Sony has arguably ‘won’ the last several E3s with a combination of a focus on games (“this is for the players”) as well as pushing through announcements for games which have lingered on many fantasy wish lists (Final Fantasy 7, Shenmue 3, Last Guardian etc etc). In a change from our Nintendo Predictions, we’re going for a must, should, could approach to what we might see from the industry leaders…
Must: games. With a slew of long since announced games, Sony needs to start getting some out of the stable door. We know Kojima’s Death Stranding along with Last of Us 2 are some ways away so don’t expect to see much of them other than perhaps a teaser. Spider-Man, God of War and Days Gone look like the most likely 2017 into early 2018 games. Having previously announced them, Sony would be best to start delivering on their previous promises or may sour the excitement generated in the past.
Should: support PS VR. Unlikely yet a move Sony should feel obliged to make. The initial 8 months of PS VR’s release has seen many missed opportunities. The most fun we had with the (now sold) machine were smaller, supplementary experiences such as Star Wars: Battlefront and Rise of the Tomb Raider. Unfortunately these experiences seem to have dried up and the wider multimedia possibilities of the headset have been largely ignored. Where is E3 in full 360 video? How about up scaling some of the less powerful VR games on mobile? Unfortunately, the trajectory for this machine is following that of PS3’s brief affair with stereoscopic 3D; one which may soon be over before it gets started.
Could: Sony is stuck between a rock and a hard place with Scorpio. No doubt, the brute strength of whatever Microsoft has cooked up has caught Sony off-guard; thinking PS4 Pro would be enough to rival the new Xbox. If Sony sticks with Pro and Slim, they risk standing still and being overtaken again by Microsoft. A true Scorpio competitor would take time to develop properly and would not be a great consumer-centric move; instantly causing bad feeling for recent PS4 Pro owners. So, what is the answer?
Switch. The early success of this console will not have gone unnoticed by either of Sony or Microsoft. A move which could a) compete with the space occupied by Switch b) steal Scorpio’s thunder and c) extend the life of PS4 is to release a hybrid home/handheld PS4. Let’s speculate for a minute…
Apeing the Switch set up, the hybrid (PS4 Go?) would have detachable joycon style controllers either side of a touch screen display. Completely download only, there is no BD drive – just internal memory and standard SD cards. The interface is 100% that of a home PS4. As well as using the detachable controllers, a Dualshock 4 can be synced when used in tabletop or docked mode. All of your existing downloadable PS4 games are available as well as streaming of PS Now. If you want to play a disc based game, you can remote play through your home based PS4. The console docks into a HDMI connected unit – similar to Switch – instantly transitioning between TV and handheld play. In addition, the introduction of PS One games available to download would be announced – ideal for on the go retro sessions.
The probability of Sony announcing the above gets slimmer as we get further through the article. However, a hybrid home/portable console is the one thing they can do which will blow Scorpio out of the water as well as steal Nintendo’s unique selling point. It isn’t long until we find out!