Saturday, 23 February 2013

Why I wasn't blown away by the PS4

PlayStation 4 has finally been announced and revealed a few games that will launch with the console along with it's redesigned controller which is presumably called the Dualshock 4.  Now having a big press conference and a bunch of developers talk about how great Sony is was all well and good, but is it just me here who is suffering from deja vu?

Killzone Shadow fall was what kicked it off for me to be honest.  Anyone remember Killzone 2 when it was announced for PS3 with that awesome battle trailer.  Remember how they said that the entire trailer was using in game assets and then later had to admit it was all pre rendered.  Obviously this new PS4 demo is a slick pre render to show off the games new setting and potential, but don't go thinking that the visuals here are representative of the final product.

"Not representative of game" Yeah no shit.
This is what mystifies me about popular media outlets banging on about how great the next gen consoles are going to look, but they always wind up looking like idiots in the end.  Sure developers could make games that look like the Killzone demo, but it would be incredibly short and cost a shitload to produce because basically all of the consoles power and the discs space would be used up very quickly.

Granted this new system will produce better graphics and games will be capable of bigger and more impressive things as time goes on, but remember anything that can be done on the PS4 has been available on the PC for years now.  The only reason graphics and gaming tech has slowed down is because of the console cycle.  Epic games and Nvidia have been complaining about the consoles stalling graphics tech for a year or two now and it shows when you look at what some dedicated PC games can produce comparatively.

Now don't get me wrong I am happy to see a new console coming out and I will definitely be buying a PS4 on release either this year or next depending on when they release it over here in Europe, but I am not going to be sucked in by slick CG trailers and big promises.  The decision by Sony to make the PSN a subscription service for extra features like cross platform communication is already annoying enough and I hope they don't make all the online features subscription based, because I think that will hurt them in the long run.  One of the core reasons I bought into the PS3 was because of it's free online service which has been great, while taking that away would definitely put me off buying certain games that may have a focus on multiplayer.

The new controller I think is a mixed bag.  I like the ergonomics of the controller with the new L2/R2 redesigns and the slight alterations to the D-pad, but do we need a built in Move controller?  Seriously PSmove sucked absolute balls just like the kinect did.  I just get flashbacks to launch title PS3 games having forced motion controls that don't fucking work, does anyone remember LAIR?  And why do we have a screen in the controller now?  Was that something that players had been screaming for recently?  I can imagine adverts popping up on the controller before you play like Youtube ads which can't be skipped.  (trolling here don't take me seriously on the advert part)

Not the final design, but it gives you a pretty good idea
The thing that me laugh was the headphone jack.  Apparently Evolution studios claimed that players had been asking for this for years, but honestly in 24 years of gaming I have never heard anyone ask for a headphone jack in their games controller.  Just wait for the Dualshock 5 which will have a GPS, Radio, torch, rape alarm and dog whistle features, because gamers have been asking for that for years clearly.  Sure it can be used for headset support, but it isn't a massive improvement considering players have been fine using headsets without the need to plug it into the controller.

We still have a little while before E3 and the full reveal of the finished controller design and the console itself.  I would be very interested to see the visual differences with cross platform titles such as Watchdogs on PS3 compared to PS4.  Things like this will really help to sell the power of the console to customers.

What do you think about the PS4 reveal and everything we know so far?  Leave a comment below and thanks for reading.


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