2020 has been unusual for a number of obvious reasons, but the video gaming world has been held captive for months as Sony and Microsoft warily circle each other with their respective next-generation video game console announcements. The stakes are high: Microsoft lost the current-generation, and decisively, in part because of massive marketing and go-to-market mistakes from which it never recovered, and neither firm wants to self-victimize itself by making the same mistakes this time around.
But that reality has led to the silliest launch year antics we’ve ever experienced. Robbed of in-person events like E3 at which these companies traditionally bare all in an orgasmic ritual that dates back to the early 1990s, Sony and Microsoft have instead been dribbling out information carefully and in small doses. But this collective tentativeness just highlights how insecure each is about its product lines, and it leaves a leadership gap that I’m sure Nintendo is all too eager to fill.