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Why Sony can't pull a Bungie with its PS4 showcase

Monday Muse: The world awaits a new PlayStation, and Sony can't hold back the important details...

In a new regular column, CVG writers share their early week insights...

Bungie's recent Destiny press event serves as a harsh reminder that if major game reveals aren't managed perfectly, they'll fail to completely satisfy the core gamer.

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Destiny art (no screens were released)

In the Halo creator's case, a large portion of the press came away from its Bellevue, Washington HQ last week feeling like they hadn't seen any of the game at all - no doubt an intentional PR move in order to build momentum for a more significant reveal in coming weeks.

No screenshots were released, no real gameplay was shown, and at least one journalist was said to have been overheard questioning how on Earth he was going to 'describe the game to my readers'.

Instead - understandably for a game with an estimated budget of $140 million - publisher Activision has opted for a bold, mass-market-focussed strategy aimed at building anticipation for its hugely ambitious new franchise.

Overnight the first stage of an advertising blitz kicked off and the great pre-order doors swung open. Even the odd Sunday reveal itself is said to have been planned to coincide with an NBA All-Stars promo on US TV.

The tactics will likely pay off in the long run, but one can't help but feel the early tease is at the expense of the majority of Bungie's fans, who may be left a little disappointed by the scant detail on offer.

What little that was shown looks brilliant of course, but it's no less frustrating for those of us eagerly awaiting firm details on the game, which let's not forget is possibly just 9 months away from release.

SCE, set to hold the possibly biggest media event in its history this week, can't afford to take the same risks as Activision and Bungie.

The company, which last year reported a staggering net loss of £3.1 billion ($4.9b), is under immense pressure to wow the hundreds of journalists and investors invited to its next-gen exhibition this Wednesday.

With its market position dented and PS Vita still failing to perform (a Japan price cut was announced this morning), the PlayStation firm can't possibly afford to hold back and risk underwhelming its audience - and that's exactly why I expect nothing less than a show-stopping performance.

First-party games will be unveiled - and played - using that intriguing new controller design first shown last week, and third-parties too are showing an interest in making their own blockbuster announcements.

Not all of the firm's cards will be played in New York - we're already hearing whispers that key details such as pricing, release and even console design could be held back - but there's plenty to suggest it'll be a landmark event for gamers.

The disappearance of seemingly all of Sony's first-party studios from the 2012 release schedule points to a mammoth push for PS4, and of course the reveal date isn't a mistake either; Sony's going first this time, and it will be determined to make the most of its head start.


The Most Exciting Night in Years

Most followers of the games industry have been practically begging for the next-generation of consoles to get started - especially after last year's painfully pedestrian release slate (a few welcome exceptions aside). This week, I'm reliably informed, it's finally going to happen - and as I wrote in this column last week my emotion is as much one of relief as it is excitement.

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The PlayStation Meeting takes place at the Hammerstein in Manhattan - it can hold up to 2,800 people

Soon you'll no-doubt be able to add another feeling to that list; exhaustion.

As the nominated PlayStation Meeting live reporter, at 4am on Wednesday I'll be stumbling out of bed to board an early morning flight to New York, after which a jetlegged evening of taxi rides, laptop thumping and large international phone bills will ensue, followed by a sweaty flight home the following day.

Despite the work, I'm just as eager to see Sony's announcements as the rest of you, as are the several CVG news writers who will be pulling office all-nighters in order to deliver up-to-the-minute coverage.

Don't forget to bookmark our on-going PS4 live blog and follow us on Twitter, where I'll be posting constant updates from the event. What the food's like, the colour of the chairs - that kind of thing.

It's going to be fun.

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