What Sony Needs To Do To Beat Microsoft At E3 2015 – Forbes
Earlier today, Microsoft Microsoft had their E3 press event, and it more or less went off without a hitch. In an era where the Xbox One hasn’t always impressed at E3, today was a welcome change with Microsoft debuting some pretty excellent looking new games (Rare’s Sea of Thieves, Recore), a new installment from a powerhouse franchise (Gears of War) and the biggest bombshell of all, the fact that Xbox One will now be fully backward compatible with Xbox 360 discs.
That’s something no one saw coming this far into the console’s lifecycle. Backward compatibility has been long thought to be replaced by HD re-releases or digital store offerings at best. The Xbox One granting access to the full library of 360 games is a very significant point in its favor.
Sony Sony dominated E3 in 2013 when they thoroughly embarrassed Microsoft by decimating their initial vision for the Xbox One with the low-cost, used game-friendly PS4, and they’ve been dramatically winning the sales war ever since. But it’s a different ballgame two years later, and Microsoft is doing everything they can to claw their way back. What can Sony do to shut down Microsoft’s buzz? Let’s see.
Morpheus Must Impress
Microsoft has now announced partnerships in some form or another with both Valve’s Vive and Facebook’s Oculus Rift, and debuted an impressive AR HoloLens demo for Minecraft to boot. That means that Sony has a lot riding on Project Morpheus which so far, has been one of the most reclusive VR projects out there. Sony has to reveal a good deal more information about the Morpheus than they have so far, announce some big titles for it, reveal a price, say it will work with any stock PS4, etc. It’s hard to demo VR on stage and make it look impressive (not so with AR, as we saw today), but they really need to start pitching Morpheus hard before the VR rocket ship takes off with Microsoft hitching a ride on all its competitors.
Uncharted 4 was one of the breakout star games of last E3, so this time around, it may be a little harder to impress. But it remains the most deadly arrow in PS4’s quiver, and every new piece of footage we see from the game continues to be impressive. The pressure is on, however, now that Microsoft has wrangled Tomb Raider in its corner, which is shaping up to be more or less a direct competitor to Nathan Drake and company. The Uncharted delay is really going to hurt come fall when Sony doesn’t have a real answer for Halo 5, and so the game has to be extremely impressive both today with whatever’s shown, and of course when it actually arrives.
Microsoft announced their $350 price point and 1TB system for $400 ahead of E3, while Sony has remained silent on any logistical PS4 plans. We have to believe some kind of cut, new hard drive, or both is coming, and hell, I wouldn’t mind if they redesigned the controller as well (preferably one with non-shreddable thumbsticks). PS4 snagged a huge early lead with its $100 price disparity from the One back in 2013. If it’s possible, they need to try to undercut them yet again. Could they simultaneously cut the price and give out a double size hard drive as well? Or maybe a $400 2TB system instead? Only Sony themselves know that, but it would certainly be a big point in their favor if they could manage it.
The Pale Horse
For a few years now, one of Sony’s most iconic PlayStation franchises has been missing in action. I’m not sure which gods and titans of Greek mythology are left for Kratos to kill, but I can’t imagine that we’ll be forced to have a PS4 without a God of War game forever. After the dismal debut of The Order, the SCE Santa Monica team team should refocus on their bread and butter. God of War is one of the best hack-n-slashes of all time, and even if a new game is an entire reboot of the series (seriously, Kratos has literally murdered everyone by this point), God of War should not continue to be shelved indefinitely. It’s one of Sony’s biggest exclusive powerhouses and while we’re all very sad about how The Order turned out, I think resources are better spent resurrecting Kratos than sequelizing Sony’s werewolf-less werewolf hunting game.
At Long Last, A Guardian
No the “Guardian” I’m referring to here is not from Destiny (though Sony is absolutely going to try to treat that like an exclusive franchise today). Rather, I’m naturally talking about The Last Guardian from Team Ico, the fabled game that has reached Half-Life 3 levels of elusiveness, having been in the works for eons and constantly is on the verge of ceasing to exist altogether. It’s what every Sony fan on earth wants to see, and it would dominate the week’s conversation if Sony figure out some way to finally kick it into gear with an actual progress report, new footage and a planned release date.
Those are my keys for Sony’s success, and we’ll see how they do tonight.
Watch below to see when Call of Duty may return to World War II: