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A few thoughts about Playstation 4

By Joseph Tresca

Yesterday Sony introduced the PS4 to the press and the critical reception across the web seemed a bit tempered. Many of the larger gaming news outlets are demonstrating a certain level of cautious optimism. In some cases there is obvious bias against Sony. Unfortunately this is a conditioned response due large in part to Sony’s disastrous PS3 launch back in 2006.

Most of what was revealed about the system itself as usual, had been leaked days, or even months before. I’ve also heard some journalists and bloggers point to the fact that Mark Cerny, PS4’s Lead System Architect, is less

than charismatic and probably wasn’t the right person to introduce Sony’s new console. I guess that is a fair criticism; although to me, Mr. Cerny strikes me as a genius, often misunderstood and one who’s mind is several steps ahead of what he intends to say. What some are characterizing as creepy I view as a man enlightened by years of experience and a genuine excitement for what he was introducing.

Personally I couldn’t be more excited about what the PS4 brings to the table. Although the social aspects of PS4 aren’t appealing to me personally I know that many of the younger generation will love the idea of a dedicated share button on the Dual Shock 4 Controller. The Move integrated light bar seems a bit gimmicky right now just as the Sixaxis controls of the PS3 did, but if the new Move camera will come with every system then I think we will finally start to see developer support for it. The touch pad
was barely, excuse the pun, “touched on” during the presentation, so the jury is still out on whether precious controller real estate was wasted or not.

I know many were hoping for backwards compatibility and were left disappointed when it was casually mentioned that the back catalog of PS1, PS2, PS3 games would be available in stages through Sony’s recently purchased cloud streaming service, Gaikai. I’m not sure what to think about this since I’d simply keep my PS3 original which plays PS1, PS2 and PS3 games anyway. I’m capable of understanding that not everyone has the space or money to do this. I do wonder if Sony will offer a way to access games that you already own on disk for free, which would most certainly soften the disappointment some are feeling.

The system architecture strikes me as extraordinarily powerful. Please please please don’t listen to PC Gamers squawk about how they could build a more powerful system for less than $600.00.Call me when I can pop in a game and have it work every time without having to search the internet for video card drivers. Call me when even one game demonstrates an engine
capable of displaying displacement, volumetric particles and hair and fur simulations (please don’t say CryEngine3) like those displayed by both Capcom and Square Enix in their respective portion of the PS4 presentation. Computer gaming DOES have more
powerful hardware, but the graphics innovation will always come from game consoles because that is where developers make their money. So what is the point in having all that power if it will never be used? Who cares if you can play Crysis 3 at 120 frames per second with ultra resolution textures?

Repeat after me, more pixels and higher resolution and anti-aliasing do NOT make a game better. In fact they only marginally influence the graphical, no less the game play experience.

PS4 is a huge leap in console gaming. The games they showed looked incredible and now it will be Microsoft’s turn to respond. Gamers everywhere should be excited that the next generation of consoles is upon us and the industry can start building the interactive masterpieces we gamers crave. Sony has made its fair share of mistakes with the PS3 but the PS4 really checked all the boxes of what I think will make a next generation console successful in the current market. The most important question now is whether or not it will be appropriately priced.


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