2013 is looking to be a significant year for console maker Sony and indeed videogames in general. With rumors of new hardware doing the rounds, not to mention a boatload of triple-A software on the horizon, the industry is gearing up for what looks like one of the best 12 months of recent memory. Of course, a lot of that is down to the fact many of 2012’s heavy hitters were pushed into the New Year, and while we complained at the time, we’re certainly glad this was the case. BioShock: Infinite and Tomb Raider in the same month? Yes please.
Still, here at PSU.com we’re more concerned with what Sony has up its sleeves. With that in mind, we’ve cobbled together five things that we think the hardware giant must do to ensure 2013 keeps gamers’ eyes firmly locked on all things PlayStation.
- - - - - -
Fix PlayStation Vita
In the eloquent words of EastEnders' Mitchell Brothers, PlayStation Vita frankly needs to be “sorted ahht.” As powerful as the machine is, and despite the fact it oozes potential, it hasn’t got off to a great start at all. Sales are underwhelming and even some of the biggest games of last year – notably Call of Duty Black Ops: Declassified and Resistance: Burning Skies – failed to live up to their console counterparts. Price is the biggest Elephant in the Room however, and this is an area that Sony is poised to address this year. The company itself said that it wouldn’t be applying any cuts to the Vita’s RRP in 2012, but we can surely expect something this year. More than anything, software is key; Sony’s first-party devs had better be chiseling away on some major games if PS Vita is to receive the shot in the arm it needs. We’re talking Killzone, God of War, Gran Turismo and maybe even a new Uncharted.
Re-reveal The Last Guardian
Beaten only by Final Fantasy Versus XIII as the quintessential example of vapourware, The Last Guardian is in dire need of a re-reveal. Originally shown at Sony’s E3 presser in 2009, the game has made sporadic trade show appearances since that date, only to quietly slip under the radar amidst a series of development hiccups. For one, creator Fumito Ueda jumped ship and is now working on a freelancer basis, and Sony Worldwide Studios boss Shuhei Yoshida has indicated that things aren’t going quite as smoothly as they had hoped – so much so that he had to re-confirm the game as a PS3 release. Now that we’re approaching the end of the PS3’s lifecycle (or as far as major, first-party exclusives go; third-party ports are bound to continue for a couple more years), Sony really needs to address the game head-on. In all honesty, we wouldn’t be surprised if the game has been moved over to PS4, and as such, it would make for a perfect complement to Sony’s next-gen chatter at E3 or TGS later this year.
Show us PS4/Orbis
An obvious choice, but a crucial one nonetheless, as Sony surely doesn’t want Microsoft to get its foot on the proverbial next-gen ladder before its own plans are unveiled. With Xbox 360 exclusives drying up – you only have to look at the amount of exclusives titles for 360 compared to PS3 this year – the Big M is sure to want to trumpet its next-generation platform as soon as possible. This means attracting publishers and developers, generating hype and slowly embedding the idea of a new console on the consciousness of consumers. Sony, therefore, wants to drum up as much attention to its next-gen plans as possible; the 360's 12-month head start on PS3 doesn’t want to be repeated a second time for sure. However, the most important point is that the market for forking out for consoles is inexorably going the way of the Dodo. Punters need to know why they’ll want to invest in PS4 (or whatever it’s called), so Sony must play some significant cards if they are going to get people to care. Gone are the days when they can show off a duck floating about in water, pull some arbitrary specs out of its arse and expect people to start raiding their piggy banks. Go wild, Sony.
Evolve PS Move
PlayStation Move hasn’t exactly been the runaway success that the Wii proved, and there has been little to differentiate it from Nintendo’s white box of tricks. Sure, there’s been a couple of games that make good use, but they are still pretty perfunctory in their application (just look at Resident Evil Chronicles HD Collection, Killzone 3, Resistance 3 etc). However, its poster boy title, Sorcery, flopped spectacularly, and even Wonderbook failed to set the charts alight. Move needs a firm kick up the arse, or we may as well write it off as another fad like 3D – another concept that Sony embraced, championed and dropped like a lead balloon. Augmented reality has some great potential (Wonderbook gave us hope), so how about branching out further into this territory? Secure exclusive content that only Sony devs can conjure up, get behind it with some massive marketing, and really push the Move concept.
Revive some classic IP
PlayStation is over 15 years old now, and in that time we’ve seen a fair number of classic franchises gathering dust on the shelves, so to speak. 2013 would be a great year to finally lift the lid on some in-development projects based on long-forgotten IP, and we’ve got a few in mind. Crash Bandicoot is in dire need of a reboot, Parappa the Rappa hasn’t been seen in years and we’d love to see WipEout make a return somehow following the closure of SCE Liverpool Studio. Come on Sony, throw us a bone.
What do you think Sony needs to do this year? Let us know in the comments section below.