I haven’t done a morning after in quite a long time, and the last time around, it was about 3DS. But there is a time and a place, and that is now. Next generation consoles, the Playstation 4. They’re happening, and Sony has kicked things off pretty strong with a good showing of (mostly) everything we wanted to see.
Let me first say that Mark Cerny, a man I have not seen on stage before, did such a fucking fantastic job of telling me everything I personally wanted to know. He was the man with the plan, coming out and breaking down bullet points like they were nothing. I don’t think any console has gotten such a worthy explanation of ‘what’, ‘why’, and ‘how’, ever. We got to see the controller, hear the specs, and see the “share” feature, with easy to understand explanations of all.
Was I surprised by the specs? No, it’s more PC like, so people will actually enjoy developing for this system. Any surprises from the controller? No, it matched the rumors, and it looks like a solid, natural evolution of the Dualshock. Now, when it comes to the “share” feature, this I was actually surprised by. This was the one thing I really wanted to be true, but seemed way too good to be true. Them showing actual live streaming of games straight from the console, with sharing videos to (unnamed) social media sites, and then the idea of players being able to remotely take control of what you’re playing: that is a next generation idea.
Honestly, that was the most exciting thing I saw from this conference. If share is integrated as well as they are projecting in PS4, then it could completely change the structure of playing games with your friends and streaming games to the internet. Hopefully this change is for the better, as any fans of our Twitch.tv channel can attest.
Honestly, the weakest part of the conference was the games, and that isn’t to say the games looked bad or were boring to see; they just said so much when less could have been more here. Some things like the Media Molecule & Quantic Dream tech demos just weren’t appropriate here, and could have been nice tidbits to tide us over until E3 via the Playstation Blog.
Again, don’t get me wrong, I am very excited for a new inFamous, and Killzone looks gorgeous, but Sony’s next challenge, possibly the hardest of all, is maintaining momentum. Nintendo failed drastically in this regard. If you remember, their radio-blackout about WiiU after E3 2011 was an idiotic failure, that probably caused them more problems than they needed for that launch. Though it doesn’t seem Sony announced “too early”, I will say they need to “keep the ball rolling”.
Since they have started so absolutely strong, they need to take every chance they have (PAX, E3, Gamescom, etc.) to keep that general excitement going. Obviously Microsoft has a plan that will be equally bombastic, if not more, so “keeping the ball rolling” is the struggle that pretty much both of them face now.
If Sony can make it to E3, I think they stand a chance to win back some of the ground they lost last generation, but that is only in hype. Things like game price, online functionality, and actual console price are just more hurdles they’ll have to face at the right time with the right momentum. With nine months to go until the assumed launch, it’s time to start the countdown, and get ready for a distance race, rather than a sprint.