From the moment Sony announced their February 20th event, the news reports have all came to the idea that the event will be the announcement of the PS4. Most of this information originates from a Wall Street Journal article that cites “sources” but nothing more. There is a possibility this announcement will not be the big PS4 reveal everyone is expecting.
The Wall Street Journal reported this February 20th event will show off new PS4 hardware. The reporter stated that “through sources” and nothing else, that Sony would be showing off hardware, not specifically a console or the next console. The rest of the information from Wall Street Journal seems to be a culmination of the rumored specs that have been circulating the internet. They also said this console is supposed to have more social networking features, be more powerful than the next Xbox 360, and be able to leap all buildings in a single bound.
First off, here’s the video teaser that was released for those of you who’ve missed it.
Here are nine possible reasons why Sony may not be revealing the PS4 just yet.
The Announcement Only Said The Future of PlayStation, It Could Be Anything
The announcement video doesn’t actually say anything but the date. The four symbols have electricity through them, but other than that, there’s nothing that can be deduced from the video. The blog labeled the video “See The Future”, yet the future could be focused on anything, including software. Other than that, there’s just links to collect E-mails from potential consumers.
Sony is still releasing new variations of the PS3
Sony just recently announced a new God of War PS3 bundle that is garnet red, rather than the usual black. In Japan, there are blue and red variations available. The latest PS3 model revision was announced just last year before the holidays. This goes along with the fact the prices still haven’t fallen with these new models.
Price of the PS3 hasn’t hit mass market yet
Many consider the price of under $200 and closer to $150 to be the mass market price for a gaming console. At that point, buying a new console will be more of a impulse rather than a major buying decision. Both the Wii and Xbox 360 have hit this point, but the least expensive PS3 is still $250.
Upcoming Unreleased Games
There are still a couple of high profile games for the PS3 that haven’t been released yet, but with a possible rumored PS4 release in the Fall, Sony would be taking a lot of care to make sure they shoot themselves in the foot. Quantic Dream’s Two Souls: Beyond still has no release date but is still listed for the PS3, and Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto V is coming out in September.
New Playstation Store online
If you haven’t seen it yet, Sony put a full PSN store online that can be accessed through a web browser. It works as expected, and buying games on it will allow you to download the game to the PS3. It does seem strange to create this nice updated store, make it easy to buy any game, yet force someone to go home to the PS3 to download it. It would be a better experience to be able to play the game instantly. This would be more of a software enhancement rather than hardware. There was once service that did allow instant game access called Gaikai.
Sony’s Purchase of Gaikai for $380 Million
Sony purchased Gaikai for a sum of $380 million. Gaikai was making deals with Samsung to extend the service directly onto televisions and extending it’s presence. It’s possible that Sony was given a similar offer; Sony saw a bigger picture and purchased them instead. The Gaikai service could be re-branded as the new PSN, PlayStation Network powered by Gaikai and add instant gaming experiences to just about any machine running a web browser. Plus, consumers could then buy a game and play it instantly online.
A Gaikai app could be used to bypass the PS3′s limited ram
It has been well documented that the PS3 has limited RAM for the OS. Instead of running it through the browser, Sony could release a Gaikai app for the PS3 similar to that of Netflix or Hulu. Bypass the browser, solve the problem, the hardware could still be used without being upgraded. This extends the longevity of the current consoles and keeps them relevant. If the power of the next PlayStation is really as amazing as being boasted, then that would be expensive to produce, and the longer they wait, the price of the parts decrease. They save more money the longer they wait.
Anti-Piracy Patent Also Assigns Games To Individual Accounts
The anti-used games patent that Sony filed a month back could be a red herring. After reviewing the patent, the system they are developing locks games to individual accounts regardless of whether or not the game is bought in a store or through digital distribution. This could be the secret to the PSN updates. The game could literally follow you anywhere like Uncharted and Infamous.
Getting more games on more platforms means more sales
Sony has been working the idea of the PS Mobile, a single gaming app that works across multiple devices and delivers a consistent gaming experience. They’ve been struggling to push this initiative on the mobile front, but who’s to say the vision is only limited to just mobile. Giving gamers without PS3 funds the ability to buy The Last of Us and play it on their browser is still a win for Sony.
All of these reasons are just speculation, just as the PS4 announcement itself came from just a “source”. Even with these reasons, Sony could still announce a more powerful console that’s more expensive than the last at a time when people are holding on to their limited funds. They could also announce new PS Move hardware or the release date for The Last Guardian and Two Souls: Beyond. It could even just be a way to get consumers to sign up to their mailing list. We will all find out in due time.