While many clamored for tonight’s unveiling of the PlayStation 4 console and seeing what the future of gaming would bring, some will be left a bit confused about the conference held by Sony tonight in NYC. Sony didn’t decide to show off the PlayStation 4 as a console itself, instead they decided to talk about the future of the gaming market and what the console could do. It seems as though that most of the information that went into tonight’s live event may have already been leaked in some capacity or another, Sony confirmed the news that was known across the web but kept a few curveballs up their sleeve. See the issue with an event such as this, to unveil your newest console, is that you are ultimately the first to strike, and sometimes that can involve a major swing a miss. There are pro’s and con’s, as I said in another article, about going first with what is to come next because you never know what the other team has in store and how it compares to you. You may have the superior platform, but if you show your cards to quick your left with feverous regrets until you know what the other has in store.
Sony didn’t play all of its cards tonight, in fact, they only played what they had to in order to keep momentum on the road to E3. The only thing as far as hardware goes that we saw tonight that we hadn’t seen in some capacity before was the PlayStation Eye 2.0 that will interact with the controller. We didn’t even get to see what the final build of the PlayStation 4 would look like. Instead, the majority of the first half was taken up by talking about what the system was capable of, with things such as cloud gaming and the sharing of content, to the interaction of players via the online infrastructure. While some new features where displayed like being able to take over someone else’s game that is struggling via the internet, and what a friends profile would look like on the PS4, nothing earth shattering was shown when it came to the system itself.
On the other hand, much like a game of Poker, knowing when you have shown just enough to bait the other player into your trap is a tedious game of cat and mouse. For Sony, they did just enough tonight to show why they are holding one of the strongest hands in the game. Sony took what was know and gave the crowd and gamers what they wanted, sprinkled with a little sugar on top, but they also flopped a few bombs down and showed gamers what they really want; the games that will drive the system. Instead of just showing us what we knew would hit the market eventually, even though that happened too, Sony pitched its newest platform as being created by the developers for what they wanted, and needed, to be able to take gaming to the next level. This is the platform for gamers as Sony put it, and they want you to be able to experience gaming wherever you go with more from the Vita and PlayStation Mobile. They showed some interactions, but this was about celebrating how Sony has always pushed the envelope and why this system will be no different.
We saw some of the “we figured we see this game” games, like Killzone Shadow Fall, but then we saw things such as Infamous Second Son, Drive Club, and Knack that no one had even heard of. While Sony focused its sites on showing some first party content and getting people amped with Killzone and Infamous, their bigger pat on the back should come more from the number of other developers that were on hand to show off some of their games too. The sheer number of developers at the conference tonight was impressive, and looked more like an E3 showing than a First-Party event. Activision, Square Enix, Bungie, and Blizzard were just some of the developers on hand to lend creditability to what Sony was attempting to build with their next console. Games like Diablo III being announced for the PS3 and PS4 were simply epic, due to the fact that Blizzard has never set foot on a stage for anything other than PC gaming. For Sony and the PlayStation brand to get the first announcement during a private event such as this, was genius.
The games drove the conference and that is what every gamer is looking for, what can your newest system give me that the others can’t? If Sony would have shown us the next system tonight and shown us everything in house they were doing, it still would have made for a great night, but saving back the majority of what’s in store and being able to have third-party support such as this was the buzzer beater. We know that there will be more to come in the months even leading up to E3, with more games that we know are inevitable, and others that hit us like Watch Dogs (which was shown tonight for the PS4) did last year at E3; having companies like Capcom and the ever-so impressive Quantic Dream on stage and showing what they are working on, most in real time, is what should truly be admired.
Some will say that the night was a miss for consumers overall because of the rumors abroad that were brought forth in the previous weeks, and that the games while impressive, weren’t what they wanted. Instead, it should be viewed as a teaser trailer is for a movie, a grazing of the surface of what will ultimately be brought forth. The PlayStation 4 had eleven confirmed titles shown off either during or talked about with outlets tonight, more than most show during their biggest and best conferences throughout the year. We got every detail confirmed about the way the system operates and the internal working and what makes the system tick; we just didn’t see the casing. We saw the controller that we knew was comings and how it interacted with the system, and we saw how the system interacts with you in every facet of your entertainment needs.
E3 is still prevalent and the optimum place to show off what your system looks like and the biggest blockbusters that you hold in your hand. It is the best place to show off your hidden gems and what secrets you’ve been hiding over the last year, but there is only so much time. Sony got the important stuff out of the way tonight with a little pizazz and flavor for consumers with showing off some games and fortifying that this Holiday will indeed be the time frame of it’s launch. They played it safe tonight and only showed what they needed to in order to entice everyone and keep them salivating until June. Sony proved that the PlayStation branding will be just fine going forward, and that the future truly started today; even if it was only a glimpse of what’s to come. So far, Sony has lined up the pitch and knocked it out of the park.