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.

XboxOneS Revealed: How will Sony Respond?

With the leak of the XboxOneS this morning, I can’t help but wonder what Sony’s response be during their E32016 Showcase be? In the previous days, Andrew House confirmed the existence of the Playstation Neo aka the PS4K, however emphasized that the new console iteration will not debut at E3. One can only assume that this means they will have a separate reveal event for the forthcoming console, but in the mean time how do they compete in their press conference when this XboxOneS news is imminent. It doesn’t matter how you swing it or what will be present at their conference, the lasting though with the community and their fanbase will be what wasn’t. 

Since Phil Spencer took the head of Xbox job some years back now, they have course corrected the landscape and focus of the current console and have only done better. Fall lineups filled with games, player feedback taken to heart, and more of what the community wanted in the first place since the dreaded console reveal of the XboxOne. It seems to me that Phil is taking advantage of the opportunity and going to try and take back some ground on the Sony Console, that is some 20 million units in the lead now. 

Since the introduction of the latest generation of consoles, the community has been voicing their concerns for 4K streaming and of course more memory storage- if the details are true ( which they most certainly are) then XboxOneS will take advantage of a 2 TB memory, 4k Streaming, and 40% smaller than the current model. Not that it could get any bigger *wink*. With the right price point, this could be the move that helps get Microsoft back in the competition. 

My question at the end of the day is this: What does Sony have up its sleeve, and will it make enough noise? Don’t get me wrong, I am begging for a release day on The Last Guardian as much as the next person; but if they think that they can use that as their big reveal and walk out having “Stolen the Show”, then they are sorely mistaken. So far this generation, it seems that Sony could do no wrong. They stole the hearts of the console community with the PS4 announcement and have delivered a great product with for a great price (I won’t dip into lack of 1st part content and game delays…We will save that for another day). To keep the momentum, Sony is going to need to come out guns blazing with no low points. In my eyes, keep it Games Centric, don’t overdo it with the VR stuff, and give the gamers a reason to believe that the console sitting on their shelf is not going to become irrelevant in a years time. 

I want to see Sony succeed, and I know they can. However Xbox is doing everything right as of now: fantastic exclusive lineups, 3rd part and Indie support, and an upcoming console that is exactly what the community has been clamoring for. So…What’s your move Sony?

Playstation NEO & Why Sony Needs to Address it

Sony’s very own Andrew House has finally addressed the elephant in the room, the forthcoming PS4k… sort of. Speaking with Financial Times, House confirmed the long rumored consoles existence. However, when questioned on official reveal date and cost he remained vague. 

E3 2016 will not be the stage they reveal the latest iteration, House confirmed, so one can only assume that they want a more controlled approach that the console reveal by hosting their own event. We will see if that pays off.

At this point my biggest problem with Sony’s approach at the NEO, is not that it exists; but rather the lack of information they are willing to convey to their fan base. The current PS4 console is sitting around 40 million in sales the last  time Sony revealed numbers, so at this point they are obviously not exploring new iterations for lack of console movement. However, if Sony continues to remain silent on specifications, we could definitely see a slowing  in sales due to the possibility of a “better version” being imminent. It creates confusion and hesitation for potential buyers. 

Now to clarify, I will be one of those people that buy this console day 1. I would love the possibility to utilize my TV for better picture quality. The reason for my concern is Sony see’s the confusion in the market with these rumors, now confirmed, and still sits on their hands and lets it build. Sony has done an incredible job this console cycle, in communicating to their fan base and make the PS4 an amazing place to play. I don’t want to see this trend lose steam now.

But what do you think? Is the lack of specifics driving your crazy, or could you care less? Let me know in the comments below.

Why Nintendo’s E3 Strategy is Smart

The last time that Nintendo held a show case at E3 was 2012, the same year that games like Watchdogs and Gears of War:Judgement were headlining the game reveals. Since this time, Nintendo has built a strategy in direct communication with their hardcore audience via Nintendo Direct: prerecorded video pieces outlining everything “Nintendo”. This year will be no different, as they have made it clear that the only presence they will physically have in the hall is their E3 booth promoting one game only: The Legend of Zelda. Really at this point, that is the only game of theirs (announced) that matters.

While many view this as Nintendo recognizing that they cannot compete with the high level of game announcements from rivaling platforms or just a closer look at their lack of 3rd party support, I think it is much more strategic than that. 2016 is going to be the year where you will be hard pressed to go more than 3 minutes without hearing the term “VR” or the highly anticipated PSNeo or Xbox 1.5. My question to the individual ready to condemn Nintendo is this: would you really want Nintendo to announce a new platform around all that noise? 

It’s no secret that the WiiU was a massive flop, and Nintendo recognizes that. They would be crazy to try and introduce a new platform after the past missteps among two rivaling giants who together have somewhere around 60+ million units sold, especially when they have plans to iterate on top of that. Nintendo understands where the market is at, and this is why they are smart to pull back and keep their leading pony up front: The Legend of Zelda. Very few games have the same brand power that could hold its own against titles like Call of Duty or Battlefield, and most of those other games reside in the same stable as Zelda. 

If I was the man behind the curtain making all of the marketing strategies at Nintendo, I would continue the path they are on. Double down on the Zelda name, and build hype around the new platform they will reveal later this year at their own event. I would announce no more than 7-10 key titles for launch window, with promise of 3rd party support. Finally, E3 2017 I would steal the spotlight of the show with an announcement as the “Year Nintendo Comes Back to E3”. 

Never forget how smart Nintendo is. While I will be the first to say that I don’t think they will ever have the market dominance that they once had, there will always be a need for their product. While the skeptics will throw stones and say “Nintendo is dead”, I would remind you that they are as smart as a fox, and it’s only a matter of time till they remind us why. 

What do you think? How would you handle the E3 situation, or would you ever go back? Let us know in the comments below.

 

Is it too Soon for Upgraded Consoles?

It’s time that we face the fact right out of the gate in this discussion, we are going to get new console iterations very soon. Sony has all but confirmed the Playstation Neo’s existence, and not to be outdone, Microsoft has reportedly been working on new modifications to the XboxOne as well. Now before many of you start throwing rocks and saying “Hey, I enjoyed my Playstation Slim” or “I needed that Xbox with the wireless adapter built in!” I want to remind you, this is not merely a look revision. The change that is being speculated at this point would enhance game playability. Why does this matter and what is the difference?

It matters because the console that you bought day 1 less than 3 years ago is about to become outdated for a model that plays games better with enhanced graphical fidelity. Now I want to be clear, I am still on the fence with this subject. So far, up to this point, Sony has done everything right with the PS4, so before I start jumping to conclusions I want to see how they pitch this. I am only saying at this point, they are going to have a difficult time in making the early adopter not feel burned by introducing a price comparable unit that now plays their same games, but better. 

I want to hear your opinion. Is it too soon to need to upgrade your console? If you were an early adopter of either platform, how do you look at this move? Will you double down and re-up, or do you hold on to your buck for the next iteration. Let’s hear it, now sound off in the comments below.