Sony had been burning on all cylinders lately. Microsoft did such a good job at making the Xbox One look terrible in the beginning, it was hard for Sony to screw things up. The somewhat low price for the PS4, the believable affection towards indie developers and a more consistent emphasis on games really made the PS4 look like the console to beat in the upcoming generation. Sony’s momentum has taken a bit of a hit lately after it was revealed there was no obvious way to capture footage from the PS4 using third-party devices. This hasn’t gone over well with the YouTube community or gaming press at large. Without an easy way for everyone to capture and share their gameplay footage at will, the Xbox One will become to go-to capture console by default.
This really couldn’t have come at a worst time for Sony. The PS4 is only a couple months away from launching, and a portion of the community is starting to feel like this isn’t the red tape-free console it made itself out to be. The reason why the Xbox One got so much bad press was because its design reeked of out of touch, corporate influence. The PS4 always felt more pure as if it were the manifestation of every core gamer’s dreams. Now we’re getting the impression that Sony would rather sacrifice the ability to capture games in an effort to protect content. The Xbox One on the other hand has no such restriction.
Shuhei Yoshida, president of SCE Worldwide Studios, tried to get out ahead of this bubbling issue by taking to Twitter. On September 12 he tweeted, “We’d like to keep gamers happy and are considering every possibility regarding PS4′s gameplay capture. We’ll update you as soon as ready.”
Tokyo Game Show is the last major expo before the PS4′s release. It’s on this stage where Sony can settle the last feelings of doubt before the PS4′s release. Even if a solution won’t be available on launch day, the acknowledgement that Sony supports third-party capture devices and a promise of PS4 compatibility within a reasonable amount of time can go a long way. Sony needs to be direct and take on this problem in plain language. It’s all about protecting one’s image at this point.