Sony has been making quite a splash in the games industry since it’s first foray into the market. After the hit that was Playstation 1, the Playstation 2 came out and became an instant hit. Fast forward to the PS3 era, and we saw a gaming behemoth get taken down a peg, and brought back to reality.
“…for consumers to think to themselves ‘I will work more hours to buy one’. We want people to feel that they want it, irrespective of anything else.” -Ken Kutaragi.
Sony became very complacent with the idea of being the go-to for gaming, and ended up getting sidelined by the wildly popular Xbox 360. Only in the later years did Sony’s Playstation 3 finally outsell the Xbox 360. Gamers spoke up, and as a result of our voices, and fierce competition from Microsoft, we were graced with the Playstation 4.
Sony has already enjoyed monumental success with it’s Playstation 4, despite the (arguably) better AAA games selection on the Xbox One for the first 6 months. While many criticize Sony for becoming an Indie Game Box, others look at that as an opportunity to further diversify Playstation’s gaming portfolio. Sony doesn’t have the luxury of being complacent in this day in age, especially considering how horrible Sony as a whole is doing financially. So here are the top 5 ways in which Sony can knock our socks off and get people excited about the future of Playstation.
5. Stay competitive by adding bonus incentives for purchasing a PS4.
Microsoft recently announced a Kinect-less Xbox One bundle for the very alluring price of $399. Many gamers realize that even then, the PS4 is still a more powerful machine, and games rarely look as good, or run as well on the Xbox One as they do on the PS4. But some gamers simply have a preference or allegience to Microsoft’s products and games, so choosing the X1 over the PS4 is an easy decision for them. Stay competitive by throwing in a no-brainer incentive.
To help Playstation become even more of a “no-brainer” offer a deep discount for those gamers who bought Last Gen versions of games that are now getting re-releases on next-gen systems. Many gamers are justifiably angry at the news that Metro Last Light, Grand Theft Auto 5, The Last of Us, Tomb Raider, and I imagine several other titles, are getting Next Gen treatments. They just spent $60 for a version of the game that won’t be able to take advantage of the amazing user interface, graphical fidelity, buttery smooth frame rate, integrated network features, and new DS4 controller, all because team members continuously denied that there would ever be next-gen versions, knowing that there would be (Looking at you Naughty Dog!) Want to show those gaming faithfuls that you value their contribution towards Sony’s success? Offer a $10-15 upgrade fee for the digital version if you can prove you bought the game, just like you did with Battlefield and Call of Duty, even if just for a limited time.
4. Further enhance the overall interactivity with the UI and camera features.
Playstation 4’s user interface is a thing of beauty, and works extremely well. There are always ways you can improve this; making icons appear faster, friends lists defaulting to online friends when you go to invite people or look at your list, organizational tools for friends lists and favorite games, theme and color customization, complete voice navigation for all games, settings, and applications. Sony could essentially turn the PS4 into the ultimate streamlined gaming and entertainment experience.
Speaking of that voice navigation, let’s take a second to talk about the camera. Did you know, that as of writing this article, the PS4 has sold approximately 900,000 cameras? Sony needs to give people a reason for investing in this camera, and they can do that by making it simply work better. It has the ability to detect faces, and log you in without ever touching a button, but instead of having people hold their controller up, have them simply say “Log In”, to do so. And while we’re live streaming, for the love of all things logical, have the damned camera actually focus on me, and not my infinitely-less-interesting doorway. K, thanks!
3. Demonstrate how you’re further improving network and cloud features and services.
Sony has been doing a wonderful job at keeping their online network operational and smooth. There have been instances where playing certain games could yield unreliable internet connectivity, like while playing the Blacklight Retributon beta, but overall it has been a great experience. Since we’re now paying for playing most games online, we would love to know how our hard earned money is being used to further enhance our online experiences. Give us tangible information as to how the network has been boosted, and how automatic error reporting has been helping developers identify issues with their software and quickly fix it. Sony should show us how they plan to actually use cloud computing not just for game streaming, but for AI processing, progressive gameplay changes, and environmental changes (just like with what Xbox claims to be able to do). Sony should show us how Playstation Now works, when the server isn’t literally steps away from them. And please promise to stop scheduling maintenance during your peak days and hours of the week. Who on your team thought it would be deal to run maintenance on Saturday at 10:00 pm? Please fire them.
2. Keep delivering exclusive content for Playstation platforms.
When Sony announced last year that they would be partnering with several studios to offer Playstation exclusive content for multi-platform games, instead of securing exclusive rights to those games, many gamers thought of that as a sign of Sony giving up on exclusivity. But this new approach is beneficial to everyone, because although I have always advocated for Sony’s 1st party and 3rd party exclusives as a huge reason to invest in Playstation, I also realize that many gamers didn’t get to enjoy and openly discuss certain games because they were only available on 1 console. This is why Sony’s approach to securing console centric incentives for multi-platform games is a better deal for consumers and developers, and can work in Sony’s favor if they play their cards right. If Sony continues to secure Playstation specific content on these multi-platform releases, everyone wins (but don’t forget to flaunt your 1st party and exclusive games too!)
1. Bring us remakes and sequels of franchises you just left for dead.
This really seems like the most logical next step for a company who has a legacy as deep as Sony’s. Although Nintendo relies a little too much on these laurels, they’ve been excellent at catering to our nostalgia and franchises we’ve grown up on. Sony, just doesn’t do this enough. Sony has spectacular and unique gaming franchises that they really haven’t been capitalizing on; Medievil, Syphon Filter, Jet Moto, Blasto, Gex, IQ (intelligent cube), Dark Cloud, Parrapa the Rapper, Heavenly Sword, Crash Bandicoot, Legend of Dragoon, Onimusha. I could literally go on; but do you see the problem? There hasn’t been a peep about any of these games, and it has gotten to the point where there may be some of you reading this article who has never even heard of these games. It has been far too long, and letting these IP’s decay is a huge missed opportunity. I understand not wanting to dilute a series, especially when it comes to people being fatigued with sequels, but these games have gone into hiding for over 7 years. Sony- It’s time to show us why you were the kings of gaming, and that you care about carrying on a monumental legacy of unique and quality titles.
Anyway, there are the top 5 ways in which I believe Sony can really blow us away this year. What are your thoughts? What did I miss? What are you hoping to see? Leave a comment either here, or on the youtube video so we can all keep the discussion going! Game on, Jae Blaze out!
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