“See the future.”
With those three innocuous little words and an enigmatic trailer (above), Sony has set the stage for a potentially momentous announcement, which it promises to deliver at 6:00 PM EST on Wednesday, February 20th, 2013. There is no way to know for sure exactly what Sony has planned, but at this early stage, one point seems exceedingly clear: after this tease, if the 20th rolls around and Sony reveals anything other than the PlayStation 4, gamers are apt to be furious.
By all appearances, this is it. The countdown has started. Twenty days from today, Sony apparently intends to publicly unveil the PlayStation 4 (or Orbis, or Omni, or whatever it’s actually called) for the very first time. Curiously, this will happen not at an industry trade show (the D.I.C.E. Summit ends on February 8th, Destination PlayStation starts on February 25th, and GDC 2013, at which Valve is expected to debut Steam Box, doesn’t kick off until May 25th) and not at a press conference in a cavernous sporting arena, but online, direct to a legion of PlayStation fans who, if Sony has its way, should be whipped up into a frothing state of frenzied anticipation by the time that (potentially) fateful Wednesday finally arrives.
In the interest of fairness, it has to be pointed out that revelations other than the PlayStation 4 remain a faint possibility, though given the instant enthusiasm for a February PS4 unveiling (check out the Sony-suggested “#PlayStation2013″ hashtag on Twitter), they would likely prove to be an absolute PR disaster for Sony.
In any case, Sony recently filed for a trademark on a service named “BigFest,” which is rumored to be an evolution of/replacement for the company’s PlayStation Home initiative. Could “BigFest” be worth making this much fuss over? It’s hard to imagine, but then again, without knowing anything concrete about it, how can we say?
At the same time, the aesthetics on display in the “See the future” trailer match up nicely with the current design of the Gaikai website (which, you’ll remember, was updated last October with images of PlayStation 3 franchises that have, surprisingly enough, since been removed). Could the reveal on the 20th be Gaikai related? Rolling out the service to PS3 and/or Vita right now, with a playable library of streaming PlayStation classics, or perhaps access to current retail titles, would be a newsworthy maneuver. But…
Come on. It’s got to be PlayStation 4, right? It’s the news every gamer is waiting for, and if Sony steps up and unveils its new hardware months before Microsoft does the same at E3 2013 (the countdown clock currently sits at 130 days, 5 hours, 42 minutes), that could prove to be a significant tactical advantage.
In just twenty days, questions about the PlayStation 4′s hardware power, controllers and release date may have actual, real-world, confirmed answers. Will that force Microsoft to move up the reveal of Xbox 720? Will it convince on-the-fence gamers to pass on Wii U (which isn’t getting a price-cut anytime soon) and hold out for Sony’s system? What do you think?
Stay tuned, Ranters, for more on this story as it develops.
Follow me on Twitter @HakenGaken.