Saturday, May 28, 2011

Sony E3 Expectations

Hopefully, this year's E3 convention in California, held from June 6th to 8th, will impress as much as last year. Sony had a moderately strong showing. They demonstrated how powerful the Playstation Move will be, displaying games and showing the versatility of the peripheral. They debuted Playstation Plus, which gives the most loyal Sony fans even more for their money, with free games, demos, avatars and more with a paid subscription fee. They displayed the awesome visual flourish of the 3D enabled games and movies, with the free update that rolled out later after the announcement. Lastly, they announced one of the most anticipated remakes/sequels ever, Twisted Metal. This year, no one really knows what exactly to expect, but here's a bit of speculation on my behalf.

Here's what I think WILL happen:

1. Sony will further demonstrate the NGP, and give it the official name, pricing and release date.

Let's face it, Next Generation Portable will probably not be the final name of the system. It doesn't even have Playstation in it's name, which indicates to me that the name is not finalized. The pricing of the system seems to be one of the most anticipated morsels of information, and will really determine the success of the system. I believe it will be between $300 and $400. There are rumors floating around that Sony has began taking a few things out of their system, such as the 16GB internal hard drive, to lower costs. Personally, I'd rather pay more, and get a better system that will last longer. The fact of the matter is that the general consumer really isn't looking for the best deal, they're looking for the cheapest price. For that reason alone, I think Sony will try to make their system release at an initial price point of $300. The last part, the release date, is also a tricky thing to talk about. Due to the recent tragedy in Japan, as well as the hackers and bad P.R. that affected Sony, many believe that the system will have to be pushed back until next year. Sony has repeatedly reassured us that the system is still on schedule. I hope, for Sony's sake, that they release it this year, and capitalize on the Holiday season, and the poor launch of the Nintendo 3DS.

2. Sony will emphasize their exclusive titles for 2011, and provide more information on their most popular franchises.

Throughout 2011, Sony has had an immense number of exclusive titles, with more to come. Each of these games has actually been reviewed pretty well, and almost all of them are continuations of already well-established stories. The year began with Little Big Planet 2, then moved to Killzone 3, Socom 4, and Motorstorm: Apocalypse. There are many still waiting to be released including Infamous 2, Resistance 3, Twisted Metal, Ratchet and Clank: All 4 One, and Uncharted 3. There probably won't be a lot of information or display on Infamous 2, since it comes out the same week of E3, but expect tons of information on the other titles. Twisted Metal is already lining up a huge booth for the convention, and Insomniac, the creator of Ratchet and Resistance, will be there as well. Uncharted 3 is probably one of the most anticipated games of 2011, and will definitely have a huge showing with more information on locations, multiplayer, and the long-awaited story answers.

3. Sony will announce new titles for 2012, which could either be sequels or completely new franchises.

Sony definitely has 2011 captured as far as exclusivity goes, but 2012 remains a mystery. With almost all of their established franchises releasing sequels in 2011, this leaves little to look forward to for 2012. Sony will definitely need to announce some new titles or more information on titles that are very mysterious still, such as The Last Guardian and Sorcery. Hopefully, and this is wild speculation, something God of War related will be announced. Insomniac has a new IP that will be published by EA, but it seems like they aren't going to really be addressing that very much.

4. Kevin Butler will make an appearance.

Over the past few months, Sony has been dealing with a lot of horrible PR, due to the hacks. Kevin Butler is a symbol of Sony that people can love and laugh with, which Sony really could use right now. Kevin Butler totally stole the show at 2010's E3, and gave Sony what it needed, good marketing. Sony can't focus too much on the hack incident, and they can't just leave it alone. They will address it, but Kevin Butler will be there for comedic relief and an awesome show.

Here's what I think WILL NOT happen:

1. Sony will announce the Playstation 4.

Nintendo plans on announcing Project Cafe, or the Wii 2, or whatever their next system will be named. There have been rumors that Microsoft is almost ready to announce their next system as well. Sony, however, hasn't said much until recently about their next system. They did confirm that they are in production and development on another system. Sony will not, however, even address it at E3. The Playstation 3 is performing extremely well in 2011, selling many units. There is no need right now for either Sony or Microsoft to announce a new system, since both the Playstation 3 and XBOX 360 haven't reached their capacity to perform yet. Sony and Microsoft will highly likely announce their new systems at 2012 or 2013's E3.

2. Sony will apologize repeatedly for the hacks.

Sony will definitely mention the hacks. I'm really tired of people complaining about it, however. It happens. I mean, yes, it was disappointing that online play was down for almost 4 weeks. Yes, its a bit annoying that personal information was compromised. There is nothing in my opinion that Sony really did wrong. They assessed the situation and informed the public in a timely manner. Even if they had said exactly what happened right away, nothing else could have been done by the public. Sony will apologize, but not repeatedly.

Hopefully, some of these predictions come true. Feel free to comment and give your opinions!


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