Sony unveiled the next Playstation at their February 20th event and they showed a lot of content in the two hour conference (Link) but it left gamers wondering what they could have to show at E3. Many didn’t believe that Sony would show so much, therefore ,what could they have for E3? They have a lot more for E3.
Sony showed some of their user interface at the conference but it was short and didn’t really display how it will work. We weren’t shown a step-by-step process in how it will work from the home page to the PSN store to movies but rather, we were shown the user page with the individual’s trophy card, what they are currently playing , etc. They also gave us a taste of the streaming interface, where the user can select the last couple minutes of gameplay and record it to be published.
What I expect them to show is the full rundown of the user interface, moving from one place to another. How will the player use the PS4 UI on a regular day. Booting up the console with a game ready to play, then playing some music, messaging a friend for assistance or just a video conference, buying a game, basically how it all will come together. Also the social aspect of the UI, connecting with real life friends, go deeper into how FaceBook and Ustream will be integrated. There is a lot to see here alone but this is just a part of what they will have.
Sony received a lot of criticism for this, many were expecting them to pop out a shiny new console for gamers to drool over but that’s not what took place. I honestly don’t understand why this was such a big thing, I’d understand if this was a mobile console that you would be holding while playing your games but this is a home console. It’s going to be in one place or a couple of places from the time you purchase it. Sony did it right, they showed what you will be holding on to all the time when playing a video game, the controller. Alas that is the past and the future is around the corner and by this I mean E3, where Sony will finally let the public see the box that many will be gaming on come this holiday season.
This will last a couple of seconds, people will take pictures and then we move on.
This PS4 feature is one I’m interested in, Sony could do so much with it. PSVita for one, will be given a new life thanks to Gaikai, with remote-play having more focus from Sony this time around. It has been something that they have been teasing gamers with since the launch of the PS3, where it was supposed work with the PSP and later the Vita but that hasn’t come to be. The remote-play feature as it is might play some games and if you hack the PS3 you can play more games but not being able to play any game is annoying and nobody wants to go through the hassle of hacking their console and dealing with the risks that come with it (The History of Remote Play).
The second screen feature is also one that could be useful, the Wii U has yet to show the true potential of it but hopefully developers for the PS4 will take advantage of it. I want to see a gameplay mechanic that uses the second screen as something that adds to the experience and makes it more enjoyable rather then something added on to simply just have the feature in the game. I want the second screen to be intuitive, so when I play a game I’ll naturally use the feature without needing to put much thought into it.
I don’t really have a concrete idea of how they could use it but I guess that will make it much more of a surprise when I play future games that include it. On the other side of this is the fact that not everyone has a Vita, that needs to change. Developers won’t have much reason to use it if not many gamers will able to take advantage the feature.
I see a lot of potential here with Gaikai and I hope they amaze us at E3.
Speaking of potential, the PSVita has a lot of that but ever since the console’s launch, not much support was given from Sony. This, however, began to change after a while with more cross buy and regular titles slowly becoming available for the console. There are also still games on the way like, Tearaway and Kill Zone: mercenary (Link) and with the indie scene rising for Sony, you’ll see more of those games make their way to the console.
What I believe they’ll show for the Vita is more remote-play functionality with the PS4, how simple it’s going to be to switch between the PS4 and Vita when playing your games. Some more game announcements (Indie games could be included here) and a price drop to 199.99. The price drop is something that needs to come and E3 would be the perfect time to announce it. Sony could show us remote-play and how amazing it is, throw more games at us and then finally to end it off, a price drop. I see this happening, I could be wrong (I probably am) but I know gamers would want to see what I’ve just described and with the momentum Sony has with the public right now, this would just boost them even more.
PS4 Games (What are Sony’s internal studios doing?)
At Sony’s February 20th event a good amount of games were announced; Infamous: Second Son, KillZone: Shadow Fall, Drive Club, Knack, etc. The announcements took out some of Sony’s internal studios from the dark but this still left some without a shed of light.
Naughty Dog is one developer that is on most Playstation gamer’s minds, hoping Uncharted 4 will happen. The studio recently publicly announced they have split into two groups, one will be developing, The Last of Us while the other will be working on a unannounced title. The one thing that gamers need to remember is that looking into ND’s past they have only made trilogies, from the PS1 with Crash to Jak on the PS2 and finally to Uncharted with the PS3. They’ve followed this pattern throughout three generation of console releases and it doesn’t seem like anything is going to change. Even though many would love to see Drake, Sully and Elena in a another life threatening adventure, I feel that Naughty Dog will announce a new ip. Many were sad when the Jak series finished and still people want Jak 4 but a developer like Naughty Dog like to hit new frontiers and create new worlds instead of going back to what they’ve already done. Fellow gamers I suggest we look into the future because Uncharted could be taking a back seat to a new ip.
Santa Monica Studios is currently developing their PS4/PS3/Vita cross title Hohokum but surely this is not the only game they have in development. Many hope they will announce GOD of War IV at Sony’s E3 press conference but the studio has stated that the GOW dev team have yet to even touch the PS4 hardware and have only been working on Ascension (Link) back in march. So, take God of War out of possible announcements at this year’s E3 and your left with the unannounced TPS/FPS they have in the works, possibly (Link). With this studio we don’t have much to go on but it seems likely we’ll get some info on the shooter, if it exists.
San Diego Studios are currently developing Warrior’s Lair (Former name, Ruin), the PS3/Vita cross Diablo like title. Their past games include the likes of the MLB series, Mod Nation Racers: Road Trip, Sports Champions 1 & 2, etc. There haven’t been many rumours on this studio because it seems most likely that they’ll be making another MLB on the PS4.
London Studios have been silent on what ever they have in development, currently. Past titles include a lot of social games such Sing Star, Dance Party, Eyepet, etc. Their most recent title was Wonderbook, the move focused title. The one franchise many wish would return is The Getaway, a franchise that had a game that was put on hold/Cancelled in the earlier years of the current generation of consoles. Hopefully Sony bring the title back to life and we’ll see the Getaway franchise return on the PS4.
Bend Studios are the people behind the Syphon Filter series but as of late they’ve been focusing on different franchises and have been producing on Sony’s portable consoles. They brought Resistance: Retribution to the PSP and more recently Uncharted:Golden Abyss , Fight for Fortune (card game) to the PSVita. Seeing as their more recent titles are portable, I see them continuing on this route and they’re probably making another Uncharted for the PSVita and thus can continue the franchise on the Vita because I feel Naughty Dog have moved on from the Uncharted series. This could make Uncharted fans interested in purchasing the PSVita and bring a larger community to the portable.
Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) are the people behind the Everquest , DC Universe and Planet Side MMO games, Untold legends series, Payday: The Heist, etc. Their most recent release was Planet Side 2 and they currently have Everquest Next under development. They could be bringing a new MMO or the return of the Untold Legends series to the PS4.
These are the Sony internal developers that were in the dark, hopefully I shed some light on them, even if a little flicker.
As you can see, Sony has a lot under their sleeves, from the PS4 UI to Gaikai to some more Vita stuff to more PS4 games. E3 is so close now fellow gamers and all will hopefully be revealed.