Posts: 370 +181
The answer is largely momentum, brand awareness/perception (aka "Consumer Mindshare").
Xbox made massive strides with the 360 in this area and then Mattrick's crew pissed it all away with the debut of the One. It took Phil's crew 8 years to regain that lost consumer trust & point the ship in the right direction again.
The PS5 is thus far arguably riding on the coattails of the global phenomenon that was the PS4 & benefitting from their competitor losing their way. Simply put, more people immediately think of "Playstation" than "Xbox" when it comes to gaming.
But, every generation is different. And riding on the massive success of the prior gen will only take them so far. Sooner or later that anticipation of great exclusives needs to give rise to actual releases. Miles Morales, Demons Souls remake, Ratchet & Clank, and Returnal are great but simply not enough to carry the momentum much longer. They need to get other big releases out the door.
Meanwhile, Xbox has really turned it around on the back of Game Pass and that coupled with a stronger hardware design & anticipation of a strong exclusive lineup is finally picking up where the 360 left off. And as you noted, the Xbox ecosystem is arguably stronger with a better QoL feature design.
Personally, I've owned every Playstation & still think they arguably have had the best exclusives over the past two generations...but I find myself far more invested in the Xbox ecosystem at this point & that is where I do most of my gaming. I look at Playstation as my "Exclusives Box" and only sporadically pay for PS+ while I consider Xbox Live Gold to be an automatic monthly expense like Netflix. I'm even starting to think this way about Game Pass despite my massive backlog. It's just too good of a value to deny and I find myself discovering and playing games several times per week I would never try if I had to buy them separately.
Your post I only read after my above post but I'm right there with ya!
I love both platforms for different reasons but find xbox being the only one deserving of my recurring revenue.
Sony does have games I consider "must plays" and for that I still partake in their eco system but only just enough to get what I feel is justified out of them.
They will never see me "invest" in their eco system until they start making better. Consumer focused decisions like Microsoft.
If it takes them starting to lose ground to Xbox for that to happen then I'm all for it.
Xbox got a reality check in 2013 and I think it's definitely time for Sony to get one as well.