The PS5 vs Xbox Series X console war is now in full swing, with both next-gen consoles vying with each other for dominance, both in terms of gamer mindshare and financial sales.
As is evidenced by both T3's PS5 stock tracker and Xbox Series X stock tracker, both these systems are currently harder to buy than basically any other product on Earth, and that has left the battle intriguingly poised after the launch period vanguard assault.
How the longer console war is going to play out, though, remains unknown. Much will be down to if there are better PS5 games than Xbox Series X games, as games are always the decider of a console war (gamers aren't stupid, if you've got hardly any good games to play on your console then it will fail), and this is doubly true considering just how evenly matched both flagship consoles are in terms of hardware.
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As such, it looks like - asides from games - this current console gen war is going to be won by which offers the superior holistic gaming ecosystem. And, in this regard, Sony is in a clear pole position on paper.
Not only does Sony have the much talked of PlayStation VR 2 virtual reality headset coming down the pipe, which is set to build on the long-term sleeper hit that was the original PlayStation VR, but there's also whispers that a new PlayStation Portable 5G handheld console is in the works, too.
Combined these two pieces of hardware allow Sony to deliver two things that Microsoft's Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S simply cannot – virtual reality gaming and handheld video game console.
And, well, if Sony delivers anything like the PSVR 2 and PSP 5G that have been envisioned recently thanks to a series of leaks and whispers, then gamers are in store for some very exciting gaming experiences this console generation.
For example, as can be seen in the below video, a PSVR 2 that comes with a 4K OLED RGB display, full wireless functionality, interchangeable battery packs, Micro SDXC port, PS5 USB-C link and direct access to a massive library of virtual reality games and experiences, would leave gamer jaws very firmly on the flaw.
Meanwhile, if Sony delivers a companion PSP 5G handheld that specialises in streaming games the gamer already owns, be that via PlayStation Now or simply via their games library, then AAA experiences like God of War 2 and Horizon Forbidden West will be able to be enjoyed both at home and on the go.
Both these pieces of hardware, if released, would also deliver one of the most crucial drivers in each console war – momentum. Console generations are so long that in order to maintain momentum, both in terms of financial performance and gamer mindshare, landmark new hardware releases can really breathe new life into the success of a console.
Just see how Nintendo released a Nintendo Switch Lite console and accessories like the Nintendo Ring Fit, and looks set to release a Nintendo Switch Pro over the next financial year, too, as evidence of this phenomenon. The Nintendo Switch has been a fantastic success for the Japanese console maker but now, half way through its lifespan, new hardware is needed to maintain that.
And, while a PS5 Pro or PS5 Slim is likely, those systems a late-stage plays. And that's why over the first half of this console generation the PSVR 2 and, potentially, PSP 5G could be so important in deciding where gamers place their money and loyalty.
As if posed with the question of what to buy between an Xbox Series X with no VR or handheld potential, or a PS5 with both, I certainly know where I would be placing my money.
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