On February 20th, Sony beat Microsoft to the punch at the announcement of the next generation of video game consoles. Their keynote event lasted over an hour and half, where they outlined the new hardware, software, features, and goals of the Playstation 4 console.

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Gamers and entertainment enthusiasts alike were excited for the new possibilities that the Playstation 4 can bring to the living room. Features such as new graphical capabilities, hardware architecture similar to computers, and the potential to move the industry forward into a 4K media era, were all focuses at Sony’s event.

While this is exciting for the enthusiast, Sony is intending the Playstation 4 to be the main entertainment system in the living room. Its most innovative draw, according to Sony, is not its graphical horsepower, or gaming potential, but its integrated social features.

PS4’s New Share Feature

Though the physical console was never shown, they had speakers introduce the new controller. Amidst the new touchpads, and concave thumbsticks of the next generation controller there is a dedicated “Share” button.

Social MediaThe Share button allows any gamer to record gameplay and immediately post it online. It also enables users to broadcast live gameplay as well as communicate instantly with others on the internet. Social networking is built in to the PS4 console itself, and this may mean a new boom in this sector of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. These websites are already great tools for those in SEO and Social media, and the increased activity that is going to come to these sites through next generation consoles is only going to boost user rates and generate traffic.

Current consoles have wet their toes in social media with Facebook and Twitter apps, but none have integrated it to such an extent as the PS4 is aiming to do. Gameplay videos, livestreams, and broadcast gaming events have risen in the past 4-5 years and its sway on social networking sites is undeniable.

Effects on the Online Marketing Industry

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Those in the industry looking to broaden their user base or increase exposure on the internet cannot overlook their accessibility on video game consoles. This next generation of consoles will make it even easier for users to access, share, and connect to others in meaningful ways.

Exactly understanding marketing through social media is a whole other topic, but marketing to those accessing social media in the living room is going to be key in the near future.

While Sony has released some information through their keynote address on February 20th about the new Playstation 4, Microsoft has yet to respond with their own announcement about the next Xbox. Upcoming events at E3 (the Electronic Entertainment Expo) and a special announcement by Microsoft on May 21st may yet reveal what is in store for the gaming industry, as well as its implications for Social media, SEO and special interests, and the online marketing industry.

Photo Credit: Kurt Williams, Rosaura Ochoa, Miss Nixie

Jamie Bates