With the pending release of the Playstation 4 gaming console it goes without saying that there will be much interest and scrutiny leading up to, and beyond the release of the console.
Playstation 3 enthusiasts are likely to be early purchasers of the system as will tech heads that have to have the latest gizmos upon release regardless of their affiliation and interests.
I remember the anticipation leading up to the launch of the “Star Wars” prequels, and never once did anyone even consider the possibility that the new films would not meet expectations and would in fact disappoint. With that in mind, I decided to take a look at things that Sony must avoid at all costs with the Playstation 4 in order to ensure a successful launch and long term viability for the system.
First and foremost, the new system must be stable upon launch. There is nothing more annoying than setting up a new system and finding out that it has issues connecting online, enabling 3D, synching a control, or loading and playing a game.
It seems like such a common sense issue to avoid but the first impression many gamers need to have is a positive one based on happy interaction with a unit, not calls and e-mails to a tech support department.
Have an adequate supply of games and accessories at launch. It can be hard enough to get a console when it first releases, do not make gamers have to be waitlisted for additional controls and games.
The Wii had this issue as did Rock Band as there was a severe shortage of controls available to the public, and gamers can be a fickle bunch. If they invest in a product, they expect to be able to play it that day and do not want to have to wait for supplies to catch up to demand.
Quality as well as quantity when it comes to gaming is essential. It is not enough to have several games at launch, it is important to have several games that we will actually want to play. Do not flood us with casual games that look to be only slight improvements over their Playstation 3 counterparts, give us bold and inventive games that make even the most skeptical gamers clamor for the system.
Also make games easy for new players to enter into the franchise. There are those who have not played Infamous, Killzone, or other signature Playstation series. Give them a reason to be excited about the new exclusives and craft games that players can enter a series without the impression that they are at a disadvantage for not having played previous entries in the series.
Make social networking easy, secure, and interesting for all gamers, not just the younger and hardcore audience. I think of people like my wife, mother, and sister. Make it so easy that my mother could use it, but interesting enough that a casual gamer will want to explore.
I can see myself sharing gameplay experiences with readers, listeners, friends, and fans but will a person who is a casual player have much interest in this? I know it is a good way for players to view a game before they make a purchase, but ensure that they can not only make and share videos, but give them a reason to want to do so.
The online experience must be secure as the Playstation 4 and Sony cannot handle a hacking issue. If you expect gamers to share their online experiences then they must know that they can connect easily in a safe and reliable fashion and that they can have a reasonable expectation to be able to easily match up with others gamers.
I think back to 007 Legacy and how one would often wait 5-10 minutes just to be able to join a match. This cannot happen as if there is not a quick match, I like many other gamers will not wait around.
Make motion control and the touch pad and exciting and vital part of the game. Do not be like the Wii and make what was an interesting technology quickly become a gimmick.
Just because you can include motion control and touch ability in a game does not require that all games have this ability. If it enhances the gameplay, then great I am all for it, but do not force it upon me with every game that comes out.
Finally make sure the system is affordable. I do not want to see a $600 console at launch. The Wii U was about right at $400 for the deluxe model. This is a reasonable rate as lets be honest, manufacturers lose money on the system and make money on accessories, games, and other factors. Do not turn the shining example of free online console gaming into a “pay for play” system where every online factor requires additional cash outlays.
We will be getting some hands on time with the system at E3 this June but until then, gamers will debate the new system as well as the pending system by Microsoft endlessly and I think both systems can benefit by following the suggestions I listed above.