Will Sony announce the new Playstation 4 on February 20, six years and counting since the Playstation 3 (an eternity in tech years)?
The official word from the company has yet to come down, but several things are “known.” If announced, a new system could feature a new control with touch pad capabilities, like the PS Vita. It could allow more than one user to log in at the same time. You should be able to stream games and content, It’s probable it will have a more advanced motion support system.
One thing is a fact: This is Sony’s attempt to bring interest back into the home gaming market and quash their competitors Nintendo and Microsoft once and for all, especially in the U.S.
“Playstation 4 could potentially help reignite some interest in the retail console gaming market and top systems, much of the thunder of which has been stolen by smartphones, tablets, and alternative gaming devices,” Scott Steinberg, a consultant for the gaming industry, tells us.
In order to reenergize the video game market, Sony needs to innovate more than the power and performance they have relied on in the past. Manufactures need to consider the online multiplayer experience, expand to include more free-to-play games, provide more digital downloads and think about what sort of signature franchise -- games that won’t be available on any other console -- they want to provide.
“It’s not like every system doesn’t deliver top notch experiences, but if you look at where Microsoft really scored it was by delivering premium multiplayer experiences, a variety of digital media -- not just games -- and top notch, premium what we call in the industry “triple A” franchises,” Steinberg explains.
“They are really angling for (the Playstation 4 to be) a piece of your living room, not only as a gaming device but a digital lifestyle hub,” he adds.
Video game retail sales numbers have been going down for quite some time. In the United States -- the top video game market -- the NPD Group reported that sales in December 2012 dropped 22 percent compared to sales at the same time in 2011. The downward trend continued in January 2013, which was 9 percent lower than the same time in 2012.
Still, there’s plenty of potential: DFC Intelligence predicted that the worldwide gaming industry -- which includes video, PC and mobile games and devices -- will grow from $67 billion in 2012 to $82 billion in 2017.