Most to Prove in 2019
If you were to simplify the modern console market, you could effectively declare that it is a matter of Sony vs. Microsoft, with Nintendo catering to its own niche. Should this be true, you’ll scarcely find a more lopsided year than 2018.
The PlayStation 4 had one of the strongest singular seasons in its storied history, beginning the year head and shoulders above its competitors, and ending it just that much further ahead — perhaps elbows and forearms above, if you want to stick with the analogy.
Between God of War and Spider-Man alone, Sony has nothing left to prove moving forward, and potentially nothing left to prove with the PS4 as a whole.
It failed to reach the meteoric rise of the PS2 (still the best-selling console of all time), but it righted the ship after losing ground with the PS3, a serviceable machine that was undone by the company’s own arrogance.
2019 could serve as little more than a transitional year for Sony as they move closer towards the inevitable successor. They don’t need hits. They don’t need GOTY candidates.
Such is the luxury of being the premium option on the console market, they will most assuredly have these things, but not need to rely on them.
In actuality, this is the perfect opportunity for them to refocus on their flagging auxiliary markets. The PlayStation VR is a fantastic piece of hardware lacking great and lengthy experiences, and with more developers throwing their hat into the ring, Sony will hopefully have the winner the technology truly deserves.
Meanwhile, their handheld market is worth retooling entirely, with the Vita being left out in the cold to be devoured by the wolves of Nintendo.
It’s because of the dominance of the PS4 that these concerns are only minor. It’s up to everyone else to show that they can withstand the torrential downpour of hits, and Omar Little said it best: you come at the king, you best not miss.