In May of 2005, Sony announced the PLAYSTATION 3 and to say that I was cautiously optimistic would be a huge understatement. The upgrade from the PS2 to the PS3 was everything a console gamer could ask for at the time, even so I didn’t pick up this piece of kit day one. As a general rule I find it best not to buy any tech on launch day. After the insanity of the launch was over, I picked up a 60 GB [Fat] Piano Black Model. I loved it, and by in large still do. It’s not without it’s faults, and those faults have created a wish list for the next Playstation.
I want my Playstation to have an equal if not better party system than that of XBOX LIVE. Yes, this includes cross game chat. I also want a store that isn’t pimping the latest and greatest thing, if I have no interest in it. I want it to take my purchases into account. My purchase of the Playstation Vita only added to that wishlist. I want my Playstation to be able to pause instantly, to remain on standby, and then get back into the action nearly instantly.
That being said, there are things that I don’t want them to change. I love the speed of the XMB, and how it feels like it’s all about my content. I don’t want to feel constantly bombarded by advertisements like I do with on XBL. I also don’t want the dualshock to copy the xbox 360 controller layout. While it could use updating, I don’t want the basic layout to change.
Fast forward to February of 2013, Sony announced the PLAYSTATION 4 and I can safely say I am cautiously optimistic. The PS4 announcement addressed nearly every item on my wishlist. They even added in a few awesome things beyond my wishlist. It’s a faster system that’s easier to develop for with a video share function. I’ll now have the ability to share our work lunch break SFIV battles right from the controller. And the DualShock remains the same layout with a few enhancements such as, a built in move sensor, a touch pad, and the aforementioned share button. Sadly, the upgrade from the PS3 to the PS4 is not as straight forward as moving on from the PS2.
This latest announcement had the typical marketing hype. It made promises we’ve heard before and added some new ones. The difference for me is this time around I came away from the announcement with concerns. They spent most of the time talking about streaming. The internet is not something I have a lot of faith in.
Testing my internet speed while on a MacBook Pro over WiFi as I write this article resulted in a download speed of 2.97 mb/s and an upload speed of 1.19 mb/s. I pay for a lot more performance than that, but I don’t get it consistently. The reason I prefer console to PC gaming is consistency. I don’t pick up a new game and wonder if it’s going to run properly on my Playstation or my XBox 360. I’ve tried OnLive and while it’s not the same as GaiKai it’s a similar service, and I did not enjoy my gaming sessions using it due to this issue. So the hopes and dreams of internet streamed gaming is something I’ll have to take a wait and see approach.
Enough about the functionality, the games are the reason we are gamers. Let’s review what games (or tech demoes as the case my be) where shown to announce the Playstation 4. As you would expect the next iteration of top tier games were shown; Killzone: Shadow Fall, InFamous: Second Son, & Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag. Each seems so familiar to their past versions that they feel very much the same game with prettier visuals. Once again Square Enix showed us the E3 Deep Down (working title) video, the tech demo/possible game. Blizzard announced the console version of Diablo III while Bungie revealed that their next intellectual property, Destiny, will also be on Playstation. Now let’s talk about some to the new stuff…
Drive Club is described as a next generation, socially connected racing game that captures the heart and soul of car culture and the passion it creates. As both a gamer and a car enthusiast this game gives me high hopes for the potential multiplayer racing experience they are promising. In my mind the perfect driving game would be GT5 with the visual customization options of Forza, with the option of track mp racing and Burnout Paradise styled open world racing. I don’t know how close DriveClub will actually come to that, but it sounds like it’s a good start.
Knack is described as a fun-filled adventure of colossal proportions that invites players to wield fantastic powers and discover a unique and vibrant world. This game feels like it was built around a tech demo of particle effects. That being said this is a game I want to see more of. It seems like it could have the heart and humor of a Ratchet & Clank game, which is a series I love and highly recommend to anyone.
In Watch_Dogs you play as Aiden Pearce, a brilliant hacker but also a former thug, whose criminal past lead to a violent family tragedy. Now on the hunt for those who hurt your family, you’ll be able to monitor and hack all who surround you while manipulating the city’s systems to stop traffic lights, detonate gas lines, turn off the electrical grid and more. It’s Grand Theft Auto, Sleeping Dogs, and Dues Ex: Human Revolution all rolled into one open world. I am not a fan of open world games for the most part. I have a busy life, and when I have time to play a game I don’t want to spend time walking down a street. I prefer more direct narratives. Batman Arkham City was an open world game that overcame this issue for me. Watch_Dogs sounds amazing, it looked fantastic, but I will need to see more before I can tell if this is a game for me. Regardless of my personal game play style the announcement was impressive.
We came away from the PS4 Announcement with no knowledge of the price, not what the physical hardware looks like (which I didn’t mind). What we do have is a pretty clear understanding of what it is they are trying to build, and that it will be available this holiday season. It’s easy for me to say I want one, and all signs point to me getting one soon after launch. For me this was an appetizer of information, and the main course will hopefully be at E3.
SYSTEM PLAYSTATION 4
CPU 8-core x86 AMD Jaguar
RAM 8 GB GDDR5
OPTICAL Blu-Ray 6x
WIRELESS IEEE 802.11 b/g/n
CONTROLLER 1000mAh DualShock 4 (7.4 oz)
CAMERA 1280×800 @60Hz / 640×400 @120Hz / 320×192 @240Hz