If you’re a fan of all things tech, you’ve no doubt watched Apple’s iPhone launch event and immediately followed it up with Sony’s PlayStation Meeting. With one we got two new phones, the iPhone 7 and the larger iPhone 7 Plus, as well as the awkwardly named Apple Watch Series 2. From Sony’s event we got two new consoles, the ‘PS4 Neo’ now known as PS4 Pro and the slimmed down PS4 Slim.
(Also see: price of iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in India and release date announced by Apple)
The new iPhone 7 gets a minor redesign, losing the antenna lines. The home button is now tactile. The phone is also water resistant. Optical image stabilization is now standard, with dual rear cameras – wide and telephoto – on the iPhone 7 Plus. The stereo speakers are built in and the headphone jack has been removed, a decision that apparently took a lot of “courage”. Apple distributes the Lighting-to-3.5mm adapter cable at least as well, so you don’t have to buy one yourself.
Honestly, the big news is that the entry-level iPhone now comes with 32GB of storage and the batteries should last a bit longer. Older iPhones were pretty close to water anyway, so kudos to Apple for making it official and getting rid of the 3.5mm jack.
However, other than that, Apple’s event had more of a gaming feel to it. The company demonstrated the power of its new hardware with console-quality visuals and told us that Pokemon Go now works with the Apple Watch, which is a good time, because people have already lost interest.
Getting Nintendo on board and bringing Mario to iOS first is a big deal. You can even argue that the whole genre of ‘runner’ games exists largely because of Mario. And as Pokemon Go has proven, that brand recognition is definitely worth a lot.
(Also see: Super Mario Run coming to Android next year, Nintendo confirms)
But when it comes to the iPhone itself, Apple hasn’t done much to wow us. The new iPhone is better, faster, better looking, has a better camera and better battery life, and you can bet millions of units will be sold. But those adjectives could rightly apply to every flagship launch. And frankly, given the cost of these phones, is a delta upgrade even worth your money?
Moving on from Apple at the time there was another gaming related announcement – Sony had their own event and like Apple they announced new hardware which was an improvement over existing devices, and took it launched at the same price as the previous version. Unlike Apple though, Sony’s announcement was short and to the point.
Sony has made it clear that it will be bringing lots of new games soon, which has been a clear need for some time now. It also showed the difference between the current hardware and the new devices in a clear way where the visual difference jumps out at you. Console gaming in 4K and VR gaming are both going to get a serious boost with the new hardware, which will go on sale from November 10 at $399 (around Rs. 26,590). It’s a fast release, beating its rivals to the punch, bringing the system to the top of the range in terms of performance. This makes PlayStation an obvious destination for games that push the boundaries of visual fidelity and for VR developers, soon after the launch of PS VR next month.
(Also see: PS4 Pro Won’t Fix PS4’s Biggest Problem)
At the event, Sony showcased a host of titles such as Spider-Man, For Honor, Horizon Zero Dawn, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Watch Dogs 2, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. He made a compelling case for his new product, but agreed that not everyone needs so much power – you don’t need to upgrade your old PS4 if you don’t want to, and if you haven’t purchased a PlayStation yet, you can instead get a PlayStation Slim for $100 less and enjoy the capabilities of the original PS4, in a smaller, better-looking package.
There is no doubt that the new iPhone models will sell a lot more and make a lot more money for Apple than the new PlayStation 4 units for Sony. But looking back on Wednesday’s two events, Sony came across as much more responsive to what its customers want than Apple.