OpinionPlayStation 4

GIZORAMA’s Take on the Sony PlayStation 4 Announcement

Unless you’ve been under a rock for the past few days, you should have heard Sony announced the PlayStation 4. We had a feeling when Sony announced their PlayStation Event last month a new PlayStation would be emerging, but now we finally have the details confirmed. Here’s what the GIZORAMA staff has to say about what has been unveiled so far.

Brandon Koch

The biggest thing for me in the press conference was the song “Monster Hospital” by Metric at the beginning. In the end, the event was about an hour and a half of PR dribble and 30 minutes of interesting content. It took forever to get to any kind of meat and potatoes as far as news goes. Nine minutes of buzzwords and smoke being blown up our collective butts happened before PlayStation 4 was mentioned. Then we were stuck with more filler than an episode of Dragon Ball Z.

I was bored out of my mind and for the most part Sony seemed to refuse to give concrete details and instead presented us with abstracted concepts and ideas. I think the biggest example of this is that we had a two-hour press conference for a console reveal without an actual console being revealed. We saw the controller, the specs, and the user interface but we did not see the console. I think this was due to them wanting to get out the gate with the announce before Microsoft. And while I can appreciate that, I think this is something that should have waited until E3.

I lied though when I said the biggest thing was “Monster Hospital”. As awesome as that song is, the architecture design and reaching out to developers truly has me hopeful for the system. The one thing most programmers know is how to program for the x86 architecture and I think we will see some awesome games right out the gate when matching that with lots of super fast RAM. The one thing we shouldn’t see is a host of developers complaining about the PS4 being hard to program for.

I like the idea of the integration of the PlayStation Move into the DualShock 4 controller. The PS Vita style touchpad on the face of the controller is interesting but gives the controller a strange aesthetic. I am sure it will be something I will get used to. Remote play to the PS Vita is a logical extension of stuff we have seen both from PS3 and Nintendo’s Wii U. I look forward to utilizing it and will probably buy a PS Vita just for this reason. PlayStation Cloud and the possibility of streaming previous generations is interesting but with the state of the current cloud gaming technology makes me wary. Also the ability to put the console to sleep and instantly pick back up where you left off in the game is a nice plus and is something that has been featured in mobile technology for the past few years.

The Killzone: Shadow Fall gameplay trailer has actually peaked my interested in Killzone. It looks like it could easily be a current gen game… just less pretty though. Everything else game wise was a little underwhelming. I really think that if they had just waited a couple of months until E3 that this press conference would have been better filled with content and more interesting games. That being said, I am hopeful but will be taking a wait and see approach because I really want to jump on that Sony bandwagon because I have liked some of the things they have done with the PS3, PSN, and PS Plus but unfortunately I have been too invested in Xbox 360 at this point to truly enjoy them. I think we are going to have one hell of an E3 this year and I can’t wait to see what Microsoft brings to the table now that Sony has laid out some of its cards.

Christian Miller

When the PS4 was revealed as the big announcement from Sony (something everyone pretty much already knew) I wasn’t that excited. I know that there is a very large part of the gaming community that believes that the current extended console generation is killing gaming, but I don’t agree with that sentiment. If anything, the lack of new innovation creativity and rehashed ideas is killing gaming, not how long it’s been since gamers have seen a new console. It’s just a case of people getting bored that their toys aren’t as shiny as when they first came out.

I personally don’t think that the PS3 is ready to be thrust into the obscurity that the PS4 will bring, but that’s my opinion.

Then I had a chance to sit back and digest all the info, and I got a bit more excited (but only because I started to think about the gaming franchises that I love that will benefit from the new system). When Sony talked about the various games that will be headed to the PS4 in its launch window, it got me all fuzzy inside thinking about how games like Dragon Age III: Inquisition, the future of the Bioshock series, etc. will be.

I just don’t know how to gauge my excitement for the PS4 quite yet. Sure, it’s exciting to think that we are getting a new console soon. However, at the same time it seems like a lot of the features of the PS4 have been seen elsewhere in some shape or form. The next few months will be crucial in determining whether or not a purchase is worth it for me. Until then my full excitement will sit in my alternate weapon slot.

James Parkin

So the PlayStation 4 was announced and I hate to say it, but as of now, I don’t really care. According to Jack Tretton, President and CEO of Sony PlayStation of America  the PlayStation 4 “is centered on all of you – the gamers.” If I thought that were the case, I think I would be more excited about the PlayStation 4… but I’m not.

The thing that I currently dislike about the PlayStation 4, and maybe I’m just being an old-school Scrooge, is the heavy emphasis on the social aspect of the console. When I play games, I like to join with friends from around the world to interact with each other,  form or fortify friendships, and to have an overall great time. The addition of things like the Share button on the new DualShock 4 controller, or the ability to stream live to Ustream are neat innovations, but I think they’re taking away from the aspect of gaming. I don’t want to jet my gaming activity to Facebook or Ustream, I want my gaming comrades to join and fight by my side.

Not all of my thoughts on the PlayStation 4 are negative, as there are a lot of really great aspects that I hope I can appreciate more over time when more details are revealed. Ditching the old PS3 UI is a godsend, it was one of the main reasons why now I only use my PS3 while watching Blu-Ray titles or streaming Netwflix, it just felt old and clunky. I’m really excited to see how the new background abilities work as well, nothing was more frustrating than booting up my console to have an update only to have another update once my game boots up. An always up-to-date system seems like something I could only dream of. I’m also excited to see how well the new “suspend mode” will work, could you imagine the time you’ll be able to spend gaming instead of watching a boot screen after you’ve left the game for a while?

I can’t wait to see the new details as they’re trickled out. So far there’s a lot of good buzz from developers, and frankly, regardless of how I feel about the console, if the developers like it and are able to produce top-notch games, my gripes won’t really make a damn. I’ll cross my fingers in hopes that all my doubts are put to rest, it’s about time I have the same love and passion towards Sony that I have towards Microsoft and their Xbox consoles.

Josh Holloway

Even though I’ve been gaming all my life, due to various twists of fate over the years, I’ve never owned a PlayStation console. Sure, I played them from time to time at friends’ houses or in demo kiosks, but I never really felt like I was missing out on much. When I got serious about games a few years back, I saw what Sony was doing (and not doing) with the PlayStation 3 and decided that it just wasn’t for me. The PS2 was a powerhouse system that seemed incapable of losing steam, and Sony got complacent, making outlandish promises with the PS3 and resting on the previous generation’s laurels. Sony had lost their way and was clearly very out of touch with gamers as a whole.

Everything we saw in the PlayStation 4 announcement event is evidence that Sony has learned its lessons the hard way. By delivering a powerful hardware platform, great games, and solid social framework, I believe Sony has a winner on their hands with the PlayStation 4.

Sony’s smartest move on Wednesday was putting Mark Cerny on stage and letting him explain the whats, whys, and hows of the PlayStation 4 in plain language. It wasn’t long after the event began that we knew the PS4 would have a powerful x86 architecture and 8GB of RAM. This may seem like a simple thing, but it’s a far cry from the nebulous descriptions of the magical Cell processor we got six years ago. By eschewing whimsy and adopting a common and reliable system architecture, Sony is paving the way for easier and faster development.

This streamlined development process will undoubtedly lead to more and better games on Sony’s platform. It’s no secret that the PS3 was difficult to program for, as many developers made clear over the life of the console. This led to fewer exclusives, and PS3 versions of cross-platform games looked worse, had more bugs, and got less support than their Xbox 360 and PC counterparts. But since next Xbox will very likely have a similar PC architecture to the PS4, cross-platform development will be much easier. Many studios declined to produce PS3 exclusives simply because they didn’t know how to develop for its architecture. Sony promises a different future for the PS4.

Besides just learning from its past mistakes, Sony also seems to be taking cues from the present and gazing into the future, evidenced mainly by its robust suite of sharing features, so important that they got their own button. I consider myself a pretty intelligent guy, and capturing video of gameplay to share with others is not trivial for me. If we’re talking about live streaming, that’s even more of a challenge. With that tiny little Share button on the DualShock 4, Sony is doing for games what blogs did for publishing. I don’t know how many times I’ve encountered something in a game that made me think, “I wish I was recording that!” Up until now, I just had to shrug it off and keep going. No longer.

In the 24 hours since the PlayStation 4 was announced, I’ve seen record amounts of cynicism from gaming and mainstream press alike. But I’m no longer skeptical. Sony’s no-nonsense approach to this announcement has me anxiously awaiting the holiday season. There are things here that spark a fire in me and get me excited for the future of games. And most of all, it’s a new cool box to play video games on! If we start approaching potential new experiences like this with anything less than glee, we run the risk of losing what brought us here in the first place: fun.

Sure, we didn’t get to see the console. (SPOILERS: It’s a black rectangle with some ports on it.) We didn’t get a price, and we didn’t get an exact release date. But we don’t need those things right now. Sony has plenty of time to act and react to market realities over the course of this year to deliver a solid product at a reasonable price this holiday season. If they’ve learned their lessons in the areas mentioned above, certainly they’ve learned in others as well.

At this point, I’m counting on Microsoft to defy history and shake themselves loose of the kind of complacency that landed Sony where it is today. If the next-generation Xbox can deliver an answer for each of the PlayStation 4’s key features, I think we’ll have an old-school console war on our hands, and that competition is good for everyone.

Nick Marcantonio

All I can say when looking at the PlayStation 4 is “oh, this again”. That’s not to say the hardware isn’t impressive, it is, seriously. An 8 core CPU with 8 GB of unified video memory? That’s astonishing for a console that will probably last eight or so years. It would only make it better by the great design Sony came up with for the PS4…oh wait.

Sony did the same thing when they announced the PlayStation 3; PSP integration, the huge social aspect part of it, and the nonexistent or ‘never lived up to the hype’ games. With the PS4, Sony really wants to you use the Vita you never bought to use features you don’t like, that being said I really don’t think many people will really use the remote play aspect the Vita will bring to the PS4 (you know, the same feature Sony promised back in 2011 at TGS that the PS3 would be able to do).

The new social aspect of the PS4 screams gimmick to me. Seriously, with all the social networking we have today, why does Sony find it necessary to dedicate a button on the controller to show friends your gameplay clips? Although, it could have its uses in places like Call of Duty where you want to show friends that awesome game-winning kill or in Gran Turismo where you won the race by .05 seconds. Then again, your friends will need to own a PS4 to be able to see these clips.

The games that were announced look all right; Killzone looks solid with some beautiful visuals (there’s where that 8 gigs of dedicated video memory come into play). Driveclub looked fantastic. If I manage to get my hands on a PS4 (when it comes out Holiday 2013 –grumble-), Driveclub will be the first game I purchase. Not only does the game look marvelous, the cars sound great (better than Forza’s). This is the one game that got me really excited for the PlayStation 4 and I hope they don’t muck it up in any way.

Oh, and the DualShock 4. It looks promising, although like I stated earlier I do not like the “share” button at all; it looks too gimmicky.

All in all, I’m excited (like I was for the PS3) but hesitant at the same time. You’ve hurt me before Sony, with your empty promises and previous gimmicks (I’m looking at you Eye of Judgment).

The consistent theme from GIZORAMA? Hope.

What do you think about the PlayStation 4 so far?

Kanji Prearms

Kanji has been holding a controller since he could walk, and loves nothing more than talking about his latest conquest with friends.

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