Rumors, speculation, and hype? Must be about time to release a new generation of consoles. Ever since Sony released a video announcing its coming out party on February 20th, it has been impossible to breath the word, “Playstation” without mentioning the future of the Sony console. No doubt Sony fans are excited to hear about how they will be spending their money at the end of the year, but what can we actually expect from the event and what do we want to hear from Sony?
//What We Will Get
1.)Connectivity has become the number one concern for all consoles. Whether talking about Facebook, Twitter, or Youtube, people want a way to share their lives through their consoles. With Xbox Live’s cross-game chat and easy-to-use functionality, Playstation has long been a distant second to it’s HD console brethren in this area.
Announcing a release date would give people something to circle on their calendars
Look for Sony to respond by pushing connectivity as the centerpiece of their Playstation experience. We all saw how the WiiU created Miiverse and TVii to create a common place where people could share their gaming and media experiences. It is a safe bet that Sony will follow suit. A brand new interface may do away with the XMB (Cross Media Bar) and integrate a new layout that puts the emphasis on finding your Sony friends and communicating with them. This may or may not an upgrade to the embarrassing, but not forgotten Playstation Home. But, given fans general disinterest in Home, Sony may take the opportunity to hit the reset button and call it something else.
2.) The holiday release of Killzone 4 and Ubisoft’s Watch Dogs, is all but a given. It is also reasonable to expect EA has been busy on builds of Madden and FIFA for the new systems. While these games are probably still deep in the development process, we will probably get a good look at some gameplay trailers to show off the systems graphics and power. If we’re really nice, we might get to see some Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes.
Following that, expect Sony to show a sizzle reel of games that are not in development (or are just in the earliest stages). Some fan service for Uncharted, Infamous, and other Sony staples. These will just be to get people talking and asking questions to which Sony will of course respond, “No comment”.
3.) We have already gotten the first taste of the Playstation 4 controller, but it is safe to assume we will get a more in depth explanation about how it will be used in games and with the system in general. We will hear more about the Playstation Eye and the applications that the system will boast. Get ready for someone to start yelling things like, “Play” or “Skype Grandma” into their controller.
4.) After a rousing final speech that promises many more exciting announcements, Sony will dismount the conference with a live action demo reel. This will show people using the system to do a myriad of features from joining a friend in a co-op game using nothing but voice commands to using the Move feature on the new controller to duck into cover. In the end, the game will come to life with the player stepping into a CGI world where he is literally “in the game”. The promo will finish with something like, “Playstation 4…Reality calls.”
//What We Want
1.) After showing the graphics and hardware that the PS4 contains, Sony will start showing the bells and whistles that sets the PS4 apart from the PC, WiiU, and Xbox. The very first part of this speech absolutely must focus around the PS Vita. Touchscreen? Motion control? Application interface? The Vita already has these things built into it.
Sony will of course respond, “No comment”
While the Vita isn’t the answer to the WiiU’s touchpad, it could be used as a powerful peripheral with the new console. But if it can be used to access features such as video, social applications, web browser, or even TV without exiting a playthrough of a game, the Vita could have some real value. Somehow, there must be a link between the PS4 and the Vita or the handheld is headed the way of the dinosaur…
2.) Sony already is going to be making headlines on every gaming website with this conference, thus it would not be in their best interest to make big game announcements. Why announce Infamous 3 as a second page story, when you can announce it two months later and grab another headline? But it would show some good faith toward a loyal audience that has tuned into their conference. While it will be nice to see peripherals, hardware, and applications, we’re all hungry to hear about some games. Not Killzone 4 or Watch Dogs, we want to know what Sucker Punch is working on. What is thatgamecompany working on? Does Sony have any exciting new IPs for its launch? This is what we really want to know.
3.) When all is said and done, we won’t really know if we want this console until we know price. Again, Sony has nothing to gain by letting their price slip now. Whether too high or wonderfully low, announcing the price of the system will overshadow the event. It will be the first thing people talk about, not the new features the system has. We won’t hear a price, but after the whole $599 debacle it would certainly make everyone feel a lot better.
4.) Like so many businesses, while price, hardware, and convenience factor into the decisions of buying, whoever can be first will get the head start in the “console war”. Thus, the release date of the PS4 may be the most important thing to learn; maybe not for the devoted Sony fanboys, but for anyone who is still on the fence. Sony likely won’t announce a release date, not only because it would be the talk of the event, but also because it will likely be later than the Xbox. However, it would behoove them, as announcing a release date would give people something to circle on their calendars, it would allow people to start counting the days until Sony’s future becomes its present.
Soon rumor, speculation, and hype will become fact, talking points, and well…more hype. It will be an exciting time for the game industry, when can stop talking about this generation can’t do and start asking what the next one can do. We want to see games, we want to see progress, and we want our questions about the future answered. Unfortunately, those questions won’t likely be answered at the Sony Conference and possibly not for a few years to come.