Gamescom 2012

Gamescom 2012: Vita or PS4?

With GamesCom right around the corner, everyone’s eyes are a gaze on Sony. Rumors have littered the web about the Super Slim PS3’s, with pictures showing a top-loader PS3 console. So is this actually the Super Slim? Is this the PS4? Is this just a prototype, or even a fake? It seems pretty clear that whatever it is, GamesCom is the likely spot to find out. With Sony having showed off the PS3 Slim in Germany 2009 and a reworked PSP for $99 last year, it definitely is a trend for Sony to reveal hardware at this event, making a PS4 reveal not completely out of the realm of possibility.

But what about the PS Vita? This is Sony’s successor to the popular PSP, and despite relentless attacks from news sites and bloggers web-wide, Sony has yet to cast Vita in a positive light for on the fence consumers. For whatever the reason, they did not highlight the Vita at E3 2012. Was this a massive mistake? Or a strategic decision, as they knowingly saved the Vita presentation to highlight it 60 days later at GamesCom? Maybe some of the Vita exclusive games weren’t quite ready to show by this year’s E3. Maybe Sony felt the games market was generally to pessimistic on the Vita at the time of E3. Either way we know Sony has a tendency to go big at GamesCom. The only question is, which one will take the spot light…..the struggling Vita or the rising PS3(4)?

The PlayStation 4

So how does the PS4 fit in to all this you ask? Well if there is a new hardware reveal, I don’t think it will be a Super Slim PS3. It just doesn’t make much sense? They already have a slim model, and they already have the price point down to the acceptable range (the price won’t drop more until the next PS4 is in the picture). With all the speculation about the next consoles coming out winter of 2013, the actual reveal has to happen sooner than later. There are only a few events that this can happen at. GamesCom being one of them, Tokyo Game Show, or E3 2013. If the PS4 really is planning on releasing holiday 2013, the first reveal can’t be 5-6 months prior at E3. Ok, no more beating around the bush….I think if Sony plans on releasing the PS4 by end of next year, the reveal will have to be here at GamesCom or at the Tokyo Game Show. With GamesCom being the more likely of the two given Sony’s history.

To reveal the PS4 here would be key for Sony right now. It would take the attention off the slumped sales of the Vita, allowing Sony to get some positive traction in the media. It would allow Sony to beat Microsoft to the punch with the next gen announcement, since Microsoft didn’t announce at E3 2012 and won’t be attending GamesCom 2012. They don’t have to give release dates and pricing, just hold up the “Orbis” and say, “It’s Coming!” That would be enough.

Will They or Won’t They

With that being said, if we don’t see the reveal of PS4 at GameCom then I don’t think we’ll be seeing a holiday 2013 release of the PS4. There’s just not enough time to do all the PR and marketing needed for hardware of this magnitude. Here’s hoping for the reveal.

Sony has done a great deal of mishandling their brand lately if you ask me. I don’t think they’re dead or dying by any means, but if they don’t start gaining some solid footing soon with good decisions, the avalanche of mistakes piling up may be too much for them to recover from. So what should we expect from GamesCom 2012? It will either be a HUGE focus on the Vita and its upcoming unannounced software, or the megaton surprise of the PS4 being revealed. If Sony has any tricks left up it’s sleeve, now would be the most strategic time to use ’em.

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