So here’s something interesting.
I happened to be over on the PlayStation YouTube channel checking out some of the new PS4 trailers when I noticed that a behind-the-scenes video had been put up for the pretty sweet ‘Greatness Awaits’ PS4 ad that Sony released this week. On its own, the video isn’t all that exciting – just a short look at what went into the ad in terms of effects and costumes – but I suddenly realised that we’d seen this shoot before, back in April.
Don’t remember that? Maybe because back then we believed it to be a Grand Theft Auto V live-action commercial that was filming. There was certainly the right amount of chaos, crew on set suggested it was a Rockstar ad when asked, and particularly, there was a giant banner in the background with the game’s logo on it.
Fast forward to the present, and the full released Greatness Awaits video though, and the banner is gone, replaced by one for The Witness (on the right side of the image above). It doesn’t appear that the banners were changed during the set up for the shoot or anything – the photo below clearly seems to show the crew going for a take, with the GTAV banner still present, so it looks like the banners were swapped in post-production.[drop]The first question then – why were the banners swapped? Back when pictures of the shoot leaked, fansite GTAV.net posted that after checking with sources, they’d found that the shoot was not for GTAV itself, but for a PlayStation commercial (which we now know to be correct). The site suggested that not only was the shoot nothing to do with Rockstar, but that the production team used the logo without consulting Rockstar, which seems surprising but not unheard of for a project of this scale, where things might slip through the cracks.
Assuming that GTAV.net’s report is correct then, Sony used the logo in error. But why did they use it in the first place? Small references aside (there’s an omega symbol in the style of God of War as part of graffiti outside the shop named ‘MacGrath Market’, despite Infamous’ Cole not being in the newest game, and it looks to be a creature from The Last of Us that the narrator knocks away) the ad is considerably more a PS4 promo than a general PlayStation one – whilst the ad simply ends with a generic PlayStation logo, the company seems to be heavily pushing it in relation to the upcoming console, and PS4-only games like Knack and The Elder Scrolls Online are featured.[videoyoutube]This is entirely speculation, but does the presence of a GTAV reference – and a massive, obvious banner at that – hint that a next-gen version of the game may be coming to PS4 at some point?
Obviously it wouldn’t be up to Sony to make that announcement, and Rockstar rarely appears at E3 these days, preferring their own PR machine, but it could well be that Sony were expecting such an announcement to come before the release of the advert.
It doesn’t seem out of the question for some kind of cross-promotional deal to be in place either – Assassin’s Creed 4, Watch Dogs and Destiny all have such deals and feature in Greatness Awaits, and Sony took a moment during the press conference proper to mention a GTAV PS3 bundle and special edition game-branded headset.
As I’ve said, this is all speculation, and regardless of the reason it was there to begin with, the reference to GTAV is now gone in the final video, but just something to consider bearing in mind the recurring rumours of a next-gen release for Rockstar’s next big thing.