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Gamescom preview: What to expect from Sony

india Updated: Aug 19, 2013 18:04 IST
PlayStation 4

The upcoming PlayStation 4 will take prime position at Sony's Gamescom presentation on August 20, with street dates announced and a games line-up nailed down, but what else awaits us?

How things have changed since 2006, when Sony was laughed out of the Electronic Entertainment Expo having announced an eye-wateringly steep $599 launch price for the PlayStation 3.

Tables were turned this year, with the manufacturer opting for a $399 (€399/£349) tag, $100 less than the competing Xbox One.

And the perceived unfairness of Microsoft's now-reversed online policies handed the PlayStation 4 a free pass for much of 2013, as Sony's E3 stage show closed to standing ovations.

So Sony will drive home the message that the PlayStation 4 is both cheaper and better quality for console gamers than its obvious rival.

The PlayStation Plus subscriber scheme has already given Sony a reputation for generosity and, with wallets tight and app stores providing cheap or free gaming, Sony will spell out how Plus will work on PS4.

That said, there's some convincing to do when it comes to the machine's social, streaming, and all-around entertainment abilities, especially after Microsoft's higher profile work with the likes of Facebook, Skype, Netflix, and a clutch of TV, film, and music companies.

Launch dates for exclusive titles such as "DriveClub," "Killzone: Shadow Fall" and "Infamous: Second Son" are required and, with Microsoft already strong on exclusive titles, Sony is to announce two dozen new games -- something new from "Uncharted" studio Naughty Dog would be a real crowdpleaser.

"Destiny," 2014's exciting, socially minded action game from "Halo" creator Bungie, could be in for some more stage time as well, despite its multi-platform future.

There'll be a bit of wriggling needed to convince existing PS3 owners to splash out on a new console without letting go of the incumbent when marquee driving sim "Gran Turismo 6" and mayhem generator "Grand Theft Auto V" are, in official terms, still set for the older machine.

The PlayStation 3 and handheld Vita are locked for ongoing support, especially with the intriguing "Puppeteer" and "Tearaway" on the way, but touting the Vita as the ideal PS4 companion device would be risky given its $249 retail price.

With the Xbox One widely accepted to be gunning for an early November release, capitalizing on the US's Black Friday, current speculation suggests that Sony will get a headstart with an October launch.