Will It Be Announced?
Sony is holding a press event later this afternoon where it is expected for them to announce the Playstation 4. Provided that actually does happen here are my 3 predictions regarding the announcement of Sony’s new hardware, What else could Sony talk about? Vita?
1. Playstation 4 will feature an all new PSN along with new features and services
New And Improved
I believe this will be one of the main focuses of the PS4. Sony recently bought Gaikai-a streaming service which would allow Sony to make their entire back catalog of games available for the PS4. This would be important for Sony to include in the PS4 since it would significantly add more value to the console as you would instantly have a plethora of games to choose from.
A more advanced PSN is probably a given. As good as the Playstation Network was, it was by no means perfect. Many gamers cried about the lack of cross game chat so it should be a sure thing that this feature would make it in to Sony’s new console. With Playstation Plus, Sony gave gamers plenty of value for 50 dollars a month and i would expect this to continue. Sony might even go as far as taking a few notes from Valves Steam network and allow developers to set their own prices and determine when their games would go on sale and for how long. An addition of this magnitude would give PSN a huge advantage over XBL and would undoubtedly attract more indie support which can only be a good thing for gamers.
Remember how many times you turned on your PS3 and found that their was a mandatory firmware update? No? Of course you don’t remember because there were way too many updates to even keep track of. Sony has no doubt remedied this with the PS4 and at the very least they would allow you to install these updates in the background and not have you sit there and stare at a progress bar for 15 minutes when all you want to do is play a game.
2. Cool Tech Demos But The PS4 Wont Blow You Away Like You Expect It To In Terms Of Visual Fidelity
Great But Where Is It?
Now this could be a bit of a stretch. I personally do not believe the PS4 or Xbox “720″ will be s significant leap ahead of the Wii U in terms of graphical power. Why? Cost. We are already hearing rumors that Sony will have multiple consoles with a 400 dollar and 500 dollar price tag attached to them. Who can afford that in this economy? With the way everyone is addicted social media interaction and streaming apps and such, it would seem as if functionality would take the front seat over pure graphical horse power this time around. If you watch the Game Trailers Show called the Bonus Round, they had recently been discussing all things Sony and speculating on what the PS4 might offer. One thing that was interesting to me was a comment from one of the guests by the name of Brian Crecente who works at Polygon. He Said that the company that will win the next gen wont do it with games but by what other things the console can do such as sharing videos with other users . I’m sorry but that sounds like a load of crap but its interesting to hear industry insiders discuss this view of what they believe the next gen will be. Will Sony focus more on functionality over flash? Maybe both. My money will be on a console with less of a focus on high end graphics. I could be wrong, though.
3. Vita integration: The Vita’s Last Stand
Could This Feature Be Better Suited For The PS4?
Sony tried integrating the PS3 and Vita in some interesting ways. Allowing you to buy a game on PS3 and Vita and share save data between the two titles and even cross platform play were very good ideas. Sony even claimed that the two could work together in ways that are better than what the Wii U could do with its Gamepad. Nice try Sony. One thing we could see happen is PS4 could be integrated with Vita from the go. Sony could push developers to add Vita functionality to every PS4 game making the experience much closer to that of Nintendo’s Wii U. What? Don’t act like Sony doesn’t copy Nintendo as often as they inhale air. Anyways, dare i say Sony could pack a Vita in with every PS4? Probably not but i think a massive Vita price drop could be in order to get more gamers to sign on to Sony’s handheld. If the PS4 and Vita can unite in ways Sony only dreamed with the PS3 it would add so much more value to the console and make spending 400-500 dollars that much more understandable although i don’t feel any game console is worth that much money. Just saying.
If in fact the PS4 is a power house for visuals than i believe it will be expensive. Seeing as Sony will want to wow the media and gamers at this event and no doubt steal some of Nintendo’s already fading thunder, i doubt a price will be revealed. Imagine hearing about all of the cool features of the PS4 and then seeing some truly amazing visuals only to have the hype sucked right back out of you by a price tag that requires that you pay with your soul. Not cool.
A Holiday 2013 release would not be that surprising. In fact i don’t think Sony could wait another year to release the PS4. Nintendo will no doubt gain some steam going further into the year and by the holiday we will see the release of the Zelda HD remake. Sony can’t afford to let Nintedo go a full year untested. Especially allowing then to launch a huge title around the holidays without any competition. A holiday release for the PS4 would be good for Sony since it would fall under shopping season. Lets just hope the PS4 has some games when it arrives.
I expect quite a few testimonials from 3rd party developers and publishers. Unlike the support Nintendo had from 3rd parties, i don’t expect their support for Sony to magically fade away in a years time. I think some big guns could show up today. Square could finally do something worthwhile and show off Final Fantasy Versus 13 complete with a brand new title that doesn’t sound completely ridiculous. How about a special edition of GTA 5? I think every Sony fan would blow their lid if Naughty Dog shows up with a Uncharted 4 teaser. Sony has always had strong support from developers so i expect that to continue with the PS4.
Last but not least Sony will have to address the issue of backwards compatibility. If the rumors are true about Sony using new architecture for the PS4 then it would seem that it won’t be playing PS3 discs. What about all those PS3 games you own? This is a question Sony will have to answer.
So that’s it. My predictions for the PS4 during today’s Sony press conference provided Sony does announce a new console. What do you think? If you want to watch the press conference it starts at 6pm eastern. Gametrailers will have coverage starting at 2pm west coast time and i believe IGN will have coverage as well. Lets see how many of my predictions will come true or prove to be false. As always let me know what makes Wii U Mad? Until next time.