Sony: Core gamers will be well catered for on PS4
Sony Computer Entertainment has told Pocket-lint that the PS4 will "cater" for core gamers as it looks to capture those jaded with what's on offer at the moment.
In stark contrast to the way the Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii and Wii U, and even the PlayStation 3 have been marketed in the past, Sony's press preview in New York of the new PlayStation experience was rather dominated by men pitching men games about men things.
And talking to Pocket-lint after the event on Wednesday in a one-to-one interview, Fergal Gara, UK and Ireland MD for Sony Computer Entertainment, confirmed that with the PS4, Sony is gunning for core gamers.
"If you look at the history of consoles they always start with the core gamers," he said. "The first people to buy it will be core gamers and we plan to cater for them very well. We are building the best gaming machine we could build."
However, that's only initially. If you think that means there will be no other reason to buy into the new gaming experience, think again.
Sony is all too aware of Microsoft's entertainment focus, Apple's appeal to indie developers, and Nintendo's family-friendly ideology, having made clear in our interview that while the emphasis on core games for gamers was "deliberate" at the New York event, the PS4 is a lot more than a one-trick pony.
While they were in the minority, the launch event did add some less murder-death-kill moments. Appearances from developers such as Media Molecule, which makes the Little Big Planet series for the current generation PlayStation 3, and more light-hearted games such as Knack and The Witness, an indie title from the developer of Braid, did show there will be some light to the shade.
Then there is the entertainment play. The PS4 will have Blu-ray, a Netflix app, and a range of services akin to what is already available on PS3, with the added focus on social and sharing.
"What I find really interesting about Drive Club is that I'll be able to invite friends to watch me play the game even if they don't own it," explained Gara, on one of the new features of the new console.
Sony hopes that such a move will increase games sales considerably as gamers become advocates and marketing men of games rather than just players.
On the question of how it will compete with or differ from the onslaught of Android and iOS devices and consoles in the works, Sony doesn't seem too concerned. Gara told us that it is a console designed by developers for developers and that the company has still to explore the middle ground when it comes to games.
And let's not forget, the NYC event was about "redefining the top-tier experience" rather than trying to explain everything all at once.
That redefining the top-tier experience fits in nicely with the fact that the PlayStation 3 is still going strong even though it is now the less-impressive sibling.
"It's the best ever year for the PS3 this year," Gara said. "It's wrong to say that the PS3 is now rubbish because a new console has come along. We've got some really strong titles still due this year, including Last of Us and Beyond."
Gara, while not going as far as confirming whether or not those titles will be playable on the new console, is right. The PS3 has plenty of life left it in for those who aren't ready to upgrade come the PS4 launch day. One thing is certain though, if you are a gamer, Sony wants you to know that it has a new console designed with you in mind and it's coming before the year is out.