We’ve been pondering exactly how Sony would attempt to steal some of the attention away from the next Xbox’s announcement for a while now, and it answered that question emphatically earlier today. This afternoon’s teaser trailer was not particularly impressive – it showed a blurry, black box and a few hasty cuts of a console – but it successfully sent waves across the industry, and that’s all that the platform holder really needed. The PlayStation 4 currently occupies a spot on most technology websites and blogs – The Sun and NBC among them – which is just what you want when your closest competitor is about to make a major announcement.
But this is something that the company’s going to have to repeat if it wants to stave off the media barrage that Microsoft’s impending Xbox event will bring. For all of its faults, the Redmond-based manufacturer is undeniably good at building buzz, and regardless of whatever else it has to offer tomorrow, the mere presence of Call of Duty: Ghosts and now FIFA 14 will stand the firm in good stead when it comes to mainstream media attention. That’s something that Sony absolutely must be aware of, and must have a response to, whether it’s a couple more hasty trailers or something a little more substantial.
Today’s footage was smart because it allowed the company to combat one of its greatest perceived weaknesses, while simultaneously creating hype for its E3 press conference. Following its PlayStation Meeting event, the firm was lambasted by some corners of the media for not showing a piece of hardware. Now, when Microsoft inevitably shows its box, it can at least point to E3 and 10th June as the date that it will make its response. Not showing the hardware itself will probably still go down as a misstep, but at least the platform holder is attempting to turn it into a positive. The countdown to its next big reveal has begun.
And doubling down on 10th June makes sense. Interest in the industry is always at its highest during E3, so riding on the coattails of the gigantic Los Angeles media circus will garner the system significant attention with very little effort. But the aforementioned date is still roughly three weeks away, and with Microsoft’s reveal right around the corner, Sony’s going to need something to remind consumers that its console is still on the horizon, too. The system may have hogged the limelight almost exclusively over the past three months, but that’s about to change dramatically.
However, today’s trailer proved that it can wait for E3 while still clawing back some mindshare. Short videos teasing new footage of games such as Killzone: Shadow Fall, DriveClub, and, perhaps even inFAMOUS: Second Son will not make mainstream news, but will at least keep the console on the homepage of games sites. The ‘Conversations with Creators’ series that the company has been running on the PlayStation Blog, for example, have done a great job of this – but it needs to intensify its output. These weekly videos alone will not be enough to keep the attention on its console.
The most positive thing is that Sony’s showing signs that it understands the challenges that it’s about to face. This afternoon’s hardware teaser may not have been to everyone’s tastes, but it showed an aptitude and awareness that the firm’s lacked for a long time. We’re actually confident that the company’s got a strategy in mind, and we haven’t felt that way about the PlayStation brand for a while. Now we just need to wait and see what the response entails, and cross our fingers that it has the desired effects.
Do you think that today’s PS4 teaser trailer was an inspired move, or a clunky reply? How do you think that Sony can keep the emphasis on its next generation platform over the coming weeks, and what challenges might it face in the wake of Microsoft’s big Xbox announcement? Let us know in the comments section below.
I'm excited for tomorrow's event, but my biggest 'worry' from a PlayStation perspective are the exclusivity deals. We know Microsoft has a history of them, and the company can really hurt Sony in this area.
It seems like it's aligning with gaming's biggest brands — Call of Duty and FIFA are both going to be at tomorrow's event — and while I don't expect either to be exclusive, if the Xbox brand continues to be aligned with those big properties (be it marketing deals or timed DLC), I think that's a big blow for PS4. Heck, it only needs to add GTA5 to that list, and it's basically got the three biggest brands in gaming.
Sony needs to get their hands on a MGS deal, it would be a great counter to the CoD timed dlc deal that Microsoft is obviously going to continue. Just take care of CoD and they can find some way to deal with Fifa later.
They also need to take advantage of the fact that Microsoft has already fired it's Halo and Gears bullets this gen. Those were 2 games that Sony needed to make sure they had a counter to, if Microsoft had them at launch.
Exclusive DLC won't hurt anyone, but exclusive games would.
The truth is there's not really much Sony can do until the faceoff with MS at E3.
@get2sammyb Timed exclusive doesn't really matter, but exclusive Games (Tales, Infamous, Beyond, etc) and DLC (AC) is what matters
Sony is beating the crap out of MS in the exclusive arena...last of us, killzone, last guardian, beyond two souls, resistance, LBP, god of war, infamous, gran turismo, deep down looks awesome, there is also a new ip from santa monica studios that is to be announced and then there is uncharted! I will take these games over timed DLC any day of the frickin week!!
That video still gives me a headache, though that post has 51 replies - the most since the merger I think - so, my body is ready. Wait, wrong blog
I think signing games exclusively to the Nextbox is still a big gamble at this point. If they confirm the 'always online' rumour, there are a lot of people who aren't going to buy it no matter what.
About two or three years ago, I would have been gutted about EA doing anything exclusive, but these days... not so much. I didn't buy Dead Space 3, I haven't bought any NFS games this generation, I'm not interested in Madden, and the last FIFA I got was 12 - and that was only by virtue of the fact that it came free with my 360 when I bought it. I think Battlefield is about the only EA game I personally would miss at the moment, but I don't see that going fully exclusive.
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