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« Unfounded Rage - analyzing the backlash towards Microsoft and the Xbox One | Main | GameBanter's Top Ten 2012 »
Friday
Feb222013

Why I Don't Think I'll Be Buying a PS4

 

So, it's been a good day and a half since Sony went all 'Apple' and held their one off press conference to announce the PS4. I've watched it through twice and, while there are features I like, the whole press conference rounded out a bit of a wet squib for me. In the interest of being nice though, let's start with the positives:

The Good


GaiKai Integration

When Sony purchased GaiKai, cogs started turning in pretty much every gamer's head. The possibilities, if the hype was to be believed, were enormous, and even though OnLive kinda burned everyone, you've got to believe that Sony wouldn't be pushing this so hard unless they had total faith in the tech. If it works the way they say it will, then they've got something a bit special on their hands, and Sony know it. Games that you can play instantly and keep downloading the rest of the game in the background; a massive back catalogue and the ability to make a lot of money selling PS1, 2 and 3 games that, again, play instantly; the system pre-downloading something for you and have it waiting for you next time you turn it on. The way things are going, we're moving rapidly towards downloading everything, and so a solid infrastructure like this is going to be invaluable, and a big draw in the next few years (if not at launch). The social features are a lot less exciting, but I'll mention those later.

Suspending Your Game
Sounds like a simple one this, but being able to just suspend a game and store it in RAM whilst the power is off, so that next time you turn the system on you can just resume playing, is actually really cool. No more having to wait for a save point or a checkpoint, now you can just hit the power button and walk away, knowing you're safe for next time. Superb.

The Tech
I'm not the world's greatest at the technical side of things, but seeing analysis of this thing it seems pretty unanimous that it's gonna be a powerful little box. It has a lot of RAM (which is a versatile tool) and comparable components to powerful PCs, for no doubt cheaper than the PC would end up costing, plus a Bluray player included, not a bad deal. Ofcourse PCs will be more powerful, that's always the case, but what new consoles do is force developers to create new, more powerful engines, like the Panta Rhei engine we saw come out of Capcom (which, though on a low res stream, looked absolutely stunning!). One thing's for sure, graphics are more beautiful now than ever, and console gamers will finally get to experience what PC gamers have been going on about for the past 6 years. I also like the controller, the touch pad could be pretty cool and the share button is... well... it's there.

The Bad


The Games

As big a focus as they tried to put on games, pretty much everything they showed looked so run of the mill I just felt bored. Killzone: Shadow Fall, while extremely pretty, looked dull as dishwater. Standard FPS, except with some bright colours right at the start does not make much of an impact. The Knack, a 3D platformer in a similar style of Jak and Daxter/Ratchet and Clank looked run of the mill, at best, and not even that good looking. Should be a PS3 game. Drive Club, though obviously made with love, is redundant on a platform with Gran Turismo as it's premier racing franchise. Jonathan Blow's new game looked about as standard as a first-person puzzle game can, all the exciting sounding things he was talking about before he showed the trailer were completely absent when the video started rolling, what the hell were they playing at?! Overall, I didn't see a single gaming experience that showed off what the system could really do, or that would convince me to buy it.

Awkward Tech Demos
Whether it was showing an old man's polygonal face, or demonstrating how we can recreate our dreams, I couldn't give a flying fuck. The whole "look at us dancing with these dream characters using the Move controller!" made me cringe so hard I was worried my scalp might actually rip at the forehead. Not only did that not even look fun, it didn't even look that good. If the best you guys can do with all this new tech is make a puppet show, then maybe just call it a day, yeah? Come on, this is meant to be the future of the Playstation brand, and you made an awlward music video. All the thumbs down.

Vita Integration
While it's smart to make the Vita/PS4 combo do the same thing that a Wii U does, ultimately it's impossible to take any use of the vita seriously. It's only a small thing, but it still got under my skin.

The Meh


Social Features

I don't have any problem with social features, in fact they're great, the "meh" here comes from the sheer fact that none of this is really news. It goes without saying that these consoles are gonna be balls-deep in Facebook integration and social features, and flaunting these features felt like a waste of airtime. They might as well have announced "Hey everyone, this thing's gonna play GAMES!!!" I think there's a place for social networking feature announcements, but your big press blowout isn't it.

The Share Button
Again, at this point in gaming, a feature like this should just be taken as something that isn't a surprise, this should be something that's included as standard. It's just obvious. This wasn't an earth shaking announcement, it's nifty, sure, but it was also nifty a year ago when me and my mate Lee thought of it. It's just in incredibly obvious idea, that now we know is possible, HAVE to expect to see in the next Xbox aswell.

Counterfeit Kinect
Not a dry eye in the house when Sony showed their Kinect rip off, just no shame at all in the slightest. A sad, sad day.

"Hey there Kinect, what you doing looking at that Dual Shock?... You two-timing WHORE!"

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