With a little over 24 hours until Sony's 'See the Future' event, gamers are within reach of the next console generation. Taking place at 6pm EST/3pm PST, the event is believed to be ground zero -- the moment that Sony finally unveils the PS4. However, an event like this can take place in many parts, with so much to cover in so little time. And, with E3 2013 not that far off, there are bound to be some announcements held until that major gaming event.
Nonetheless, Sony is going to announce something BIG, and hopefully talk a little bit about the console. With that said, here are some of the announcements we predict/expect Sony to make at their event on Wednesday.
I know what you're thinking, talk of the PS3 has no place in a 'See the Future' presentation. However, with so many eyes trained on one single event, it would behoove Sony to remind gamers they still have some exciting content coming to their current platform. The event is almost like a mini-E3; so don't be surprised if the presentation feels a lot like a Sony Press Conference.
It might only be a brief mention — a kind of "hey, don't forget these games are still on the way" — but Sony would be remiss if they didn't at least mention God of War: Ascension, The Last of Us, and Beyond: Two Souls.
Following a similar form to the potential for PS3 announcements, it's also possible Sony will use their nationwide platform to reveal some forthcoming content for their long-forgotten handheld. With nigh on a major release to speak of in the past few months, the Vita has struggled to stay relevant, especially now that talk has shifted exclusively to the PS4. At the same time, Sony is not in a position to sever ties with the Vita just yet, and so we hope they reveal something (anything!) on Wednesday.
Early Monday morning, Sony addressed the Japanese fan base to reveal a few forthcoming games, and also announced a price cut for the device. Might make for a perfect one-two-punch if Sony announced some new Vita games geared towards a Western market and then knocked off $50-$100 from the price.
How does it compare to the PC? It's a question that has been lingering in the forefront of gamers' minds since next-gen became a reality, and hopefully this Wednesday will finally deliver an answer. Early specs for the PS4 (codenamed Orbis) have been circulating the web for some time, but ultimately it will be Sony that has the final say.
We know that the publisher is moving away from the Cell chip and adopting more familiar (read: developer friendly) architecture, but how powerful the PS4 will be is unclear. PC purists will claim that the PS4 will still be leagues behind high-end rigs, but console gamers are bound to see major improvements in processing and graphical capabilities. And as a result, the industry as a whole will improve, knowing that multiplatform titles won't be hampered by inferior tech.
As Nintendo can attest, a new console is dead without exciting launch content. So far, we have heard some rumblings about potential PS4 releases (Last Guardian, Watch Dogs), but nothing has been confirmed. Our hope is that by Wednesday all that should change. Fans should expect a mix of announcements, with Sony confirming some current gen releases for a simultaneous PS4 release, along with announcing some new titles that are next-gen (and maybe even Sony) exclusive.
Among the prime candidates for a PS4 release include a new game from Guerilla Games (Killzone 4?), the next title from Sucker Punch (inFAMOUS 3), maybe a new title from Quantic Dream, and the next entry in the Uncharted franchise. However, it'd be a real shame to only see current franchises make an appearance, without so much as a mention regarding at least one or two new IPs.
While system specs (CPU, GPU, RAM, HD, etc…) and games likely occupy the top tier as far as hopeful PS4 announcements go, not far behind is the price. For as much as something like a new IP or sequel offers that initial draw, a high (or low) price point can ultimately determine how well a console sells out of the gate.
We hope that, at the very least, Sony makes some mention of a price point for the PS4, whether it's simply a comparative statement (i.e. on par with past systems at launch) or an outright reveal. A rumor that broke yesterday suggested the PS4 might come in at a price lower than the original 60GB PS3, somewhere around $450. That's still mighty expensive, but if gamers can find that out now, they can save their money for later.
A feature like backwards compatibility may not be appropriate at such an event, but if it factors into Sony's acquisition of Gaikai, the topic might come up. The pervading rumor thus far concerning backwards compatibility is that the Gaikai streaming service will be used to stream PS3 games to the PS4, eliminating the need for a component that makes backwards compatibility possible.
Granted, that is a unique use of Gaikai's service, but is that a reasonable compromise? What about games like Tomb Raider, Grand Theft Auto 5, and BioShock Infinite? Will there be some sort of trade-in/verification process that transitions a hard copy to a streaming version, or will gamers be forced to buy two copies? Or are gamers expected to keep the PS3 and the PS4 in their entertainment centers until the next-gen transition is complete? It's a question we really would like an answer to, but Wednesday might not be the ideal place.
Perhaps the only component to the PS4 that we have some substantial information about, the new console's controller has to make an appearance on Wednesday, especially since a prototype of the device leaked not that long ago. Boasting a small touch screen on the front and a design that is very reminiscent of the Dual Shock 3 (only with a bit more heft), the PS4 controller is still somewhat of a mystery.
How exactly will the controller's touch screen work? Will it function in a similar fashion to the Vita's rear touch? Like the Wii U's gamepad, fans can expect this new controller to be additive to the experience, but not all inclusive. Thankfully, it's not a complete redesign.
Gamers would have to turn the clocks back to 2006 to find the last time two major consoles released in the same Holiday season, but a new 'Consolemageddon' might soon be upon us. That is, if Sony and Microsoft choose to go head-to-head with their next-gen platforms. While we might not know when the Xbox 720 will debut until E3, we could find out Wednesday when Sony plans to release the PS4.
November 2013 seems like the best candidate, but that's wishful thinking. Realistically, Sony could be targeting any time between Fall of 2013 all the way until the end of 2014 for the PS4. Although the Fall 2013 appears to be the most likely scenario. Release dates are typically one of the last things announced with consoles, though, but Sony could announce a launch window.
What to Expect From Sony's PS4 Event
It's important to note that all of these predictions are based purely on our hopes as gamers, and what persisting rumors have suggested. It's entirely possible that Sony won't reveal anything but a sizzle reel that briefly mentions the PS4, and then leave us feeling as unfulfilled as ever. But that's really not going to happen is it?
What do you think Sony will announce at their PS4 event? Which announcements do you think are the most likely to happen? Which are the least likely?
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