It's been two weeks since we published our Top 5 Xbox One Announcements for Europe's answer to E3, and there are only two weeks left to go until Gamescom itself, so now seems like a good time to unveil the top 5 announcements we want from Sony and the PlayStation brand. Gamescom runs every year in Germany and Sony has confirmed that they'll have a press conference all Europe's own for consumers eager for more news about PlayStation 4.
Further, Sony has said that its lagging handheld Vita will get a share of the spotlight, unlike its less-than-stellar showing at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, CA. We want software for the handheld and a hard release date for the PlayStation 4, but we also know to dream big. Hey, we said we wanted an Xbox One solution for indies and we were rewarded. Let's see if we can't twist Sony's arm on a few must-have PlayStation announcements at Gamescom.
Uncharted 4 Teased At Press Conference, Coming 2014
Start off with a major next-gen software announcement that no one is expecting…. Baaahahaha. Just kidding. Everyone's expecting Uncharted 4, despite the fact that Naughty Dog likes to finish franchises and move on. Nathan Drake is as close as PlayStation has come at establishing a singular mascot with widespread appeal. Who doesn't like swinging around jungles, leaping across death-defying gaps, and generally looking handsome in a half-tuck?
We can't assume Sony will have much Uncharted 4 to show, but even a tease would be welcome. A 2014 (planned) release date would be even better! With Microsoft jumping at the bit to let gamers know that Halo will show up on Xbox One at some point, it wouldn't hurt Sony to do the same with their dashing (and stinky, seriously, have you seen the pit stains?) adventurer.
Complete PS4 UI and Dashboard Walkthrough
Break down the PlayStation 4 UI for us. Tell us where the clock is. Tell us how the friends list will work. Tell us how to set up a wireless internet connection. Where the hell is the off button on this thing? There's a point in pre-launch console hardware hype where I just want to be spoken to, directly, in plain English. Of course, this being a European show, Spanish, German, French… several different languages would be nice too.
Now that we know the PS4's price and we've seen a huge selection of software planned for Day 1 to Year 1, we want to see how PlayStation 4 will improve upon the cross media bar and how it will utilize all that extra RAM PlayStation 3 so desperately needs now. Have you jammed the PS button on accident in the middle of a game? It's excruciating how long it takes for menus to load. Show us the future on PlayStation 4.
Gran Turismo 6 PS4 Revealed
While Polyphony and Sony have said that Gran Turismo 6 is headed to PS3 instead of PS4 because of the 70 million+ install base, we have to assume that some version of Gran Turismo 6 will race to PS4 sooner rather than later. Not to insult Drive Club or anything, but GT6 is a hugely important franchise to the most loyal PlayStation gamers. Since you won't be able to play GT6 on you PS4, it goes without saying that some edit or subtitled version of the game will have cross-over.
If Sony could make a really fast car their mascot, they would, and European gamers have a ton of love for Gran Turismo. Even a tease at Gamescom would be better than silence on this matter. With the diehard PlayStation fans eagerly jumping on the wealth of PS4 preorders still available, some kind of cross-console solution should be in place. Check out our list of five things GT6 needs to succeed to read more.
PlayStation 3 and Vita Price Drops
On September 17th, Sony will release a Grand Theft Auto V PS3 bundle with a 500 GB hard drive for $269.99. That's only $130 less than a vanilla PlayStation 4 at launch. Something has to change. With PS3s still stacked high on shelves and stock rooms at retail, Sony can aggressively move product throughout the holiday season at a brand new price point. Unveil a PlayStation 3 system for $200 with a family-friendly game (like LittleBigPlanet 2 maybe) and watch the hardware fly. The console remains one of the most affordable and versatile Blu-ray players on the market. Take down a few of those home-entertainment opponents while you're at it, Sony.
Regardless, we'd trade a PlayStation 3 price-drop for a Vita price-drop any day of the week. Even if Sony can't lower Vita's price point, they should at least announce a new "Standard" bundle that includes a beefy memory card rated at 16GB or better. The Vita situation is completely unacceptable now, and it doesn't matter how well Sony's portable and their next-generation PS4 work together if the system doesn't have better software support, more memory in the box, or really anything to make it stand out against the unstoppable 3DS.
PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita Bundle For $499
While rumors already suggest this final announcement might come true, this next-generation hardware bundle will never materialize at this price point unless Sony is already prepared to cut Vita's cost back. These final items are a one-two punch of consumer-friendly, aggressive pricing maneuvers. If Vita handhelds and PS4 consoles are designed to work together closely, then combining the two in a single box is a no-brainer.
It just comes down to whether or not Sony can do it. They've certainly got the stock of Vita lying around in warehouses and stock rooms, and they've got a hot ticket that will attract consumer attention. Even if you're not really set on buying a PlayStation Vita, but you're running around before Christmas trying to find a PS4, you could do a lot worse picking up a bundle like this for such a low price.
What do you want to see from Sony at Gamescom? Sound off in the comments below.