Invitations were sent out a while ago to partners, retailers and press inviting them to a “special” PlayStation event on the 20th of February. The question on every FIFA fan’s mind is whether EA will let Sony showcase one it’s crown jewels in a brand new fancy suit.
With the rumour mill in overdrive, this morning’s picture leak of a reported PlayStation 4/Orbis controller did little to settle the excitement of the gaming universe. Although now believed to be a prototype controller, any news as we approach the 20th of February will be wildly anticipated.
In an article last week, we addressed the possibility of FIFA making an appearance at this event and investigated the evidence to suggest that this could indeed be a possibility. Sony has always recognised the importance of FIFA to the PlayStation brand, with last year’s FIFA Football being a launch title on the PS Vita. This relationship has grown even stronger during the PS3 lifecycle, especially since Sony abandoned it’s own 1st party football offering World Tour Soccer/This Is Football. The possibility of FIFA being a launch title for the PlayStation Orbis/Xbox Durango is dependent on two main factors; firstly the launch window of the Orbis/Durango and secondly the strength of their respective launch title lineups and Sony/Microsoft’s 1st party studios.
If the PlayStation Orbis is launched in Q3/4 (October – December) then having FIFA as a launch title would be of the utmost importance for both companies, seeing as FIFA is considered a “System Seller”. However, if the launch is delayed into early 2014 which is a likely scenario for PAL territories (Europe, MENA, Oceania & South America) then the launch of FIFA may follow suit. To throw a spanner in the works, let’s not be oblivious to the fact that 2014 is a World Cup year. Would it be a better marketing strategy to wait until World Cup Fever is in full flow before launching the first next-gen version of FIFA? This option would be ideal for the developer as it would give them an opportunity to launch a game that is limited by the boundaries of the FIFA tournament in Brazil next summer.
As always we like to leave you with some mental dessert, hence the image below taken from a recent Sony patent filling. Could this be a future option in the next-gen of football games? I would prefer not to break my back on the wood flooring trying to smash a bicycle home!