A new year brings with it the promise of a fresh start, the chance to redo things one might have done wrong, the opportunity to learn from mistakes and to not repeat them again. As the gaming industry, too, moves into a brand new year, it must ensure that it seizes this opportunity, and that it learns from its mistakes. Because Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo are all three perched upon a precipice as they enter what promises to be the most important year they have had in a very long time. If we want them to do well – and we need them all to do well for the health of the industry – then they have to ensure they don’t fall into the same traps that have almost done them in and spelled disaster for them in the past.
Going into 2017, then, right in the wake of the launch of a new console, a potentially paradigm shifting new piece of hardware, and the impending launches of several major games? It is imperative that Sony not make these mistakes in this coming year.
"Everything, from Bloodborne, Uncharted, Ratchet and Clank, DriveClub, The Order, inFamous, Horizon, The Last Guardian, and Gran Turismo Sport, has been delayed at least once."
Let’s get started with the elephant in the room. There has so far not been a single major PS4 first party release that didn’t get delayed. Everything, from Bloodborne, Uncharted, Ratchet and Clank, DriveClub, The Order, inFamous, Horizon, The Last Guardian, and Gran Turismo Sport, has been delayed at least once. Going into 2017, Sony need to ensure that they remedy this- especially since every year for the last three years, they have failed to have any major exclusive in the all important Holiday season. Although these delays don’t delay matter in the longer run (given Sony’s high quality line up of exclusives), but Sony could do more work in getting their release schedule on track.
ANNOUNCING GAMES WAY TOO EARLY
For the last few years, Sony have been announcing games way out in advance, leaving gamers to salivate over them, while they spend months and years trying to get them right. Sony taking their time with their games isn’t a problem- in fact, they should do that. But just… make sure they aren’t announced so early, so there are less delays? May be they need to limit this practice in 2017 unless they clear their back log.
"Sony are on top right now because they pitched themselves as the pro gamer alternative, someone with a gamer’s interests in mind. Sony’s actions on some matters over the last year have indicated anything but."
Be For The Players
Making gamers pay again for their PS2 Classics purchases. Disallowing mods. Raising the price of PS Plus without any reason or explanation. Blocking cross platform play. These are just among the very many annoying policies that Sony have been pushing over the last year or so- it’s honestly getting a bit irritating. Sony are on top right now because they pitched themselves as the pro gamer alternative, someone with a gamer’s interests in mind. Sony’s actions on the above matters over the last year have indicated anything but. Going into 2017, Sony needs to ensure that it doesn’t keep going down this path- or it could end up losing all of the goodwill that it amassed.
NOT SUPPORTING PSVR
"Sony have a bad tendency to release brand new hardware and peripherals, and then let them die a slow, painful death by the wayside."
Sony have a bad tendency to release brand new hardware and peripherals, and then let them die a slow, painful death by the wayside. Usually they do this right after hyping these peripherals and systems up as ‘the next major PlayStation launch.’ But then, they refuse to support them with their flagship games and primary first party studios, and then watch in bewilderment and confusion as sales dry. This was the case for the PS Move, the PS Vita, and to a lesser extent, the PSP- and this is a fate that could very well await the PSVR. The early warning signs are all there- not much notable support from Sony, not a whole lot of marketing, and no follow up on the product after it launched. In 2017, Sony needs to stop doing this- primarily with the PSVR. The PSVR is a major new product that could create an all new market and paradigm, and it is also a product that asked customers to spend at least $400 on it upfront. Sony failing to support this product would lead to long term ripples, not only for the faith their customers put in them, but also for the burgeoning VR industry.
PS4 PRO CONFUSION
The PS4 Pro is the most powerful console in the world, but Sony has done a confusing job of explaining that. From trying to push it as a 4K machine (when it can’t play most games in native 4K, and lacks a 4K Blu Ray drive to play 4K media), to pushing its HDR capabilities (which are available on all PS4 systems), Sony should work on its messaging for the Pro. If Sony wants its iterative console model to succeed, it needs to do better with differentiating the PS4 Pro, and explaining its benefits to the average customer, in 2017.
Note: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, GamingBolt as an organization.