Sony’s PlayStation keynote has lack of internal support


Sony’s keynote presentation last week at PlayStation Experience in San Francisco gave exciting new announcements and details why gamers should stick with the PlayStation 4 for the coming years but it also left them asking what are the internal studios up to and why didn’t we see their games?

I was starting to worry when more than an hour into the conference I had not seen a single first-party title or even the mention that an internal studio was working on something new and exciting except for Naughty Dog’s Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End.

It left a sour taste in my mouth that I couldn’t ignore. This was a convention designed and aimed at the PlayStation fan base and it didn’t tell us about the studios gamers bought the console for originally.

Many gamers predicted that Sony Bend would finally be revealing their new title on stage because we have not seen them for more than four years. The last game the studio worked on was Uncharted: Golden Abyss for PlayStation Vita.

This feels like a missed opportunity. Outside of the PlayStation fan base no one really knows about Sony Bend. They have continually created quality titles for players to enjoy but they don’t get the attention they deserve at trade shows. I wanted to see them here because this was the moment to give them the spotlight that I don’t expect they will receive at E3 this summer.

The lack of first party development didn’t completely ruin the keynote though. Sony is on top of the charts with this generation of consoles selling more than 30 million PS4 consoles. This has given Sony the opportunity to create other types of exclusive experiences for gamers to buy.

Console exclusive, console debut, available first and exclusive content on PS4 were titles commonly plastered around the Moscone West 3rd floor each time a studio approached the main stage. This was equivalent to a rock concert for gamers. The stage lit up in a variety of colours, the sound was overwhelmingly powerful and the crowd couldn’t help but express their love of games by shouting at the top of their lungs when they saw something they adored.

It’s amazing to see that Sony isn’t winning this console war with their own studios but through the relationships they’ve created with third party publishers like Activision, Capcom and now Epic Games who used to be exclusively working on titles for Microsoft’s Xbox.

Last generation Sony couldn’t catch up to Microsoft until the very end of the life cycle but now they have blown the Xbox so far out of the water that the PS4 is outselling the Xbox One 2 to 1.

As long as gamers continue to see exclusive content and third party support coming to the PS4 they will stick with this console as their preferred platform to play games.

The last huge chunk of the presentation was given to marketing PlayStation VR, Sony’s entry into the virtual reality market formerly known as Morpheus. I believe that it had a great showing.

The biggest problem PSVR had going into PlayStation Experience was that gamers have seen enough of tech demos showing off how the tech could be used in games. They now want a library of quality games that can give them a wealth of unique experiences and that’s exactly what Sony showed.

Ace Combat 7, 100 Ft Robot Golf, Golem and Rez Infinite were the VR titles that received great reception from the audience and the best part about these individual game’s announcements was each of them is a different genre of video game, none of them will play the same.

I would have liked to see more on-stage demos of these titles though because VR is so difficult to market. An everyday consumer isn’t going to see the thrill of this device from an ad, because it feels incredibly fake.

Word of mouth and first-hand experience is needed to sell this niche device. Traditional marketing methods can’t convey the feeling of being immersed in a virtual world.

I’m sold on purchasing a PlayStation VR immediately when it releases after the showing it had at this convention. I’ve tried the device three times now and each thing I played feels better than the last. Expect to hear a release date and price for PlayStation VR sometime in spring before its release window this summer.