On February 20, 2013 Sony introduced to the world the new Playstation 4. Much has been rumored about its characteristics, tech specs and the new features that could bring to the videogames industry. Sony landed with a bunch of new features but did not leave everyone happy. Many wanted to see the console, other people missed the game they are waiting for and most of us simply wanted to find out what news would bring us.
Much has been written about the new features of the console, more social, cloud based, multi-device and with technical features that seem to please most developers. Everything in the press conference was measured and controlled, simply hinting what lies ahead and what will be in a future. For me, one of the keys is the opening that Sony has had to independent developers, we must not forget that most game development studios in Spain belong to that category. Now, I raise a number of questions that I hope you to help me to solve ... Will it be a kind of XBLIG?, Do economically accessible PS4 SDK? Self-publishing? AppStore style or must they go under the protection of a publisher? Pricing policy??
Only two Spanish development studies are in the starting line of the PS4, we are talking about Virtual Toys and Mercury Steam. I say "only" because I wish there were more, because spanish devs has a lot of talent, although I must admit that it is a success, as it was once was Digital Legends at the launch of Sony Ericsson Xperia Play.
When at the time Apple stepped in with their iPhones and iPads and video games gets even more popularized, Spanish development studies took advantage of it very well, so well, so well that three of the best games on the Appstore in 2012 were Spanish , and are the result of the work of independent studies as Beautifun Games or Super Awesome Hyper Dimensional Mega Team.
Now comes the next generation of consoles OUYA, GameStick, Project Shield, PS4, Xbox720, WiiU, etc, it seems increasingly clear that developers gain power. When there were only three or four "big ones" (I mean Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft) developers had (and have) to go through hoops to be on those platforms. Now, while remaining "big" developers have more options and therefore more freedom to take their game, their product or idea to a wider audience.
The last major doubts now i have are: Will Sony´s open platform for independent developers to shade open projects as Ouya or GameStick? Microsoft will react? And most importantly ... Will we see a silent invasion of Spanish games populating the PS4 as already happens in our iPhone and iPads or will they take another way to success?
I just hope and wish that the arrival of new platforms will benefit Spanish developers, whether if they are large or small, and the games "Made in Spain" leave half the world speechless for its quality.