Talking Point: Is a Big Reveal Likely During Sony's PS4 Launch Livestream?
Posted by Sammy Barker
We’ve lost count of PlayStation press conferences this year. Ordinarily the platform holder commits three big events to the gaming calendar – E3, GamesCom, and TGS, of course – but this year it’s eschewed that trend in favour of quite literally a half-dozen media briefings or more. The latest in its long line of livestreams is scheduled to start minutes before its next generation console’s launch in North America – but should we really be expecting any major announcements during the show?
Posting on Twitter late last week, gaming hype master Geoff Keighley hinted at an epic night of “world premieres and announcements” during the Japanese giant’s pre-release celebration. The show – which is set to be broadcast from 23:00PM ET on Spike TV – will be shot live in New York City, as hundreds of excited consumers line up outside retailers across the nation to pick up their pre-orders. Asked if there would be any new PS4 titles unveiled during the event, the GameTrailers TV host responded with an emphatic “definitely”.
It’s something that the PlayStation Blog has hinted at, too. A post officially outlining the broadcast overnight teased the unveiling of “exclusive world premieres and announcements” that will define the next generation system throughout the coming year and beyond. Despite the device not deploying until later in the month in Europe, the overseas arm of the manufacturer’s official website reiterated the statement, noting that anyone across the globe will be able to tune into the broadcast – assuming that they’re willing to set their alarm clocks. It all sounds like a lot of work for a livestream of people standing in line, huh?
It’s not just Geoff Keighley that’s been hyping up the event, either. Hardware marketing guru John Koller got in on the action on Twitter, informing followers that there would be “major PS4 game announcements” during the broadcast. Meanwhile, SCEE suit Tony Clark joined in on the fun, posting the following cryptic comment: “Major PS4 game announcements, you say?” He concluded the message with a winking face. We’re sure that the infuriatingly ambiguous Tweets are only going to continue over the coming days.
In fact, Sony Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida is the only person that doesn’t seem excited. Asked if we should expect any “surprises” during the livestream, the likeable executive responded with an emphatic “no”. Pushed on the matter – and quizzed on prior comments – he added that “Geoff [Keighley] says what you want to hear”. Seeing as the luminary is prone to a spot of online teasing himself, it seems strange that he’d adopt a different message to his colleagues. Either he’s telling the truth, or trolling.
But does dropping a bomb or two on the eve of the next generation console’s release even make sense? It’s an unusual strategy, as the majority of people that ordinarily pay attention to these kinds of events will no doubt be waiting in line to pick up their shiny new platforms. However, with the broadcast set to be shot in New York City, that will only really affect the East Coast; those in the West Coast and Europe will be free to watch the action unfold without any major distractions. Furthermore, the atmosphere outside stores will no doubt be electric regardless, but the reaction to a big announcement would make priceless footage for subsequent mainstream news reports on the system’s release.
There’s also the small matter of the Xbox One’s approaching launch. Sony will not be able to blot out the hype surrounding Microsoft’s system entirely, but it will be able to dampen enthusiasm by revealing a title or two. With the competing console due out a week later in North America, the firm may want to turn the screw on its competitor a little bit, and convince any fence sitters to plump up for the PlayStation platform instead. It’s going to sell out of launch day consoles regardless, but keeping the momentum behind its machine through the New Year will be paramount to the format’s future success.
Exactly what could the company possibly unveil, though? As discussed earlier in the year, it’s clear that the firm’s been stockpiling serious ammunition for some time now, with Naughty Dog, Sony Santa Monica, Media Molecule, and more all openly working on games that have yet to be announced. We suspect that it will be eager to save one of those for the VGAs later in the year, but if it’s feeling particularly bullish, there’s no doubt that it could out a major first-party project during the broadcast. Personally, though, we think that it’s more likely to hold those games back for next year’s E3, where they’re likely to make the biggest possible splash.
So, what else could there possibly be that would get people excited? Well, the language on the PlayStation Blog specifically mentions that there will be “announcements about the PS4 games that will define 2014”, suggesting that the reveals may revolve around titles that we already know about. We wouldn’t be surprised in the slightest if inFAMOUS: Second Son got a new trailer and release date, giving new system owners a fresh date to look forward to. We also suspect that Ready at Dawn will deploy The Order: 1886’s first gameplay footage, following on from last month’s Game Informer cover story.
And then there’s the possibility of smaller titles. Tony Clark’s aforementioned awareness of the event is interesting, seeing as he works with Shahid Ahmad in SCEE’s business development department. We wouldn’t rule out the appearance of a smaller digital download or two, with Mark Rein’s recent enthusiasm in the PS4 perhaps indicating that Epic Games could bring the co-operative title Fortnite to the format. Confirmation that both Journey and The Unfinished Swan are coming to the system – which seem like certainties from where we’re sitting – would also be equally well received.
It’s always worth tempering your expectations a touch in these kinds of scenarios, as unreasonable anticipation can lead to unnecessary disappointment. Nevertheless, Shuhei Yoshida’s contrary comments on the subject aside, we reckon that it’s pretty clear that the platform holder has a handful of announcements lined up for next week’s livestream. The big question is: what would you most like to see make the schedule?
Is your body ready for another night of PS4 premieres? Is there anything in particular that you’d like to see unveiled for Sony’s next generation system? Are you keeping your expectations in check? Freak out in the comments section and poll below.
Which of the following would you most like to see announced? (55 votes)
The next game from Naughty Dog or Sony Santa Monica would sure be swell
I’m eager to see even more indie titles from a selection of smaller studios
Give me a release date for inFAMOUS: Second Son and I’ll be ecstatic
I wouldn’t be able to contain my hype if we got gameplay for The Order: 1886
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