2018 has been off to a great start. Sony broke nearly 6 million consoles sold during the holiday season and they even managed to bring some outstanding deals on some of this biggest hits to life in their “4 Weeks of Holiday Sales”. But with that having come to a slow end tomorrow, it’s time to set our eyes to the future and that’s exactly what Sony is ready to have us do.
With a barrage of smash-hit titles, expansions, and DLC content heading our way in a short few days, 2018 is about to get a little busier than we’d probably expected. However, Sony still has left some room for hungry fans and there’s a lot we’ve not yet seen from the developer and console manufacturer since the PS4’s release. So let’s take a look at what we are hoping to see as 2018 gets underway.
PlayStation Network Name Changes
There’s no doubt that we’re all sick of our PlayStation usernames. Some of us have had ours since the early days of the PlayStation 3 when we had no clue what we were in for and some of us had even created names we’d ready to part ways with. For Sony fans, this is a long-requested feature everyone in the world has been wanting and we already know that Shawn Layden has already hinted at the possibility of this in 2018.
However, we don’t know when we don’t know how and we’re unsure of what the cost will be to do so. Whatever it is, we know we want it and we’ve been wanting it sooner than later, but we’ve quickly approached the latter o the two. If 2018 is going to be an indication of a great year on the software side of things, this much-requested feature is something we can definitely hope for with a 2018 system update. Let’s just hope it doesn’t break anything on the older platforms such as PlayStation 3, PSVita or even PSTV.
Bring Back Some Classic Sony Franchises
Sony has been great about this already. We’re seeing games franchises such as MediEvil, Shadow of the Colossus and even Final Fantasy getting a lot of love on PlayStation 4. However, there’s still a lot of room to expand. Sony has had some solid IP’s in the past and they have a chance to continually do so in the future. Titles such as Spyro the Dragon and The Legend of Dragoon have been held in high regard by fans.
While certainly doesn’t hold the rights to either game, it would be a great push by them. It would show that they’ve heard their fans loud and clear and are doing something about it. While Sony is certainly not hurting in any way for first-party exclusives, there are fans wanting to see a bit more and they will definitely want to see quite a bit more from classic IP’s, even if they are HD ports from their previous platforms.
Better PlayStation Plus Incentives
There’s one complaint many PlayStation users have had since the launch of this generation: poor PlayStation Plus games. While that has certainly changed in the past couple of months, there’s still a lot of room for expansion and with five years now under Sony’s belt with the PlayStation 4, it’s certainly time to start expanding what games users receive. Games such as Capcom’s Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3, Nioh, and even Sony’s own smash-hit titles such as Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection would serve as perfect games to throw into the mix.
However, there’s still a bit more to add. PlayStation Plus users already love to buy digital games. There’s no doubt this generation has begun to take on the digital front. According to reports, physical software sales are starting to decline at retailers such as GameStop, Best Buy, Wal-Mart and the likes. It’s all because of the digital movement, the ease of access, and even the user-friendly access to their content.
The downside here? We aren’t seeing discounted offers, we’ve rarely seen any incentive to really seen a push to make digital games a go-to route. One thing Sony can certainly do is work with developers and publishers to offer discounts on digital titles over retail variants. After all, we still struggle with the cost of digital games still being way more expensive than their physical counterparts over time.
Allowing for Early Access Games
Let’s face the facts. Microsoft has worked hard at bringing Early Access games to Xbox One and they’ve done so magnificently. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, Conan Exiles, Ark: Survival Evolved, We Happy Few, and even EverSpace are evidence of this fact. The downside here? Sony hasn’t been as friendly towards this idea. They’re extremely picky about what state a game must be in before it launches – with a few exceptions of course: Paragon, Warframe and even the console beta for Paladins.
But the downside here? They’re missing out on a great opportunity to allow players to assist in the development of future smash-hit titles. That’s definitely something even developers have pointed out in recent days and it ultimately puts players wanting to be apart of a development cycle in their place. If Sony decides to lighten up on their stipulations for Early Access, there’s a chance we could see some astounding games make their way to PlayStation 4 sooner than later, but for now, keep your fingers crossed on this one. Chances are, it’s not happening anytime soon.
Better Social Systems
If there’s one thing we’ve loved about the Xbox One and the time we had with an Xbox One X, it’s the fact that their social systems are well done. The interface is slick, it’s clean, and somehow it all synergizes in ways you’d never imagine. The integration with Mixer is amazingly well done, it’s not cluttered, it feels professional, and honestly – it is a lot easier to interact with when streaming.
Sure, Sony has their own interface, but let’s be honest about one fact: it’s not that great. It’s not attractive and some of us actually avoid streams that are using it. One thing Sony can do in 2018, even if this is a lot to ask, is definitely considering overhauling the social systems on the PlayStation 4. Consider adding more to it. Consider giving gamers a reason to interact with one another and even take a few notes from Microsoft’s playbook. Gamer’s are social, they like to interact and they love incentives for doing so. Such as giveaways, drawings, and the likes.
While Sony does offer this already in some form or another through their events page, this would allow them to expand what they are already doing and will give them a lot more to work for within the future.
Release Dates for Upcoming Exclusive Titles
While many already know that some of Sony’ biggest hits are yet to release, there’s still a bit of time before this happens and there’s still a long while before we know exactly when these titles will release. Games such as God of War, Death Stranding, Spider-Man and Days Gone serve as some of Sony’s most anticipated exclusive titles for the PlayStation 4.
While many are certain we’ll see several of the titles first, many of us suspect that Death Stranding may not even release this generation and could very well be an early release for the upcoming and inevitable PlayStation console. Let’s just hope it’s not and let’s hope we’ll see it sooner than later as we are all anticipating the obscenely weird and off-the-wall title.
However, at this time, we can only hope that happens at E3 2018 or a related game show later this year.
Aside from these minor wishes, 2018 is going to be a great year for Sony. They’re already off to a great start and with a spectacular holiday season, it seems they’re going to be doing even better. Since we already know Shawn Layden has hinted at PSN name changes dropping this year, a window for God of War and Detroit: Become Human, we already have an idea of when to expect these games, and that will help be a driving force for Sony in 2018.
About the Writer:
Dustin is our native console gamer, PlayStation and Nintendo reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the boarders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. You can find him over on Twitter or Facebook.