The lights are on
Power Member - Level 10
As bad as the reveal of the Xbox One went for Microsoft, and the general consensus seems to be somewhere between “very” and “strangled vomit noises”, it’s not like it is the end of the world for them. All you have to do is look back at Sony’s disastrous 2006 E3 presentation and you’ll see that, in the gaming industry, we tend to have a short memory. Sure, Sony had to work to win back their consumer’s loyalty, but they have now put themselves in a position to take charge in the upcoming generation of consoles. I've already detailed some of the ways Microsoft shot themselves in the foot, but the really scary thing, for Microsoft at least, is that there are still a few loose ends that Sony can tie up that would drive the stake even further into the Xbox One’s cold mechanical heart. Not that Sony “needs” to do any of these things, but here are four nails that Sony can still hammer into the metaphorical coffin.
Not that there is anything innately wrong with trophies; there isn’t. But its hard to deny that, for some inexplicable reason, they aren’t as satisfying as Xbox achievements. Maybe it’s the fact that that little “Ding!” isn’t as pleasing as the Xbox sound. Or perhaps gathering trophies isn’t as simple and easy as pooling points to form a total score. I don’t know what it is, but this is a small area that could go a long way. I’m sure it would cause problems with profile and trophy transferring when the time comes, but there will never be a better time to tweak the formula. Those addictive little achievements, love ‘em or hate ‘em, were one of the biggest innovations of this generation, and Microsoft led the charge on that. It would be a big coup if people are saying the same about Sony a few years from now.
How could this manifest? I don’t know. Obviously one big deal is making sure that PS3 owners get their due, and their achievements and trophies can transfer over. Sony needs to kick back and alienate as few people as possible, and your owner base should top that list. What would really be a dagger is if Sony could somehow get Xbox 360 users’s achievements or gamerscore to carry over to the PS4 in some capacity. That is doubtful, to say the least, but losing my hard-earned gamerscore is one of the few hesitations I have about switching away from my 360.
Land An Exclusive Marquee Competitive Shooter
Let’s face it, the Xbox 360 was the undisputed king of online competitive multiplayer. Two of their exclusive franchises, Halo and Gears of War, have large, dedicated followings in the online space, and the 360 was the true home of the cash cow Call of Duty. Not that there was anything wrong with the PS3 incarnations of the series, but the timed DLC windows and much-larger player base gave Microsoft the undeniable edge with the best-selling franchise in the industry. That is an edge Microsoft would be loathe to give up.
While sheer numbers may decide where Call of Duty decides to spread the wealth too, assuming they retain their position atop the charts, its impossible to argue against the fact that Sony needs a marquee, first-party multiplayer game to set PSN on fire. Resistance and Killzone are fine and good, but people aren’t falling over themselves on launch day to pick it up. I like what they are doing with Bungie’s Destiny, but that is still a multiplatform title, and while it is a step in the right direction, I don’t think it will be enough on its own. I have no idea if they could possibly match Halo, but I expect them to try.
Quietly Secure More Apps
This is tricky. Microsoft has a good thing going with their extensive app collection, but they went about announcing them the wrong way. Extraneous, non-gaming related apps are great, but they should not be the focal point of your gaming console. Clearly. Sony realizes this, and there is no way they are going to fall into that trap. However, more apps isn’t a bad thing, and the PS4 could certainly benefit from landing a few more reasons to use it outside of gaming.
However, the key here is how they go about announcing them. Unlike Microsoft, Sony should secure some extra services, and then off-handedly announce them. No hooplah, no big ceremony or staged presentation Simply tell us about them, and move on to the next big gaming announcement. We can read between the lines, and we know what we want. We don’t need to be told.
Continue Taunting Microsoft
Because I don’t think it’s ever going to get old. The hilirious ad that popped up on the Internet brilliantly stated that the PS4 would also use your TV…for gaming. That’s awesome. It reminds me of the time that Crash Bandicoot stood outside the Nintendo offices with a bullhorn calling out Mario. A little conflict between console manufacturers is a good thing, and Sony needs to keep pressing that button.
Of course, there is a limit here. More than anything, Sony needs to keep their head down, keep doing what they are doing, and let the Internet do their advertising work for them. Mostly. However, poking a little fun at Microsoft’s flagging console is an awesome way to surreptiosuly build the general consensus that, yes, the PS4 is indeed the console to get.