In just a few short hours, we’ll almost certainly get our first glimpse at the PlayStation 4. Sony’s widely publicised 20th February press conference is scheduled to start at 18:00PM EST, and we’re awaiting the event with bated breath. But while we don’t possess the power to push the clocks forward, we can make the wait a little easier. And that’s why we’ve pulled together as many Push Square staff members as we could find, and asked them to outline their hopes, dreams, and fears regarding PlayStation’s impending announcements.
Sammy Barker, Associate Editor
Do you remember the night before your first day at school? That’s how I feel right now. I’m a mix of anticipation, trepidation, dread, and desperation. In a way, I want it all to be over. The build-up has been relatively brief in real terms, but it feels like a decade ago that Sony promised to show us a glimpse of the future. I’m tired of waiting now, and I just want to see what the platform holder’s got in store.
It goes without saying that I’m eager to see the hardware itself. How will the controller work? How do the specifications match up? But we already have a good idea. The leaks have flowed fairly steadily over the past couple of weeks, and they’ve given us a pretty detailed picture about what we can expect from Sony’s next machine. However, we’ve heard next to nothing about the games, and that’s what I’m truly excited about.
I’m not sure how much the manufacturer’s actually going to show on Wednesday, but I’m expecting at least a handful of big first-party releases. I think that The Last Guardian will be re-revealed, and I reckon that both Guerrilla and Evolution’s next projects will be a lock, too. I also wouldn’t be surprised if Star Wars 1313 and Watch Dogs popped up on the third-party front either. And never rule out Hideo Kojima at a PlayStation press conference.
Gaikai is the one other big wild card. It’s only been about six months since the platform holder purchased the streaming firm, so it would perhaps be unreasonable to expect any major details just yet. But I think we’ll hear vague plans, and I’m excited to see what they entail. Can we expect to be playing full PS3 games from within Facebook this time next year? Who knows?
If I was an Internet meme right now, I’d probably be ‘My body is ready’. I’m worried, nervous, perhaps even a little scared – but I’m so, so excited, too.
Mike Mason, Assistant Editor
I'm most interested to see if Gaikai finally makes an appearance as part of the new console. After its no-show at last year's E3, I became convinced that the service was being saved for PS4 to cover backward compatibility, PS3's awkward architecture making it a potential difficulty otherwise. The rumours have been converging towards this recently, and I'd really like to see to what extent the streaming technology will be used: will it apply only to PS3 games, or extend further back to PSone and PS2 as well?
I'm also hoping for a real change to the DualShock this time. The leaked images seem to indicate that there are at least some alterations by way of a touch pad; some software showing off just how much that feature will add is a must.
Obviously the focus is going to be on PS4, but it would be nice to see some shock pads applied to Vita as well. The portable is a fantastic piece of hardware, but currently it's really not getting the support that it deserves. Perhaps we'll see examples of PS4 and Vita cross-play and connectivity to help make it more relevant – no rear view mirrors this time, though.
And, finally, can we have The Last Guardian and a new PaRappa the Rapper too, please?
Greg Giddens, Reviews Editor
What a kick in the teeth it would be if this conference doesn't reveal a new console. What if the whole thing is to say: "Now we bring you the future of PlayStation, here’s a new PSN game.” Then Jack Tretton drops his microphone and leaves the stage. No, Greg, they wouldn't do that, surely.
Assuming that the PS4 is revealed, my greatest hope is to see a significant upgrade over the current generation. I want the PS4 to make a leap in technology, allowing games to reach new heights of visual fidelity, AI, and gameplay possibilities.
But my biggest hope, a dream I've been dying to see realised for some time now, would be for Sony to pull Square Enix on stage and reveal that a new Legacy of Kain game will be available alongside the PS4's launch, and that both the title and console will release later this year. Square Enix has teased us all already with their new domain warfornosgoth.com so perhaps my dream is soon to come to fruition.
In addition to that, I’d love The Last Guardian to be a launch title, too. What a unique offering that would be. You may as well throw The Phantom Pain in there while I’m here. I’m desperate to learn more about that game.
And finally, how brilliant would it be to have a new WipEout game ready for the next generation? Pretty chuffing brilliant, I think. Whatever happens, Wednesday cannot come soon enough.
Asher Asghar, Staff Writer
Well, where do I start? Firstly, I'd like to see both PS4 and Vita announced as platforms for Gaikai streaming. It's been rumoured for some time that Vita's technology is capable of this, and Sony need to promote both platforms in a unified way to banish the naysayers while pushing the industry forward in an exciting and innovative way.
Secondly, games. I’d love to see The Phantom Pain on any Sony format to be honest, be it PS3, PS4, or Vita. Gran Turismo 6, The Last Guardian, and Grand Theft Auto Vita would all be really welcome news. And I for one would love to see Evolution produce another MotorStorm, perhaps similar to the first one, as a debut title for PS4.
Lastly, it would be an absolute masterstroke for the maligned Vita if Sony announced PS2 Classics for the system. Imagine having the likes of Shadow of the Colossus and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City in your pocket. Mmm.
Ben Potter, Staff Writer
Gaikai is the way forward. There I said it.
Since the introduction of conventional game streaming services in mid-2010, there have been a plethora of features that would work brilliantly on home consoles. It’s fair to say that PSN’s social functions are pretty limited. Sure, you can friend request, message, video chat, and see what people are playing, but a couple of years ago, OnLive took that to the next level.
Since its ill-fated launch, the ability to watch your friends play has always struck me as a no-brainer. As the player is merely streaming the game and inputting controls, it’s not much of a stretch to imagine someone else viewing the same content without leaching any bandwidth from the player. While watching, viewers could voice chat, and, if it’s a co-operative or multiplayer game, jump right into the action. While PC gamers can use services such as Twitch.tv, it lacks the ease of built-in functionality, and console gamers really have to jump through hoops to live stream content.
Another unmissable addition are ‘Brag Clips’. OnLive constantly records the last 15 minutes of gameplay, so when that ‘OMG’ moment happens, it’s simply a matter of cropping it down and posting it straight to YouTube.
It’s unclear just what Gaikai will bring to the PS4, but if it includes features similar to these, is properly supported with the latest releases, and, perhaps most importantly, has a reasonable subscription model, it will pave the way for the future of home console games distribution.
Robert Ramsey, Staff Writer
For starters, I hope Sony show the PS4, although it would appear that they already have that one down. I think Sony will surprise in terms of hardware – there’s bound to be something no one saw coming. For the controller, I’m hopeful that the leaked prototype is representative of the finished product. It’s an evolution of the DualShock 3, and that’s all I think we really need. Overall, I just hope Sony keep it clean and simple with the announcement – no botch jobs or time spent on things like motion controls.
Which brings me nicely around to software. I’m positive we’ll see some trailers or tech demos, which I’m sure will impress. I’m particularly looking forward to seeing just how far games will jump graphically – and in that respect, it would make sense for Sony to show something like Killzone 4, which would no doubt be a technical marvel. Personally I’d love to see the announcement of a first party RPG – something that Sony hasn’t attempted for a long time. Regardless, I think we’ll see at least one new IP. I’m trying to resist the hype as much as possible, but it isn’t working.
Simon Thornton, Staff Writer
There are various features that the PS4 is almost certainly going to include. I imagine that most of these will be focused on the social aspect of gaming. It isn’t a huge leap of the imagination to picture a Vita-like timeline which displays your friend’s latest trophies and PlayStation Store purchases, but I don’t want to be that boring guy who makes predictions that are already rumoured or can be found on a different console, so let me explore some more unique ideas.
Firstly, let’s think about Sony’s purchase of Gaikai and question what that might mean for the PS4. It’s obvious that some kind of streaming will be implemented somewhere down the line and the coming PlayStation Meeting would be the perfect place to unveil those features. It’s already been speculated that the PS4 will stream PS3 games since native backward compatibility is out of the question. My view is that the new system will allow gamers to stream only the games that they purchased from the PlayStation Store. Perhaps this is why Sony has been pushing full retail games onto the PlayStation Store these last couple of years and, also, why the PlayStation Plus initiative focuses on full release titles now.
Not a unique enough idea for you? Well how about the new DualShock’s touch pad being able to display simple logos via blue LEDs under the glass? And as for my real curve ball: I hope Sony gets rid of PlayStation Home and replaces it with an arena for giant crab battles.
As far as games goes, it would be great if Sony continued leading the console exclusivity race and continued to be the ‘go to console’ for unique indie games. Specifically, though, I would love to see the next generation of systems embrace horror as a viable genre; no more action-horror mutilations, please. A tactical shooter or three would go a long way too, and I also can’t wait to see what open world games will look like on new hardware.
Simon Waldron, Staff Writer
Up until recently I worked for a major video game retailer. Our biggest concerns regarding the next generation of consoles were the pervasive rumours on the Internet that next generation games would likely require activation codes much like PC titles. Let's be frank, video games are an expensive hobby. Many gamers rely on the resale market to get their choice titles because they simply can't afford to pay full price for every release that comes out. Any chance to save money should not to be ignored, in my opinion.
If you examine the last few major console launches (3DS, Vita, and the Wii U), none of them have sold particularly well out of the gate. One wonders if it was solely due to the library of titles available from the beginning, or if it was simply a lack of interest. I think we can all agree the PlayStation 4 will garner far more attention than any of the aforementioned systems, but what will be the marquee titles at launch? And how many supposed next generation games will still release on PS3, too? There are so many unanswered questions at this point, and hopefully Sony will show us all the proverbial light on Wednesday night.
What are your hopes, dreams, and fears for Sony’s press conference? How would you rate your current anticipation levels? Let us know in the comments section below.