1. Announce that games will function as they have, I.E. no DRM
Microsoft has chosen the unpopular route of ensuring games are merely privileged licenses as opposed to owned property. I think I speak for everyone interested in console gaming when I say this is of utmost importance and a major differentiating point for Sony. Please Sony, let us own our games, let us rent our games, let us share our games. I think many people will declare Sony the winner of E3 on this basis alone. Stop and think about that for a moment, we have come to a point where an announcement in no way related to games is the most anticipated news we could hope to hear. In years past we sat in front of live feeds hoping to see announcements for sequels or new IP to blow our collective minds.
2. Announce an affordable PlayStation 4 price point with a single 1TB SKU
What’s the magic number? If you launch too low you run the risk of damaging consumer perception, that the PS4 might be an inferior product because it is too cheap. Personally I think $399 is the perfect price, at that price the PS4 preorders will soar. No matter what price Microsoft launches at, $399 will be a competitive price point. Microsoft have already announced they will be launching with a non-expandable 500GB hard drive (although you can use USB mass storage devices). In the digital era I like to think that isn’t enough, 1TB would certainly be a very welcome forward-thinking surprise.
3. Developers, developers, developers
Sony has already stated how easy they are trying to make it for indie’s to get their games on the PS4, going as far as allowing self-publishing. They’ve announced several partnerships with developers to secure exclusive console games such as the PC free to play game Warframe. If Sony showcases developers and announce even more partnerships that benefit the end user that will surely be a strong bullet point for their cause. Many people are reluctant to adopt early because they are uncertain if there will be a large catalog of games available in a short span. This is the easiest way to remedy that fear.
4. New IP and sequels
Everyone expects new IP’s at or near launch from every video game publisher, it’s part of the reason console launches are so exciting. Sony have already announced new IP Knack and sequels to Killzone and Infamous. What about fan favorite God of War running on next gen hardware? Because games are a subjective form of entertainment whatever new game announcements they have will have to appeal to a very wide fan base so whatever game announcements they have need to excite the largest audience possible.
5. Detail OS features
There’s no doubt the PlayStation 4’s OS features are going to be a game changer, the share and live stream functionality alone will be very useful for the many ‘let’s play’ streamers on twitch.tv and uStream. In addition to that, it’s become clear in the last decade that we love social networking, and with a share button included on the controller it seems Sony knows that. Taking clan and friend list integration to another level will be a killer feature. Allowing us to post scores to walls or feeds for friends to beat. Sony has also announced Android and iOS devices will be seeing PSN apps that integrate with the network social features, for many this is an exciting development if executed properly.
6. Announce free online and detail next generation PlayStation Plus
Pay to play online has been the single most differentiating feature for the PS3 this generation. It’s something people praise the PSN for and a good reason to pick up a PS3 over a 360 if you can’t have both. PlayStation Plus is a subscription service done right, a supplemental subscription with actual benefits. Many wonder how PS+ will function on the PS4 due to the lack of backward compatibility. Surely Sony will not give away a brand new next gen game for free. I expect generous discounts on digital software until the PS4 has built up a library. Another option would be free credits for some of the many free to play titles coming to the PS4.
Readers, what do you think? Would these announcements do it for you, leading you to feverishly refresh Amazon to pre-order the instant they go up? Or is there something else that you are hoping for? Let us know in the comments and keep an eye on Vyralize this Monday, June 10th for updates.