We are only a matter of days away from the announcement of the next generation of consoles. The announcement on Wednesday will decide the path that games follow over the next decade. Success for the meeting hangs on whether Sony can provide a compelling reason as to why we should buy the PlayStation 4. If this is not met, the hype surrounding the announcement will quickly fade and hand the advantage to Microsoft and the next Xbox. I want to explore what Sony must do right at the meeting and what the consequences are if they fail.
Sony should not talk about numbers – At E3, Sony begins by re-treading the sales of each console they have and how this shows their success. This is a waste of time at the PlayStation Meeting. Let’s say that Sony only have an hour to announce their next generation console, the time that they have booked must be used to show off some details of the console and not to tell us how the PlayStation brand has done over the last twenty years. Tease us, do not bore us.
Tease games – This is so that consumers are reassured that when they do eventually buy the product… No one wants a console with no launch games! Depending on launch dates, the console could release with games that are already announced: Watch Dogs, Destiny and Star Wars 1313 to name but a few. These would be major games to announce but don’t waste time with gameplay of new games, just give us a set of logos (like with Agent). There need to be a show of graphical prowess to prove superiority over current gen consoles. Demos in the vein of the PS3 Killzone demo would show the crowds that next generation is truly here. Uncharted, a game that has pushed graphics over the last generation, would be an ideal demo (NOT a game).
There should not be more than a mention of Vita – The Vita has had a large portion of Sony’s conferences of late and it does not need any attention on Wednesday. The home console is the only focus and trying to push a Vita price cut or new games by using the PS4 hype will turn people away. The only mentions of the handheld that I will enjoy hearing is deep integration with PS4 along with Gaikai streaming between Vita, PS4 and mobile.
Motion control can ruin the presentation – I know I have talked a lot about motion control recently, but the technology comes with many advantages and disadvantages. Sony has become obsessed with the Move, Wonderbook was their only flagship game for the Christmas period last year. Yes, the controller seems to have Move integrated into the controller but we know what it does at its base level. Any extra features for a Move 2 should be kept for E3 seeing as that is where all things motion have been focused on of late. This goes for the PS Eye as well.
Technical issues will certainly ruin the conference – The PS4 cannot afford issues with the controller or the console itself. Any hardware problems that arise on stage could potentially lose consumer interest in the product. After all of the problems with hardware this generation, people will be sensitive to hardware failure. Also, Sony can ill-afford a problem after all of the hype that they have built up and especially seeing as they are streaming the event to the world.