The house that Sony built :: PS4 and why it’s still going strong

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having it, will make me love YOU even more

Why did Sony win E3 2016? I was asked this question consistently by many of my peers, after I proclaimed the same on my FB wall. The Bethesda conference wasn’t bad. EA and Ubisoft had decent games to show off. The PC Gaming Show was stellar, and how could I overlook the smart announcements of Microsoft regarding Scorpio and cross play. I mean what’s cooler than a new console?

I will tell you what’s cooler. It’s the vision that Sony has created and pursued ever since the PS4 came out. Its cooler how they have committed to creating a brand, instead of keyword hype. Its cooler to see the PlayStation name stand tall when everyone around them is looking for an identity.

The things MS has focused on during their 4 E3 conferences in clockwise order
The things MS has focused on during their 4 E3 conferences from left to right

In 2015, MS had the Hololens. In 2016 no Hololens, but we have Scorpio now.

Let’s look at Microsoft, it’s biggest competitor. In 2013, their press conference was all about Xbox One. In 2014, MS were busy in convincing everyone who would listen that they are gamer-friendly with Phil Spencer becoming the face of Xbox. In 2015, their ‘trust issues’ were more or less silenced, but MS decided to expand the Xbox brand beyond the console, and focused on cross-play between PC and Xbox One and a 15 minute demo of Hololens. This year, MS came out with a different hardware altogether, and as they tried to sell you on the slim version of Xbox One, they announce there is another powerful one coming soon, all the while trying to re-assure you that your current console won’t be ignored. And oh yes also their biggest exclusives are coming to PC as well; and no Hololens. All they have done is disappoint their fan-base by first diluting their exclusive library and then coming up with a newer console which could undermine their current one.

This time Link can run, and talk.
This time Link can run, and talk.

At this point Nintendo fans would take a Zelda game which is last gen, over constant disappointment, and even pretend to enjoy it.

Then there is Nintendo. Who have basically decided to sit this one out. A sub par console, and more handheld version than the DC multiverse, Nintendo have tested the patience of their fans. Right about now, the Nintendo fan base would have taken a Zelda game where Link talking was the biggest leap in gameplay. Oh wait! I would be more critical of Nintendo, but I haven’t played a Nintendo game in a while, and they seem to churn out excellent games when they finally decide to do so.

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Each year the biggest news coming out of Sony has been a game.

On the other hand, let’s talk about the biggest stories coming out of Sony E3 conferences over the past few years. In 2013, it was the PS4, inFamous Second Son and Killzone Shadowfall. The next year in 2014, it was The Order 1886, Bloodborne and No Man’s Sky. The one after that it was Uncharted 4, Shinmue 3 and The Last Guardian. This year it was God Of War, Spiderman PS4, Death Stranding, and Detroit: Become Human and the PS VR. They were not necessarily the biggest stories of E3, but they were the biggest stories from the Sony conference.

Maybe Sony does have a new console coming out. But it wasn’t on display at E3 this year, because its the not the brand they are behind right now. It would have only confused and disillusioned the millions of gamers who already own a PS4. Every PS VR game on display ran on the PS4. All the demos ran on the PS4. Everything that came out of that conference had PS4 written all over it.

That's what people are saying even after 40 million PS4 sold
That’s what people are saying even after 40 million PS4 sold

Sony and incidentally PlayStation have focused on games. And it’s not a one time thing like the MS conference in 2014. They have built trust and confidence with their player base over time. They have given them what they wanted at every conference. Every year the biggest news coming out of a Sony conference is a game. And this vision has not been limited to just E3. Sony have created a new hierarchy separating the PlayStation (gaming) and the Electronic legs of Sony, freeing PlayStation from the dead weight (relative) of their electronic division. They have always been a platform which has been known for supporting indies since the PS3 days. They even went ahead and bought Kojima on board and let him setup a new studio (that’s some good-guy stuff right there). And they helped kick-start Shenmue 3.

At least you don’t begrudge Sony when you pay for their games. Unlike Ubisoft, EA and Activision.

I read somewhere in a comment that Sony has milked money with remasters, while I do think re-masters have a place in today’s time (especially for people who missed out on last gen exclusives when they jumped ships). I would like to point out something. Of course like any other corporation, Sony wants your money. But alteast, when you buy a game produced and distributed by SEO, you don’t do it begrudgingly like when you are buying the next FIFA, the next COD, or the next Assassin’s Creed. Instead they gave you the game which has been in development hell for eons, kickstarted a game which you though would never happen and re-invented atleast 3 franchises on their new console. And for that reason I think Sony won E3 2016.

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  • Pratyush Raj

    I agree that a new game is exciting and all… But…..
    “On the other hand, let’s talk about the biggest stories coming out of Sony E3 conferences over the past few years. In 2013, it was the PS4, inFamous Second Son and Killzone Shadowfall. The next year in 2014, it was The Order 1886, Bloodborne and No Man’s Sky. The one after that it was Uncharted 4, Shinmue 3 and The Last Guardian. This year it was God Of War, Spiderman PS4, Death Stranding, and Detroit: Become Human and the PS VR. They were not necessarily the biggest stories of E3, but they were the biggest stories from the Sony conference.”
    The Order and Killzone fell flat on their face. Infamous was an average game. Bloodborne was a good game, but it was just Dark Souls with small twists, so if you have played Dark Souls, you aren’t missing much. And before you tell me, I know that Bloodborne is a bit aggressive in nature than the Dodgey dodgey dogey hitty Dark Souls and that they have different names for Estus flask and all. No Man’s Sky is exciting but it has not released and Shenmue 3 is also not released yet, so can’t say about that as well. I don’t understand the appeal for Uncharted apart from it’s graphics. And the glitches are just amazing, in spite of having such a linear and scripted gameplay.

    For the past few years, 2011 to be exact, Sony has been trying to push the graphical limits of their consoles and forgetting the more important aspect, that is, gameplay, and we have seen that. The two of their most highly rated games include U4 and TLOU have been better described as cinematic experiences. Infamous and Prototype are almost the same with a few gimmicks extra that infamous has so people are not missing much if they have played prototype, and we can’t say that one of them have copied the other because their first installments were released in the same year with a few months gap difference.

    Also, I have one question from all PS people. We all know that Uncharted is the best exclusive PS has got, but till now, Uncharted 4 has only sold about 4 million copies (It’s just an estimate, considering that it sold 2.7 million in the first week, and dropped 78% in sales by the second week and the sales kept dropping since then). So out of 40 million PS4 owners, only 1/10th are actually Uncharted fans? I mean many multiplats sell more than that. And yes your PS4 has to be justifyable. I know a reason can be that console owners do not want to go through a tough time running their games, but if it were really that great a game I would expect it to sell more considering the history it has.

    “Then there is Nintendo. Who have basically decided to sit this one out. A sub par console, and more handheld version than the DC multiverse, Nintendo have tested the patience of their fans. Right about now, the Nintendo fan base would have taken a Zelda game where Link talking was the biggest leap in gameplay. Oh wait! I would be more critical of Nintendo, but I haven’t played a Nintendo game in a while, and they seem to churn out excellent games when they finally decide to do so.”

    A sub par console does not necessarily mean bad games. It is all about how a game is. Nintendo’s handheld games have performed at par in quality (NOT GRAPHICS, INNOVATION) to those on the bigger platforms. Look at Splatoon, it is something new and innovative which many AAA developers are afraid of making, so that their sales don’t drop. Yes it has it’s flaws, but Nintendo is the best console developer according if you look statistically and from the fact that they don’t hype things up. Yes, they have become a more niche company, but that has not stopped them from making better games. Also look at Xenoblade Chronicles, that game is huge and has so much content. Yes they milk franchises, but go on Metacritic, most of their legend of Zelda games are above 80s and quite a few above 90s and only one that I saw dropped into 70s, talk about consistency. Also Nintendo is the first console developer to give some kind of development into the hands of gamers with the Mario maker and that does not disappoint. Art is what matters, not graphics. Yes maybe they do not have a new IP in many years, but their games have been great.

    And when you see that Microsoft is bringing all their Xbox 360 games to the Xbox One, isn’t it clear that they are milking money. And for those who have not played on the previous generation, the Xbox 360 games can run on the Xbox One, instead of waiting and spending more money on their remasters. For those who re-buy the game, I guess they have too much money on their hands. And it’s not like there is much of a difference.

    Many people say that they don’t care about graphics, but people liking certain games proves otherwise.

    • The point is not that the games coming out were successful or not. The point is that the news coming out of each E3 every year were games, and not something different every year. Sony decided upon a vision, and they stuck to it, inspite of your afore mentioned look at those games, they were loyal to their customer base, unlike Microsoft who don’t know what works for them even after 4 years of experimenting

  • msd525

    When they revealed the PS Vita slim it was at Tokyo Game Show, wasn’t it? I expect the same for any revisions of the PS4.

    • That might be correct, though I can’t find any concrete dates on that. Though again, after that phase where they were trying to focus on PS3 and PS Vita simultaneously…as soon as the PS4 was out…it was just PS4 from that point on…hell the last E3 conference didn’t have a single PS Vita game.