Tuesday, February 19, 2013

What to expect from tomorrow's PlayStation event

Only a day ahead of Sony's PlayStation4 event in New York, I would like to briefly single out one aspect from the recently leaked controller images and comment on what to expect from the new console - and what may not be on the cards.

In my lengthy article below, I already noted why you should not expect the PS4 to be the hardware beast the PS3 was, due to Sony's shaky financial situation, costly new controller features and a desired low price tag.

Examining the leaked images of the PS4 controller prototype, I picked up on an aspect other commentators seem to have failed to notice. While other media outlets have dissected the controller only, I find the rest of the image much more interesting. Let us have a look, courtesy of Destructoid.

First of all, the authenticity of the image is corroborated by the Wii development kit resting on top of the PS4 hardware. But it is the PS4 development kit we should be focusing on. Notice how it is only a little bigger than the Wii kit. And then bear in mind the size of the first PS3 dev kits that were circulated prior to the current PlayStation's launch.

As you can see, the early PS3 dev kits were huge. In comparison, that PS4 kit is only a fraction of that size. This may be an indicator of the hardware being on the humble side, as I expect it to be.

And once again, I am absolutely convinced that neither Sony nor Microsoft will launch new consoles in 2013. If Sony announces a 2013 launch for the PS4 tomorrow, expect that date to be pushed back to 2014 at a later date.

EDIT Unsurprisingly, the English newspaper The Times reports that the new PlayStation is set to be cheaper than its predecessor.

Industry sources and leaked internal documents suggest that Sony is considering pricing the new device at about £300, more than £100 cheaper than the starting cost of its predecessor, the PlayStation 3.
In comparison, the Wii U premium bundle retails in the UK for around £290, just less than the price tag proposed for the new PlayStation. £300 convert to around $460 and €350.

Just days ago, the Wall Street Journal had reported that the new PlayStation would incorporate streaming technology, most likely in the wake of Sony's acquisition of Gaikai last year.

Sony Corp. is planning to offer technology to stream games to its next videogame console, people familiar with the company's plans say, alongside other enhancements to bolster its position in the market.

The new technology, to be unveiled Wednesday along with the new console, will allow users to play games delivered over the Internet, these people said. The streaming service, they added, is designed to use current PlayStation 3 titles on the new console; the new device is also expected to play new games stored on optical discs.