Forums - Sony Discussion - The difference between PlayStation and Xbox/Nintendo

PlayStation as a brand is over 25 years old at this point, but not many people have been able to pin-point exactly what makes Sony's platforms unique vs Nintendo and Microsoft's. It's easy to say that Sony and Microsoft are simply just clones of each other at this point, but that's actually not the case. For me, the difference between PlayStation and Xbox systems is that Sony focuses on the "Holistic" gaming experience. What do I mean by this? Well, each of the big three have their own approach to platforms and hardware that define their place in the gaming market.

Nintendo typically builds its platforms around unique core idea. Whether that be 3D gaming with the Nintendo 64, on the go gaming with the Game Boy, Motion Controls and Local Social interaction with the Wii, Dual Screens with the DS, Stereoscopic 3D with the 3DS, Asymmetrical gameplay with the Wii U, and Playing games anywhere with anyone with the Switch. All the features and hardware of Nintendo's systems are made to support that single core idea at every turn. While this helps Nintendo fill unique holes and needs in the market, it also often means their platforms tend to be less powerful and feature rich than the other two. Whether that's good or bad depends on how you see Nintendo in relation to Sony and Microsoft.

Microsoft with the Xbox line, focuses one concept, Power. While each of Nintendo's systems have its own unique concept, all the Xbox systems essentially have the same concept. Build the most graphically impressive gaming experience possible, for as affordable as possible. Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One X, and Xbox Series X are all designed around putting graphics at the forefront of the experience, with everything additional supporting that idea of delivering the best graphics for a home console. It give Xbox a leg up in terms of raw specs, but it also often means Microsoft can be behind in other aspects that come with a new console such the potential of new formats, or controller inputs.

With Sony? Ever since the first PlayStation, Sony has always focused on innovating the overall gaming experience, rather than simply graphics or new ways to play. The PlayStation wasn't just a powerful and easy to develop for 3D console, it was a 3D console that used the power of the CD format to deliver new kinds of presentation and worlds never before possible. Think about the long sprawling adventure that games like FFVII were, the high quality music provided by games like Parappa the Rapper, or even the Cartoon style presentation voice acting of Crash and Spyro. That's what you get when you think about innovation regarding the overall gaming experience. The PS2 built on that, not only being more powerful than the Dreamcast, but also having a DVD drive that allowed for bigger, more complex worlds, more cinematic presentation, pressure sensitive buttons, and a Camera that allowed for mixed reality gaming, which help innovate the overall gaming experience. The PS3 was built around its monstrous Cell Processor allowing for advanced physics, Blu-Ray format allowing for massive, HD worlds, Sixaxis and later PS Move allowing for intuitive motion controls. PS4 having an enhanced online community that you could share with friends, x86 making development easier and smoother, Touchpad and speaker adding a new layer of touch and sound to games, and the introduction of PSVR which allowed an affordable and immersive VR experience.

Rather than building their consoles around a singular idea like Nintendo and Microsoft, Sony instead designs each PlayStation around a variety of smaller ideas, that help innovate and elevate gaming to a new overall level. I think the PS5 is by far the best representation of that philosophy yet. 4K Blu-Ray, Fast SSD, Ray-Tracing, 3D Audio, DualSense haptics all help to create a more holistic innovation in gaming than Nintendo and Microsoft's approach.

I think that's why PlayStation has been around for so long, and why Sony consistently succeeds with each console. That isn't to say Nintendo and Microsoft's philosophies don't have merit, but I think Sony has always done the best job at looking at what can be innovated and improved on from a much wider perspective than the other two.



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Sony is not innovating , they are focused on the graphism
And Nintendo will surely dominate this 9th generation



I like Nintendo and Sony but more than this I love video games

YanisFromFrance said:
Sony is not innovating , they are focused on the graphism
And Nintendo will surely dominate this 9th generation

Sony never focused on just graphics, which was my point. They always on innovating the overall gaming experience, from graphics, to worlds, to controls, to sound, etc. They always put a bigger focus on the overall holistic experience compared to Microsoft and Nintendo. 



This stuff is overrated. All Sony did was take the Super NES, pay off third parties, and market it better while letting Sega imploded onto itself.

The NES, SNES, N64 really didn't have a "gimmick", they were just straight forward successors of each other, with the N64 they just made the huge mistake of not using CD-ROM.



Soundwave said:
This stuff is overrated. All Sony did was take the Super NES, pay off third parties, and market it better while letting Sega imploded onto itself.

The NES, SNES, N64 really didn't have a "gimmick", they were just straight forward successors of each other, with the N64 they just made the huge mistake of not using CD-ROM.

The N64's gimmick was its 3D hardware and analog controller. NES had a shit ton of gimmicks ROB and the Zapper. Even the SNES was designed around Mode 7 and a large color pallet. What I'm saying is that Nintendo typically has a unique mission for each of its platforms. 



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TheMisterManGuy said:
Soundwave said:
This stuff is overrated. All Sony did was take the Super NES, pay off third parties, and market it better while letting Sega imploded onto itself.

The NES, SNES, N64 really didn't have a "gimmick", they were just straight forward successors of each other, with the N64 they just made the huge mistake of not using CD-ROM.

The N64's gimmick was its 3D hardware and analog controller. NES had a shit ton of gimmicks ROB and the Zapper. Even the SNES was designed around Mode 7 and a large color pallet. What I'm saying is that Nintendo typically has a unique mission for each of its platforms. 

The N64 was the natural progression for 3D graphics, the SNES already had Star Fox and the Super FX, 3D was the next logical step. To have a 3D play system, you need a 3D controller, hence the analog stick. 

The Zapper and ROB were just marketing ploys to get stores in the US to stock the NES after Atari's downfall, it's not many games even supported either device. 

Nintendo was in the hardware business for like 20+ years before Wii and DS. 



Soundwave said:

The N64 was the natural progression for 3D graphics, the SNES already had Star Fox and the Super FX, 3D was the next logical step. To have a 3D play system, you need a 3D controller, hence the analog stick. 

Star Fox was merely a taste of what 3D could bring. But it wasn't until the N64 that showed us how 3D games should control and play. 

The Zapper and ROB were just marketing ploys to get stores in the US to stock the NES after Atari's downfall, it's not many games even supported either device. 

And they're somehow any different from the Wii Balance board or Nintendo Labo? 



TheMisterManGuy said:
Soundwave said:

The N64 was the natural progression for 3D graphics, the SNES already had Star Fox and the Super FX, 3D was the next logical step. To have a 3D play system, you need a 3D controller, hence the analog stick. 

Star Fox was merely a taste of what 3D could bring. But it wasn't until the N64 that showed us how 3D games should control and play. 

The Zapper and ROB were just marketing ploys to get stores in the US to stock the NES after Atari's downfall, it's not many games even supported either device. 

And they're somehow any different from the Wii Balance board or Nintendo Labo? 

Someone had to take that step towards an evolution of 3D games. It’s like taking that first step onto the Moon and discovering/hypothesizing possibilities of worlds outside of our own.

I don’t think the Wii Balance Board and Nintendo Labo were that much different compared to the Zapper and ROB. They were just marketed differently for their respective time. Video games had a bad rap post-U.S. video game crash so ROB was an entry point for kids/parents.



While I would say that Sony did bring some new concepts to the table, the main distinguishing factor is more that they focused on multimedia aspects of devices, PS1 doubled as a cd player while giving better deals to third parties, but it wasn't the first console to use discs, just as it wasn't the first console to have a 32 bit processor. The PS2 allowed for DVDs to be read, while adding the idea of backwards compatibility, whilst making the graphics better than both the PS1 and N64. The PSP acted in a similar light, allowing music on the go, as well as videos (I don't remember if I just downloaded that illegally, or if it was apart of the system). After this however, Sony more or less was the same as its competitor microsoft. Yes it did bring in more ideas, however these ideas were tried by its competitors, while PS2 had internet capabilities, I believe that the Xbox Live was better for the time.The wiimote had a speaker in it before the playstation had a controller that did.

Many of the things you pointed out about the PS3 and 4, in my eyes were just natural evolutionary steps, with the exception of the psmove (copied from wii), everything you listed for the PS3 was really related to graphics. The things about the PS4 was just minor things, I never really used the touchpad, actually I found it quite annoying, and using x86 was kinda a given for this era in gaming.

In short I believe Sony's biggest strength came not from innovation, but rather from being able to see what worked well and what didn't, it wasn't really innovating so much as copying and pasting. Does this make Sony a bad company? No, it makes them a great company. Does this make Sony innovative? No, there consoles are in an evolutionary pattern, building on the previous and ditching what it doesn't need. This does mean that as you stated, they do the good job of looking at what can be improved, but calling them innovative is a bit of a stretch.

Also N64 did a lot more than you give credit, with a rumble pack, analog stick (which sony copied), personalized controller memory, etc. It wasn't a single Idea console.

I will admit I own every nintendo console except the gameboy advance, but I also own a PS1,2, and 4, as well as an Xbox and Xbox 360. 



badskywalker said:

While I would say that Sony did bring some new concepts to the table, the main distinguishing factor is more that they focused on multimedia aspects of devices, PS1 doubled as a cd player while giving better deals to third parties, but it wasn't the first console to use discs, just as it wasn't the first console to have a 32 bit processor. The PS2 allowed for DVDs to be read, while adding the idea of backwards compatibility, whilst making the graphics better than both the PS1 and N64. The PSP acted in a similar light, allowing music on the go, as well as videos (I don't remember if I just downloaded that illegally, or if it was apart of the system). After this however, Sony more or less was the same as its competitor microsoft. Yes it did bring in more ideas, however these ideas were tried by its competitors, while PS2 had internet capabilities, I believe that the Xbox Live was better for the time.The wiimote had a speaker in it before the playstation had a controller that did.

Many of the things you pointed out about the PS3 and 4, in my eyes were just natural evolutionary steps, with the exception of the psmove (copied from wii), everything you listed for the PS3 was really related to graphics. The things about the PS4 was just minor things, I never really used the touchpad, actually I found it quite annoying, and using x86 was kinda a given for this era in gaming.

In short I believe Sony's biggest strength came not from innovation, but rather from being able to see what worked well and what didn't, it wasn't really innovating so much as copying and pasting. Does this make Sony a bad company? No, it makes them a great company. Does this make Sony innovative? No, there consoles are in an evolutionary pattern, building on the previous and ditching what it doesn't need. This does mean that as you stated, they do the good job of looking at what can be improved, but calling them innovative is a bit of a stretch.

Also N64 did a lot more than you give credit, with a rumble pack, analog stick (which sony copied), personalized controller memory, etc. It wasn't a single Idea console.

I will admit I own every nintendo console except the gameboy advance, but I also own a PS1,2, and 4, as well as an Xbox and Xbox 360. 

Of course, Sony has borrowed many ideas its contemporaries brought to the table. But the thing with PlayStation is that Sony has always been able to take Nintendo and Sega's stuff, and not only make them better, but apply them to a much larger leap in the gaming experience. CD gaming was nothing new, but the PlayStation was the first console powerful enough to actually do the format proper justice. The PS1 also popularized the now standard Dual analog control setup, and baked rumble tech into the controller, rather than selling it as an add-on like Nintendo did. DVDs have existed before the PS2, but the PS2 single handedly legitimized the format, not just in movies, but also for games, same with the PS3 and Blu-Ray. On that note, the PS Move may be a response to the Wii, but Sony crafted a much more advanced and dynamic motion controller than the simple tech of Nintendo's, combined with the Power and games library the PS3 already offered. Even now with the PS5, Nintendo may have been first to bring HD Haptics to a console controller, but Sony's DualSense has the potential to take it to the next level by using it in full next gen experiences. 

This why I say Sony is good at innovating the holistic gaming experience, rather than focusing on just one core concept. Sure, they may not have invented much of anything, but innovation IMO, isn't about who makes what first, its about who uses the tech in new and exciting ways.