Home > Gaming, PS4, Sony > Playstation 4 Friendly to Industry Not Gamers

Playstation 4 Friendly to Industry Not Gamers

From what I’ve seen from the launch yesterday, the PS4 seems to be moving in a predictable way. The console will be opening up the big data end of things, with opening up the gaming system to a more social media like environment which is already in play now.  The difference is that Sony is insisting that in this environment connected to the PS4 your “real name and picture” is used, however in game you can be anonymous.  I’m wondering how this will be enforced, and could this be a set up for controlling hacking and copyright infringement.  How secure is this data is going to be?  The PSN was hacked big time in 2011.  Not sure I trust Sony yet on developing a profile based on verifiable personal information other than my e-mail address.  They presented nothing around network security or users privacy in this announcement nor does it look like they have given any thought of this in the design stages.

Another issue is no backwards compatibility for early adopters. You’ll get access to older games on the PS4 “eventually”. Why not now?  From the sounds of it, the older games will be based on streaming from the PSN’s cloud. From the sounds of it, you’ll have to pay again for a game that you already bought to have the privilege of playing it on the PS4.

Yet another issue is motion controllers are now being forced on gamers.  The PS Move has been a huge flop. Hardly any gamer I know uses it or likes it.  The Dualshock 4 controllers will have PS Move built in, and a touch screen. I don’t even use the d-pad very much personally.  Why would you add a touch screen? How much are these controllers going to cost to replace? Sounds more like unuseful gimmicks that will drive up the costs for replacements to me.  Time will tell.

“Specialized” hardware as Sony put it will be used in the PS4.  Big problem for long term maintenance of the system.  If any of these “specialized” components breaks down, it’s extremely difficult to repair.  Anyone who has tried to maintain PS3 hardware knows they’ve intentionally made it extremely difficult for users to clean and maintain the hardware properly.  Sony recommends “vacuuming the vents” on the PS3 to clear out dust.  Extremely ineffective. Thoughts on this are if the system breaks down, most will just buy a new one.  PS4 was widely rumored to incorporate off the self parts during early stages of development due to complaints they received from gamers on PS3 hardware issues.

A lot of integration with streaming media and game content while the globe and Canada for that matter continues to deal with excessively low data caps.  Comments I’ve seen thus far from gamers across the globe in media on the PS4 announcement suggest this is a huge problem.  Data caps have been an issue and debated here in Canada for a long time, and the gaming industry has been very absent from this debate. All of this when yes you have to pay again to even get the privilege of using the system online as Sony is widely rumored to go by way of XBOX with it’s XBOX live paid memberships.  Consoles seem to be quickly becoming a very expensive investment for consumers at a time when cheaper alternatives are on the rise, and quickly becoming available.  No release price has been given for the PS4 but it’s widely rumored to be set between $450 – $500.  I’d rather invest in a tablet at that price.

On a positive note, PS4 will have instant boot up.  You can put the PS4 to sleep in the middle of the game, and pick up right from where you left off at a press of a button.  You can play the game while you are downloading it. Sony will also make a less of a leap I think Microsoft will into integrating mobile device interoperability due to it’s investment in Vita, however Sony did announce some interesting mobile perspectives, such as being able to play some games through their future mobile apps available on any mobile device.  Graphics are improved, but not a huge evolution as we’ve seen in past generation jumps. The live demo’s especially the Killzone demo looked to me like the system was having some early problems with hardware.  The animation seemed to jump in a few places.  It could have been the live stream I was watching.  I’ll have to download the presentation and view, however it looked more like a hardware jump in the demo to me, rather than a lag jump from the live stream.

Overall I think Sony is trying to meet a market demand in a very “industry” friendly way.  Media itself is converging.  Everything is starting to become interoperable with many different systems.  Cloud gaming is already here, yet the PS4 will be “slowly” rolling it out?  In the cloud you won’t need a console to play games, and you’ll end up with better graphics and in game performance than any console can provide.  The industry is going from a very closed and controlled system to a very open one.  Sony recognized this, but is trying to sell the PS4 as main hub for this.  I’m not so sure that’s going to fulfill market expectations in the future.  In the very near future it’ll be more cheaper and economical to purchase something like a tablet that has interoperability with all devices than it will be to purchase and maintain consoles.  The hit and miss on this may open up the door for Apple and Samsung to become more hardware competitors in the gaming market.  Nvidia already announced it’s intentions. I’ll be waiting about a year or two before I invest in the next gen gaming system.

Conclusion, PS4 is hardly an innovation or jump we’ve seen in the past with other generations consoles. I think it’s rather than a continuation of the current generation that looks to be a bit more pricey and purely focused on industry’s wants and needs, not gamers.  The only surprise that came out of yesterday’s announcement is that Clive Davis didn’t turn up and start yelling at the PS4 developers.  Maybe his hatred towards actual talent in the industry needs to be a bit more focused on those that could really use a few swift kicks.  The below video was produced in 2012, and sums up I think what many gamers I believe think about today’s gaming industry:

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