The next generation of console gaming is upon us. Nintendo has already launched its Wii U, Microsoft’s Xbox One will be launching sometime later this year, and Sony has revealed several details about its PlayStation 4.
But unlike its chief competitors, Sony has decided against showing off the design of its next console. The company announced the device earlier this year, talked about its specs, but wouldn’t show what it actually looked like. And when the console was recently featured in a teaser for the upcoming E3 gaming trade show, Sony once again decided against showing off the device.
It’s not immediately clear why Sony hasn’t shown off the PlayStation 4. The company has, of course, been asked numerous times why it doesn’t want to show the console yet and each time, it has sidestepped the question. The move is unprecedented, if nothing else, and could be either good or bad.
See, now that we have seen the Wii U and Xbox One, the onus is on Sony to shock us. The PlayStation 4’s design can’t be something that bores us or doesn’t have as good a look as its competitors. And by hiding it under a shroud of mystery, Sony is only calling more attention to the console than it otherwise would.
That puts extra pressure on Sony at the E3 gaming show. If the console is truly something that blows our socks off, all the secrecy would have been worth it. But if Sony’s PlayStation 3 ends up being just another black box that doesn’t have anything special built-in and lacks some unique design quality, we’ll all be rather bored. And being bored in the world of gaming is a very, very bad thing.
Sony needs to take the attention away from its product design and start focusing more on its game library. The move the company should be making right now is to show off the PlayStation 4’s design and be done with it. To make the discussion surrounding Sony’s next console all about hardware couldn’t be worse for the company.
If history has taught us anything, it’s that software sells hardware. The Dreamcast died off because its software library was sub-par compared to that of its competitors. Sony’s PlayStation became such a hit because it had so many games available. The console’s design didn’t really matter all that much.
In this case, I’m going to give Sony the benefit of the doubt. I think the PlayStation maker truly understands the dynamics of the gaming industry and doesn’t want to take too much focus off the games. I believe, therefore, that Sony has something quite special up its sleeve. And rather than just let Microsoft and Nintendo take E3 by storm, it wants to show off something that we’ve never even thought about from a hardware perspective.
Of course, all of that could be wishful thinking. But if history serves us correctly, it tells us that Sony can pull off some miracles. And it needs another one right now.