Sony Needs to Wait on the PSNeo

     It’s no secret that this fall will be an important one for Sony. With the impending release of  The Last Guardian, a game that many have believed a myth, to the introduction of their VR platform, PS VR, it cannot be overstated how careful they must be in every move they make. This is not the time to start looking into introducing the next iteration of the PlayStation ecosystem; they need to wait.

     CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment(SIE), Andrew House revealed that the existence of a more powerful PlayStation 4 during an interview with The Financial Times, in the weeks leading up to E32016. However, House confirmed the console would not be revealed at the expo, as it was not the right time for the unveiling. New rumors are now circulating that the console should be expected to release sometime before the end of the 2016 calendar year. This leaves me with really only one question: why now?

     Now before we go to far down the rabbit hole on something that has not even been confirmed as of yet, Sony has been incredibly smart in all of their moves this generation thus far, so I would preface this discussion with a large grain of salt before we have confirmation. Now that we have that prefaced, let’s take a look at the possibility if this is true.

     Who would this console iteration be targeted at? As of right this moment, Sony has got to be banking on their hardcore audience is reserved and ready to go for the PS VR launch early this October. It would be crazy to assume that this group of people would double down on a console purchase, at the same time they are already picking up their $400 VR device. If it’s for the consumer that has waited thus far to purchase a PS4, this most likely implies that they are waiting on one of two things: the right price, or the right game. House confirmed that the next iteration would not have console exclusives, but sit side by side with the current platform… So no games that would drive this consumer. As for the price, the introduction of a higher end model would most likely imply the price drop of your existing, meaning your average “Joe” is more likely to pick up the older version for a better price. 

     This next console, the PlayStation Neo, the PS4k, whatever you would like to call it, is going to need the hard core Sony fanbase in order to succeed. Period. So to introduce this product when they just went out to buy your latest VR headset, would be suicide for the future of the platform and would split the market before you ever get either device off the ground. The average gamer only has so much money to toss around, and Mom & Dad will only make one unnecessary purchase to put under the christmas tree this year. Which will it be? And it’s this mentality that will force losses on the sales numbers before either hit store shelves.

     You might be asking, “When?” at this point. if it were me, I would hold the console for sometime next fall. Let the PS VR get off the ground and build confidence in that platform before you start bleeding the consumers wallet for the next one. If it’s not broke, then don’t fix it- and at 40+million units sold thus far into the console generation, Sony has no reason to rush a new model to market. Just take your time, Sony. You’re holding all the cards, no point in showing your hand before it’s needed.

The Xbox E3 Briefing is Complete; Your Move Sony

Well then, if you had the ability to watch the Microsoft E32016 briefing, I don’t think I need to tell you that they did very well. For those of you that missed it, or are waiting to catch the highlights later tonight then let’s just say that they made good use of all 90 minutes of their time slot. New console announcements, game beta’s, first time seen footage, exclusive 1st party lineups… the list goes on. If there is one conference that you should definitely watch from start to finish, it would be this one. Now the question that remains, and most in the gaming community is asking: How does Sony respond?

Microsoft did a solid job of keeping their showcase rolling from one game announcement or clip, to the next, with very little interruption from a random “Believe in the Product” speech. Regardless of whether you are a Sony Fanboy or find yourself in the Xbox corner, you have to admit that Xbox gave the gamer several reasons why their console is a great place to be this year, and in the year to come. So as Sony takes the stage tonight and Andrew House or Shuhei Yoshida open their conference, the thing that I want to remind them is that this is not the same Xbox that they trounced a few E3’s ago during the console announcement. I have every ounce of faith that Sony will come out and deliver a solid showcase, but do not take the 20 million gap between the xbox competitor for granted. 

Sony has already confirmed that they will not be talking about the PS4k tonight, but that doesn’t mean they can’t take a similar approach in announcing a slim version of the PS4 and foreshadow an imminent console upgrade, the same way that Microsoft did. Think about it, Microsoft made a “Console Sandwich” out of their press conference. Xbox One Slim announcement at the beginning, an hour + of games-games-games, then ended with a 2 minute video of Project Scorpio. No image of the new console was shown, vague specs, and a strong message that the current model will not be phased out by this new iteration. Sony can and should do the same; keep it vague but push the message that the PS4 is here to stay.

Last year, Sony had an excellent showcase boasting titles of Final Fantasy 7 remaster, Shenmue 3, and of course (the soon to become mythological) The Last Guardian. So I know that Sony has every opportunity this year to make another solid showing. However, I think we are going to spend a lot of time looking at these games once again… Which is not a bad thing, but we need to see what the console has coming on the back end of this year since Horizon: Zero Dawn was pushed to Q1 of 2017. Why should we be excited right now?

What are your thoughts, and what do you think Sony could announce that would dominate the press conference? A The Last of Us 2 teaser? A cheaper console price and No Mans Sky PSVR integration? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!