February 25, 2013
Analyzing Sony’s PS4 Conference
No Sony game console has been inside my room since the day that my PSP Slim was rendered obsolete by a glass of peach soda and gravity. Before that PSP was ruined, my library of games was primarily composed of PlayStation titles.
I’ve watched Sony’s management as a company from the other side of the court for five years now. Owing to console exclusivity with games and no job, Microsoft dominated a very large portion of my later teenage years before I transitioned on into adulthood. Watching the console war rage on has become a part time job as a PC gamer, owing to most of the console industry dominating the way that multiplatform games are developed. Most notably, a keen eye was cast on Sony’s announcement of PS4 that was showcased (if it can be called that) this past Wednesday.
For months Sony has been pushing the hype of their newest PS4 console in light of Microsoft’s announcement that they would be releasing the Xbox 720 later this year. Sony originally stated that they didn’t see the point of announcing first since they could one up the competition with slightly more improved hardware. Instead, they teased at a gigantic Playstation reveal that would be shown on the 20th of this month. Gamers and Playstation fans rallied with rumors and speculation for weeks before finally going silent for two hours on Wednesday afternoon.
I’d hoped that Sony would provide me with a reason to buy a Playstation 4, but instead I was provided with two hours of joke material. To begin, Sony’s main goal for the direction of the PS4 relies heavily on their social gaming network with third party apps and accessibility with game developers. The latter is very important, as making a transition in console generations poses a threat to developers when trying to learn an entirely different way to code games.
This accessibility to games was highlighted by Sony’s boasting that every developer that they worked with this generation has signed on for full support for the PS4. My problem with this video was that it was simply a series of peer-to-peer interviews of people describing to me beneficial and bright words like “innovation” and “creative.”. Their words were very sweet, but the action was absent.
Different companies showcased next gen launch titles that current fans should be very excited about, including Killzone Shadowfall, Infamous: Second Son, and Deep Down (yes, really). Other than smoke and mirrors, you don’t really get a feeling that these are next generation renditions of their previous installments. I get it; we like nice graphics, but what is the actual reason to save $500 to purchase a PS4?
With respect, the PS4 is pushing a graphical aspect that impresses when placed alongside launch games of the PS3’s first unveiling. What this means is that the photo-realism that developers have achieved with games of this current-generation will come fresh and slightly improved in next generation. If our progression took us eight years to render Far Cry 3‘s visuals, the visuals in eight years for next generation should be nothing short of mind numbing.
My beef with the conference pertained to Sony’s pathetic attempts to highlight the PS4 as comparable, or somehow similar in architecture or power, to a modern PC. They commented on the specs of PS4 by stating that it used a “Supercharged PC Architecture”, an “x86 CPU”, and a “High-End PC GPU”. The benchmarks of this system were shrouded in vague terms that have no specifics.
I can’t argue with not specifying their hardware when Microsoft hasn’t revealed a console yet. However, their descriptions highlighted the PS4 as a reasonable competition to PC. This holds no ground for me, as I would much rather see Sony not rely on speculation and console wars to push their hardware sales.
Were you watching the conference? Let me know what you thought in the comments section below.
Image Credit: Photos.com