The road to the release of a new console is always an exciting time - but when two potentially come along at once, things can get more than a little bit hectic. While Microsoft have yet to even officially confirm the next Xbox, letting (often negative) rumours continue to swirl about what their next console will or won't do, Sony have been continuing to win favour with press and punters alike, by making all the right noises. With developers impressed by the technical side of the machine, which is set to feature all sorts of the latest technology, including a huge 8GB of super fast DDR5 RAM, Sony have been keen to stress to the public at large that they're in touch with what players want, too.
Speaking to games magazine Edge, Shuhei Yoshida, the President of Sony's Worldwide Studios channelled the feelings of many when he said he would "hate" for the Playstation 4 to turn into a console that's full of shooters and hyper-realistic games. In fact, part of the reason why the very first game Sony showed running on the PS4 was the platformer Knack - a game where you play as a robot that can collect stones, screws, and debris in the environment, to grow in size and strength - was to send a message that the PS4 would be about more than just "gritty" shooters.
"Some people questioned: ‘the first game to show on PS4 – is it Knack?!’ [laughs] It was pretty intentional. [Playstation 4 Lead Architect and Sony Japan developer] Mark [Cerny]’s idea was like ‘what about [a] Crash Bandicoot for PS4?’ when he suggested the concept of Knack. We were like, yeah, we'd hate to see all the PS4 games being FPS or action-adventure or very photorealistic - you know, big-budget blockbuster games. And you know, people like these games, but these are not the only kinds of games that people can have fun with.”
“When you look at the five key principles behind designing [the] PS4, none of them are hardware related, actually. It’s all about how people use and experience, enjoy games, realised by the system software features and network functions.”
Meanwhile, another high up Sony bod, Andrew House, spoke to Sun City (the Sun's financial section) about the Playstation 4's prospects, emphasising how reaching out to the wider audience was a key part of Sony's strategy - and they were going to do it by making the games they'll want to play. “We are not going down the route of making the console pink of course. I think the key is to have people - and increasingly women - with different sensibilities creating different games. It is not all about shoot ’em up games. The key is getting games developers - who are going to make the next Angry Birds - excited about the PS4. And they are."
While we're admittedly a bit disappointed about the lack of a pink PS4 (colours other than grey or black would be appreciated, Sony!) the sentiment that there are too many shooters around is one that's been shared by players, and the staff here at Everybody Plays for a long time now. With publishers growing ever more cautious, and only willing to put their weight behind games they class as being sure-fire hits, it's not hard to see why more and more have ended up being turned into Call of Duty-alikes, as they attempt to tap into some of that market. What publishers have so far ignored is the market out there that craves something different - something brighter, something more fun, something that isn't a shooter. Something like Knack. If Sony can sign the games, and prove to publishers that that audience really does exists, they could be on to a winning formula.