February 20th seems like so long ago. With Microsoft officially unveiling the Xbox One and with E3 just around the corner, Sony is getting ready for their big presentation at this year’s show. The presentation in February went over well with the gaming community, but still left a lot of open questions to be answered. In this edition of the Sanchez Soapbox, we’re going to put a spotlight on Sony and their E3 presentation. In the conference officially announcing the Playstation 4 console, Sony took the time to show the specs, throw in a few games, and showed off the possibilities of the upcoming console. Sharing/streaming gameplay from your console, the availability of every game from past Playstation generations, and even the touch pad on the controller were all featured, but weren’t necessarily demonstrated. Plus, what is their policy going to be on the DRM and used games controversy? There is still a lot unclear about the Playstation 4, despite what was announced.
You have to think Sony officials were definitely watching the Microsoft conference announcing the Xbox One, learning what the competition is doing, keeping an ear to the ground listening to fans, and waiting for Microsoft to make their next move at E3. Also, without a large conference this year coming from Nintendo, Sony will have the chance to have the last word when it comes down to making an impact with their conferences. So what do they need to do and/or say?
First off, if indeed Sony is to respond to the outcry of DRM or the used games controversy, they need to be straight with the audience. If they announce a semi-block on used games, go ahead and say it, but also say why this benefits the gamer or the industry as a whole. Addressing concerns of the gamer is something Sony has had experience in with the hacking incident a few years back. Sony can be reassuring without condescending. Right now, all the gamer wants to know is what exactly comes in that total package of the Playstation 4.
Speaking of that total package, the announcement left one major question people have been asking since that February evening: What does the console look like? Sure, there have been rumors and fake ads, but with that big show just around the corner, that specific question should be answered. Also, with the vague launch window of “Holiday 2013”, I don’t expect an official launch date, nor do I fully expect a set price. As nice as that would be, I think companies are now trying more and more to do things under their own terms.
Don’t be surprised if Sony has a few non-gaming related apps to show off with their console as well. The Playstation 3 was marketed with the “It only does everything” campaign, so I would expect to see some of those applications shown off…although maybe not in such a major spotlight. I would expect Sony to announce all the applications such as Hulu Plus, Amazon Video, and all the other applications previously on the PS3 to be available for the PS4, with the possibility of an exclusive partnership with a major company to bring something new to the PS4.
Now, what about the games? Sony took a lot of time to show a few games at the conference in February. I fully expect a few of those games to have a live demo, along with a few more titles that we might not know about yet. The next additions to the Killzone and inFamous franchises are nice touches, but if Sony wants to have the people talking, they need to show off some new titles exclusive to the Playstation 4. Another thing that would help Sony‘s presentation is giving a few independent titles some time, however brief. The two other competitors have made it harder for independent titles, but Sony could give gamers even more reason to see the PS4 as a great platform for them.
Finally, I think there’s still some room to roll out a few PS3 titles for those that might not be early adopters. Sony has gone on record saying they think the PS3 is a ten year console, and with about three more years until it is 10 years old, I think Sony is going to find some way to gently shift gamers from one console to the other, while offering some support for the current generation.
Here’s your chance to offer your opinion. What do you think Sony has in store for their conference this year? Will there be any surprises? Let us know in the comment section and stay tuned to New Gamer Nation for all the news leading up to and coming out of E3.