Published on December 24th, 2015 | by Ben Rueter0
What Sony Did Right And Wrong In 2015 With The PS4
Sony had a substantially solid 2015 that in many ways preserved the Playstation 4’s lead this console generation going forward. The PS4 entered into 2015 will a lead over Microsoft’s Xbox One and now it hasn’t left the foot off the pedal. It built upon a growing library of strong exclusives, upgraded its hardware and made some promises for better things to come. Though, the UI and a lack of sweeping software improvements to the PS4 system are a sore spot when compared to the improvements made to the Xbox One and Windows 10 environment.
According to VGChartz.com, PS4 holds on to more than half of the console market with 33 million global sales. Microsoft trails behind with just more than 18 million global consoles sales.
Numbers aside, looking back on Sony’s year, it not hard to see how Sony kept sales up. And it comes down to a strong library and promises of an even deeper catalog in 2016.
What Sony did right
The PS4 is more than two years into its lifespan and Sony gave its hardware a modest upgrade that future proofs for some years to come.
The new CUH-1200 hardware update draws less power when it is being uses and uses less power when in rest mode. In addition, these new models come with 1TB hard drive.
The bottom line is the PS4 got a little cheaper at $349, quieter, more power efficient and with more storage.
Rocket League and more
In many ways this summer was dominated by Rocket League. While, the game is available on PC it was Playstation Plus that broke the game into the mainstream. Rocket League was free in July and it’s because of that the game got on to millions of PS4s and became a runaway hit even finding it’s way into multiple critics game of the year lists.
Rocket League is prime example of Sony’s commitment to bringing surprising titles to their digital store. But, other games such as Until Dawn, SOMA and Everyone’s Gone to the Rapture, Axiom Verge, Race the Sun, Hatoful Boyfriend and The Talos Principle fleshed out Sony’s digital offerings throughout the year.
From Software brought a nice and messy exclusive game called Bloodborne to PS4 and while it launched in Spring, people kept talking about it through to December. It’s a killer exclusive title that is a long line of future exclusive title coming in 2016 and beyond.
Sony also threw a bone to new PS4 owners with an Uncharted collection and a God of War collection with promises of future installments in their respected franchises on the PS4 only.
Probably one of the most important things is that Sony kept PS4 owners looking ahead to the future with an impressive lineup of games to come.
Sony appears to have broke the bank hustling for timed releases and exclusive titles such as Street Fighter V, Wild, No Man’s Sky, Shenmue 3, Destiny and Call of Duty DLC.
The big one is Final Fantasy 7: Remake, which will be episodic leading many to believe that this could be title stretching beyond a 2016 release.
What Sony did wrong
SharePlay and RemotePlay
Sony still has plenty of awkward technical and connection issues that they never seem to have truly ironed out since the Playstation 3 days. One of which is its SharePlay feature.
SharePlay is meant to be a feature where people could take control of a game for another person via the Internet. The interesting concept sounds like a good idea up until some publishers basically blocked the service.
A related feature known as RemotePlay, which allows people to stream PS4 games to their Playstation Vita, is not catching on at all. The Vita lacks the same amount of buttons that a DualShock 4 controller possesses and any lag at all can kill the enjoyment. Looking at Vita sales with just more than 12 million global sales, it’s a piece of hardware that isn’t finding its way into the hands of PS4 owners.
Playstation Now was one of the more impressive digital features that Sony planned to bring to the PS4 once it launched. Though, Now launched this year it hasn’t become the “Netflix of Playstation titles” that people were expecting.
Complaints of slow loading times and lag kept people away from the service and while it has made improvements since it’s launch it still hasn’t caught on with Sony’s large base of PS4 owners.