I don’t know if that rumored “Greatness Awaits” slogan is real, or if it’s really for PS4 or actually for Destiny. I do know, however, that it rubs me the wrong way.
I can actually understand the appeal: latch on to the term “greatness,” which seems to now be a synonym for “awesome” in the colloquial sense rather in the “fear of God” sense, and tie it forever to the PlayStation brand. I get it. It’s a cool campaign.
But the more I think about it, the more I think about where PS4 is headed and about past PlayStation launches and some of the blunders they’ve faced, the more I worry that it’s the wrong message.
When Sony’s Dave Perry introduced PlayStation Cloud, he mentioned the idea that PSone, PS2, and PS3 games, as well as mobile titles, could eventually be played on virtually anything:
The technology is so advanced that some day we could easily put PS1, PS2, PS3 and the PS Mobile games on any device, including the PlayStation 4. This would fundamentally change the concept of game longevity. Imagine having access to all the old games you love and the ability to get them up and running in seconds wherever you are, on whatever device you have near you. ‘Everything everywhere’ is the challenge that PlayStation has put before our teams. That’s the vision of the PlayStation Cloud service.
This is all very nice, but there’s no real timetable. I don’t know if this’ll be done at launch, within a year of launch, or 10 years from now when Sony’s looking for excuses to keep selling PS4s. It’s a “pie in the sky” idea that they’ll realize “some day.”
When you consider Destiny, the big game supposedly tied up with this slogan, more facepalms are sure to ensue. The game’s not meant to be released all at once – it’ll constantly expand over a period of about a decade, in classic MMO style. The underlying notion that what you’re playing is really just a tease for content that’s yet to be developed and released will run through the entire game.
Plus, the game isn’t even coming until 2014, which makes it all the stranger that it’s being used as one of the big games to push the PS4.
This kind of strategy isn’t new to Sony. They’ve embraced a “the real stuff is yet to come” philosophy before. Remember how PS Vita was supposed to be the home for “the biggest and best first and third-party franchises”? Yeah, when exactly is that happening, again?
And let’s not forget the biggest example of how “greatness awaits” has worked out for Sony in the past: