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PS4: Too Little, Too Early

/ Mar 27th, 2013 21 Comments

PS4

What is up with Sony jumping the gun on their next-gen console? Well, it is not necessarily jumping the gun… The timing is just about right. Late 2013 is a very appropriate time for the next generation of gaming consoles to come out. But, it has been a month now since Sony announced the PS4 and gave its “details” about how it’s going to change the future of gaming, and the “details” were sparse and pretty unsatisfying.

In many ways, the PS3 was technically a better system than Xbox 360. Not only did it have higher stats in general, it also had a built in Blu-Ray player and free Internet access. It seemed kind of ridiculous that Microsoft was charging for this new “Xbox Live.” Somehow, developers and gamers alike gravitated toward the Xbox 360 more so than the PS3 in the United States. The Xbox 360 pretty much became the main gamer platform. To be clear, PS3 and Xbox 360 have always been close in sales, but Xbox 360 simply has a higher rate of active users, which means a good amount of people have a PS3 laying around in a corner of a closet somewhere and maybe use it primarily as a Blu-Ray player whenever they decide to watch one. The intention is not to downplay the PS3’s user base here, because obviously there are still plenty of PS3 gamers out there, they are just not as prevalent as Xbox 360 gamers, which is an issue for Sony’s reputation in the console arena.

Basically, Sony and Microsoft are always at each other’s necks trying to invent new technologies and make progress that will attract and maintain gamer interest. But, the Xbox 360 sort of took the cake on this generation in that respect. As a result of this current-gen imbalance, Sony seems to have rushed the PS4 concept without enough information to really get gamers to care that much… The current-gen is still where gamer’s attention lies; not that many people are looking forward to forking out over $400 dollars for the next big thing just yet. This is probably something that Microsoft understands well. It could very well be a huge advantage for Microsoft to decide to spend their time focusing on current-gen promotion rather than rushing a next-gen announcement. They can now simply start to announce their next system when they have something concrete to truly entice gamers with.

To review the information that’s been released about PS4 so far, check out here. Some interesting concepts were discussed, some plans that the company had for taking advantage of the Internet cloud were mentioned, a controller was shown, built-in social networking, and the idea of making PS4 games available across multiple mobile platforms was also a subject of conversation. However, some very notable details were missing: Where’s the device? It can’t really be considered an “unveiling” if its not unveiled… Price range? Sure, probably too early for that, but at least a ballpark figure? Backwards compatibility? Will you have to throw away your PS3 games? Current-Gen Controllers? Will any of the controllers, including steering wheels/PS move controllers be compatible?

Microsoft is probably less than worried about these vague details about the mysterious upcoming PS4. If anything, it is like a learning opportunity. Sony gives away some of their information, so Microsoft gets a chance to know what they are up against way ahead of time. Try to research details on Microsoft’s Next-gen console and there will be nothing but rumors. People are hyping it up and nicknaming it Xbox 720 even though that name was never official. Microsoft will most likely truly unveil their system when they are good and ready. It kind of seems like Sony is trying to distract from its shortcomings with the PS3 when compared with the 360 by hyping up gamers and developers about something that they do not seem to know enough about to be announcing yet. Sure, it could be all just part of the marketing game, keeping gamers in suspense over the lack of details… But, how long is that supposed to go on for? Are gamers really supposed to just live in suspense over something as vaguely described as the PS4? Die-hard PS3 fans will probably be on their toes, but realistically, in a competitive market, Sony should have probably held off the announcement a bit until they had enough details to get anyone and everyone excited about their new beast. In short, it really feels like this “unveiling” that Sony provided does not really change anything about what is in demand, and further, it seems like it’s nothing more than an annoying teaser/distraction from the current-gen systems that we are all occupied with at the moment.

(For another take on the PS4 announcement, click here).

Alejandro Grover

Alejandro Grover

Contributor at Gaming Illustrated
Alejandro is an official contributor at Gaming Illustrated and part of the editorial team. He loves movies, video games, and music. He is also a composer.
Alejandro Grover
Alejandro Grover

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000553061212 Adam Xen

    “To be clear, PS3 and Xbox 360 have always been close in sales, but Xbox
    360 simply has a higher rate of active users, which means a good amount
    of people have a PS3 laying around in a corner of a closet somewhere and
    maybe use it primarily as a Blu-Ray player whenever they decide to
    watch one.”

    Wow, where do you get your information from, the Xbox fanboy handbook? The last time I read a study on this, it said that PS3 gamers were logging more hours per week on average playing games than Xbox users. Not to mention that Battlefield 3 has a significantly larger active player base on the PS3 than the 360 (almost double, although I’m certain about this figure). When you infer that a large number of PS3 owners “just use it as a Blu-ray player,” you’re spouting off one of the oldest anti-PS3 generalizations in the book. At worst, it makes you sound like a typical Xbox fanboy; at best, you’re totally uninformed about the PS3 and its gaming community, and are just going off stereotypes and generalizations (probably told to you by other Xbox fanboys).

    When you make a bold statements such as “more active gamers on 360 than PS3″ you might want to follow that up with a link and source.

    • Kayoss860

      Actually I dont really disagree with him in user base department. I’m not an xbox fanboy or anything. I only use my xbox for their rare exclusives like gears of war. I mainly game on my PS3 and PS vita. But regarding the activity of the xbox vs Ps3 i have to say that xbox wins in this category. When you look at the multiplatform game sales the xbox 360 ports seems to sale more than the PS3.

      • DarthDiggler

        Some multiplatform games do better on Xbox some do better on PS3. Xbox has a stronger presence in the US, no doubt, but that isn’t the case world wide.

  • http://www.facebook.com/cjmguitarist87 Coty Marshall

    kudos to adam, wasted some of my life with this

  • http://www.facebook.com/marc.taylor.750 Marc Taylor

    Last i heard of any sony’s numbers was that more hours get logged in watching netflix, not games. Battlefield is your argument ok well C.O.D kills Battlefield on sales and and hours played, and that come from what system (XBOX360).

  • Thomas McBrearty

    What the hell are you on about?
    “Too little, Too Early”

    You obviously keen to dictate on something you know very little about (Sony knows what their doing, let’s leave it at that, eh?). You talk a lot but all your words are literally rubbish, how can something like the PlayStation 4 be ‘Too Early’ O_o?…..
    The fans are happy with the announcement so are developers and gamers a-like; the only ones not happy are Xbox fan-boys and…’YOU’

  • Bruce Arbo

    So I guess GDC doesn’t exist…

  • http://www.facebook.com/ana.helusic Ana Helušić

    Lol PS3 had more exclusives in 2011, 2012 and 2013, better graphics, PS3 is killing xbox in Japan & Europe

    • Jacob

      Xbox has over 1600 games. PS3 has under 1200 games total. Yeah, you’re a dumb fangirl alright.

      • DarthDiggler

        @disqus_XAROatYR0I:disqus Obviously YOU CAN’T READ. @facebook-100000306314707:disqus Was referring to PS3 EXCLUSIVES. Xbox has more games, but PS3 has way more exclusive games.

        Try reading next time you open your mouth.

      • http://www.facebook.com/ana.helusic Ana Helušić

        LOL what an idiot, lamebox has lost

  • Kamille

    vague details? Didn’t you read the fact sheet of the PS4 from GDC? There is tons and tons of info there. Everything from specs to features and interface. Details about the new online infrastructure, the controller, etc.

  • Krepler

    “What is up with Sony jumping the gun on their next-gen console? Well, it is not necessarily jumping the gun…”

    LMFAO..Great way to start an article, with no clue whatsoever! Anyway, that’s where I stopped. Anyone suggest I go further?

  • DarthDiggler

    @ Alejandro Grover

    It sounds like you are quite new to this industry so let me clue you into a few things so you don’t sound this foolish in the future.

    What Sony presented a little over a month ago is what is known in the industry as a TEASER. Teasers are designed in a way to not give out all the information, but enough to get people’s imaginations going and have people chatting about the product or service that you are teasing.

    To be clear, PS3 and Xbox 360 have always been close in sales, but Xbox
    360 simply has a higher rate of active users, which means a good amount
    of people have a PS3 laying around in a corner of a closet somewhere and
    maybe use it primarily as a Blu-Ray player whenever they decide to
    watch one.

    You supply no evidence to support this claim. Granted it is a given that there are more Xbox players in the United States, but certainly you can’t make that claim globally.

    The intention is not to downplay the PS3’s user base here, because
    obviously there are still plenty of PS3 gamers out there, they are just
    not as prevalent as Xbox 360 gamers, which is an issue for Sony’s
    reputation in the console arena.

    Yet another area that you supply no evidence. You can’t simply make claims because you think things are a certain way. That is text book bias.

    Futhermore your credibility is completely in question here. While you are making some grandiose claims you neglect to mention that Microsoft had a full year head start. There is literally no excuse for the PS3 to be closing so many gaps (sales, installed base, etc) with Xbox 360 other than gamers feel the PS3 offered more value at the end of the day. Bias by omission! :)

    Basically, Sony and Microsoft are always at each other’s necks trying to
    invent new technologies and make progress that will attract and
    maintain gamer interest. But, the Xbox 360 sort of took the cake on this
    generation in that respect.

    Took what cake?

    What exactly did MS do that was so much better than PS3? (Sales figures show no clear winners)

    Other than completely waste their year head start?

    As a result of this current-gen imbalance, Sony seems to have rushed the
    PS4 concept without enough information to really get gamers to care
    that much.

    Are we living on the same planet?

    Did you see the same Sony presentation I did?

    If so than the PS4 designer Mark Cerny already addressed this (either during or just after the presentation). He stated that work for the PS4 started almost right after the PS3 was released. The PS Vita utilized many of the design philosophies that will go into the PS4 (especially the ease of programming for it).

    The PS4 is no concept nor is it rushed it is near final hardware nearly ready for mass production. Sony spent years talking with developers asking what they wanted in a console. Either you are completely uninformed, really dense or completely in the tank for Xbox. If you professes to be an expert in video games this information should not be news to you.

    Unless you been hiding under a rock since the PS4 reveal there has been a conga line of news pieces about the PS4 many of them cite developers who are very excited for the PS4.

    Also Google Trends refutes your assessment that people aren’t interested in the PS4. As a matter of fact the interest level (in terms of searches) has exceeded Xbox 360 and PS3 is still more a more searched for item on the internet than Xbox 360.

    http://www.google.com/trends/explore#q=PS4%2C%20PS3%2C%20Xbox%20360&cmpt=q

    The current-gen is still where gamer’s attention lies; not that many
    people are looking forward to forking out over $400 dollars for the next
    big thing just yet.

    See the link above, what you are saying doesn’t match with what is trending on the internet. Developers are more than ready for next generation, the fact is this generation of game systems has over-stayed its welcome.

    Why do you think Gears of War’s latest game didn’t sell as well as the last? Why do you think that God of War Ascension hasn’t matched God of War III’s sales? It’s because the game systems are getting long in the tooth. They aren’t as exciting to gamers as they once were.

    This is probably something that Microsoft understands well. It could
    very well be a huge advantage for Microsoft to decide to spend their
    time focusing on current-gen promotion rather than rushing a next-gen
    announcement.

    How is MS focusing on current gen? Especially considering PS3 will have more exclusives this year than Xbox 360.

    They can now simply start to announce their next system when they have something concrete to truly entice gamers with.

    If they don’t have something ready now, they won’t make the 2013 release Window. The MS Durango leaks are likely pretty close to the truth.

    However, some very notable details were missing: Where’s the device? It
    can’t really be considered an “unveiling” if its not unveiled… Price
    range? Sure, probably too early for that, but at least a ballpark
    figure? Backwards compatibility? Will you have to throw away your PS3
    games? Current-Gen Controllers? Will any of the controllers, including
    steering wheels/PS move controllers be compatible?

    The device wasn’t shown on purpose, they have to save something for E3. Again this was a TEASER! Please wrap that concept around your head! :) Price again is something they don’t want to reveal just yet. What MS announces may affect the price. Ballpark figures wouldn’t be wise here.

    The PS4 will not have backward compatibility with PS3 (this is common knowledge now). DualShock 3 will not be compatible, the PS Move will be. I wouldn’t hold out much hope for 3rd Party Controllers.

    Microsoft is probably less than worried about these vague details about
    the mysterious upcoming PS4. If anything, it is like a learning
    opportunity. Sony gives away some of their information, so Microsoft
    gets a chance to know what they are up against way ahead of time

    The reason for the timing of the PS4 reveal was to make it too late for Microsoft to make any changes, unless they delay. Also at this point if Microsoft has some of the same features (which they will), MS looks like the “me too” system. The thing that Microsoft can’t do now is go first! :)

    Try to research details on Microsoft’s Next-gen console and there will
    be nothing but rumors. People are hyping it up and nicknaming it Xbox 720 even though that name was never official. Microsoft will most likely truly unveil their system when they are good and ready.

    Rumors in the form of leaks that have gotten the authorities involved. Not official, but at this point I think it’s pretty clear what the next Xbox specs will be (more or less).

    It kind of seems like Sony is trying to distract from its shortcomings
    with the PS3 when compared with the 360 by hyping up gamers and
    developers about something that they do not seem to know enough about to
    be announcing yet.

    It kind of seems like this whole article is just trying to put MS in the best light while diminishing all the positive things about the PS4. I think I have seen less Xbox bias on an Xbox 360 brochure. :)

    Sure, it could be all just part of the marketing game, keeping gamers in
    suspense over the lack of details… But, how long is that supposed to go
    on for? Are gamers really supposed to just live in suspense over
    something as vaguely described as the PS4?

    Yes it’s marketing and hype. Teasing just enough to get people interested to hang around for more information. It will likely only last until E3, which to us video game veterans is no surprise. Evidently this is your first generational console change. These things are not that uncommon. The presentation wasn’t all that vague, they just simply decided not to show the actual console or cost which was very smart.

    If they had answered everything in February, how do you suppose they keep people interested until E3? Stop being so naive, this is how BUSINESS works.

    Die-hard PS3 fans will probably be on their toes, but realistically, in a
    competitive market, Sony should have probably held off the announcement
    a bit until they had enough details to get anyone and everyone excited
    about their new beast.

    Seems to me there is some universal interest for the PS4, I have talked to some die-hard Xbox fans that were quite impressed. Developers really like the concepts that are going into the PS4 as well as the ease of development for the platform.

    Sony announced in February because they knew MS wasn’t ready to. Was a great move on their part. Instead of soundlng like a dunce trying to explain how this was a terrible idea and now Sony is in a position of weakness (when all evidence suggest they are not) why can’t you just come out and say — Well Done, now why is Microsoft being so quiet? No you are completely apologizing for MS here and trying to rewrite history of the last month or so.

    In short, it really feels like this “unveiling” that Sony provided does
    not really change anything about what is in demand, and further, it
    seems like it’s nothing more than an annoying teaser/distraction from
    the current-gen systems that we are all occupied with at the moment.

    In short if this is an example of your best work, you may want to look into a new hobby or look for a job at Microsoft.

  • hello

    “In many ways, the PS3 was technically a better system than Xbox 360. ”
    Thats a JOKE isn’t it?
    PS3 was broken in so many small things that added up: weak GPU with broken scaller, memory in two pools, bigger OS that left system with less free RAM, Cell that was hard to program and had only one all-purpose core for ‘normal’ code and 6 co-processors that could only run specific code….

    As one dev said:
    http://gamingbolt.com/developer-explains-what-its-like-developing-for-each-console-ps3-being-the-hardest

    [quote]Xbox360: Other than the big-endian thing, it really smells like a PC —until you dug into it. The GPU is great —except that the limited EDRAM means that you have to draw your scene twice to comply with the anti-aliasing requirement? WTF! Holy Crap there are a lot of SIMD registers! 4 floats x 128 registers x 6 registers banks = 12K of registers! You are handed DX9 and everything works out of the box. But, if you dig in, you find better ways to do things. Deeper and deeper. Eventually, your code looks nothing like PC-DX9 and it works soooo much better than it did before! The debugger is awesome! PIX! PIX! I Kiss You!

    PS3: A 95 pound box shows up on your desk with a printout of the 24-step instructions for how to turn it on for the first time. Everyone tries, most people fail to turn it on. Eventually, one guy goes around and sets up everyone else’s machine. There’s only one CPU. It seems like it might be able to do everything, but it can’t. The SPUs seem like they should be really awesome, but not for anything you or anyone else is doing. The CPU debugger works pretty OK. There is no SPU debugger. There was nothing like PIX at first. Eventually some Sony 1st-party devs got fed up and made their own PIX-like GPU debugger. The GPU is very, very disappointing… Most people try to stick to working with the CPU, but it can’t handle the workload. A few people dig deep into the SPUs and, Dear God, they are fast! Unfortunately, they eventually figure out that the SPUs need to be devoted almost full time making up for the weaknesses of the GPU.[/quote]“

    • DarthDiggler

      That article is dated and those comments are well before Naughty Dog and Sony Santa Monica had created better tools for the PS3. I can’t believe a website posted an article 8 months ago with 4+ year old information.

  • Kaiyl_kariashi

    Kind of funny….your thing about playing the 360 and having the PS3 gathering dust is the other way around here. I use my 360 for exclusives only (Currently just Blue Dragon and playing Fable:Lost Chapters, since I don’t like Gears of War), and traded in most of my x-box games for PS3 versions (got the 360 first, since I REALLY wanted Blue Dragon, and at the time, there weren’t that many PS3 games I wanted, so PS2 was good enough), which are generally superior, once I finally got a PS3 (I’m a pretty heavy PS and PS2 gamer, and only upgraded when my PS2 started to dying, and had to try and find one of the fully backward compatible models of PS3). The only featuere I kind of miss is being able to install games fully to the hard drive and just use the disc for ownership verification (Much quieter)….not sure why the PS3 can’t do that…I’ve got a 2 TB HD in mine that I’m barely using 4% space of even with a ton of digital titles, movies, and other stuff.

  • Markus

    They needed a new console 3 years ago…. lets be honest here they sacrificed Post-Processing for semi-HD textures making everygame look like a staircase

  • xbox

    If im honest im more of a PC player and i prefer it because of over all better graphics than ps3 and xbox 360 (don’t hate). pc also has a wider variety a lot are the same as xbox and ps3 games but we get more games from things like steam and web games

    If im honest again the xbox wins in my favor as i have far more friends who game on the xbox than ps3 it has a much larger variety of games

    also everyone stop saying ps3 got more sales and vice versa it is actually to close to call which console is better as every day thier selling hundreds and before someone comments something like proof here u go

    ( http://www.nowgamer.com/news/1760932/xbox_360_sales_still_better_than_ps3_npd.html)

    this being said overall i’d keep my pc but the xbox is still better but that in my opinion

  • http://www.facebook.com/jamie.lindsay.35 Jamie Lindsay

    HOW THE FUCK CAN IT BE RUSHED…. its just an upgraded system…. i dont wait 8 years to upgrade my computer, bang a 7970 in there and maybe the new piledriver, the only thing id wait for would be next gen 8 core processors that us theri threads more efficiently… however if consoles get 8 core cpus, then this means my 8 core cpu will be able to be utilized properly !!!! or maybe the 6 core intel….

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