5 Things the PlayStation 4 needs to be successful

by Jayden Williams Featured 26 Comments 32 Votes 3901 Views 04/02/2013 Back to Articles

No matter which way you look at it, Sony is undoubtedly gearing up to unveil its plans for the successor to the PlayStation 3, starting with its February 20 “meeting”.

The tagline for the event is simply, “see the future of PlayStation”.

Whether Sony will officially announce a new home console or not is inconsequential, but it seems very likely the company is prepared to talk about their upcoming plans, be it about their current and future hardware line, software or something else entirely.

But, if Sony are ready to unveil the PlayStation 4 -- or whatever it’s going to be called -- I thought it fun to outline a few areas Sony would need to improve to really deliver something special with its next-generation console.

Faster online experience

Boot up your PlayStation 3 right now and jump onto the PlayStation Store and chances are you’ll have to wait a good thirty seconds or so before anything loads. After which, try accessing any number of the sub-menus from the main page.

Take a while?

A lot of critics have slammed Nintendo for the Wii U’s sluggish OS, but in my opinion Sony’s handling of PlayStation 3’s online capabilities is far worse. From accessing the online store, to downloading updates -- even install times -- all take far longer than they should. If you’re in doubt, just turn on a Xbox 360 that’s connected to the internet and just see how much smoother everything runs.

With the gaming industry embracing online and digital distribution more than ever these days, it’s vital Sony make PlayStation 4’s online services quicker, faster and more accessible than ever.

Seamless integration with Vita

For the sake of argument we’ll ignore any and all problems facing Sony’s latest handheld and go straight to how it should be heavily integrated into the companies next home console.

Sony has already played around with the idea with cross-play functionality -- a feature only a small handful of games actually take advantage of -- but they now need to take it a step further.

I want to be able to use my Vita as a second controller -- or even my primary controller - for PlayStation 4. I want to easily share, backup and download data from the console to the handheld and vice versa. And, I want Sony to heavily invest in bringing more 1st and even 3rd party titles to its cross-buy program - complete with cloud saving compatibility.

The major issue plaguing the PlayStation 3/Vita relationship is the two have been pushed together well after the fact. A company like Sony would no doubt had worked future-tech for its home console into the Vita, or designed its future console to easily communicate with the aforementioned handheld.

Then again, I might be giving them too much credit?

Strong first party support

Second to Nintendo -- who has arguably the strongest 1st party stable of any gaming company, ever -- Sony has possibly the biggest line-up of first party titles and franchises to its credit. And moving into a new generation they’d be smart to push almost every single one onto the platform within the first two years of the console hitting shelves.

Whereas we’re seeing more and more 3rd party titles flooding the marketplace, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to justify buying into two or more specific console platforms. NIntendo sits comfortably atop its pile of Mario, Zelda and Pokémon titles, while securing its own roster of 2nd and 3rd party titles, and Sony needs to use its own franchises to its advantage in a similar way.

Many casual “core” gamers (yes, that’s a thing) don’t see the difference between Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. A diverse and undeniably powerful line-up of AAA 1st party franchises, the like of which Sony is certainly capable of, would see the company pull away from that misconception with PlayStation 4 and leave its direct competitor in the dust.

Budget conscious price

Let’s not beat around the bush, when it launched the PlayStation 3 had a ridiculously high price, one that only fools were be willing to pay. If Sony released an $800+ (AUD) priced video game console in 2013/14, the company would be taken out the back and beaten.

The hard truth is Sony needs to launch PlayStation 4 at a reasonable price point, or at the very least offer potential buyers incentive by way of included accessories and at least one bundled in game. If they don’t, the company will face an uphill battle similar to when the PlayStation 3 launched.

From there it can only get better. Nintendo introduced the Wii at a ridiculously lower price than either Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, and since then has only come down in price. Likewise, as both higher-end consoles have come down in price the install base for both has rapidly increased.

A strong, reasonably low price at launch will ensure a steady growth for the console for years to come, and if anything, hopefully avoid the same embarrassing sales figures as the Vita.

Backwards compatibility

Whenever a brand new console hits the market there’s always two absolutes. The first being it’s going to be more expensive, and the second is it’s going to have only a small number of games for at least three months. So, being able to play all your existing games on your shiny new toy is important, not only as a gamer but as a consumer.

Other than Nintendo -- who allowed Wii owners the ability to play all their GameCube games -- backwards compatibility appeared to be an afterthought to both Sony and Microsoft, especially with the former. With their first hardware revision of the PlayStation 3 Sony removed the vital hardware components needed to read/run PS2 discs, and many fans worldwide cried “right in the childhood” at the same time.

Although Sony are slowly releasing its PSOne and PS2 library digitally on the PSN, ensuring the PlayStation 4 can run, at the very least, PS3 games is essential. If it can play PSOne and PS2 games then even better. While seemingly inconsequential from a business perspective it’ll do a lot in the minds and hearts of gamers around the globe knowing when they invest in a PlayStation 4 they’re also opening up the PlayStation 3’s vast, robust library of games.

By Jayden Williams

What do you want to see in the PlayStation 4?
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5 Things the PlayStation 4 needs to be successful Comments

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Nice!

I also want better digital pricing structures. I shouldn't be paying RRP for a game when retail offers it for 20-30 bux cheaper. If you want people to adapt to digital distribution, then give them a reason to.

I'd say a $300-$400 US launch is realistic, putting it at around $600-$700 Australia.

First-party support is a given. I'd assume the launch lineup will include:

Ridge Racer
Wipeout

And then maybe one of a new Uncharted, GoW, or Killzone.

Online is OK as is but it is still a chore of a system. I know people bitch about the 360's paid service, but it's image-based, smooth, easy to navigate. IMO Sony will take notes from this anyway.
Sony has to have Chat support Like the 360, can chat anytime during game out of game and it needs to be clear.

Agree with Beta the pricing of its digital is way to high and needs to be addressed.

Also it needs to address its downloading and patches from the store or updates cause it just takes way to long to download anything.

Price wise i would think around the $800 its a new console with new blu ray player id guess for the new blu ray that will be coming.

They might even do a launch like the 360 where you think you are getting a hd drive with a update but instead you have to buy separate which ends up costing more than the Ps3. lol

So maybe they will do the Blu ray as a add on lol :P keep costs down (JOKE)
i think the most important thing was missed and that was the ability to sign in multiple accounts for multiplayer
also digital games are still in a young state they will drop eventually not by 20 or 3 but 10-15, which is reasonable as you don't have manufacturing fees, but the devs and sony still need to make money off the sales, and one final thing about pricing ours will always be more then america, and other countries as we have a different economy and a higher base income so we pay more for things, games, booze, food, smokes, houses, cars, tvs everything

Tj866 said: also digital games are still in a young state they will drop eventually not by 20 or 3 but 10-15, which is reasonable as you don't have manufacturing fees, but the devs and sony still need to make money off the sales, and one final thing about pricing ours will always be more then america, and other countries as we have a different economy and a higher base income so we pay more for things, games, booze, food, smokes, houses, cars, tvs everything



We pay more because years our dollar was shot, and it was just a fact of life. Now? Our dollar is strong and we continue to get ripped off, especially when you work out that a brand new game that retails for $99 here is only $50-60 odd when you work out the currency conversion with the US.

So in effect, we're getting ripped off when we could be potentially saving $20/30 each game.

While it's important to uphold a relationship with retailers, there's no reason to drop the RRP price for digital copies... especially when Sony issues retail cards for stores like EB to stock in their specific section.
If they end up scraping backward compatibility in future models like they did with the ps3 they should at least have 2 different models. The cheap no BC model and a more expensive "all the bells and whistles" model.

Jayden27 said:

Tj866 said: also digital games are still in a young state they will drop eventually not by 20 or 3 but 10-15, which is reasonable as you don't have manufacturing fees, but the devs and sony still need to make money off the sales, and one final thing about pricing ours will always be more then america, and other countries as we have a different economy and a higher base income so we pay more for things, games, booze, food, smokes, houses, cars, tvs everything


We pay more because years our dollar was shot, and it was just a fact of life. Now? Our dollar is strong and we continue to get ripped off, especially when you work out that a brand new game that retails for $99 here is only $50-60 odd when you work out the currency conversion with the US.
So in effect, we're getting ripped off when we could be potentially saving $20/30 each game.
While it's important to uphold a relationship with retailers, there's no reason to drop the RRP price for digital copies... especially when Sony issues retail cards for stores like EB to stock in their specific section.



we are a different region to the us comparing game prices is stupid, we have never been part of the us region and we use to pay upwards of 120 for games we now pay 70-90 which is a massive step in the right direction, the US has nothing to do with us
*in reference to the above comment*

....There are no words. Truly.
Pricing for the online store is always going to be high, regardless of where you live, due to the fact that there is way to many stores (high-end, low-end and digital stores) to compare prices with. If sony were to try and compete with said stores, we'd have a battle of; we want our games to be cheap, but how long will it take for the game to get a justified price and get uploaded onto the market.

I agree the prices need to be decreased, but it is nearlly impossible for them to get figures, that don't change, from a variety of stores.

side note.

I wouldn't be surprised if sony doesn't even reveal the new 'ps4' and just release a new home tv system ><

I'd find myself just vying the steam box rather then buying a new tv :P
Tano
+
Yeah, so maybe stores like EB Games need to somehow get onto Xbox Live, PSN, with their own digital stores?

If we're moving towards app downloads, hopefully these stores can somehow create apps that allow for digital downloads. Only competitiveness will bring the prices down.
only thing i want from sony is backwards compatibility that would be the highest selling point and make me want to get the next console

Cade606 said: only thing i want from sony is backwards compatibility that would be the highest selling point and make me want to get the next console



IMO I don't think it will be backwards compatible.

My bet is that the store will offer PS3 and PS2 games.
With the connection to the PS Store, it was never like that with the old design, i remember every time i opened the classic PS store, within 5 seconds i was ready to browse, and don't get me started on the new annoying way to search for a game [Facepalm] , the updates and patches are the worst part when it comes to how much time it takes to download, which i end up leaving to do as i sleep but still it takes a while.
Prices i'm ok with but it all depends on the game itself, like Modern Warfare 1, $50??? that's a bit overpriced for that game being released in 2007, bioshock 2 being a more amazing and later game is $25 itself. but as i said, depends on the game.
I want it to have impressive graphics compared to pc masterrace, well at least for awhile until pc naturally out classes it.
People on here saying they cant drop the price of digital download one word

Steam.

They can drop it but wont.
@Beta Correct me if I'm wrong But Isn't the Australia $ Currently Stronger than the US?
I don't Know how the gaming market goes but If the Aussie Dollar is stronger wouldn't it make it cheaper here in AUS?
It doesn't need backwards compatiblity to be successful, and they're ditching the cell architechure so it wont have it or at least for a bit.

This however is where Gakai comes in.

First-party support is a given. I'd assume the launch lineup will include:

Ridge Racer
Wipeout

Liverpool is no more unforunately, so I don't think we'll be seeing a launch Wipeout this time.
everyone knows playstation has no games

Taipaz said: @Beta Correct me if I'm wrong But Isn't the Australia $ Currently Stronger than the US?
I don't Know how the gaming market goes but If the Aussie Dollar is stronger wouldn't it make it cheaper here in AUS?



Well, if we're talking about currency, I think it might be at 80 US cents to the dollar by late-2013.

But anyway, that doesn't really matter, because the price here is based on many factors, like the cost to distribute, which costs money. So, unless you're importing from the US, you're paying what the game is worth in Australia. The worth being its price dictated by the market, potential profit, and just the ability to manage the price of a game next to the costs needed to get it onto shelves in the country. So prices will fluctuate but that would depend on the market. So games could potentially by $80 as opposed to the $110 they were when the Xbox 360 launched, but they might also be losing content so as to appeal to a wider audience, so while we're getting less, we're paying less too. Prices might drop but it has nothing to do with the US currency (although price drops in the US generally initiate a price drop here).

IMO, anyway :P

LaWoGGamer said: I want it to have impressive graphics compared to pc masterrace, well at least for awhile until pc naturally out classes it.



Pc will always be ahead never gonna change

Beta said:IMO I don't think it will be backwards compatible.
My bet is that the store will offer PS3 and PS2 games.

Why not PS1 games? They'll be the easiest out of all of those to get on a new system using a different architechure to Cell. (Jaguar)
It certainly won't be backwards compatible with PS3 games they might appear on the store but I hold doubts for that too considering the complicated nature of the Cell processor. Should think the PS2 and PS1 games on PSN will work in time but I reckon half of the store won't be available day one as it will all need modifying to be compatible.

Things I want to see.

1/ Drop the XMB interface, it's old and personally I've never liked it we need something fresh but going by the new store layout would it be wise them messing with it?

2/ Better pricing model for digitally distributed content, an obvious one really it is the future weather we like it or not.

3/ Downloads that don't need installing like on Xbox as well as patches that don't take an age to install again like Xbox

4/ Cross game chat, not a biggy but come one its gotta happen no excuses on a new console.

5/ A new dual shock, even if its the same damn design just use better quality materials! DS3s feel so cheaply made, I could literally twist one with my hands and snap it in two!

Tsunamo said: It doesn't need backwards compatiblity to be successful, and they're ditching the cell architechure so it wont have it or at least for a bit.
This however is where Gakai comes in.



I don't think you know the difference between architecture, and compatibility.
Would be awesome if Australia didnt get ripped off in the pricing department for once. We always pay way more than the U.S even though our dollar is on par with theirs.
If the console is $500 USD it should be $500 AUD.
Good ideas.

And please don't get rid of dual shock controllers. I don't mind them evolving (eg a touchpad in the middle or some such - now that would be a must IMHO) but don't abandone them for some wii or move type abomination.

Remember how sucky the PS3 controller was, what a step back, when they didn't have rumble for the first few years. You think they'd have learnt from that.

Definitely backwards compatibility too. I'm still ticked I could never play my PS2 games over HDMI. Hooking up the analog PS2 was just so horrible I couldn't go back to it...

And Vita remote play integration - that would be lovely. It was promised for the PS3/Vita but NEVER EVENTUATED. I'd love to play a game, and then continue playing it on my vita, while outside, or elsewhere. I'd love it...

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