With Sony preparing to take the stage, announcing the future of its PlayStation brand, industry members and fans wait in anticipation to see what the next generation of home gaming will look like.
We at CG Magazine have our own ideas of what we want and expect from Sony. While we’ll get an overview of what this is (assuming of course, that it is the “PS4”), don’t bet on all details being announced tonight. Sony will probably hold out until E3 to show off its hardware more in depth.
So what will be announced? Before getting to the “Future of PlayStation”, I suspect some Vita related things to be touched upon. It was announced this past weekend during a Japan conference that the handheld will received a price cut in that country, but nothing was announced for any other regions. Since the Vita has been performing “below expectations” it isn’t outlandish to say the price will come down to, say, $199.99. A similar price cut did work wonders for the Nintendo 3DS.
The main event will almost definitely be the aforementioned “Future of PlayStation”. What we will likely see out of that is a close to final form of the system itself, along with some specifications indicating what the power of the system will be. Key features, like the heavily rumoured social media interactivity, will also be touted.
Another feature that will be touched on is the streaming capabilities that have been leaked in the past couple days. Sony acquired streaming service Gaikai in July 2012 for $380 million, and several “PlayStation Cloud” domains have been registered, suggesting that this new console will be able to stream games in some form. What exactly it will be able to stream, and precisely how this service will work remains to be seen.
As for the games themselves, if we see any reveals they will assuredly be first-party titles. There is an off-chance we’ll see third parties show something off, but we think that will likely be saved for E3. Sony has a large number of in-house studios with unannounced projects and while they might not all be unveiled tonight, Sony would be wise to show at least a couple.
Some big studios have been quiet the past couple years. Guerilla Games is reportedly working on another Killzone, Polyphony Digital is definitely developing the next Gran Turismo, but there are a few that aren’t so obvious. Naughty Dog has The Last of Us releasing in a few months, but what has the Uncharted team been working on? It’s safe to say that it will be the fourth console iteration of Uncharted, but they might surprise us. And since wrapping up work on inFAMOUS 2 and Festival of Blood, nobody has heard anything from Sucker Punch.
A long in-development game that could see a push to next-gen is The Last Guardian. Studio Japan’s latest game has had a turbulent development cycle and may not serve well as a late-gen PlayStation 3 game, instead becoming a launch title for the next console.
Sony should take this chance to show a big exclusive line-up for the launch window. A lot of these announcements will be saved for big trade shows later in the year, but this is an opportunity to get ahead of their competitors. Price and release rumours surfaced in the past day but I don’t expect to hear anything beyond “releasing in 2013” during the reveal.
We’ll have a full report on Sony’s event, including analysis, shortly after it wraps tonight.