) is set to make a major announcement on Wednesday, February 20.
The company has not provided any info regarding what investors
can expect from the event, but it has said that it will involve
the future of the PlayStation business
That business encompasses more than the next PlayStation
console -- it involves online gaming via PSN, digital
distribution, PS Vita, online videos, PlayStation Mobile, and an
unannounced streaming game service
spawned from a $380 million acquisition
. Thus, Sony's event could be about virtually anything. There
are, however, five things that the company should focus on.
PS Vita's First Official Price Cut
Many are expecting a $50 reduction by the end of 2013 (if not
sooner), but many retailers have already dropped that much or
more via Black Friday sales, free game offers and free gift
Thus far, these discounts have not helped PS Vita become the
new king of handhelds. According to
, the device has only sold four million units since it was
released last winter.
If Sony wants to increase sales and save PS Vita from certain
doom, it should drop the price to $99 and rebrand it as the
ultimate small tablet. In doing so, the company would surely take
a loss on every unit sold. By enduring the loss today, however,
Sony could make billions selling software to new PS Vita owners
Three Tech Demos, Two Teaser Trailers, One Controller and a
Partridge in a Pear Tree
Right now, consumers are eager to see the first glimpse of
PlayStation 4 -- the first games, the new(?) controller and any
other tidbit Sony is willing to reveal. If Sony is serious about
unveiling PlayStation 4 this month, it should take the
opportunity to show off the usual batch of tech demos, as well as
a couple teaser trailers for actual games. (Historically, game
publishers would consider saving the trailers for a later press
event, such as E3.)
Sony should also introduce the new controller, which may or
may not be Wii U-esque gamepad that contains a touch screen.
New PS Vita Games That Will Sell the System
Contrary to the lame ads, weak launch titles, low battery life
and high retail price, PS Vita is actually a very good machine.
Few consumers are aware of this fact -- mostly because they are
required to purchase the device to uncover its true beauty.
To spur sales to a more respectable level (25 million units by
the end of 2013 would be nice), Sony needs to unveil several
triple-A games that consumers cannot live without. This is by no
means an easy task, but it is very necessary. Without great games
-- an endless amount of them -- PS Vita will continue to struggle
Ten years ago, consumers made fun of Nokia's (NYSE:
) first and only game system: the N-Gage. Designed as a phone for
gamers, the N-Gage had weak software, awkward buttons and an odd
shape that required users to hold it like a taco. Needless to
Sony may have feared that a PS Vita phone would encounter a
similar response. However, consumers have recently shown that
they are willing to use any phone --
no matter the size
-- just as long as it looks cool. Sony should take note (and take
action) before consumers change their minds.
Streaming Game Details
Sony may not be ready to stream games over the Internet.
That's okay -- but there is no reason why Sony should not provide
investors with an update regarding its
$380 million acquisition
(c) 2013 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment
advice. All rights reserved.
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