The PS4 - A Complete Entertainment Machine?
With the recent announcement from Microsoft that they are partnering with over 40 entertainment providers for Xbox Live, we thought it a perfect time to talk about why Sony needs to do the same in the future. Of course, it's not like they're not doing so now, but this kind of coup by Microsoft is truly unprecedented and a bit disheartening for loyal PlayStation customers.
The Nitty Gritty
Let's face it, Microsoft got a big leg up with this deal. They have exclusive deals with HBO GO, UFC, AT&T, SyFy, Verizon, Comcast, and many others right now, which means we aren't going to see them anytime soon on the PS3 or PS4 unless there's some loophole in the contract that Sony can exploit or some other kind of deal is reached.
What exactly these individual deals mean is purely speculative right now, but HBO GO for one is a no-brainer and interesting to me as a HBO subscriber. Instead of having to watch episodes on my computer, I could watch them through Xbox Live. More and more it's looking like devices are coming together to be more than just one thing. We're looking at the birth of complete entertainment machines.
As always, corporations are looking for ways to grow their business and make more money. For companies involved in gaming, that means expanding beyond gaming without forgetting where they came from. The PlayStation, no matter what number you put behind it, will always be a gaming machine first and foremost. Being able to play the latest and great games is something you just can't get anywhere. On the other hand, Sony can't be afraid to get hip deep in other forms of entertainment. Right now they just have their feet wet. They need to find a way to take the plunge. It's just that it looks like Microsoft has that locked down for now.
What's to be Done?
For the time being, Sony has to really think outside the box. When the possibility of all these entertainment providers coming to gaming consoles was first announced months ago, Sony was thought to be part of the deal. Now that they're obviously not, they have to come up with an alternative plan. But every which way you look it looks like the Microsoft deal is staring you in the face. So Sony can do one of two things.
First, they can look to companies that are not part of the deal. Instead of HBO, Sony could deal with Showtime or Starz. I'd certainly like to watch Dexter or Spartacus episodes exclusively on my PlayStation 4. Instead of the UFC, Sony could pursue partnerships with other MMA organizations. Instead of SyFy, they could look to many other numerous cable stations with which they could do business. The list goes on and on. The only trouble with this is that they may be perceived as playing second fiddle with the do business with lesser-known companies than those featured in the Microsoft deal. They need to move laterally, not down.
The other option is that Sony thinks entirely outside the box. Maybe they could provide such entertainment directly somehow instead of through a third party. This may require one of those loopholes mentioned earlier. They could also try and ratchet up deals with a company such as Netflix and try to steal them away from Microsoft altogether. Maybe they could include a DVR, as has been mentioned in the past, that would allow you to bypass cable and satellite providers entirely. Maybe they could pursue deeper integration with TVs on a level that we haven't even thought of yet. Who knows?
One Thing's for Certain, Sony Has to Do Something
Sony has to take action. The heat is on, and the PlayStation 4 has to be the complete entertainment machine. The PS3 already has a lot going for it, and the PS4 needs to build upon that momentum and take it places we haven't even dreamed of. At this point, it's patently obvious that Sony's competitors really are playing for keeps (as if there was ever any doubt) and they're trying to kick them while they're down. After the troubles we've had this year with the PlayStation Network, look for Sony to launch the PS4 as more than just a gaming console. Hopefully, they're going to push the PS4 as a complete entertainment machine through and through.
Article by - Brett Huffman
Now that the PlayStation 4 is officially announced, it's quite obvious that we are definitely looking at the official entertainment machine.
Not only will the console retain full DVD and Blu-ray playback, but Sony's video and music services will also make a return to the console. In addition, over 20 apps are planned for the device, including Netflix, Hulu, Crackle and Amazon Instant Video.
For a complete look at how the PlayStation 4 will be your number one device for your media needs, check out our PlayStation Network Page featuring an up-to-date look at the new PlayStation Network.
Update by - Joshua Phillips
Insert Date: 04/22/13
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