Sony’s Ingenious Plan For The Next Generation

The seemingly endless console wars are heating up once again with the recent announcements of the next generation consoles, Sony’s PlayStation 4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One. At E3 2013, both companies laid out most of their plans for their respective consoles, with the majority of people agreeing with Sony’s policies over those of Microsoft. Both showed a large amount of games, each with their own promising qualities. Sony’s conference lasted slightly longer, although the first half hour or so was dedicated to the PlayStation 3 and the Vita. When everything was said and done, each next-gen console got about the same amount of screen time at their proper conferences. People walked away from Sony’s conference shocked by the completely opposite ways both companies seem to be going in this new generation. The PlayStation 4 will debut at $100 less than the Xbox One, it will support used games, and no online requirements really exist. While these are all indeed going to mean good business for Sony, and their plan to outsell the Xbox One may very well work, I believe there is a more clever plan of theirs going into effect right now.

Before I continue, I should make it known that the majority of my gaming in this current generation has taken place on an Xbox 360. I think that the controller is comfortable, and it is also where all of my friends are, so it was the platform I chose to support the most. That being said, however, I did buy a PS3 at launch because of my love for its predecessor and still have it to this day. I have only played a handful of games on it, but the exclusives I have played on it such as InFamous and God of War are more interesting to me than the exclusives that the Xbox boasts, such as Halo and Gears of War. Nonetheless, I stuck with the Xbox 360 for most of my games, until very recently, when another Sony exclusive came along: The Last of Us.

Now, even if you’re a hard-boiled Microsoft fan-boy, you are out of your mind if you cannot admit that Naughty Dog is talented at what they do, and The Last of Us is no exception. Without spoiling anything, the game is a masterpiece on more than one front, and I could not put it down during my time with it. The Last of Us was my first Naughty Dog game since the earlier Crash games, as I could never get into Uncharted. Now that I’ve played TLoU and have seen what Naughty Dog is capable of when they are in charge of the story, I may have to go back and play that series. However, the brilliance of The Last of Us not only makes me want to go back and play their earlier games, it also makes me excited for what they are going to do next. It makes me even more excited for what the PlayStation 4 has in store.

I have heard several people insist that you cannot launch a new IP so late in the console generation, as they will never take off. However, two examples of this, The Last of Us and Dishonored, are very successful games that were introduced late in the console cycle. In The Last of Us’ case, it was released less than a year before the PlayStation 4 comes out. Now, as things stand, I was already going to get a PlayStation 4, but with the added curiosity of whatever Naughty Dog’s next project is, I feel like Sony has hit a goldmine in terms of how much hype they can hope to attract for the system, and I cannot wait to see what their other studios choose to do with the hardware.