Playstation 4: The Future is Meh


NOTE: These reactions are to some very early announcements and are more of a stream of consciousness thing. Still, here’s what I think about the PS4 so far…

The Playstation 4 will have “experiences that surpass gamers’ wildest expectations.” Sure, this is standard PR nonsense, but it’s an interesting idea to consider. It’s also wrong — gamers expect a lot of ridiculous things, some of them justified, some of them not.

For hardware, the main takeaway for me is that the PS4 is going to be capable of some impressive stuff. The system specs have plenty of processing power and should be capable of some fantastic-looking games that run smoothly. Some of the demos on display at the press conference looked very pretty. Square Enix talked about a graphics engine called “Luminous Studio” and the makers of Heavy Rain brought up a more expressive emotion system for facial technology. It’s all very neat.

As far as games go, well…let’s just say at this point I’m getting used to a new system’s launch titles being lackluster. We need look no further than the Wii U’s recent debacle, where their selections were essentially a handful of ports, a couple unique titles, and a decent new Mario game. Only a couple months after release did Nintendo list their big plans, like a new 3-D Mario, a new Mario Kart game, etc. My assumption at this point is that companies expect a new system (and the tech within) to carry a launch for the first few weeks.

So what did we see? Square mentioned that they were making a new Final Fantasy game that they would show at E3. Oh boy, could it be Final Fantasy XIII-4? Final Fantasy XIII-Versus-Against-Perpetual-Release? Final Fantasy XV: This Time It’s In Space? Ubisoft’s Watch Dogs looked interesting, but not amazing. If I cared about Diablo III, I guess I’d be excited. Bungie’s new Destiny game will be there. But…overall, there’s nothing that really jumps off the page for me.

What about the rest of the news? Watching my friends play through live streaming sounds okay, I guess, but there are other ways to do that already (although not as accessible). Can’t say I’m excited about the idea of having your full, real name on display to use these features, even though I’m not personally bothered by it. The news about the system needing no boot times is nice — a throwback to the SNES era when you could start a game in less than four minutes.

These are very early opinions, mind you, but let’s just say that the reveal for the PS4 left me…whelmed. Not overwhelmed, not underwhelmed. Just whelmed, as in buried by information and not really super excited or disappointed by it. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my PS2 and PS3 over the last decade, but my purchase of a new system later this year is going to be dependent on one main question that still hasn’t been answered: Will I be able to buy used games or borrow one from a friend, or is Sony going to be a dick? That’s my “wildest expectation.”

I’d like to think I’m going to buy a Playstation 4 at some point, but with what little we know at this early stage, so far the answer is no.

5 thoughts on “Playstation 4: The Future is Meh

  1. Overall, I have to admit that I was impressed, and I’m really looking forward to both Destiny and Watch Dogs. However, the whole conference silently screamed f*** you the single-player experience, what with everyone stressing “social gaming.” And what of the non-discussion of the used game issue and the seeming importance of cloud gaming? Will the PS4 go all-digital with its games? The conference answered some questions but created many more.

    1. Exactly. And maybe that was the goal — to get people asking a bunch of questions that they won’t answer until E3. Maybe they think this will drum up more interest. But I’m not a fan.

  2. Used games will work on the system, although I don’t understand people who are bothered by such things, I personally wish Microsoft and Sony would block them, this is one of the reasons developers consistently close down.
    As for the conference, I thought it was good. The manner in which the games were showcased was what I was expecting, but it was the system specific features that surprised me and told me that Sony is going to honestly try this time with their network and interface. The console specific features were solid and will be great (if turn out to be true)

    1. I have less of a problem with used games themselves and more of a problem with the reports that games would be locked in on the first console you played them on. So I can’t loan a game to a friend anymore? What if the TV is in use and I want to play my own game on the second 360 in our house? If developers are going to close down because I have this silly dream world where I can play my game disc in other places, then I guess developers are in trouble.

      I didn’t get too worked up about this because they were just reports, but it was absolutely a deal breaker for me if it had been true. Why it took so long to debunk these rumors makes no sense to me.

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