I don't believe sales need be drawn into the conversation, as we should be talking about mainstream (at least among gamers across all platforms) icons being able to draw crowd in. Smash does that successfully by the fault of having so many great characters. The argument is just that while Sony does have N. Drake and other good recognizable characters, there's just less to choose from. Which in turn makes it less appealing. Now, having said that, I do not believe these two installbases are separate from each other. Switch owners could have Playstations too (like me) or vice versa. I believe they do compete for that same space in the party brawler genre.
I still think that even with whatever 3rd party characters they can muster, it is going to have less recognizable ones compared to Smash. Besides, I don't believe Capcom will give out multiple IP.
Meh, All Stars was released in 2012 at which Sony was already doing great on multiple fronts. Even if development began in 2009, they could have gotten way more through DLC. I just believe that the game wasn't very appealing to 3rd party devs at that time.
The sales talk was to show that these characters right now are being beamed to a similar number of players with their latest games. You cant discard that as meaningless. Just as many ppl with Switches are playing the latest Link adventure as their are ppl playing Drakes latest adventure (and even Aloys first). This visibility is of course important. You are right that Nintendo characters are, on the whole, more recognizable.
If there are Switch users with PS4 then yeah comparing the 2 becomes a possibility. But the reality is that a vast majority of PS4 owners dont have a Switch and so saying that a comparison needs to be made to Smash for character popularity and association is tenuous at best. The game needs to appeal to Sonys core fanbase and they have the characters to do that.
The issue is not so much the characters but the overall weakness of the project as a whole. Unknown developer. unfinished UI. a non-seamless artstyle. PSBR just looked like a game on a less budget and that hurt its visibility. Also not having characters that represented the userbase was a problem too. Is not that the characters dont exist for a game like this to work for Sony, its that the dev at the time didnt really understand what they needed/ couldnt get access to what they wanted.
I think capcom would give out multiple characters but that multiple IPs would be open to Sony to utilise. After all Superbot got Dante for the first game but they had very little negotiating power to get the original Dante that they wanted. They were an unknown studio so had less ground to stand on. They had similar problems with Lara Croft (CD wanting gamers to play as her in their reboot first) and even with Wander (Ueda refusing).
If PSBR had been developed by Naughty Dog as Sony originally wanted, you would have had a stronger studio negotiating for characters and just a better overall budget (which was clearly an issue with the game). If SCEJ are involved it would actually be easier to get JPN 3rd partys since SCEJ has a good working relationship with many external studios.
Of course this is just how I see it. I appreciate you dont see it that way but I disagree that 1) Sony doesnt have the characters or IP; they have exactly what they need to appeal to their fanbase, and 2) that 3rd party characters would be difficult to come by: Sony are in a better place now than with the PS3 (operative word being better), many marketing deals in place, and if they have a more recognised name attached to develop they can make a stronger appeal for alternate characters.
I think the topic of sales is meaningless as it doesn't have much to do with the core subject, which is icon status. Now, you Link and Nathan Drake are a good example of sales being comparable, but try comparing Metroid. It doesn't sell as much, yet it is very recognizable as a franchise. That way, I just think sales don't need to be drawn in.
Does it really matter though, I mean, will the game appeal to PS4 owners from a gameplay point of view. I can't imagine the vast majority of PS4 owners going into the party brawler genre yet, but that is a different topic on how I view the installbase of the PS4. Either way, there is that certain crowd that does in fact own both platforms, and therefore it does compete with each other.
I don't even think the original game was that bad at all. The single most glaring issue with it was not having a wide appealing selection of characters. I mean, that is the core of what i'm trying to say. I do however partly agree, I think the characters were underutilized and many were missing. It actually all falls under my opinion that they didn't go far enough making it Smash.
I do not believe Capcom will give out characters from 4 franchises. They already have good rep in Smash, so they might consider that first, before committing IP to another game. If they will, than that is great.
I think the question is what did Sony actually want to accomplish with it. The Smash comparison in this undeniable, but like I said, I feel like they halfassed what could have been a good part brawler. I am not someone that has anything against clones. Clones do not take away from the original. Look at the karting genre. It is hard however, because I have two things on my mind, will third party be eager to give out a character in the wake of a Smash game? Will they pick one over the other or both? And lastly, will they allow this new iteration to be different from the first, which means a revamped battle system etc. I hope that will be case, cause like I said, I don't mind another Smash like game, since I am a fan of the genre.
It is ok to disagree. I do however stick to my points. I find it telling that Sony has to rely on third party characters to draw in the crowd. I don't think Sony has bad IP, on the contrary, they have very good ones, but there is just less to choose from when you check off a list from both platforms. Even with Sony in a good place now, will third parties like Capcom commit fully? I don't know. I have my doubts. Anyway, good discussion.