Since E3 kicks off on Monday I wanted to take a second and take note of the things I (and probably you) would like to see from both Microsoft and Sony at their press conferences.
Going into this E3 Sony has a lot of momentum. They've now officially sold more PS3's than Microsoft has sold Xbox 360's in the world (both a little over 77 Million units). They're about to release the highest reviewed game of the year (so far) with Last of Us next week and Microsoft has a minor PR nightmare on their hands at the moment. All of this is casting the PS4 in a very favorable light among core gamers. It's Sony's to win, all they have to do is listen to me...
Show us the box Sony. I know I'd be greedy to ask for something sleek and high-end looking while still wanting it under $500 but I'll do it anyway. In the end, I really don't care what it looks like as long as it plays games.
Streaming Games/UI/ Community Features
They promised a lot of lofty ideas about downloading games and being to play them almost instantly, being able to stream games (PS1, PS2, PS3), or watching our friends play games. None of that was actually shown in real-time so I'd like to see at least some of this stuff in action. I know they recently bought the streaming company Gaikai and they're probably still integrating and optimizing it but they have to show something. They showed us bits of information about sharing and community features that looked very interesting, but I'd like to see a little more, especially the interface.
Everyone is waiting to see if Sony decides to charge this generation for online gaming. Microsoft made a lot of money off of Xbox Live subscriptions but also turned off a lot of gamers. It's a fine line to walk, but something I think they nailed with PS Plus. It's not clear if Sony will carry over PS Plus but without backwards compatibility it'll be of little use for a while. That is unless they are able to get their streaming service up and running and introduce that as part of a PS Plus membership. That would be awesome, but I'm not holding my breath.
Used Games/Always Connected
Sony has to come out and CLEARLY explain their position on how game licensing will work on the PS4 if it's any different than the PS3. They've been quiet during Microsoft's fumble to the truth and they can't make the same mistake. If it's similar to Microsoft's policies they need to let consumers know explicitly and show how this could benefit gamers. Cheaper older digital copies of games on PSN like Steam? However if they announce something less restrictive (and confusing) than Microsoft then I they're half-way home to a great console launch.
I know everyone ragged on Microsoft for talking only about TV the majority of their press conference but a lot of us do care about TV/media. Granted a lot of us are increasingly getting our video content from the web instead of cable but we still want an elegant way to curate and watch it all. Sony has always provide high quality hardware but their software has alway been mediocre at best. I'm curious to see how the PS4 will handle media.
What will it do? Are there any games for it? Can I use it for navigation & voice ala Kinect? Do I have to have it hooked up to play games that don't use it? I'm not that excited about the PS Eye but glad it's there, I guess. If developers do figure out great uses for it then everyone will have one and it's great. However if it's going to be as used as often as the other PS Eye's before it than they could keep it and charge me less for a console bundle. Prove me wrong Sony....
This is Sony's strongest hand to play as they've dominated this generation in this area by consistently delivering high quality first and second-party titles (God of War, Uncharted, Last of Us, Infamous). Sony has at least 12 studios around the world and a strong line up of second party indie-developers that have brought some incredible titles to PSN (Flower, Journey, Super Stardust HD). Sony fans will be looking to see something from Sony Santa Monica, Naughty Dog, Pixel Junk, ThatGameCompany, and of course the now mythical, The Last Guardian from Team ICO/Sony Japan. There's also rumors that the once exclusive Square may be bring it back to Sony making the next-gen Final Fantasy (Versus XIII/FFXV) a PS4 exclusive. Sony knows how to get their fans excited so I'm anxious to see what kind of surprises they have up their sleeves.
Hey Sony, good luck trying to talk about all of this in 2 hours. I'm bullish on exclusives, bearish on streaming oriented services being ready at launch.
What are you looking to see/hear from Sony's E3 Press Conference?