By LegitFruitSnack 0 Comments
full disclosure yea this is kinda super late but I typed up my thoughts after Sony made the announcement and just forgot to post it. I figured I'd post it any way now, just so I don't have a random blog in a folder that never went live. -FS
There is finally light at the end of this long tunnel the next generation of video game consoles is finally officially coming. Sony struck first with their announcement of the PlayStation 4. The name while not really original is great its not something dumb I have to get used to like saying like Vita or Natal its simple. It’s the new PlayStation and you know that because the number is higher. Sony’s event was filled with 2 hours of talking almost solely about GAMES and how this console is going to do interesting things with GAMES, I’m sure its gonna have a Netflix app and and be filled with social media hooks up the ass, hell it has a button on the controller for it but I will get to that later, but they didn’t spend time talking about how their vision is going to be an all in one box or about how “It only does everything”. They just talked about games and that has me pretty excited.
They started off talking about the hardware for a few minutes and guess what its better. There is going to be an x86 processor, 8gb of RAM and an “Enhanced” PC GPU. Those are all good things but I’m not quite sure who that segment of the presentation was for. It using terms like “enhanced” and “next gen” when referring to computer hardware is too vague to mean anything of significance to people who really know computer hardware and on the opposite end of the spectrum the person who knows nothing is just going to see acronyms and numbers and then ask. “Is that good? Yea. Cool.”
They also talked about a new feature that is like a sleep mode where it suspends your game and puts the PS3 into a low power state and then will boot up instantly back into the game. I love something like this on my Vita and if I can put my vita to sleep for like 3 or 4 days and come back and still have battery left I am fairly positive that they can do something similar with the new PlayStation and have it not kill the system or consume a bunch of power. The talked about the controller it looks like a Dualshock with a touch pad on it and it now has convex analog sticks. Having that pad is going to make the controller slightly bigger so its getting closer to the size of Xbox controller which I like, I currently feel like I can snap the PS3 controller in half just by thinking about it. They had a moment where they talked about the new controller being compatible with a 3D camera like the Kinect but it was only one line and it didn't seem like a focus. The current rumor of the new Xbox is that a camera is going to be integral if not required. I don’t wanna be forced to use a camera but having one for people or developers who want to use I like.
After that they got right into the games starting of with a character driven platformer called Knack. I’m not sure if Knack is supposed to be the new mascot of the system like a Mario or a Crash Bandicoot but it sure seemed like that was the effect they were going for announcing that first. It looked good visually but it wasn’t astonishing or even the best looking thing of the evening. It didn’t do anything new either it just was a new character driven platformer. What they did have to showcase with Knack was the connection to the Vita that is part of the vision Sony is going to try to achieve being able to stream any PS4 game to be playable on the Vita. I think something like that will be interesting if it comes to fruition because I really want this brick I own to become useful. I LOVE the Vita, I think it is a great device, I just need other people to buy one so developers will make great games for it. And if I have to leave my console for something like I want to watch something on TV or I need to be closer to the kitchen or I have to take a shit its nice to know it might be possible that I don’t need to stop playing whatever it is I wanna play.
Throughout the buzz words and bull shit they threw around I picked up that they are going to to do things with the store along the lines of Amazons recommendation system or what Google is trying to accomplish in predicting what you want to buy before you buy it. Then also taking that a step farther and downloading if for you so it is just immediately available. I don’t know about it predicting my interests but if it can predict what I am going to buy I should at least be able to tell it I want something before it is released and have it pre-load a game so I can play it the moment it is available like steam has been doing.
The next thing that came up was the fairly recently acquired Gakai technology, Which is supposedly a On Live type thing that actually works. They talked a mess of game about what this streaming technology can do. Like trying a stream of a game without having to download anything to see if you like it. Being able to stream gameplay to your friends or online is supposedly going to be built in at a system level as well. This is where that share button comes in. For starters the system is supposed to hold 10 minutes of gameplay buffered so at any moment if something awesome happens you can hit that share button go back to the point of awesomeness and then post that clip somewhere like Facebook or YouTube I find this interesting not for the sharing capabilities because I don’t care if my friend from college that I didn’t really like who is on my Facebook friends list gets to see how awesome I am at Call of Duty, but because capturing content from a console right now requires equipment and software to do and building something like that in on a system level so when that moment comes you do want to show someone or you just want to keep a record of a game to go back to to remember something it’s there without having to have a setup for that kind of thing. And hopefully that will mean videos of awesome things taken on cellphones will go away.
Their vision is to also be able to stream live gameplay out to the world and to other friends and be able to transfer control to the other person. On the surface this sounds sorta dumb because I don't really wanna have my friend help me get past that part because it is too hard or I don't want that call from someone I know who is more of a casual gamer asking me to get online and do something for them either. But if that is possible the time of local only games is over. If I can stream and transfer something like The Cave to friends and be able to play with them like they were sitting next to me I think that would be awesome. Although it would be nice if games just didn't come out with local only co op any more.
Different developers came out and talked about their games some of which were sequels that I’m not really excited about but there was new stuff. Knack looked fun and above all its at the very least a new world to explore and a new character to use. Destiny was there that I already talked about when it was announced last week. Watch dogs was revealed to be for next generation systems. Jonathan Blow came out and was very cynical about AAA game development and talked about his new game, The Witness which I'm sure will be good I’m just not really sure what it is yet besides a open world puzzle game. I am looking forward to see more of these games but for now I am happy knowing there is new things coming out.
The notable things that were not present that I was not surprised about were a release date other than Holiday 2013, a price and a picture or image of the box itself. These being missing doesn’t bother me in the slightest. The only reason I would have been happy with a price is because I want to see the statement they are going to make with that number. I am going to buy this thing anyway no matter when it comes out or what it costs or looks like so I’m much happier seeing what I might get when I buy it which is what they showed.
Overall I am pretty excited but at the same time I’m remaining pretty skeptical. The words Sony used seemed intentionally vague and consoles usually don’t live up to every thing that was mentioned at the launch event. And a lot of the things that were mentioned require things that may be outside of their control like good internet. Am I going to be able to stream a game demo without latency on a 3mb connection? But even so the things they mentioned are at least getting people thinking about what they want and can possibly expect in a new system where as before I wasn't really sure what could be new that would get me excited i just knew that 3d and motion definitely were not what I wanted. It’s Microsoft's turn now and I am slightly worried they aren’t gonna make as big of a push of video games. I think we are going to see a lot of that only one box needed stuff which is nice but not what I am interested in in a video game console.