The announcement of Sony’s upcoming PlayStation 4 finally became a reality and, as anticipated, it sparked endless debates over the internet about anything and everything related to the console and the announcement itself and the waters are still not calm right now. And probably won’t be for a long while, but I think they cooled down enough to let us think about the bigger picture: what are the chances of the PS4 to win the next-gen race? Pretty big, I’d say and there’s just one reason why!

Regarding the current generation of consoles, the PS3 is usually considered the loser of the war. Wikipedia data says that Sony sold about 70 million consoles, compared to 76 million Xbox 360s and 100 million Wii consoles sold. Other data, however, claims that the PlayStation 3 sales have surpassed the Xbox 360 sales in January 2013, and either way, Sony can’t be considered losers, having in mind that they launched the PS3 one year after the Xbox 360.

And we get to today’s main reason why the PS4 will win this generation’s race at least when it comes to hardcore gaming: it’s coming first!

If Sony learned something from the current gen console, it’s one thing: whoever comes first has the biggest chances to grab the biggest piece of the pie. Developers start making games for the console earlier and the game base is, from start, larger, therefore more appealing to potential buyers. We also should have the troubled economy in mind and many gamers will probably not afford to invest both in the PS4 and the Xbox 720 (or whatever its name will be). So if they will want a bit of next-gen gaming, they’ll get the PS4 and maybe never feel the need or have the buying power to invest in the second next-gen console.

Of course, just being the first with a crappy console doesn’t make you a winner automatically, but I really doubt that Sony will come with a crappy console. The PlayStation 4 has some incredible power that will drive the quality of gaming forward, so there will be no problems on this side.

How would things change if Microsoft confirms the rumors and announces the Xbox 720 soon, with a release date close to that of the PlayStation 4? Well, that would change things a lot and we would no longer have a clear winner – at least not one easy to guess.

Both Microsoft and Sony have a solid fanbase in North America and Europe (Japan is clearly “won” by the PlayStation), so things would probably be pretty even. The winner would be decided by those who have no preference and just want quality games. And this is when an important word comes into play: exclusives. Then, the console with the most exclusive games would clearly win the race.

But until then, the PlayStation 4 can be considered the first next-gen console being released (sorry Wii U fans for not considering this console, but I’m actually talking about hardcore gaming here) and the longer it stays on the market without a competitor, the biggest its advantage over the Xbox will be.

What do you think though? Will the PS4 win the next gen race or you feel that Microsoft still has some Aces up their sleeves?