With gadgets and gizmos like the Ouya, the Nvidia Shield and the WikiPad, this coming generation of major consoles has more fresh competition than ever. Meeting its new found opponents head on, Sony made a smart, though bold, move in presenting the PlayStation 4 this week on its own. However exciting, it's clear that, after watching social media and chatting with industry folks, the reveal has been met with mixed reactions. (You already know what this editor thinks.)
To get an even broader, better sense of what the games press thinks, we asked our Games.com News Network partners for their two cents on Sony's next piece of kit. Here's what they (and our very own big mahoff Libe Goad) think of what has been shown so far:
It's hard to make a serious value judgment on the PS4 since this first reveal generally consisted of a lot of fancy talk about the system's PC-like innards and a few tech demos (some weirder than others). And then there's the PS4 controller, which seems like the Swiss Army knife of game controllers, with the usual umpteen buttons, plus a touch pad, plus Move controller tech and a Share button.
While I sneer at the idea of the PS4 having extra features, i.e. touch controls, et al, to stay 'current,' I'm intrigued that the Sony's attempting to make the PS4 a developer-friendly device, which could translate into more (and more quality) games for the consumer to play.
At a Game Developers Conference (GDC) preview event this week, a developer who worked on the game X-COM told me that that's the one thing that caught his attention. He says he remembers that it was relatively easy to make games for PlayStation 2, and difficult to make games for PlayStation 3. He seems hopeful, but wary, that the PS4 will swing the pendulum the other way.
And then there's the potential of streaming games via the PS4. The key term being 'potential.' You'll purportedly be able to stream game demos, but here's hoping that will eventually be applied to full games. After all, a girl's only got so much free space in her media room.
- Libe Goad, Editor in Chief, Games.com
Sadly, I wasn't as surprised as I should have been with Sony's announcement. Much of what Sony presented--the DualShock 4 controller, the PS4 streaming capabilities, and an emphasis on connectivity and sharing--had already been leaked weeks ahead of this event. Blame the leakers.
Regardless, I'm impressed with what Sony showed off. The PS4 sounds like a heck of a system. An AMD eight-core 64-bit x86 Jaguar CPU and 8GB of unified GDDR5 RAM are no joke.
Wednesday's reveal was merely a glance at the future. It's one filled with stunning visuals, impressive gameplay capabilities, and an emphasis on digital distribution without hassle. Much of what Sony and partners presented were tech demos, but they painted a pretty picture for PlayStation's future. Come E3, expect Sony to blow us away with even more PS4 announcements.
- Matt Liebl, News Editor, GameZone
Despite spending 135 minutes showing us PS4 in a massive press event in New York, we still know so little about Sony's new console. We don't know most specs. We don't know what the console looks like. We still don't really know how it works. Sony says they don't even know what the final specs are.
Sony rushed to show its PS3--so Microsoft wouldn't hog media attention--with tons of target footage and wishful hopes, like two HDMI inputs on the console. Sony's not quite that zealous this time around, since those expectations kneecapped it when the PS3 launched a year after the Xbox 360, but it's obvious Sony wants to set the stage.
But the presentation was pretty standard. Sony bit its tongue, and it looks to make a console that more gamers will want to play and more developers will want to work on. It has all the predictable advances in social media integration that the consoles have been without. It has all the same franchises from last generation with better graphics. It sounds pretty powerful. It also sounds really safe. Unfortunately, I have a gut feeling that Microsoft's inevitable, new Xbox will be much of the same.
- N Pfeifer, FleshEatingZipper
It took some guts for Sony to announce its system first in this copycat world, but what did it really show us--bigger, faster, stronger? OK, that had to be done. What else have you got? More social features to make sure my friends see everything that I'm doing in-game? Maybe I'm acting too 'grown-up' here, but I'm over the 'social everything' phase. Cloud streaming and instant screenshot/video capture? We can already do that on PCs.
But at least we got to see the new console--wait, no. We didn't even get that. In the end, the console will only be as good as the games developed for it. While we saw a lot of cool in-game footage, we didn't get a huge game announcement or anything exciting on that front. I was a little disappointed with the whole thing.
- Kirk Wallace, Social Marketing Manager, MMO Attack
What Sony showed looked impressive, no question. Killzone: Shadow Fall, Driveclub and Capcom's Deep Down all appear to be system sellers. I'm willing to bet that every viewer--in NYC or via live stream--dreamt about playing these titles on a 60-inch HDTV. If more developers can produce those graphics, they'll further blur the line between the games and Hollywood.
However, I've attended enough press events to know that system unveilings don't necessarily show us the big picture. After the smoke and mirrors, final products rarely live up to the hype, at least during launch window. Yes, Killzone looked gorgeous, but no one beyond the presenters got their hands on it.
Inevitably, one or more games shown at this press event will underwhelm. I'm inclined to believe Sony bent the truth. I'm skeptical, but I also want to believe, particularly when it comes to price. Affordable? Hopefully, but I doubt it.
- Chris Buffa, Editor in Chief, Modojo
While there's no doubt the PS4 is a technical powerhouse, I have to admit that I was less than sold on the presentation. No backwards compatibility, even for PSN games, yet they'll still support the Move controller?
Still, you can't help but be excited about the possibilities that a new console brings. The streaming and sharing, plus the processor, make for some interesting possibilities, especially for what we do here at Cheat Happens. Perhaps the new console will allow users to share game saves, or even bring back cheat codes (gasp!). I'll reserve more judgment until more concrete details, like price, release date and more gameplay footage, are released.
- Joe Sinicki, Lead Game Reviewer, Cheat Happens
The stats on the PS4 look nice: An eight-core CPU--what do we call that, octa-core?--8GB RAM, and a GPU processing 1.84 teraflops of data. That sounds like a nice gaming machine to me.
The addition of the new PlayStation Eye is kind of expected, considering the success of the Kinect on the Xbox 360. The new Eye is said to better detect player locations as well as better tell the difference between multiple players. Add better facial and hand gesture recognition, and you have a more rounded solution.
My primary concern is the talk of embedded social features, and protection of said social data. Connecting more gamers is good for everyone, but it will be better for Sony if it can sell more of that information. Concerned players will simply opt out of Twitter and Facebook integration with the new PlayStation Network, but it's still something to be wary of.
- Donny Duncan, GameTipCenter.com
Sony's presentation wasn't so much about the technical specs, the wonder over price, or a cheap marketing gimmick to sell PS Vita units. Here is a platform that major PC-centric developers could potentially get behind. When developers like Blizzard are tempted back into console development, I don't take that as an affront on PC gamers. I see the console wave coming full circle back to the PC.
The PS4 is essentially a PC, likely complete with support for USB keyboards and mice just like the PS3. What we saw game-wise didn't impress right off the bat as much as the hope of titles like Planetside 2 and maybe even Everquest Next coming to the system.
Plus, live streaming games to your friends a la Twitch is something I imagine will be used profusely. The PS4 impresses not with the games and features it showed, but what Sony didn't show. There's a lot of potential for much deeper games than what consoles are traditionally known for, and that is exciting.
- Bill Murphy, Managing Editor, MMORPG.com
What are your thoughts on what Sony showed of the PS4 this week? Share with us in the comments. Add Comment.