PrE3: Sony's got game but can they rebound?
Many people are touting this as the year for Sony to come back and lead a new revolution for game consoles, and they may be right. Sony has been doing a lot to show that they are all about the games. They want to be able to bring in as many developers as humanly possible to bring you the most unique gaming experiences. Will they accomplish this? It's hard to tell, but it certainly sounds great and they could do it. Sony has made a huge effort to entice not just big publishers to come on board, but the indie developers as well. This could be one of their keys to success in the next generation of consoles.
The PlayStation 4 brings a bevy of new features that we have heard of to help make it a truly revolutionary device. From being able to stream games with the Gaikai technology that Sony had previously purchased to being able to play games as they download (something they will be testing on PS3 for Last Of Us ). This sounds like the future of gaming, but the future may not come without some pitfalls. We all know that Microsoft has announced their own solution for used games and Sony has been pretty tight-lipped.
Could we see something from them on this front as well? It almost seems as though we have to, because I don't know if Microsoft would go all in for a digital future if Sony wasn't on the same page. Publishers like Electronic Arts are one of the catalysts for this change from Microsoft (with some saying their 'good move' of getting rid of the online pass was in response to what Microsoft is doing with the Xbox One), so could Sony be under the same pressure from big publishers? I would think so, and I think Sony will have to let us know what their official stance is sooner or later. If Sony doesn't go this route it's possible they could lose big publisher support which could squander their momentum. Will they do it at E3? It's hard to say. They have been getting a lot of good buzz lately (did they change marketing departments?) that they may not want to ruin that with an announcement that gamers won't want to hear. However, they could also do it to soften the blow with all the good stuff that they will be, undoubtedly, showing off.
Either way, I am excited to see all the games that Sony will be showing off at E3 this year. They have already announced a few standouts, such as Jonathan Blow's The Witness and Infamous: Second Son , and there is no doubt in my mind that we will see a lot of exciting games. I think the new IPs will be the most interesting to see from Sony this year for a couple reasons: I don't know if a lot of their first-party titles will be seeing a new game just yet (games like God of War and Uncharted) , but that doesn't mean we won't see a new game from Naughty Dog ,which is huge given their track record, or any other first-party developers. I also think that with so many indie developers on board for the PS4 that we will see a lot of interesting and creative games coming out of it.
I think one of the most interesting sections on the show floor will be the Indiecade. Sony has paid for a lot of developers to show their games there, out of the goodness of their hearts, along with sending development kits to a lot of these developers. This is where they excel over Microsoft in a lot of ways as they are making the concerted effort to court these unique game experiences to the PS4's line-up. They have also made some huge strides in making a lot of free-to-play games launch alongside the Playstation 4, which is a great boon for those who can't afford to buy a ton of games at launch after they purchase the system.
Sony has a lot they haven't showed off in full yet such as their media sharing suite, and their entertainment side. We all know the PlayStation 4 will be an entertainment system, much like the Xbox One, but they are choosing to not market it that way to appeal to the hardcore gaming audience. This is a pretty smart move on their part, but we all know those features will be in the console and we may even see a few at E3 this year. I don't think everything we see will be all rose petals and good feelings, but Sony has a lot going for them and they'll still need to hit the ground running to get a leg up on Microsoft. In the end, I think this is going to be the biggest E3 in quite a few years, and I'm excited to see what's in store from both Sony and Microsoft this year. I also wouldn't count Nintendo completely out (maybe I'm too optimistic here), because you never know what could be up their sleeves.