|Sony's decision to focus on high-end gaming with|
the PS4 may be its best decision yet.
Between the two consoles sales have reached about fifteen million units - not a bad effort given that many have written off high end consoles in the past. The release rate for new games is accelerating and at least one games publisher has stated that it sees and end to third gen publishing (Xbox 360 and PS3) by mid-2015.
Sony has announced that it's been rather surprised by the number of consoles it's selling. I'm not, the PS4 is a gamer's dream - powerful, slim and rocking better gaming specs than the Xbox One. In making a play for not just the gamer's market, but also grabbing for a foothold in the home entertainment battle Microsoft has left itself open to attack from the Apple TV.
As I've mentioned previously the Apple TV is ripe for re-purposing as an iPad for the big screen. It has applications that would work well in the living room and by utilising any other Apple device as a controller could easily take on the low end console market. For Nintendo this would be the end. For Microsoft it would make the transition from console to home entertainment hub much more difficult and risky.
If Apple were to announce a new version of the Apple TV with App support in a couple of weeks I can't see how it wouldn't sell every unit that it can make available in that first weekend. And if you've got an Apple TV which plays games, runs apps and accesses media are you really going to be that keen to go for a media-centric Xbox One? I don't think so.
Sony has insulated itself from the threat, to a degree anyway, by making high end gaming the focus of the PS4. That market is out of the reach of even an upgraded Apple TV (for now anyway). Microsoft, however, may find that it's need to pivot the Xbox growing rather more urgent in the next few weeks.
And for just about its only profitable hardware division that's a worry.