Did anyone else watch Sony’s Playstation 4 press conference? Personally, I have somewhat mixed reactions to the entire event…
There was no price-tag, no definitive release date (late 2013), and no public unveiling of the PS4 console itself.
While I am excited by the prospect of playing Watch Dogs, I am also aware that there wasn’t any further news on Sony exclusive The Last Guardian. Also, and while the PS4 did offer a tantalising glimpse of what gamers can expect on next-gen consoles, most of the games shown at the event were also multi-platform titles (including Watch Dogs).
I’m personally excited by the scope of connectivity and interactivity which the PS4 offers (PS Vita, Gaikai, social network partners such as Youtube, mobiles etc), along with how developer-friendly the console is (allegedly) purported to be. It’s also nice to know that the PS4 will be an over-clocked PC, which bodes well for a lot of cross-platform titles being released in future. Indeed, and with Jonathan Blow taking the stage to announce The Witness as being a PS4 debut exclusive, not only did his speech imply that the PS4 will be a platform that will aid and foster creativity, but also that it is Sony’s intention to make its next-gen console be a hotbed for indie developer talent.
That the PS4 is already a quantum leap over Nintendo’s Wii-U console offering is already an understatement. What Sony’s conference showed was that the PS4 is not only a vast improvement in terms of the technology offered, but also that Sony has a lot of exciting ideas that are increasingly relevant to mainstream gamers. Not only did the press conference’s preview videos showcase PS4’s unparalleled level of visual detail and fidelity – as evidenced by David Cage’s facial tech demo, but by seeking advice from key developers, Sony has also clearly outlined its vision for the PS4 as being the next evolutionary step in its continuing drive to mold the entertainment landscape. Having made these strategic moves, Sony’s active determination to ingratiate itself with developers and consumers alike is acutely abundant, and I’m sure these deeply admirable and encouraging decisions will allow the console to have a healthy (future proof) lifespan. While the console’s release is still over 9 months away, tonight’s event went some way towards reassuring the industry that even after the continuing under-performance of its PS Vita handheld, Sony still has a very keen interest in wanting to play a pivotal part in determining our gaming future.
While Sony’s Press Conference threw up more questions then it answered (what does the Playstation 4 even look like?), it’ll be interesting to see as to how the company moves forward. Sony have played their hand, and generated a lot of positive buzz and goodwill in the process. With that being said however, and even though I’m pretty sure that Microsoft and Nintendo were both earnestly watching tonight’s conference, it’ll be interesting to see as to how they counter Sony’s bold move. With E3 fast approaching however, time will most certainly tell. But one thing nobody can argue is that for the first time in many years, the depression which the industry long found itself in is finally beginning to cede.
It’s an exciting time for the industry again, and for the first time in many years, the future is (almost) here.