Im sure alot of you know that Sony has a big announcement coming along soon, 22nd of February to be exact. I personally believe they are going to give us some if not all of the important information about the Playstation 4, the conference seems to be pretty high profile so I cant imagine it being for anything else.
Following on from the little information I know about the console here is what I believe the console needs to make a splash next generation.
1. Practical, compact design with traditional Playstation class.
I am mainly mentioning this because I have read in a few places that it will be called the Playstation Orbis, suggesting a spherical design. I really hope Sony isnt stupid enough to make such a big mistake, abandoning practicality for style. Personally I predict a similar design to the PS3 with a flat matted top.
2. A better software experience
One thing Microsoft had over Sony this generation was better software, its really no question that Microsoft has more experience in the field and it showed alot on the xbox. Let me list a couple of problems with the XMB:
- Slow during gameplay because of little memory allocation.
- Bad web browsing experience.
- DLNA/UPnP compatibility issues.
- Lack of wanted features.
These among other issues really stem from Sony’s focus on games over user experience. In saying that the Playstation vita in my opinion provided a much better experience, although still lacking in features. I have high hopes for a better software experience on the Playstation 4 but if the new store is anything to go on I may be disappointed. Here is abit of what I expect/want from software:
- Universal In-game music integration.
- A well designed, easy to use media library and player. (Quriosity integration would be nice)
- Proper party support (lessons learned from xbox)
- A simple, fast, usable in-game menu system for messaging, quitting etc.
- A social network experience to meet, interact, compete with players globally (lessons learned from PS-home)
- A desktop worthy browsing experience.
- A form of app store for indie games and apps.
- Multi-task gaming, similar to vita.
I could go on for ages but I will leave it there, the key point being that Sony needs to learn some lessons this generation. If they mess up the software again I for one may change sides.
3. Backward compatibility (in multiple aspects)
The Playstation 3 originally featured Playstation 2 compatibility but it was dropped later on supposedly to lower the price. I will be very annoyed if the next console doesn’t at least feature Playstation 3 backward compatibility, but I would personally see them benefiting from Playstation 2 backward compatibility aswell. The current generation of consoles has lasted very long and we have all invested alot of money in games, peripherals, controllers, psn titles etc. Sony is going to piss alot of people off if they choose to make us do it all again, yet another thing that may push me towards Microsoft (because unfortunately I see it happening).
4. A realistic price point
The Playstation 3 price point was outright ridiculous, they need to learn lessons from Nintendo here and release at a reasonable price point. Even if that comes at the expense of hardware they need to do it to have any chance at competing in sales. As a student I wouldnt be willing to pay above 300 quid for this, even at that price point I would probably bide my time and wait for a price drop. 300-250 pounds max, 200-150 pounds I would be very tempted, 100 pounds is a guaranteed day 1 purchase.
5. Hardware superiority
This is what you are known for, superior hardware with breathtaking exclusives. There was alot of naysayers claiming the Playstation 3’s superior power to be pointless because of its more complicated architecture, all of those people have been proved wrong to quite a large extent. This isnt the days where a console released every few months with slightly more RAM, we want to be amazed by the increase to the quality of gaming pushed primarily by the Playstation 4.
For now this is where Im leaving this post, I will most likely add more to it later. Hopefully my faith in Sony will pay off (for once), I really want this next generation to push the bounds of gaming as not only a entertainment platform but also an art-form.