ESports: Call of Duty League Finals
Jul 19, 2019; Miami Beach, FL, USA; A general view of a PlayStation 4 gaming console on display during the Call of Duty League Finals e-sports event at Miami Beach Convention Center. (Photo: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports)

Sony crushed Microsoft's Xbox One by a massive margin in the war of the current generation gaming console. It simply follows that the Japanese gaming console maker would like to do the same with its next-generation gaming console, PlayStation 5, which is anticipated to arrive next year. Interestingly, a new rumor claims that Sony is doing this particular measure because it is too afraid to get beaten by Microsoft's Project Scarlett.

A few days ago, several sites reported about a YouTube stream where Japanese journalist Zenji Nishikawa mentioned something very interesting about the PlayStation 5. According to him, Sony is reportedly releasing alongside PlayStation 5 another gaming console, more powerful than the rumored PlayStation 5. The claim further stated that the PlayStation 5 would be the standard model and the more powerful one will cater to gamers who want higher specs and top of the line features.

The most recent rumor about PlayStation 5 suggests that Sony's strategic move to launch two variants is in a way a preemptive measure to combat the two-pronged strategy of Microsoft for Project Scarlett. Earlier reports claimed that Sony's Chief Executive Officer Kenichiro Yoshida is targeting to position the PlayStation 5 as a niche gaming console designed for hardcore gamers and enthusiasts. The CEO reportedly stated that the company could integrate ray tracing and high-end features to create life-like effects and offer a totally immersive gaming experience.

Therefore, when this news was leaked online, it seemed like Sony's strategy is targeting the premium market by offering them the PlayStation 5 with a high price tag. Several tech analysts have already predicted that the next generation console from Sony might be retailed at $800. However, this premium market positioning strategy would also mean exposing Sony to a huge threat from its competitor, Microsoft Project Scarlett.

It can be recalled that Microsoft hinted that it is going to launch the Project Scarlett in two variants. One of the variants allegedly will be a streaming box to be retailed at around $100. It could utilize the Xbox Game Pass service to provide a huge library of games to gamers for a monthly fee.

If Microsoft delivers something like this next year, Sony's strategy of positioning the PlayStation 5 to the premium market could backfire and devastate its sales. Following a premium-only strategy could be catastrophic if the company does not have any backup plan for those who want to shell out just enough money for their gaming console. In reality, it will miss two in three gamers in the gaming industry since hardcore gamers only make a third of the total gaming population.

So, if the recent claim by Zenji Nishikawa is accurate, it could be Sony's response to Microsoft's Project Scarlett two variants at launch strategy. The PlayStation 5 Pro will cater to the premium hardcore gaming market while the PlayStation 5 will cater to the two-thirds of the gaming market's population. Releasing both PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 5 Pro at launch could be a great strategy to capture the entire market segment.