The PlayStation 4, huh? Seems to be the latest Internet craze. Well, I guess that has something to do with the little reveal tease that Sony launched on YouTube two weeks ago. At first, all we could do is speculate about the tease, but within a short while it became evident that it was, in fact, about the unveiling of the PlayStation 4; how do we know? Not long after the YouTube video went live Twitter was going off the wall with quite notable industry professionals indirectly confirming that the event will be a PlayStation 4 reveal.
Now that the word is out, it is not too soon to discuss the PlayStation 4, we can speculate all we want and it wont be considered unusual. We all know the rough road the PlayStation 3 had to travel to become as successful as it is today. It didn't have to be as rough as it was, and Sony could certainly have done a few things differently to ensure that the PlayStation 3 would have been a bigger hit than it was--but launching prematurely with an operating system that was under developed was not in the best interest for Sony or the PlayStation 3. So, naturally, what can Sony do to prevent the PlayStation 4 for suffering from the same disastrous launch and become, what could quite possibly be, the best gaming console of the next generation?
5. Launch Titles
The PlayStation 3 launched with a rather disappointing line-up. Resistance: Fall of Man, and Motorstorm, though good games, weren't anything special—definitely not ground breaking games that we expected to usher in the new generation of console gaming. The PlayStation 4 needs to launch with top tier games that truly showcase the capabilities of the console. A few games come to mind, and even they brand the “four” which would couple brilliantly with the release, Uncharted 4, Killzone 4, and God of War 4.
4. The Price
I think we all agree that the PlayStation 3 was a tad bit pricey when launched back in 2006/2007 (depending on where you're from). It certainly had some, if not a great, effect on sales. However, the hefty price tag was, I guess you can say, justified by the hardware contained within the PlayStation 3. Even though the PlayStation 3 was so expensive Sony were still selling at a loss. Over the last six years the PlayStation 3 has come a long way and today is very affordable. I do believe Sony have learned from their mistakes and the PlayStation 4 will launch at a more affordable price. Heck, analysts in Japan have already speculated that PlayStation 4 will launch at at 40, 000 yen, which is about 320 euros.
3. Backwards Compatibility
Backwards compatibility is a must. I know that I am certainly not ready to abandon my PlayStation 3 games when the new console comes out, and I am definitely not ready to fork out extra cash for a new PlayStation 3 when “Old Yeller” finally, and inevitability, bites the dust. Oh, and Sony better not do that faux-compatibility crap they are currently doing to the newer PlayStation 3 models; backwards compatible if you pay for, and download, the game from the PlayStation Network, again. Cut the crap and give us real backwards compatibility—it will help guarantee great success for the console, also ease the merge over to the next generation.
2. Core Fans
Sony kept it real when they launched the Move. They didn't force their new peripheral on their consumers, it is completely optional (that is, to say, if you don't buy games that are exclusively developed for Move). Another important thing that will surely appease the core fans is to make sure that they do not abandon hard, physical, copies of video-games. There has been speculation on the topic, but I honestly doubt that Sony are dumb enough to make the console online-only; Sony are key investors in the Blu-Ray Group, also, if they abolished hard copies entirely they'd piss of all major game retailers—in other words, they'd have a war on their hands.
1. Operating System
A good operating system is paramount to the console's success, and, quite frankly, the XMB is a train wreck. Honestly, I would love my PlayStation 3 a whole lot more if it wasn't for that dreadful operating system. Sony really need to get it right this time, and, from what I've heard, they just might. A fully integrated, streamlined, social networking feature? Sounds sweet. Hopefully it wont detract from the hardcore game elements.
If Sony make sure that none of the things I have listed above are overlooked, we can be fairly confident that the PlayStation 4 will have a successful launch. If the last 5 years are anything to go by, we, the gamers, have nothing to worry about; Sony managed to turn a failure into a pretty impressive success. I have faith that the PlayStation 4 will blow us all away.