Microsoft, Sony bring new life to console video games

From Mobile and casual games are popular, but console game systems see a resurgence with launches of PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

LOS ANGELES — Rumors of the death of console video games have been greatly exaggerated.

While many observers had mobile and casual games making it “game over” for home systems, sales leaders Microsoft and Sony head into this week’s Electronic Entertainment Expo with a fair bit of swagger.

Both companies will take the stage here Monday at the video game industry’s biggest event in the USA, seeking to woo fence-sitting gamers with new adventures on either an Xbox One or PlayStation 4.

So far, both of those new consoles, launched within a week of each other in November, are faring well. More than 12 million PS4 and Xbox One consoles combined have been sold — double that of predecessors PS3 and Xbox 360 during the same period.

“It’s surprising a lot of people. Before this generation launched, there were a bunch of skeptics who said that consoles were dead and that we’re not going to see any excitement around them because of mobile and the resurgence of the PC,” says Ted Price, founder and CEO of Insomniac Games. “Clearly that is not the case.”

The big question is whether both devices can maintain momentum —and can Nintendo’s Wii U gain some — amid a flurry of competitors, ranging from free-to-play hits such as League of Legends and Hearthstone to a wide assortment of mobile options.


Updated: July 13, 2020 — 4:40 pm