PS4: Impressions, What’s Missing, & Looking Forward

PlayStation 4

The gaming scene has been anxiously waiting for what’s next from PlayStation, and with last night’s news, everyone has plenty to talk about. Sony has stepped out with quite a showing, and left us with plenty to anticipate in the coming months leading towards E3 and what is assumed to be a November launch of the PlayStation 4. Steven, Travis, and Game-Modo reader Samuel give their thoughts below on announcement impressions, what was missing from the event, and what they want to hear next.

Steven Then’s Thoughts:

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Overall I believe Sony succeeded in delivering their message: The focal point this generation is the gamer and not the living room. The two hour presentation was filled with tech demos and real gameplay. Capcom perhaps had the best showing with their working title Deep Down. Square-Enix on the other hand was the low point of the conference. They showed the same luminous engine demo from a few months ago and teased about a new Final Fantasy. The leaked controller was 99% accurate of the final representation of the new PS4 controller. The controller looks sleek and impressive with the addition of a touchscreen, share button, and headphone jack. Furthermore, Sony showed a sensor bar which seems to be the Eyetoy for the PS4.

Gaikai’s involvement seems to play an integral part to Sony’s online ecosystem. Their vision is focused. With features like broadcasting live, granting friends the ability to control your game and help you while you play, and the ability to purchase a game and start playing the game while it continues to download are just the tip of the iceberg accord to Gaikai. Their goal is to grant us gamers the ability to play Playstation’s entire library from the cloud on any device.

This is the first step to Sony’s return to glory. I think they played all their cards right and I am sure we will see and hear more between now and E3.

The most obvious thing missing from this conference was the console itself. Sony took a page out of Nintendo’s book and showed us the controller and what the console can do. It doesn’t bother me that the console wasn’t on display because they wanted to focus on what the console can do. I was quite surprised we didn’t see anything from EA and Namco. I was expecting to see sports games or even the rumored Battlefield 4.

I wish to hear more about the PlayStation Network improvements. It seems with the integration of Gaikai, we will be able to relish in the benefits of having a cloud based solution. Furthermore, I would like to know if I am able to play my PS3 games on the console or will I have to keep the PS3 plugged in for a few more years because there are still a lot of great games coming for the PS3.

 

Travis Blair’s Thoughts:

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My interest – and what picked up on one of the themes of the event – was the controller. The DualShock 4. The Move controller. The PS Vita. These were what I looked forward to, and what delivered in the event. Yes, there was plenty of other good news, but these three controllers made appearances that stood out in a next-generation way for various reasons.
A new DualShock design, that includes a touch screen and share button? The biggest change prior to that was the first PS3 controller including SIXAXIS, and now this new controller has even better SIXAXIS. What does that even mean, anyway? Sony is obviously banking on the method of control being a pivotal means of gaming for the next generation. I mean, if you think about it, how is it not? In order to experience the latest in gaming, you need the proper tools. In order to affect gaming, you need the proper tools. A touchpad has potential, as is shown in Vita games that know how to use it. The thing about the Vita touchpad, like the PS3 SIXAXIS, is neither have been used a whole lot, but are good to have around. This Share button is actually something I’ve thought of when hitting the PS button while gaming, half the time doing to to seek some sort of social connection either by checking my or who’s online. So, I’m curious to see what’s done with this. I’m not alone in that I don’t want this to be integral to enjoying the system, but am glad to see it’s there – like SIXAXIS and the touchpad.

This leads me to Sony’s commitment to what I had secretly hoped would make an appearance, the Move controller (eat it, Richard!), and Media Molecule was the perfect developer to show it off. Now I no longer have to worry if my Move controllers were just an experiment in trends. Better yet, I don’t have to worry that my motion-controlled gaming will be relegated to some light on the front of the latest DualShock. How am I supposed to wave my arms around like a fool with a DualShock controller, anyway? Something of note, though, is that the Move won’t have the same Share and Options buttons, so I’m curious if it will be hindered in some way when paired with someone using a DualShock.

Lastly, the Vita. Yes, it’s also a controller. It will feature remote play to act as a stand-alone system, and it will function as a controller for those developers who choose to use it. The Vita is there, and for those of us who have it, will have even more to do with it. I look forward to the inevitable space-consuming download that will teach my Vita how to play with the PS4. The Vita, like the control options on the DualShock 4 and Move controller, will be an additional means of play – not required – and is a solid move on Sony’s part. Give gamers and developers options to broaden the scope of creativity.

How am I supposed to use the Move with the new operating system? The way it works on the PS3 is underwhelming, so I’m expecting more. I want to see what this light on the new DualShock controller is capable of. What was that stereo camera that looks like a 2am last call hookup between the Wii U sensor bar and the Xbox 360 Kinect?

I want to hear more about the PSN improvements. There’s so much more Sony could do with the PS Store, and PSN in general. Look at just the stuff the Uncharted games allows gamers to do with video capturing, or the profile customizing PS All-Stars allows players to do. Surely the new PlayStation Network will see that I bought the latest zombie DLC for my favorite first-person shooter and put the movie “Warm Bodies” in my queue of filtered recommended content. Sony knows it’s time to smarten up. They can throw in any bit of tech and a PC gamer will always have the upper hand in any given amount of time. Going the social route and fleshing out their developed ecosystem to be friendlier to developers is smart.

 

Guest writer Samuel Bernard’s Thoughts:

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My one word reaction the the conference is “WOW”. I felt they looked at the PS3 and the list of things wrong with it, then looked at the Industry and the hints they are doing well and said to themselves,” let get everyone together in New York and let them know we heard your complaints and have fixed all the issues the PS3 had with out losing our focus on games. Sony went way out of their way to express how easy developing for the system will be so there will be no more Skyrim situations. They also went out of their way explaining how much further they went than just allowing cross game chat, now you can even cross game spectate and assist.

I’m glad to hear how much better the store and purchasing is and that let us know that waiting 3-6 hours to play and PSN game is a thing of the past – now you play as you buy. We will be shown not only pre-download preorders, but pre-download games the PS4 thinks you might want to order. Then lastly, they know everyone wants a GT6 so they had a different studio create a gorgeous racing simulator to sate us petrol heads until GT6 can be completed. Of course, Sony knew everyone was curious about the controller so they put it out there at the beginning, and squashed the Kotaku rumors. In short everything I didn’t like about he PS3 has been fixed.

They saw the indie game market growing and decided the PUB fund wasn’t enough, now indie guys can straight up develop and sell their games in their own. Lastly, they made a great looking sequel to one of my favorite series, KillZone.

As far as what went missing, first they didn’t mention what format these games would be released on, and they didn’t show disc or games cases. They didn’t list if or which of these games would be launch games.

They left out a whole slew of games, LastGuardian, FFXIII Versus, FFXIV Online, Dust 514, Beyond: 2 Souls, and Wonderbook. We are still very unsure about any of their futures. They weren’t details about the availability of backwards compatibility. Even with Gaikai, I still don’t know if any PSOne, PS2 or PS3/PSN games will be available at launch.

It was vague as to how the PS Move will be used. They were silent about user ID’s and current PSN accounts and trophies. I really want to know how much better the camera is; is it included, what is it called; and of course no price or date, but that was expected. They didn’t mention much about the Vita besides Remote Play. Remote Play is awesome but I still kind of wanted Cross/Control or other thing to be mentioned.

Overall I LOVED IT and they have me sold. If it launched tomorrow, it would be a Day 1 purchase.

 

So did you watch the PlayStation conference  What are your thoughts on the event? Are you excited for the PlayStation 4? Leave a comment below.

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