Game Producer Quest, Part 14

Sony finally made their official Playstation 4 reveal yesterday, which means I can stop calling the formerly-rumored-but-now-official console Orbis.  A couple of posts ago, I thought it’d be fun to make some predictions.  Time to see how I fared, which I’m guessing was rather poorly.

I predicted the following incorrectly:

  • That the PS4 would be officially revealed in full at E3 2013.  Obviously, Sony did their reveal this past Wednesday, so zero points for me here.
  • That the PS4 would be released in Fall of 2014.  Wrong again, as it’s releasing  in the Fall of this year.  Zero points scored.   This surprised me a bit, as I look at the Nintendo Wii U availability.  This isn’t like the original Wii, where it was difficult to find one online or in stores for two plus years.  Right now, I can go to Amazon or Gamestop or Best Buy and buy one.  What this says to me is that consumers are not clamoring for a next-generation console.  Given the state of the economy and unemployment rate, it makes perfect sense in my brain.  Sony (and Microsoft by extension, though the latter has revealed nothing official) could push their next-gen console release with likely little to no loss of potential sales, and do a slow build in terms of interest and hype.  To me, that’s the smartest play one could make.  I should mention though that I am unsure of the gaming scene in Japan or the rest of the world compared to North America.  Perhaps in the East, or other parts of the world, the public is clamoring for a new console?  That’s something else to keep in mind.
  • That the PS4 would be fully backwards compatible.  I had to hunt for this one, and finally found some information on Kotaku.  Apparently, the system will not be backwards compatible, but instead be able to play older games by streaming them from the cloud.  There have been zero details given about playing previously owned games.  Again, zero points for me.  Held scoreless by my own stupidity…D’OH!  On a serious note, the cloud streaming of games is both intriguing and scary.  As a business entity, I have very little doubt in my mind that Sony would love for their consumers to re-buy their old games (i.e. buy it twice).  But this type of behavior does very little to build consumer confidence and loyalty in my opinion.  In one of the Kotaku comments, someone posted  his idea of inserting your old game disk (let’s say Uncharted), where it’ll read and verify, then stream from the cloud.  Basically a disk check system.  It’s an interesting proposition if true, but there are other concerns.  Not everyone has lightning fast internet, and we’re talking many-gigabyte-sized games here.  Furthermore, there are such things as monthly data caps, depending on where you live; I personally am lucky to have never experienced such, but there are people that have very little choice but to live with data caps.  Forcing these users to use up precious data on streaming games can be a potentially bad situation for many.  Perhaps the PS4 is partly funded by Comcast?

The pricing of the PS4 wasn’t revealed, so I can’t comment on that particular prediction, yet.  Still I’m 0 for 3 on the Playstation side of things.  I am tempted to add some new predictions and change some of my old ones.  Oh heck, here’s a changed prediction:

  • Microsoft’s new Xbox will be released in the Fall of this year.  I previously said (along with the PS4) it would be released Fall of 2014, but now that Sony announced their intentions, I think Microsoft will follow suit.  I’ll stick with them announcing at E3 though, and give myself a half point if I end up being correct, however unlikely.

I did find it funny that Soy dedicated a press conference to revealing the console, without showing the actual console.  Apparently, the appearance hasn’t even been finalized yet, which I think can be a cause for concern about making their Fall release date.

In the end, until I know more about pricing, I’ll refrain from deciding on whether to be an early adopter or not.  However, even if the price point is super-friendly, and the exclusive launch game line-up looks amazing, I’m inclined to believe that I won’t be an early adopter, simply because my Playstation 3 is still serving me well, and I’m simply not interested in streaming a game like Grand Theft Auto 5 on my currently semi-slow home network when I can pop in a disk into my PS3 or XBox 360.  Unless GTA5 is coming out on PS3 and PS4, in which case…I’d predict it’ll be better on PS3. But I digress, and besides saving money is a smart play for me to make nowadays.