PS4: Why Sony is Making a Big Mistake With Holiday 2013 Release

And that one big mistake is composed of lots of tiny little mistakes.

Posted By | On 26th, Feb. 2013 Under Article, Editorials

If you didn’t know already, Sony has announced the PlayStation 4. And if you weren’t aware, as usual, they managed to foul it up. This wasn’t an explicit fouling up, mind you, but the entire presentation felt like an Apple conference without even a modicum of the success that Apple has been seeing. But that’s a completely different story.

The real story is Sony announced the PS4 for a Holiday 2013 release. In theory, this sounds like a cool way to get your competition off guard. It also gives the impression that Sony is already well beyond ready to make the move into the next generation – even though SCEA CEO and President Jack Tretton admits that the PS3 will still be important for the next few years, just like the PS2 was to the PS3.

It’s this kind of thinking that has one concerned about the future of the PS4, and that it doesn’t turn out to be a repeat of some – if not all – of the PS3’s misgivings. Why did people still support their PlayStation 2 consoles?

genji days of the blade GEC
Because there was nothing truly worthwhile to play on the PS3 at launch (certainly nothing on the scale of Halo or Gears), many of the multiplatform titles didn’t look very “next gen” and didn’t facilitate the need to buy a new console for the sake of minor changes and additions, first party titles were incredibly weak and the price scared everyone away. Features like the absence of cross game chat, the horrible SixAxis, Sony’s battle with rumble technology, etc. only soured the deal further for some gamers.

More than 6 years later, what do we have? First, the good: Sony has done a good job of listening to consumers and trying to fix what was wrong with the previous generation’s console. The DualShock 4 has been revamped – not without its own new set of issues, but we’ll get to that; online services are heavily being talked about from launch itself, the prime important one being Cloud Gaming via Gaikai; cross game chat has been confirmed. Good times all around.

However, a bunch of tech demos at this stage prove nothing – if we’re going purely by the number of confirmed launch titles, then by that margin, Killzone: Shadow Fall, DriveClub and Watch Dogs are what will sell people on the PlayStation 4.

Shadow Fall, which features a mix of conflicting visual models and colour palettes and plays like every single first person, set piece heavy shooter we’ve been seeing in the past few years. DriveClub, which looks to merge social gaming with racing – the first aspect which Sony has and always will be terrible at. Watch Dogs looks and plays great, but it’s multiplatform. You cannot possibly assume that anyone will pick up a new console just to play Watch Dogs.

“But wait,” you no doubt must have shouted by now, “There’s still E3 and several months ahead. Surely games will be announced in that time to drive interest towards the PS4?”

And you’d be right, but let’s look at what’s to be expected: Capcom’s Deep Down, which could be the next Dragon’s Dogma; a puppet show from Media Molecule; Jonathan Blow’s timed exclusive indie title The Witness; a new Final Fantasy game which we know nothing about – and let’s be honest, the brand doesn’t exactly set the world on fire anymore; inFamous: Second Son, which is not confirmed as of yet as a launch title (and by the looks of it, is still a ways off from release); Diablo 3, which is easily the biggest WTF release for the PS4 and PS3 because truly no one cares about Diablo for consoles; and Destiny, releasing next year, away from the PS4’s launch so forget about it affecting the console’s fortunes in any major way. Did we mention that it’s also multiplatform?

Quantic Dream_New engine
Also, David Cage will not influence the PS4’s launch if we go by what he’s shown recently – which is the floating head of an old man. Moving on.

Barring The Witness and Destiny, none of these titles are truly ready to go. There’s no indication that they could be launch titles for the PS4. And even if they were ready, how far will they be able to influence the console’s fortunes? Did PS Move encourage you to pick up a PS3? Have you always wanted to reply Diablo 3 on a next gen – or current gen – console because, well, YOLO?

Has the under-rated, under-appreciated but still under-performing inFamous series really had a shot? Dragon’s Dogma 2? The only title that could see legitimate fortune is The Witness, if it arrives at launch. And even then, it’s not necessarily going to be moving consoles.

If Sony hadn’t set a Holiday 2013 release, if it had given itself more time to demo its games to the public, maybe promote them and their services for longer, then the console could have a better chance. Heck, it still beats the PS3’s starting line-up of titles.

So why is Sony shooting itself in the foot and rushing ahead when it should be building a stable base and convincing people to buy their product for the games and services, rather than for the fact that graphics are prettier and people love prettier things? Friggin’ Final Fantasy could be allowed a chance to shine. The Last Guardian would have the time to make the transition to the next generation. SCE Santa Monica could get in on the act.
the last of us 1
There are a million possibilities for what games Sony could use to help its console succeed, but even if they were announced now, just how much impact will they have if they aren’t showcased or marketed for a long enough period of time to convince people to buy the console for them? It doesn’t help that the PS3 still has plenty of life left with The Last of Us, God of War: Ascension, Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix and Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen (among exclusives).

Sony wants you to believe that the PlayStation 4 represents the next generation of gaming. Right now though, it represents the company’s previous lack of understanding that threw it into last place against the Xbox 360 and Wii, only arriving at a far brisker pace.

“It’s still too early to say” in this case would be better suited for a scenario where your console is still a year or 18 months off from release rather than 10 months.

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  • saintfighteraqua

    We don’t know that for sure, they could have all kinds of surprises they are saving for E3.
    Why on Earth would they reveal everything at the console’s announcement?

  • Kaika

    You have a few typos and also…please don’t use YOLO…it’s not necessary to use it in a review.

  • Helixmuse

    This article is a joke.

    This conference was an unveiling. It was them showing us that something exists. People predicted a 30 minute show, a box on a spinning platform and a few pieces of vague information about specifications.

    Instead, we got full detailed specs, a treasure trove of information regarding social services and online improvements, loads of information on games and developers, and a conference that lasted up to 2 hours. For an unveiling, that’s damn impressive.

    You are being so cynical. That “floating head” is revolutionary if that is what we can do in real time. Stop being such a pessimist.

    So yes, we don’t have the standout title yet. And yes, I’m shouting that we have nine months before this console hits. Nine months to build upon the most impressive foundation a console announcement has arguably ever made. Nine months to show us more. Nine months to add on what was announced in just two hours, that before would have taken the entire nine months to do in previous years.

    You are simply wrong. PS4, at this point anyway, is the most promising console in ages. If they sit on it and do nothing with the information they provided, then I’m inclined to agree with you. But this was far too pre-emptive.

    What a terrible article.

  • Concerned reader

    So, the author is either a PC game, Xbox fan-boy or just not a gamer at all, at any rate the article is utter rubbish and the author doesn’t have a clue about what he’s talking about and is just forcing his opinion on his readers.

    Sony have already announced that there is much more to come in the coming months and in my opinion they have also confirmed that they have learned from their mistakes with the PS3 and that’d only going on what we know so far.

    Ravi (author), objective writing doesn’t appear to be your strong point, have you thought about politics?

  • That_Guy

    PS3 launched with Resistance Fall of Man which was a pretty damn awesome game. You should make a note to yourself before making an article do some damn research it’s clear you don’t know what you’re talking about. “A floating head” cuz clearly Quantic Dream has not already proven they are the top in the business when it comes to facial animations and character animations.

  • Vileself

    This article is a complete joke. Everything in there is subjective opinion. I got a PS3 at launch and I was happy with all of the games I had to play. Some were exclusives and some weren’t but they were still fun and made the console worth the purchase. At least it worked unlike all the 360’s that were getting RROD.

    The PS3 did not finish last in this generation of console wars, in fact it is fixing to finish in first place when everything is said and done. There are 2 reasons why the 360 has sold more than the PS3. Reason 1 is that it was released a year earlier and by jumping the gun on the next gen console war they stole a large percentage of the consumers. Reason 2 is that it was selling for nearly half the price of the PS3 which was expensive due to the inclusion of a blu-ray player which was brand new technology when the PS3 was released. There are 2 reasons why the Wii sold better than the PS3. The first reason is similar to one of the 360 reasons and that is price. Generally people will gravitate towards products that cost less money. The 2nd reason is that the Wii appealed to a wider range of audience and not just core gamers.

    Statistically the PS3 is on route to outsell the Xbox360 overall despite being released a year later at nearly double the cost. When it comes to worldwide sales the PS3 is winning by a large margin yet the 360 has the majority of the North American market.

    When it comes to the PS4 it is technically and financially superior to the XboxOne. They both have their share of launch titles and cool features. Sony however didn’t have to reverse all of their policies in order to compete with the competition.

    My PS3 sure does have lots of life left in it and I will continue to play it, but after 7 years of enjoying it I’m definitely ready for the next generation of console gaming. The PS4 being released later this year is perfect in my opinion.


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