My Thoughts on Sony's PS4 Announcement

Bill Loguidice's picture

DualShock 4DualShock 4Though some were no doubt disappointed in Sony's PS4 announcement for every reason from general ennui with the whole videogame thing to a passionate allegiance to a competing platform, I fail to see how any real videogame enthusiast can come away anything but impressed at the promise of it all. The keyword of course is "promise," since everything sounds great on paper, but we don't really know how much will be executed how soon (and how well), nor did we have an actual appearance by the apparently camera-shy console itself. You can find many summaries of what Sony did unveil online, including a good one by PlayStation Universe, but I'll try to cover some of the high level highlights.

First off, the name. Many of us expected both Sony and Microsoft to do away with the whole numbering of their consoles business with their respective next gen systems, but - and this is ultimately not surprise considering Sony's recent focus on its young, but rich videogame history - PS4 it is. Second, the release window is targeted to holiday 2013. No real surprise there either, and it's all but a lock for Microsoft to follow suit. Next, was the impressive third party support, something that Nintendo focused on with the Wii U, but something that their third parties have not really followed through on, and a situation that may not greatly improve. It's all but a lock Sony's third party software supporters will follow through, with titles like Diablo III and Destiny already making strong statements. Rounding out the solid, but unremarkable stuff was an evolved DualShock controller, better Kinect-like camera (PlayStation 4 Eye), suspend mode (to put the system to sleep, but immediately pick up right where you left off when you come back), new Windows 8-like interface, and a beefy processor, graphics card, and memory system. That all translates to real-time performance similar to a high end PC--at least based on the quality of the demos shown.

Of course, the most impressive part to me was Sony's streaming and social integration, and this is the part that will be hardest to follow through on, but could be a genuine difference maker. Powered by Gaikai, the PS4 will be a streaming powerhouse, able to stream updates, demos, and even games (the issue of backwards compatibility of course can be handled in this manner as well), instantly. In other words, no more waiting minutes to hours for an update or anything else to come through because you can play the stream as it downloads. This streaming technology and extra processing power will also allow instant recording and sharing of gameplay (to Facebook, YouTube, etc.), with the ability for others to spectate in real-time, and even jump in and take control if you want them to. Besides smartphone and tablet integration, you can also stream PS4 games in real-time to the Vita, which is a direct stab at replicating one of the Wii U's most compelling features, and may yet save the struggling handheld.

Again, we don't know how well all that will work in principal, plus we have no images of the final console, nor pricing, though Sony has promised regular information updates. I think if Sony can deliver on most of the stated features at launch and get the price point to what the Wii U currently sells for, they should have a hit on their hands and reverse the poor showings of the last three videogame system launches (3DS, Vita, and Wii U). Goodness knows this industry could use an instant success, something I've lamented in another recent blog post. Obviously, if the price comes in too high or too many of the stated features fail to materialize in a timely manner (a la most of Nintendo's TVii features), then that would leave only Microsoft to help our industry save some face in the short term.

What did you guys think of Sony's showing? I'd love to hear your thoughts, so sound off in the comments.



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ruthan
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my opinion

I already wrote my option in forum topic:
http://www.armchairarcade.com/neo/node/5200

Who: Brujah Zealot, the pimp of babylons bitch. / Location: Scorched heart of Europe. // Sorry for my moldavian sort of english, i have 2 possibilities, to be silent or try to say something +look like idiot..

Matt Barton
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The tech sounds great, but I

The tech sounds great, but I didn't see anything that really grabbed my attention in the software lineup. Diablo III ports--big deal. I didn't even like it on the PC. The other stuff looks like it'll please the choir, but I'm not seeing anything that makes me think--gotta have it.

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Bill Loguidice
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Matt Barton wrote:

The tech sounds great, but I didn't see anything that really grabbed my attention in the software lineup. Diablo III ports--big deal. I didn't even like it on the PC. The other stuff looks like it'll please the choir, but I'm not seeing anything that makes me think--gotta have it.

The fact that they have third party support like Diablo III and Destiny is already a big win for them. The specific games don't matter at this point, it's the commitment third parties have clearly made that's important.

And again, it's not the tech that's necessarily impressive (it's obvious it was going to be better), it's the amazing potential for all that integration and the on-demand sharing and pick up and play nature thanks to the integrated streaming that's not really possible anywhere else. The implementation is the big question mark here though since words are easy. If they pull it off the right way, it's a game changer.

The fact that PSN purchases won't carry over to PS4 is certainly a big bummer, though, in surely a series of things that will eventually dissapointment... (perhaps, though, pie-in-the-sky and negating the need for the past purchases to transfer over is a monthly subscription to stream any PS1 - PS3 title on demand at any time...)

By the way, Sony says PS4 will be in physical form at E3.

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clok1966
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Matt i think you

Matt i think you underestimate D3.. There are very few PC only things the console kids want.. D3 is one.. while it been pretty universally panned.. Blizzard is laughing all the way to the bank.. Blasted in words all over the web, played by everybody still.. Most those same people blasting it are playing it, but don't want to admit. Blizzards numbers show its being played buy many many people, even if its "so bad". Lets not forget the implications.. succesfull D3 on console.. who knows what blizz will port next.. (quite probably nothing.. but that's not how the masses think, this could lead to other blizzard titles). You simply cant have great games anymore.. you have to have the big names.. I really just dont understand the HALO love.. but NOBODY cant tell me that game series don't sell X-Boxs. Sony has nothing like it.. Personally Uncharted is far better "game" to me.. but I do suffer from FPS burnout.. Getting SOLID 3rd party support and some exclusives is disparately needed from the start for SONY IMHO. D3 might be enough.. but I really think they need one more KILLER game.. not just Killer in looks, but play Hevenely Sword and LAIR where big on "wow" but only so- so on play for the PS3 launch.

to me the BIG one was the PC architecture.. SONY has been hammered since the PSone days for "hard to program" .. you take a console that's been hard to work with.. and yet is neck in neck with the easy one.. then you make it EASY to program and port too.. the HIGH dollar efforts to bring a game to it are reduces significantly.. STEAM and PS3 can both be worked on at same time.. YES the PC market is low.. but STEAM has pulled it up quite a lot. Looking at a purely financial point of view.. having two platforms (ps4 and PC) so close means lots of easy work to get it on both platforms.. its not longer PC, 360 and PS4.. its ps4/pc and 360 (and let me not forget WiiU if you haven't already). the PC /ps4 combo is WIN WIN for the dev.. of course this is only true if PS4 can keep pace with the new 360.. and Prices also will factor in.

Of course PC like is not PC.. so it may be far worse then IM assuming (i just keep thinking SONY has learned, but .. that's a MIGHTY BIG IF).. there weak point has always been the Great on paper but hard to program issue.. games dont shine till later in life cycle. If they can shine ( and are easy to program) from the start.. it could be a whole new ballgame.

I'm scarred about the controller.. it seems to hold to the old one enough it wont be a drastic change.. but there is no way to know without holding it.

they announced just enough, but not enough in my mind.. it was a big.. cool, but wheres the cake thing to me.. just enough to make me want more.

Matt Barton
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Perhaps, but I don't think

Perhaps, but I don't think any "me too" products are going to bring the hordes. If you want to play Diablo III bad enough, you'll get a PC and also get access to all the clones of it.

If I were Sony, I'd try to carve out a niche. I think a viable niche for them is the "game design" games. Little Big Planet was a step in the right direction. They could, with little effort I think, become known as the go-to console for user-generated content. The community definitely has the passion.

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Bill Loguidice
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Matt Barton wrote:

Perhaps, but I don't think any "me too" products are going to bring the hordes. If you want to play Diablo III bad enough, you'll get a PC and also get access to all the clones of it.

If I were Sony, I'd try to carve out a niche. I think a viable niche for them is the "game design" games. Little Big Planet was a step in the right direction. They could, with little effort I think, become known as the go-to console for user-generated content. The community definitely has the passion.

It's best not to focus on one game, just the bigger picture, including what that one game means. This is the first time in ages Blizzard is going console and could pave the way for more work on consoles in conjunction with PCs. It's no small thing to have Blizzard on your side. I think that's why it was shown. Naturally, Diablo III should sell well and move some systems, but it's not the end-all-be-all.

Sony did in fact show an intriguing creation type game in their demo, so that's not too far off. With the collaboration and streaming, it could very well pave the way for concurrent design and creation. Could be fun.

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clok1966
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who knows
Matt Barton wrote:

Perhaps, but I don't think any "me too" products are going to bring the hordes. If you want to play Diablo III bad enough, you'll get a PC and also get access to all the clones of it.

If I were Sony, I'd try to carve out a niche. I think a viable niche for them is the "game design" games. Little Big Planet was a step in the right direction. They could, with little effort I think, become known as the go-to console for user-generated content. The community definitely has the passion.

don't get me wrong. D3 on a console.. Meh, is my exact thoughts. But far to many people want stuff because other people have it.. not because they like it, think its good or any real reason.. just a ME TOO reason. But there is some strong implications. Blizzard even when it screws up strikes gold.. And its been awhile since they attempted console games (diablo on the ps2?) its interesting they are taking a step in now.. and there LONG rumored next gen MMORPG is supposed to be possibly console also.. far to many "if' maybe and who knows.. but the implications that it might be on the PS4 is strong. that in itself will sell a few units.. how many.. no idea.. And again.. I don't agree with why.. but it just does.

After more reading.. it was my understanding the new 360 was going to have more memory.. and it was well known (rumor sites) Sony was not going to do anything till it has some concrete idea on MS next gen system.. Several factories (that whre most of this rumor stuff comes from) have time reserved for MS production.. so some hardware is in some time of finalization area.. Well the memory thing.. if it holds true.. MS was supposed have 6 use-able, and the sony was 5.. it seems SOny one uped.. and now will have more..that will be a HUGE (cant stat it enough) plus for the PS4 for developers.. if it has 8 megs.. it should be no problem to use 4 for graphics.. makes optimizing much much easier.. less dev time on optimization.. better profit margin, easier to program, better running (downside.. sloppy code is easier). I would imagine MS can up the
memory too now.. but we are treading in memory where it will up costs ( memory in itself is cheap, arcatucure to support using high memory is not).

ah well its fun to talk about but even SONY's big reveal is more a pep show, very little hard news on hardware.. and MS is not even a pep show just yet.. so Im all talk and no substance..

clok1966
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pick a card, any card

clok1966 wrote:

After more reading.. it was my understanding the new 360 was going to have more memory.. and it was well known (rumor sites) Sony was not going to do anything till it has some concrete idea on MS next gen system.. Several factories (that whre most of this rumor stuff comes from) have time reserved for MS production.. so some hardware is in some time of finalization area.. Well the memory thing.. if it holds true.. MS was supposed have 6 use-able, and the sony was 5.. it seems SOny one uped.. and now will have more..that will be a HUGE (cant stat it enough) plus for the PS4 for developers.. if it has 8 megs.. it should be no problem to use 4 for graphics.. makes optimizing much much easier.. less dev time on optimization.. better profit margin, easier to program, better running (downside.. sloppy code is easier). I would imagine MS can up the
memory too now.. but we are treading in memory where it will up costs ( memory in itself is cheap, arcatucure to support using high memory is not).

ah well its fun to talk about but even SONY's big reveal is more a pep show, very little hard news on hardware.. and MS is not even a pep show just yet.. so Im all talk and no substance..

well.. it seems one thing is "maybe" from the rumors ( errr.. more rumors of rumors.. ) it sounds like SONY did one up MS.. SONY said 4 megs.. MS went with 6... (which is what game devs are saying) but Sony was using a smoke screen and had 8.. more and more devs are saying "off the record" that the machines are CPU equal, but he Sony has more memory so its easier to work on and will be better with textures and such.. And quite alot is being made of the SONY embrace of Indy and MS (who originality did it) ignoring them..

again more rumors and speculation till actual STATS come out.. but fun to talk about.

Soulgotha
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I must say I wasn't expecting

I must say I wasn't expecting a new generation console from PS or Xbox for at least another couple of years so this comes as a bit of a surprise. They're promising a lot here so this could be a big one for the modern gaming era. Let's hope they can pull it off!

Edit - Matt, that is an excellent marketing idea. Since they're putting an emphasis on the social media aspect of gaming they should definitely put a huge emphasis on user generated content.

ruthan
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Diablo III, without mouse and

Diablo III, without mouse and keyboard will be suffering.. such FPS experience, but console players are used to.
Clock has true, Diablo III best selling game in first week on PC all time, realy dont like this game, because game world almost completly lost atmosphere for my, but for majority is still ok.

Diablo 1 was on PSX 1 a finished it on Archos Gamepad, before few days, 1 to 1 conversior, except controlls of course, but Diablo doesnt have different types of attack, only 1 normal.

Interesing games? Oh man, wait a minute, now in this age? Maybe 3 good exculsive titles per year, maybe. Game design is on declicne, despite stronger and stronger hardware teoretical possiblities,, but because we need zillions of expensive assets for even petty new feature, i dont see any bright future. Bright new future you games is now limited by a) design b) tools - for better production pipeline, because know is production very expensive and slow.

Who: Brujah Zealot, the pimp of babylons bitch. / Location: Scorched heart of Europe. // Sorry for my moldavian sort of english, i have 2 possibilities, to be silent or try to say something +look like idiot..

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