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Talking Point: What New Year's Resolutions Should Sony Make in 2014?

Posted by Sammy Barker

Changing for the better

We’ve somehow lurched into 2014 without a nuclear disaster or some other life-ending apocalyptic event, so that means that it’s time to make resolutions for the future. While the majority of the planet ponders whether it should finally stump up for an expensive gym membership, the arrival of a New Year can also provide perspectives for organisations both big and small as they aim to capitalise upon their successes from the past twelve months, and simultaneously learn from their shortcomings. But what should be at the top of the agenda for Sony’s popular PlayStation division?

Few would argue that it’s been a good year for Andrew House’s band of SCE servants. The platform holder got off to a strong start in February with the overwhelmingly positive response to the PlayStation 4’s announcement, and followed that up with the launch of Naughty Dog’s critically acclaimed survival horror opus The Last of Us and Jack Tretton’s infamous E3 smackdown. It ended 2013 on a high, too, announcing that its latest console is the fastest selling format ever made – despite some creative mathematics to the contrary from Microsoft. All of that puts the organisation in an exciting position for the months ahead – especially seeing as it spent so much of the PlayStation 3 generation chasing the shadows of its competitors.

As a result, it could be argued that the manufacturer doesn’t really need to do anything differently in the New Year, as it continues to lap up the goodwill that it’s accrued in the period prior. However, we don’t necessarily agree. While we’re ecstatic with the outward image that the platform holder’s projecting at the minute, we think that it would be foolish for it to twiddle its thumbs. In fact, now that it’s worked an advantage in the next-gen console race, we think that it’s even more important that it keeps its foot on the gas.

It can’t be easy to maintain that momentum. When you’re an underdog, it’s much easier to go the extra mile in pursuit of success. Every minor victory feels like a cause for celebration, and we’re sure that there was plenty of fist-pumping around Sony headquarters when pre-order numbers for the PS4 started to come to light. However, that novelty won’t last forever, and there’s a danger that the company could take the unprecedented success of the past twelve months for granted now that it finds itself ahead. That’s a risky mentality to adopt.

The reality is that neither of its competitors are going to let the current situation persist without a fight. Microsoft may have made a number of errors with the Xbox One, but it has taken measures to steady its ship and is still in a decent position as a result. The sales figures for the Redmond-based firm’s maligned device may not be as impressive as the PS4, but they’re still respectable in their own right. And the manufacturer arguably has a stronger release schedule ahead of it, with the hotly anticipated Titanfall and a new Halo title right around the corner.

Meanwhile, no one should ever underestimate Nintendo. It’s true that the Wii U has struggled to make the impact that the Japanese company perhaps expected around the time of the system’s launch, but the firm is no stranger to exceptional comebacks, as evidenced by the outrageous success of the 3DS – a system that was once dubbed a failure, too. Furthermore, there have been signs in the wake of the release of the outstanding Super Mario 3D World that the system’s fortunes are beginning to improve in its home nation, and it still has even bigger releases waiting in the wings.

These all present very real threats to the PS4’s future success, and Sony must avoid complacency in the New Year as a consequence. The last time that the company was the market leader, it bumbled from one public relations disaster to the next, with the overengineered PS3 almost bankrupting the firm in the process. We don’t think that there’s any danger of that with the division under the watchful eye of Andrew House, Shuhei Yoshida, and externally employed architect Mark Cerny, but the threat is there all the same.

And it’s not like all of Sony’s systems are runaway successes at the second either. Former group president Kaz Hirai may have resurrected its former flagship format’s fortunes, but it still finds itself the second choice budget platform in many parts of the world. Meanwhile, the PlayStation Vita may be adored by the handful of gamers that actually own it, but even a sizeable price cut has failed to resurrect the pocketable platform’s dismal fortunes. Worse still, we’re not entirely convinced that the handheld’s ability to interface with its home console counterpart will help to enhance its poor position in the marketplace.

Of course, all of that doesn’t mean that the firm’s not in a strong position, but it reinforces the idea that it still has plenty of work ahead. The most promising thing about PlayStation’s position in 2014 is that it feels like it’s turned a corner. While the brand earned its earlier successes from being an interactive entertainment leader, there were times during the previous generation where it felt like it was merely closing the gap. However, the company now has the opportunity to once again take charge and set the pace of the coming console cycle. We just hope that it doesn’t sit back and let its competitors close the gap while it takes its eye off the dominant platform prize.

What do you think that Sony could do better in 2014, and do you have any worries regarding the state of the brand as we start the New Year? Is there anything that you think that the company could do better after an incredibly successful 2013, or do you reckon that it’s hitting all the right notes? Post your appraisal in the comments section below.

What would you most like to see Sony do in 2014? (48 votes)

Announce lots more big exclusive games for all of its systems


Work with external publishers to secure more third-party content


Improve the marketing surrounding its software and machines


Honestly, I’d just like the platform holder to offer more of the same


Please login to vote in this poll.

User Comments (18)



InsertNameHere said:

Quite frankly, the only complaint I have is about the Vita. We know Sony is good when it comes to exclusives, their marketing his been fairly exceptional and 3rd parties are back in their corner.

That brings me to the Vita. While Sony is good for exclusives, they don't seem to be putting their weight behind the Vita. Instead, they seem content with letting Japan Studio do all the heavy lifting.



Sanquine said:

Improve marketing for ps4 and PlayStation vita. Furthermore, exclusive games for ps4 and PlayStation Vita. Ps4 needs software to keep momentum. PlayStation vita needs it to improve sales. Ps vita sales are better in Japan 50 k last week sales. Before 30 k! Now improve Europe and US sales. Help to localize japanese games. I just ordered sword art online: hollow fragment... The games for vita in Japan are in much greater number than here.



Sanquine said:

Good news ps vita 52k in Japan. Wiiu also going strong 114k. 3Ds dominating 240k



get2sammyb said:

@Sanquine It's interesting how much the Wii U has jumped in Japan recently. I'm interested to see if it will hold. Still, means that Sony's going to have to work a little harder to establish the PS4 in the region, which is a good thing. The Vita's also actually doing alright, but the 3DS makes it look pathetic.



Sanquine said:

@get2sammy Well, Nintendo has keeping momentum since wii fit u (LOL) . Vita is doing great dude. Considering the fact 3ds was always killing the competition. Vita software sales are better than ps3 software. Strong fanbase.



BekBlayton said:

I think they need to make sure the PSN and PS Plus is up to scratch - lots of new subscribers due to PS4 and they don't need any down time or mess ups!



Kayoss said:

Well I'm not suprised the the Wii U is doing very well for the holidays. If you think about it, during the holidays there are only two options for home console buyers. The Wii U or the xbox One, and since it is the home of the rising sun which one you think they would purchase for the holidays?
I would love to see the Wii U to continue it's success but I want to see what happens after the PS4 is launched.

I love the PS Vita but it seems that the Vita is following the same trend as the PSP. Its becoming a niche product. This is not a bad thing but it will never get recognition and sales numbers that it deserve.

Back to the subject of Sony's New Year Resolution.
Localize some of the Japan PS Vita exclusives. There are a lot of PS Vita games that are released for the Vita right now in Japan but unfortunately for those outside of Japan, we probably will never see 10% of them.



Spidernoir said:

More support for the Vita (though the primary target of Vita is gamers, mostly PS gamers).

The PS4 not much to say I'd love to see more Action RPG's for it though.



hYdeks said:

Sony's doing fine, but we need to see more support on Vita. Other than that, just make PS4 widely available,and before Xbox One is,and I think they'll do fine



Cowboysfan-22 said:

More gripping titles for Vita and work super hard to get Persona 5 to the Western world! That's all I ask



MadchesterManc said:

Only thing needing attention for me is Ps4. Quite a few games on the niche side of things was announced for Vita towards the end of last year plus there was a few interesting indie titles at Gamescon so I'm happy enough. Ps3 seems to be getting a few decent titles as well (really can't wait for EDF 2025 in February) so all that leaves is Ps4 somewhat lacking. With the console not launching in Japan till February it's no wonder there hasn't really been any eastern titles to look forward to yet but hopefully DW8 is the start. I'm quite content, but then I don't yearn for the big-budget/AAA side of things so I can understand why some deem it lacking a little in that regard but then it's not lookin too bad for those type of games in 2014 to me



belmont said:

In fact the only think I want is more eastern titles for PS4 and Vita. In the end I still play j-rpg games!



Ginkgo said:

Personally, I think there are 3 things needed in 2014.

#1. There is nothing more important than games, and Sony needs to release and announce some heavy hitters (not just indies) in 2014.No point rushing and releasing a bad game, but they games will need to come.

#2. Sony needs to add all the non-gaming features that exist on the PS3 that aren't yet on the PS4. DLNA, CDs, external drive support, Play-Tv, etc, etc, etc.

#3 Lastly, the much promised Gaikai needs to show its face and start demonstrating streamed content. Let's see what it can do. Not just games, but also Movie, TV and other content on multiple devices. If it works, the potential is astronomical.



DrJoeystein said:

If I were to chose one thing that Sony should focus on in 2014, it should be the Vita. Unfortunately, it's in the same position as the Wii U. Both are excellent pieces of hardware brimming with potential, but they suffer from bad marketing and a slow output of killer exclusive games. Why, I finished Uncharted: Golden Abyss a couple of days ago and was blown away by what the Vita is capable of...and I haven't even touched Killzone: Mercenary or Tearaway yet! If Sony can just promote the system more clearly and effectively in addition to bringing in first party and third party developers to make games for it, it'll be a major success. Look at the 3DS's past and where it is now. Nintendo recovered from the handheld's initial failure, and if it can, so can the Vita.



divinelite said:

psvita titles are safe enough, but the problem is there is barely NO RECOGNIZEABLE title...

Tearaway is a new IP, Killzone... shamefully I never even know the name Killzone lol, and so 2013 is a good year for the enthusiasm, but the games for Vita in 2013 is so much unknown for other gamers. I REALLY hope 2014 brings some title that other non-vita enthusiasm actually KNOW or heard...



Gamer83 said:

PS4 needs to be the focus and as others have said, in regards to games it needs to be more than just indies. They've announced Uncharted, and we'll get a real look at The Order soon hopefully, good start, now lets get some more, Sony has a ton of first party studios. The other thing, I've been harping on it but it's true, Sony has to pony up for some third party exclusives just like MS and even Nintendo have. Uncharted, God of War, Ratchet & Clank, Killzone, MLB The Show, Jak & Daxter, Twisted Metal, inFamous, Sly Cooper, The Last of US, all great, none have proven to be system sellers along the lines of a Halo. The biggest hitter Sony has is Gran Turismo and 7 is a ways off and even then I'm not sure racing games hold much sway anymore. They sell well on established systems but I don't know as GT 7 would move PS4s like GT 3 did PS2s. Pay Konami to get MGS back, pay Square for FF or more preferably Kingdom Hearts, Watch_Dogs and Destiny could both be big and of course anything from Rockstar. Sony really does need to start fighting fire with fire here a bit. MS bought Titanfall and it even has Insomniac in its back pocket now, meanwhile Sony is content to line up the indies. I know it's not the popular thing to say on the internet but the fact is in reality indie games will not move a $400 system.



Ali247 said:

I don't wanna sound like a little girl but, they should make the interface customizable:)

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