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The Post PS4 Announcement Blues

/ Feb 25th, 2013 1 Comment

PS4

Nearly a week has passed since the PS4 information blowout swept the industry by storm. And with an event like the PS4′s announcement, the industry and gaming press has almost wholly shifted its focus on the repercussions of Sony‘s next generation PlayStation. If there was a piece of news to be had, it was covered by countless outlets. If there was more digging to be done about a technical specification or game announcement, it was unearthed. Then, of course, was the other side to this flood of stories: the opinions, the feelings, the speculations, the “what ifs” and the backlash.

In the days since the PlayStation 4 event, so much has been said that it could be hard to know how to feel; except an almost universal excitement for what’s to come. One of the biggest criticisms, surrounds the fact that Sony did not show off the actual PS4 console. The disappointment and snide comments about the matter shouldn’t come as a surprise for those who have been exposed to fanboyism. But when the face of Xbox Live, Major Nelson, takes a jab at the hardware no-show, it’s hard not to take notice. Despite the fact that the controller–how people will play the game–and the full system specs were revealed, many still couldn’t understand why a shiny plastic box wasn’t shown. One might wonder how the Wii U felt when only the GamePad was shown. The concept that the design wasn’t final didn’t seem to strike many as a good excuse. It’s such a strange thing to be critical of considering the great deal of information actually shown.

Whether or not most of the game footage/trailers shown has been highly scrutinized. “This looks way too good to be in-engine” is a justified claim. If anything, it’s perfectly justifiable to question the nature of these target renders and demos. The Killzone 2 demo from the 2005 E3 is a popular example. In the days since, many of these developers have come forward to say that the footage was created using the PS4 tech. Most were probably surprised that so many games were shown and announced right out of the gate.

The biggest missteps so far have been the handling of the backwards compatibility issue. Sony’s acquisition of Gakai seemed quite worthwhile when many of the cloud features were announced at the conference. The ability to play games before they finished downloading, play PS4 games on the PS Vita and more all sound great. But, as it turns out, the backwards compatibility issues hasn’t been ironed out. Since the architecture between the PS4 and PS3 is so different, it isn’t entirely shocking that there would be problems. When people from Sony seem hesitant to say if gamers will have to buy PS3 games again to play on PS4, it’s worrying. There might also be issues when attempting to transfer purchases from the PlayStation store. Though it might be a little too early to be angered or upset, Sony hasn’t done much so far to calm these fears.

Right now, everything is a waiting game. Unless plans change, there’s a long time to go until the Holiday 2013 release window is used up. That’s a lot of time to iron out issues, show off unseen things, and generate more excitement. It’s hard not to be a little troubled by some aspects of the PS4 unveiling; but maybe it’s because it’s just too early to say anything official. For many, the wait between now and E3 will be filled with questions until Sony answers them.

Ben Sheene

Ben Sheene

Associate Editor & Content Guru at Gaming Illustrated
Ben is from Kentucky where he originally began playing games (an activity he still continues to this day). With a love for writing he graduated from Centre College with a BA in English. He recently moved to California to pursue whatever future endeavors were there. A passion for music, gaming, blogging, and existing keeps him up at night and crafts him into the person he is today.
Ben Sheene
Ben Sheene

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  • Korgoth

    Why does anyone care what color/shape that the PS4 console will take? It goes inside a cabinet after all the wire are plugged in, and with cloud gaming, might not need to be seen again until you move! It’s pointless to look at the box that the hardware goes into, if you don’t like it, you can mod the thing into a form you do like… or you could just put it behind the TV and never think about how ugly it is. Taking into account Sony’s history, it’s unlikely that it’s going to look like anything except polished future tech right out of a Sci-Fi wet-dream.

    The important factor is going to be price, and I’ll bet Sony is waiting for Microsoft to make a move on that front before backing themselves into a corner on price. That said, Microsoft has a weird habit of Announcing Consoles and Price about a month before they launch… so we may be waiting awhile for those important facts to come in. On that same thought though, I expect Microsoft to offer their next system with a subscription plan like the $99 Xbox deal they have running now. It’ll be a slight loss at first, but guaranteed profits later. Both due to the milking an extra $150 plus over 2 years as well as having a larger installed base to sell games to. Depending on how Microsoft plays it, Sony may even be forced to follow suit. The economy won’t handle another $699 system, but $299 with a 2 year contract of $20 per month…

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