We usually deliver a list of E3 predictions right around this time, to see how much our thoughts change between now and just before the show starts. However, Sony’s “PlayStation 2013” event is almost upon us, and they’re saying we’ll see the future of PlayStation, so we want to weigh in with what we think we’ll see on Wednesday.
1. Design of both console and controller – A lot of people think this is a given, and so do we. We’ll see what the PlayStation 4 looks like, and we’ll see the controller alongside it. This event will be focused on hardware and what it can do, and we won’t be disappointed by the look of the console, though it won’t come close to the small size of the Wii U, or even the Xbox 360. We’re expecting very clean lines and something that ties in with their home theatre equipment boxes.
2. Pricing and release date won’t be announced – Sony will show off their console, but we won’t be hearing any price of specific dates for a few reasons. First, release dates need to be solidified with content providers and game publishers so that they can all agree on a specific date, and it is likely too early for these talks to be finalized, though they’re probably underway. Second, pricing has been discussed, but between now and the expected November launch of the console, Sony still has quite a bit of time to find ways to cut costs and drive down the price of their console as well. Oh, and they need to save something for E3, though we have a feeling they won’t announce price and date there, either.
3. 4K capability announced, but not available – Sony has a habit of telling us that their console can do something, but not delivering on that promise until a system update is delivered somewhere down the road. We’re thinking Sony has enough power in the PlayStation 4 to announce that 4K capability will be technically possible, but not without a system update that we probably won’t see for about a year or so after the console’s release.
4. Controller, controller, controller – We already think Sony will show off the console and the controller, but we’re pretty sure they’ll be focusing on the latter for most of the hardware portion of the event. The controller is said to have new functions and enable a bunch of new gameplay mechanics, so it only makes sense that they’d explain it while they’re on stage.
5. It will be called the PlayStation 4 – There has been a lot of talk about Japanese superstition around the number “4” meaning “death”, but we just don’t see the next console being called the Orbis or anything other than the PS4. We were wrong when we thought the NGP would just be called the new PSP or PSP2, but we’re not so sure Sony can pull it off with their home console. The trouble with calling it something other than PlayStation 4 is that it excludes people who already know what a PlayStation 2 or 3 is. Calling it the PlayStation Orbis to someone who doesn’t know about it will ask about it, at which point, people will say, “oh, it’s the PlayStation 4.” Just eliminate the need for that intermediate conversation, would ya, Sony?
6. Tons of games – Most people expect Sony’s announcement to be all about hardware, and we agree that it’ll take up a lot of the time, but we also have a sneaking suspicion that games will play a bigger role than anyone is anticipating. We think this is the place that Metal Gear Solid V will finally be able to take off its Phantom Pain shroud, where The Last Guardian will be revealed as a next-gen title, making up for the fact that it’s taken so damn long, and that we’ll get a first look at Uncharted 4, Killzone 4, or Resistance 4, or any combination of them. We’re expecting a few of these reveals to be a logo on-screen without live gameplay, but we do expect a sizzle reel of new titles, too.
It’s time for a new console from Sony (and Microsoft, naturally), and unless Sony comes out and announces that there won’t be a next-generation of consoles, we don’t think we’ll be disappointed. Sony has the tendency to run very long with their press conferences, but with a reveal like this, we think it’s okay. By the same token, however, we’re almost positive that we’re overestimating what we’ll be getting peeks at on Wednesday, and are expecting more questions to be raised than are answered.