2014 is shaping up to be Sony’s biggest year yet but it has a few questions to answer along the way.
We’re just kicking off 2014 and what a year it will be for gaming. No, well 2013 was probably the bigger year. While 2014 looks to have some big waves of its own, the year will likely be one of answering questions and pushing value. At least it should for Sony
The Playstation 4 launched and as you read this is probably well on it’s way to 3 million units with Japan still to launch. Indeed, it was the most successful console launch in history. Especially, when you take into account they did those numbers in only two territories, USA and EU. There’s little doubt PlayStation has a slight lead in the new console battle, but this year will be a test to see if Sony can keep that lead.
PS4 is an incredible machine, when you fire it up for the first time you instantly see how much potential power there is compared to its predecessor. For all the things it has going for it, Sony has two big questions to answer. One, where are the games? Two, how much of an impact can Gaikai have on the PS4?
We know in just three short months we’ll get Infamous: Second Son, which is poised to be the first triple A blockbuster for the system. We’ve seen the trailers, I’ve seen the behind close doors demo; the game will be spectacular. With the impending bundle of game and system, this app could be the needle mover Sony needs. But after that, we only know about Ready at Dawn’s The Order and Naughty Dog is working on a next-gen Uncharted (which probably won’t be out until 2015). Sure there are some great third party games on the way like Watch Dogs, but Sony told everyone that every first party developer was working on a PS4 game. With their extensive library of developers it sounds promising. But we just won’t know till E3 rolls around and they have to put up or shut up.
What we’re sure to see come to the system will be game of the year editions of Bioshock Infinite and The Last of Us. GOTY editions have been a trend the last couple of years and it’s a great opportunity for the studios to make money on the Xbox converts from the 360 era.
Another thing Sony has to give us this year in order for PS4 to avoid a plateau is the features that should be standard with hardware. Sure no one does it anymore, but play CDs. Let me read my portable hard drive through the system. One of the best things about PS3 was not having to watch downloaded shows through my laptop, and last year I took most of my dvd collection and ripped them to use my PS3 as an entertainment machine. We know these things were overlooked to focus on gaming but the time to hand off the hardware to developers is long past.
In addition to this, one thing Sony isn’t pushing is the remote play option. It’s one of the absolute coolest features of the system and helped to give their handheld system, the Vita, the sales push it desperately needed. But Gaikai definitely needs to step in and stabilize the process. People have had mixed experiences with the remote play over the internet when away from home. Some have had a seamless experience while others haven’t been able to get it to work because their internet service won’t support it. If Google is gong to give a us a speedy 4K streaming codec then it shouldn’t take much to improve upon remote play.
Finally, we now know a bit of what feature Sony has been waiting to reveal. The PlayStation now subscription service isn’t the answer to backwards compatibility but it is an great selling point for anyone who missed the PS3 generation of games. We went hands on with it at CES and it’s for real. The interface is set up in a manner that’s easy to navigate, while the cloud processing is ALMOST like playing the game right from the disk.
There’s little doubt PlayStation has a huge 2014 ahead of it that will bring shame to anyone thinking twice about their PS4 purchase last November.
Next week we’ll take a look at what the Xbox One has in store for 2014.