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Opinion: Sony Must Refresh the PS4's Momentum at GamesCom

Posted by Sammy Barker

Scrapping for the spotlight

Ever since Jack Tretton and company dropped the microphone at E3 2013, quite a lot has changed about the impending next generation arms race. The advantages that the platform holder engineered for the PlayStation 4 – partially accelerated by Microsoft’s own incompetencehave gradually started to erode, as the Redmond-based manufacturer has scrapped its controversial used games plans and self-publishing restrictions for the Xbox One. Despite all of this, Sony’s console is still riding high on a chorus of consumer goodwill – partly impacted by the platform’s cheaper price point – but the organisation must ensure that it keeps its nose in front, and it can start by landing a series of heavy haymakers at GamesCom.

While the North American firm has been changing its policies with more regularity than its undergarments, the Japanese giant has stayed pretty muted about the PS4. The console’s still topping pre-order lists, but it has lost a little mindshare in the process. Regardless of your thoughts on the great Xbox One-Eighty and its sequel, Microsoft has managed to wheedle its way back into the conversation. And if Sony is to maintain the advantage that it’s been enjoying for the past few months, then it must respond with a few big announcements of its own. Fortunately, there’s another major press event looming on the horizon.

Earlier in the week, the platform holder confirmed that it will be jetting off to Cologne in Germany on 20th August to anchor its annual GamesCom keynote. This has become a regular occurrence for the firm over the past half-decade, and while Microsoft has decided to latch onto the party this year, we’re expecting a characteristically aggressive showing from the Japanese giant at the Staatenhaus am Rheinpark theatre. But while we’re sure that both the PlayStation 3 and Vita will play a part in the organisation’s plans, we’re not surprised to learn that the PS4 is set to hog the spotlight during the showcase.

At the end of the day, it needs to. While the Japanese giant may have conquered E3 on the strength of its policies alone, many would argue that its game announcements weren’t quite up to scratch. Outside of new footage of Killzone: Shadow Fall, Knack, DriveClub, and inFAMOUS: Second Son, the only real exclusive reveal that the firm had to share – outside of the lovingly dubbed Indie Eight, of course – was Ready at Dawn’s delicious alternate-history adventure The Order: 1886. And that’s culminated with Microsoft sticking its nose in front in the software stakes.

But the platform holder’s played things smart, and kept its cards close to its chest. Weathering a backlash from the console’s disastrous introduction, the Redmond-based firm used its E3 press conference as a podium for pretty much every big exclusive in its stable. We’re sure that the competitor will still have surprises to share, but given that we only really know about a handful of the PS4’s 30 in-production exclusive games, it has the opportunity to pull back the curtain slightly at next month’s major showcase. And it’s that careful drip-feed of information that we expect to push the needle back in the next generation console’s favour.

We’re not predicting one big information dump, but two or three major reveals would certainly propel the console’s prospects. There’s lots of speculation surrounding Sony Santa Monica, Naughty Dog, London Studio, and Media Molecule right now – and reveals from any one of those major first-party players would really take a swipe at the Xbox One’s refreshed momentum. We also anticipate that some of the smaller teams – Housemarque, for example – will have some new content to share during Sony’s showcase.

But if the manufacturer really wants to turn the screw, it will need to date the platform aggressively, too. We strongly suspect that the next generation console’s launch timing will be deployed during the company’s GamesCom press conference, and, as we’ve speculated in other articles, we reckon that a late October release would just about edge out the Xbox One, and give the manufacturer time to replenish stock prior to Black Friday in North America. With its competitor also likely to reveal a release date on the same day, doubling down on the right timeframe would really put the momentum back in the PS4’s court coming out of GamesCom.

Perhaps the most reassuring thing is that the firm seems to understand how important it is that it maintains its current trajectory. Speaking with IGN earlier in the year, Jack Tretton told the publication that the company needed to get “back into the trenches” following its E3 successes, and SCEUK gaffer Fergal Gara mentioned a similar thing in an alternative interview. Let’s hope that it’s used that time underground to concoct a solid strategy for GamesCom that will result in the PS4 renewing its momentum as it edges ever closer to launch.


What do you think that Sony needs to do to strengthen the PS4’s position at GamesCom? What announcements would you personally like to see during the platform holder’s press conference? Let us know in the comments section below.

Which of the following first-party studios would you most like to reveal something for PS4 at GamesCom? (59 votes)

Japan Studio

14%

London Studio

  3%

Media Molecule

14%

Naughty Dog

53%

Sony San Diego

  0%

Sony Santa Monica

17%

Please login to vote in this poll.

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User Comments (23)

Punished_Boss_84

#1

Punished_Boss_84 said:

Naughty Dog, show them off and Sony can drop that mic again :)
There must be more launch titles than Knack, DC, and Killzone: so those can be shown off. They can show off a small number of these work in progress games and the games coming in the first year through a sizzle reel or montage.

Of course PS3 momentum is fine (The Last Of Us), ok its more than fine :) and with games like Puppeteer, GT 6 and Beyond Two Souls still inbound.

Although in the distance is a small platform called PS Vita not at the forefront of first-party development: Naughty Dog? SCE Santa Monica? SCE London Studio? Come-on if Tearaway can be developed in a 2/3 year development cycle by 15 people (Yes 15) than other studios can follow suit: hire some people make dedicated studios.

Sanquine

#2

Sanquine said:

Show us

  • Uncharted 4 or another game of Naughty dog . Anything near as awesome as the Last of us will kill anything that M$ has to offer.
  • A new game from Sony santa monica : Give me another mythology game :D Never understood why there isn;t a north mythology of god of war.
  • Media molecule: Anything near as creative or awesome as Tear away is perfect for me:D LBP wasn't my cup of tea. Creating stuff was really hard.
  • Studio London: A new Wipeout? ! ! Maybe they will give it to us:D
  • Japan studio: Something like gravity rush 2 for vita or ps4 would be awesome:D I prefer handheld gaming but Gravity rush with endless draw distance is a dream come true. The touch pad is a welcome feature for flying in the city. The gyroscope in the ps4 controller was much better:D than the six axis of the ps3/
  • Maybe Maybe finally the reveal of the game we all be waiting for:
    The last guardian.
  • A new patapon game for ps4 and vita:D
  • The new game of quontum dreams:D Sony announcing that they buy the french studio:D

And then vita...

Hopefully more information about freedom wars : http://www.dualshockers.com/2013/07/25/ps-vita-exclusive-freedom-wars-gets-more-info-and-screenshots-on-the-thorn-and-abductors/

First party studios attention from

  • Santa monica studios
  • Naughty dog
  • Japan studio ( already with freedom wars)
  • Ready at dawn game ( they delivered the best psp games)
  • More Japanese exclusive games coming to the west
    YS YS YS
    Mind=0
    Compile heart games please:D
Epic

#5

Epic said:

Its a bit hard to regain it after all this year bomb for Sony was salting the wounds Microsoft but that trick doesn't work anymore after all this fixes.
Gamescon for them might be a bit tough for them to "win".

Sanquine

#6

Sanquine said:

My number one wish! : Sony buys atlas from the parent company! Announces Persona 5 for Ps4 !

Itachi

#7

Itachi said:

Sony needs to show the strength of their 1st party. In my opinion this is the biggest difference between PS4 and Xbox 180. So far Sony hasn't really played their hand yet. I mean sure they've shown Kill Zone, and Infamous, ( which both look great might I add ) and while they make great appetizers, we all know Sony is capable of much more.

I also suspect we will see some more hardware and UI announcements. You have to think that 3.5 gigs of ram is going to more than just games and sharing features. Personally I'm hoping to hear more about Gaikai seeing as how they've kept they're lips pretty tight on that one. There's a lot of potential there.

As far as the silence I think it was all just to keep Microsoft from stealing they're ideas which they've already proved with the current 180's. Seeing as how Gamescom is so close to launch they should be safe to let the cat out of the hat. I don't even think MS has the balls to pull a 180, 2-3 months close to launch. I also put Microsoft at a major disadvantage because they really played they're whole hand playing catchup, and it wouldn't come as a surprise if they're PR team botches things again, Don Mattrick or not. Maybe it's just me but it seems that every spokesperson for Microsoft is either dull, or just doesn't have a clue how to communicate with the gaming audience.

ViciousDS

#9

ViciousDS said:

October 29th launch date......that mic doesn't just drop.....oh it fricken explodes.....and then microsoft will really be rushing for launch.

Punished_Boss_84

#11

Punished_Boss_84 said:

I feel sorry for SCE London Studio, no ones interested in what they have to bring to the table ever since Sony relegated them to casual games.

Their pre-casual era was much better.

8vpiper

#12

8vpiper said:

@Legendary-boss A new The Getaway would be intriguing so they got my vote ;) Can't remember of the top of my head who did that 8 days game shown for ps3?

-CraZed-

#13

-CraZed- said:

Games, games more games, price drop for Vita and a release date for the PS4 FTW!

Ginkgo

#15

Ginkgo said:

Given the per-orders for killzone, I actually think Song needs to announce more shooters (although Uncharted 4 would be perfect). Not because that's I what I want to play, but they want to win back a large chuck of the US, and that is the way to do it.

8vpiper

#16

8vpiper said:

@get2sammyb
Sadly no I don't think it will.......... but i believe TLG "is" still going so i will continue to live in my little bubble of hope (Please don't burst it) :(

Gamer83

#18

Gamer83 said:

Whatever Naughty Dog announces for PS4 I'm sure will be awesome. Hopefully it happens at this event but I'm not sure it actually will. My other two wishes... Gravity Rush 2 announcement and the overdue sequel to Syphon Filter: Logan's Shadow.

RaymanFan2

#19

RaymanFan2 said:

If there's a new ND game announced I'll buy a PS4 as soon as that comes out, otherwise I'll wait until inFamous: SS

benrawr

#21

benrawr said:

All they have to show is LocoRoco and I'm buying myself a Vita. I don't see any point in it's existence without that gloriously happy, singing, rolling, bouncing game of jubilation

SuperROBO-1

#22

SuperROBO-1 said:

Where is GamesCom viewed? Will there be a livestream somewhere? I wish things like this and E3 were televised.

artemisthemp

#23

artemisthemp said:

Japanese Studio as they made Soul Sacrifice and Gravity Rush, which was 2 really great games.

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