Sony came out swinging when they revealed the PS4 console. The company touted improved system memory, more accessible processor architecture, increased support from indie developers, and a number of exclusive titles, including a new intellectual property called Knack. Disappointments included a lack of backwards-compatibility, another attempt to push the PlayStation Eye, and the inability to transfer PSN purchases from the PS3. The jury is still out on the “Share” functionality, DualShock 4, and Gaikai streaming service.
Plenty of questions still remain though. How much will it cost? When will it launch? Does it restrict used game sales in any way? Will we need to connect to the internet every day to access our single-player titles?
I have predictions for all of these questions, plus a few others you didn’t even know you could ask.
The PlayStation 3 eventually grew into a great platform with plenty of worthwhile experiences to its name. However, it was a rough road to get there. You all probably remember the infamous $599.99 price point at launch, as well as that Sony executive’s suggestion that customers simply “Get a second job,” to pay for the glorified doorstop. I’m sure the early years of this console cycle were a humbling experience for everyone who wasn’t Nintendo.
Let’s go out on a limb here and assume that at least a few people in this industry are capable of learning from past missteps. This extends past per MSRP shock too. After watching the PS Vita and Wii U flounder around with two separate SKUs on the shelf, I wouldn’t be surprised to only see one version of the system at E3–we’ll end up with a Slim Version in a few years anyway. It also wouldn’t hurt to have some hard numbers concerning the launch library.
If Sony announces the cost of the PS4, I fully expect it to be less than its predecessor’s. In fact, I’ll place my chip firmly on the price tag of $450. I will also go ahead and say we won’t hear a definitive release date at the press conference. We will probably hear the “Holiday Season 2013″ window again, but I imagine both Microsoft and Sony are waiting for the other to make the first move on that front. No one wants to show up late to the new hardware party.
In case you missed it, the internet has been slightly upset about the Xbox One over the last few weeks. A big part of the contention is that Microsoft is quite cheerfully projecting the image that they don’t care about the “hardcore” part of their fan-base. This gives Sony a pretty obvious advantage going into E3.
The return of PlayStation Plus on the new console would be a great first step to reassuring fans of the brand, as the program has been a great success by all accounts. Collecting PS+ fees every month will hopefully also keep online play free for the rest of PS4 users. There will be plenty of talk about motion controls, apps, and social media, but it seems safe to assume that the recent internet backdraft will give Sony an incentive to give plenty of time to the things gamers actually care about.
Consumers sent a strong message to receptive Sony execs like President of Worldwide Studios Shuhei Yoshida concerning DRM on the PS4. However, it’s likely too late to put the brakes on these restrictions. With a little luck we may just get some clear answers and honest explanations though.
The PlayStation 4 will probably implement a feature to address the “used games problem.” My guess is that Sony and their publishing partners will begin taking a percentage of Gamestop’s second-hand sales. The PS4 may even introduce an internet requirement, but I don’t see it being anywhere near as draconian as the Xbone’s system. A big factor in this is that Sony is coming from a different cultural perspective. Japan only recently began climbing on the downloadable content bandwagon, while they are similarly far less enthusiastic about things like online competitive multiplayer. I think the worst-case scenario is a one-time authentication check for publishers who opt-in to the program.
I like to think that we are all smart and mature enough to handle the hard truth of economic realities, but we still need to gird ourselves for some unfortunate revelations.
We all like to joke that the PS Vita has no games. This is untrue, of course. Sony’s handheld has plenty of worthwhile purchases, like Gravity Rush, Soul Sacrifice, Persona 4 Golden, Rayman Origins, Mortal Kombat, and a slew of indie titles. Unfortunately, the company still doesn’t seem to know what to do with their portable device.
In a perfect world, Sony would take the stage and announce a bunch of new things for the Vita. We would see fresh IP, third-party support, and even some exclusive independent projects. Realistically, we will probably see a couple ports and/or spin-offs of first-party series. It’s a shame, but the corporate strategy for marketing the handheld seems to be presenting it as a competitor to the Wii U GamePad. This became increasingly evident recently, when word came down that remote play was mandatory for PS4 developers.
Make no mistake, this functionality is novel. I just don’t think this year’s E3 will offer much to PS Vita owners.
Sony has been very open about this year’s show heralding the “next generation of Final Fantasy.” However, it is impossible to ignore that they made the first announcement about the new entry in their flagship series at the PlayStation 4 reveal event. In fact, the word on the grapevine is that the console manufacturer is financially supporting the languishing project. This would certainly be massive news and an exclusivity coup for the console.
I predict that Final Fantasy XV will be coming exclusively to PS3 and PS4. That would be enough, but I’ll take this one step further. I think the game in question is actually the long-awaited Versus XIII. Just as Agito‘s movement from cell phones to PSP was signaled by renaming it Type-0, Square will once again rechristen a Final Fantasy to symbolize its transition to a different platform. Unless the big news is that Type-0 is finally getting localized….
Either way, Sony will have something for its JRPG fans.
Fumito Ueda told us three months ago to keep an eye out for news about The Last Guardian, yet here we are today with no additional information. Team Ico has to be saving their update for E3, right?
There are two ways this could go. First, The Last Guardian could be revealed as a PS4 launch title. That would be exciting in and of itself, but there is another possibility. Sony could position the game as the PlayStation 3′s swan song. It’s either that or Beyond: Two Souls. I know which one I’d rather close out a generation on.
There are some properties that we will definitely see on the PS4. Franchises like God of War, Uncharted, and LittleBigPlanet will undoubtedly see multiple installments on Sony’s new console, in addition to the confirmed likes of Killzone and inFAMOUS. The real question is which unexpected brands will make a comeback.
We already asked nicely for the exclusive returns of Heavenly Sword, Wild ARMs, Dark Cloud, Crash Bandicoot, and Persona, but there are plenty of other candidates. Ni no Kuni 2? Valkyria Chronicles 4? The Legend of Dragoon 2? The possibilities are certainly more exciting than the reality.