The future of PlayStation is nigh with the arrival of the PlayStation 4 and Sony’s surprisingly accommodating New York Press Conference left us giddy and filled with hope for the new system. However, Wednesday’s showing was only a primer for what’s to come at E3, departing on a high, yet troublesome note for Sony and gamer.
The Vita Love
The Vita and the PS Move were treated with nifty, inventive tricks for the PlayStation 4. Sculpting and easier transmission times between the system and portable were nice until we were reminded that the PlayStation 4 stole the show. If this conference was truly about “The Future of PlayStation,” then why was the Vita treated as a Wii U gamepad and not a system itself? It’s been obvious to not see this coming, the Vita doesn’t have anything lined up for 2013 for us to get excited about.
Killzone Mercenary looks promising later this year and that’s it. Sure, September 5th’s not a good release with the knowledge of Grand Theft Auto 5 dominating everyone’s minds then and yes, no other title is specifically being made for the Vita. Sorry to break hearts with this one, but Killzone isn’t a system seller. No matter how good it’ll be, it won’t move copies. Look at how much of an improvement Killzone 3 is compared to its predecessor and it still didn’t sell passed 1 million. At the event, it showed that Sony’s putting all of their eggs in one basket for the Vita and relying on heavily on remote play and PS3/PS4 games on the go.
A bit early to discuss pricing for the PlayStation 4, but monetary can’t not be ignored. By far the biggest concern is the pricing for the system and Sony let us down in systems past. Back in 2006, Kaz Hirai announced the two SKUs and $499/$599 price points upon launch, the poor results were staggering for Sony. And the Vita’s suffering the same fate. Back in 2011, the Vita garnered a lot of hype beforehand and challenged the then $250 3DS with prices of $249/$299 of two models, then the crushing reality of expensive Memory cards and lack of launch games hit. Need we remind you the Vita’s still hanging on by a thread?
Then this past Monday, Japan had their own half-hour Sony segment coming out with a price drop for their two Vita models, reducing the price for a roughly 200 American for Wifi and 3G. It was almost taboo for Sony to even speak of the ambiguous PlayStation 4 pricing, let alone individual game prices.
The Games We Would Have Expected to See
When we think of Sony PlayStation now it’s Uncharted, Ratchet & Clank, Resistance, inFamous,Wipeout, and Killzone leading the charge along with a multitude of indie titles backing them up. inFamous and Killzone already have a sequel in the works, and the other franchises are left to collect dust. The PlayStation 4 needs blockbusters and showstoppers day 1 to get the ball rolling ahead of others. And leaving the reliable franchises at bay will only hinder their success.
Which leads to other unknown developer work of Team Ico and their, forever in development hell, game of Last Guardian? Ports and rereleases won’t do the PlayStation 4 any good if we can just lay dormant on the PlayStation 3 and continue our own “10 year plan.”
We saw numerous things that gripped us by the sheer power and promise of the PlayStation 4. Things like the Dualshock 4 controller, Gaikai’s huge online role, and the select number of titles exclusive to the PlayStation 4. Who would have thought the Witness, Watch Dogs, and Destiny could burst out in support of the system? Sadly, how many were said to be launch day titles?
Well, none of them actually. Of the introductory trailers on pre-rendered or actual gameplay, no words or hints were made on when we should expect to see this in our hands. This is where we should be all biting our fingernails. The PlayStation 4 may not have a plethora of games to play on day one like we saw on display and event was merely a hype builder. Consequently, this was what hurt Sony’s past consoles’ debuts, the lack of system selling games already available. Nobody wanted Madden 07 or Michael Jackson: The Experience, so they plunged on Call of Duty 3/ Resistance: Fall of Man or Uncharted: Golden Abyss/Touch My Katamari. They were both slow starts for Sony to get anything of worth past a handful. Time will tell by June we’ll get more concrete knowledge on the first arrivals and the dreaded “launch window,” lord knows Nintendo’s still said to be in one after three months.
Once again, come early June, questions will be answered and more will follow. In the mean time, get familiiar with the system with our recap of Sony’s PlayStation 4 reveal.