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Feature: Five PS4 Announcements That Could Steal the Next Xbox's Thunder

Posted by Sammy Barker

Future combat

Sony knows that it’s got a battle on its hands. It may have hogged the limelight ever since its surprise PlayStation 4 announcement earlier in the year, but Microsoft will not allow that to persist. When the next Xbox is finally revealed on 21st May, the companies will at last lock horns – and it’s the outcome of that tussle that will ultimately dictate which next generation platform gets off to the better start. With that in mind, E3 will be an important time for both platform holders. But with the Redmond-based manufacturer’s press conference set to precede its closest competitor, what can the Japanese giant do to ensure that the PS4 exits the Los Angeles event on the front foot?

Box of tricks

Many of the mainstream attendees at Sony’s recent PlayStation Meeting press conference expected an Apple-esque unveiling of the PS4. When the platform holder resisted the urge to reveal everything – the price, the release date, and the hardware itself – the firm faced the full force of a media backlash. But keeping the system’s external appearance under wraps may yet prove a shrewd move, as it has ensured that the company still has a show stopper hidden somewhere up its sleeve.

Considering comments made by Xbox employee Larry Hryb, we can be fairly confident that Microsoft will reveal its own box on 21st May. Having something visual to market its next generation system will reward the firm with a temporary advantage, but it’s not going to last long. Sony will reveal its own console’s shell at E3 – and with the initial excitement of Xbox’s introductory unveiling likely to have died down by that point, the firm should find the media’s attention back on its own machine.

A fantasy to end all fantasies

Something’s going on between Sony and Square Enix. The third-party publisher’s appearance during February’s colossal PlayStation Meeting press conference may have been one of the legitimate low points of the event, but the company did at least confirm that a new Final Fantasy game would debut at E3. Since then, rumours have been rife that the Japanese firm has been working closely with Japan Studio in order to produce a sequel exclusively for the PS4 – and it doesn’t seem out of the realm of possibility.

While much was made of Final Fantasy XIII’s transition to the Xbox 360, the multiplatform release didn’t really do much to expand the franchise’s audience. It still sold best on the PlayStation 3 globally, and Microsoft appeared to have lost interest in the series by the time that Final Fantasy XIII-2 rolled around. As such, we could see Sony teaming up with Square Enix in order to lock down Final Fantasy XV – a release, we hasten to add, that would give the system an enormous amount of clout in the organisation’s native Japan.

Grand theft thunder

Outside of Call of Duty map packs, the timed exclusive Grand Theft Auto IV expansions remain some of the most important add-ons that Microsoft has ever secured for the Xbox 360. We expected the firm to repeat the initiative with the impending Grand Theft Auto V, but it’s looking increasingly unlikely at this point in time. Rockstar Games has been demonstrating the release to the press on the PS3, a trait which is unusual for multiplatform games. Moreover, the company has been posting all of the title’s trailers to the PlayStation Blog, which is not something that ordinarily occurs when the Xbox maker is involved.

As such, it seems possible that Sony may have aligned itself with the controversial developer, meaning that there could be some exciting announcements ahead. With the title not even yet confirmed for impending platforms, it would be a huge coup for the PlayStation maker to break the news – especially if the confirmation came with the promise of some sort of additional content. Furthermore, if the platform holder could lock down the next generation SKU as a timed exclusive to the PS4, there’s no doubt that the reveal would stride into megaton territory.

Tears of joy

The Last Guardian has to be a PS4 game at this point. According to rumours coming out of Japan, developer Team ICO was struggling to realise its vision on current generation hardware. Despite that, creative director Fumito Ueda has confirmed on multiple occasions that the team is still working hard on the game, the most recent acknowledgement coming shortly before the PS4’s reveal. With the PS3 now entering its twilight years, we can’t imagine that the critically acclaimed outfit will have altered its vision in order to squeeze the hotly anticipated exclusive onto a platform that’s on the decline.

As such, we have a strong inkling that the release’s feathered protagonist will rear its head once again on the PS4 at E3. Judging by the timing of Ueda’s previous statement, we get the distinct impression that Sony had planned to re-reveal the game during its PlayStation Meeting press conference, but decided to keep the title concealed until its big event in Los Angeles. If the exclusive does appear during the show, it will make an enormous splash for the platform – after all, the title has been a constant topic of conversation ever since its official announcement in 2009.

Uncharted territory

Assuming that The Last Guardian doesn’t raise the roof, we reckon that Naughty Dog could quite easily turn up the E3 temperature by announcing Uncharted 4. The studio wouldn’t necessarily need to do much – a blast of the famous theme tune, a few lines of dialogue read by Nolan North, and a logo would be enough to end Sony’s press conference on a serious high, but we suppose that a traditional trailer or even a live gameplay demo would crank up the volume even more.

The most exciting thing is that it could actually happen. While the Crash Bandicoot creator has been hard at work on The Last of Us, it’s now divided into two teams, and the Uncharted segment of its workforce hasn’t been in the spotlight since 2011. While it’s possible that the studio may have turned its attention to a brand new property, we still reckon that there’s a lot of life left in Nathan Drake and crew, and with the franchise representing one of PlayStation’s biggest sellers, a sequel would be a huge announcement for the PS4.

Are there any PS4 reveals in particular that you feel would take the spotlight off the next Xbox? Which of the above suggestions do you most want to come true? Let us know in the comments section and poll below.

Which of the following PS4 reveals do you think would best steal the next Xbox’s thunder? (51 votes)

The console’s actual design


An exclusive Final Fantasy


Some form of Grand Theft Auto V deal


The return of The Last Guardian


Confirmation of Uncharted 4


Please login to vote in this poll.

User Comments (24)



belmont said:

As a j-rpg player I would like a new Final Fantasy installment in PS4 and, depending also if I have money, will sell the console to me.

As for the FF game though even though I liked FF13 I'd prefer the series to go to its roots.



rockman29 said:

Uncharted 4 for PS4. Couldn't give a crap about the rest of that stuff other than GTA V and TLG, but exclusive DLC is overrated by marketers, sellers, and consumers alike.

I don't expect TLG to come anywhere close to launch, but that would be killer also.



Stuffgamer1 said:

I think a GTA deal would steal the most thunder...not because I would care personally (I wouldn't), but because it's the biggest, most relevant franchise on the list at the moment. More Uncharted isn't going to convince people not to buy Xbox...if Uncharted was going to do that, it would have already done so, but it is instead a series that appeals to preexisting Sony fans. Same thing with The Last Guardian. And Final Fantasy...well, they've been losing a LOT of customer faith of late, so I'm really not sure it would be a widely agreed-upon boon for PlayStation. Of course, I really don't give a crap about a hardware reveal, and I still don't see why anybody would. Sure, it might be nice to see the thing, but that alone can't POSSIBLY result in people wanting to buy it; it needs games.



get2sammyb said:

@Stuffgamer1 I fully agree with you. I think the announcement would probably be met with groans by much of the hardcore community, but it would be a huge reveal.

I personally feel that they need to nail two or three of these things if they really want to maintain their momentum. I guess it depends what Microsoft's got, but it's safe to assume they're going to have some megatons of their own.



Gamer83 said:

If you can't get Activision on board with CoD the next best company to turn to to try and gain footing in North America is Rockstar. Something involving GTA, or even Red Dead, would be huge for Sony.



ShogunRok said:

A decade ago you would have bet on a Final Fantasy reveal tipping the scales, but this is simply no longer the case. Out of all the points listed, it has to be some deal with Rockstar over GTAV - that would be the big one.



3Above said:

For me personally the exclusive FF ang TLG are the biggest deal followed very closely by U4. But like the others have stated, to steal MS's thunder GTAbis a must. Dont forget that Sony was supposed to get that exclusive Rockstar game Agent years ago but we havent heard anything since E3 2009, just like TLG.



hYdeks said:

basicly everything there is something that would overshadow the next xbox lol I chose Final Fantasy because I've always loved the series, and it was one of the biggest reasons back in the day I had for switching to PlayStation



JavierYHL said:

a exclusive ff series would end xbox next any chances in like the 3ds mh series ending vita chances...



Shunbagwell said:

I personally don't think The new Xbox will have any "Big" thing to persuade me to buy it at launch. Aside from Gears of War and Halo their 1st party games are seriously lacking. Also the PS4's dedication to developers just shows how much Sony cares about making good games. In this topic though, I do believe GTAV would hold the most ground for Sony to steal some thunder, even though it doesn't need to anyway.



charlesnarles said:

It doesn't really seem like any game's exclusivity would sway folks much. I know I'm not gonna buy an Xbox, and I am gonna buy a PS4. Ya know?
But! If anyone's on the fence, I still think the actual design would be more important than having to wait for DLC or whatever.



rastamadeus said:

The only one there I agree with really would be an Uncharted, but even then only just. Last Guardian (as much as I want it) won't be a system seller, like Ico and SOtC weren't, being outstanding games that people who want to play COD/sports game just don't care about. It's the same with Uncharted. We all love it but those sort of gamers won't even look at it. All the huge selling games (COD/Madden/FIFA/GTA/AC) are all multi-platform which is why they sell so much, Sony first part games don't appeal to those people so any exclusives there would just get the fanboys hot under the collar, not the casuals.

As for Final Fantasy, well its kind of dying, even in Japan. People are getting fed up of Square Enix over there and sales are dropping for each FF. Obviously it would still do very well, but not so much as the past. What would help them though is if they throw a pile of money at Square Enix (yes, even though I've just slated them) to get Dragon Quest back - that is the game that sells the ridiculous amount that people assume FF always does. They were made by the government to release each title on a Saturday just so people don't skive off of work and school. Get Dragon Quest back and PS4 sells in similar numbers to 3DS over there.

Sadly in America/Europe all that would be needed is a deal with someone who makes a football, American football or FPS game.

Lastly, I won't be buying a PS4 until late 2014 at the earliest as I've been stung too many times with getting consoles too early but all it would take would be three little words: new Red Dead.



FullbringIchigo said:

i chose Uncharted 4 but an exclusive Final Fantasy game and an actual look at the console would also steal the thunder from MS (so to speak)



AaronYeager said:

I doubt Sony can lock down GTA5 but a new Final Fantasy could be a system seller for many people. Don't forget what Final Fantasy 7 did for PS1, that was basically the nail in the coffin. However like someone else mentioned earlier I would like to see the series go back to it's roots.



Aviator said:

Imagine if Nolan North came out and said he wasn't going to do any more voice acting?

That would shock 'em.



craigun said:

All Sony has to do is convince Square to re release Final Fantasy VI - XI in completely revamped knock your socks off next gen graphics. If that could happen, the next gen war would be over before it begins!



rastamadeus said:

@ everyone wanting a Final Fantasy - Square Enix could be gone if they balls up their next big game. They will have FF on every format possible to make sure they get as much money as they can. It would be a huge, huge gamble for them to go exclusive to any console.



Matrix01 said:

Uncharted 1 sucks. Uncharted 2 was good. Uncharted 3 was mediocre. Overall it's a weak series that isn't very beloved or popular.

Uncharted isn't a system selling franchise, the only reason it's fairly popular now is because it's the most bundled franchise on the HD consoles. Look at the amount of fans it has on Facebook fan-pages for example, God of War has 4.6 million, Gran Turismo has 1.8 million, LittleBigPlanet has 1.2 million.... the biggest Uncharted fan page? Just 635K.

I would add Sony Santa Monica's new IP to the list and remove The Last Guardian and change Uncharted 4 to a new IP from Naughty Dog.
I hope Naughty Dog announce another new IP for the next generation console and Sony have another studio continue milking Uncharted.

An exclusive deal with GTA5 will steal the most of the next Xbox's thunder, an Uncharted 4 reveal & news on The Last Guardian, will have no effect.



odd69 said:

nothing I just read "pops" at me besides Final Fantasy, the console is kinda ugly, but im sure ill get used to it. Uncharted is not my cup o tea, I really don't care for that franchise, not even a little bit



slb1197 said:

GTA V is something that will steal away people from buying the Xbox Infinity, uncharted would just please sony fans and not really bring people away from buying an xbox.

I'll probably be buying both because of friends but I'll deffo be going with ps4 first since i've always preferred killzone to halo!
If the ps4 does really well this gen I might not even have to buy one if all my friends buy a ps4
On a side note, is that the console?!?! it looks so fucking ugly lmao -___-



FullbringIchigo said:

@craigun that would cost far to much money to do and Square Enix don't want to take the risk (they have said this multiple times)

and while it would be nice for Square to remake one of them, the way the company is now they would just flat out ruin the it so i would rather they left them alone and concentrated on a new FF or kingdom hearts games instead of re-releases or remakes

@slb1197 no i don't think that's the console because Sony haven't shown it yet, i think that pic if a fan made mock up



Solatorobo said:

I actually would not be happy to see an Uncharted 4. I think ND should focus on a new IP or a new Jak and Daxter instead.



Valky said:

I will reply on each answers

1) I guess that will be the E3 main stuff along (I'm hoping) more games, new exclusives, more Gaikai stuff.
Still, I'm more a tech addict than someone who is going for the look of a console (PS3 Ultra Slim here, I know it looks rather cheap but that's ok for me)

2) I wont' bet on Square-Enix anymore...hmpf...they have kinda left their Jrpg touch since they are no more focusing on that genre, they look like EA now, which has good and bad points that I won't discuss here.
For real FF nostalgia, we should really talk about Mystwalker (made by the top FF producers, see Lost Odyssey and The Last Story).

3) Unlikely, and I say this with a bad mood, since I'm a great fan of GTA since it's very first title, but I will never get an Xbox for this, like hell.

4) It will come eventually, but I so wish they keep it covered for a big surprise at E3, now that will insta blow everything and pretty much win the whole E3.

5) Like 4).

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