh, do both launch as complete editions in the upcoming weeks, and the former also has a new expansion, The Frozen Wilds. Other than that, though, it seems Sony is content with leaning on its already excellent library of exclusives. Elsewhere, Sony’s timed-exclusivity and various marketing deals have ensured the console is first to receive various DLC and additional content, as in the case of Destiny 2 and Call of Duty.