Ryan Wilson

On Second Thought: PlayStation 4

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Now that I’ve calmed myself down and began stuffing money back into my wallet, I’ve collected my thoughts and looked even deeper into the upcoming PlayStation 4.


Sony Announces the PlayStation 4

sony-ps4

Initial Reaction

Ryan Wilson: blurt it already!
Evan Burkey: JUST SAY PS4
Evan Burkey: There, he finally said it. Gosh
Ryan Wilson: next gen!
Ryan Wilson: he saids it
Ryan Wilson: PS4 is real

Second thoughts

The announcement of the PlayStation 4 is still huge. After Sony made a big deal about their 10-year plan for the PlayStation 3, and when Sony’s “6 years between consoles” pattern was broken, we began to seriously think that the twice re-designed system would be it until 2016. Then, when the development console and controller pictures began to leak out, a part of me wanted to believe that the big sites were about to make total asses of themselves But, alas, they were completely right on almost all counts.

Should you care?

Yes, because whether you like it or not, this will be the focus of gaming for at least the next seven years.


“It Does More Than Play Games”

Initial reaction

Evan Burkey: They’re really selling the “It Does More Than Play Games” angle. Not sure if want.
Ryan Wilson: PS4 looking to be heavy on networking
Ryan Wilson: Blast Processing name dropped
Evan Burkey: Sony do what Nintendon’t
Ryan Wilson: several additional goals
Ryan Wilson: Nothing between you and the game
Ryan Wilson: YOU ARE THE GAME
Evan Burkey: If you die in the game, do you die in real life?
Ryan Wilson: Fluidly connect to a larger world

Second thoughts

The whole philosophy of “it does more than play games” is nothing new for Sony. When the PlayStation 2 was released, it was one of the cheapest DVD players on the market, and saw an influx of sales from non-gamers from just that. PlayStation 3 continued that trend by not only being one of the first Blu-ray players (a risky gamble when the HD-DVD/Blu-ray wars still were far from a definitive winner), but by bringing in the ability to buy movies and TV shows a la iTunes as well as an impressive selection of streaming services such as Hulu, Amazon Instant Video, and Neon Alley (review). PlayStation 4 looks to be taking this trend and running with it.

Should you be excited?

Not really. Just expect the non-gaming features of the PlayStation 3 with a social networking twist (more on that later).


Sony is listening to developers

Initial reaction

Ryan Wilson: What do developers want
Ryan Wilson: Sony listening to developers
Evan Burkey: >Sony listening to developers
Ryan Wilson: talking about since 2008
Ryan Wilson: by game creators for game creators

Second thoughts

This is a field where my opinion has not changed from last night. A number of developers steered away from creating on the PlayStation 3 because of the notoriously hard to work with Cell processor architecture. Those that did manage to multi-platform their titles often suffered delays in releases just  because of the additional work needed to fine-tune and tweak their code and avoid the dreaded “Which version is better? Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3?” arguments (which still happened in droves). By adopting an x86 architecture, they’ve essentially closed much of the gap between PC and console development.

Should you be excited?

Hell yes! Sony has already gotten a lot of third-party developers on board, including companies that have either been too small or too PC-centric to see console gaming as a viable option. Sony has also streamlined the process to self-publish on the system, requiring only a one-page company information form to loan the necessary tools.


Sony Reveals the Tech Specs

Initial reaction

Evan Burkey: Here we go. Gimme system specs
Ryan Wilson: x86 cpu
Evan Burkey: Hahaha, they’re basically saying “It’s a gaming PC guys”
Ryan Wilson: enhanced PC GPU
Ryan Wilson: seriously
Ryan Wilson: 8GB unified memory
Ryan Wilson: Local storage HDD as well

Second thoughts

Not too much to say here, except now we have some more detailed information on what the system is made of

ps4techspecs

Should you be excited?

Sure! The specs might not be as impressive as, say, a computer playing Crysis 3 at the highest settings, but it’s certainly the most powerful system available that can be easily played on the couch.


Sony Reveals the Controller

Initial reaction
playstation_4_dualshock_4
Ryan Wilson: new controller time
Ryan Wilson: Dualshock 4
Evan Burkey: Looks like those dualshock 4 rumors were true.
Ryan Wilson: dem triggers
Ryan Wilson: touchpad
Ryan Wilson: share button
Ryan Wilson: headphone jack
Ryan Wilson: light bar
Ryan Wilson: stereo camera that uses light bar

Second thoughts

Sony changed just enough on the Dualshock 4 to not piss off too many people (remember the boomarang controller debacle?). I’m still very curious to see the lightbar and touchpad functionality in action, as none of the tech demos really seemed to utilize it.

Well…maybe the Move demo.

Should you be excited?

It’s a controller…what do you think?


PlayStation 4 has Ease of Use

Initial reaction

Ryan Wilson: Ease of use
Ryan Wilson: immediate
Ryan Wilson: reducing lag time
Ryan Wilson: suspend/resume
Ryan Wilson: low power mode in suspend
Ryan Wilson: download and update in the background
Ryan Wilson: digital titles playable while you download
Ryan Wilson: so smaller playable chunk as it downloads the rest
Ryan Wilson: SEXY
Ryan Wilson: that interface

Second thoughts

Easily one of the most frustrating things about the PlayStation 3 was its utter uselessness on powering done. Sure the red LED light had power through it, but controllers couldn’t be charged and patches only worked for PlayStation Plus accounts because it pulled right to the cloud. PlayStation 4 fixes this problem by having a real low power mode, and reducing download times when the system is being played by downloading just enough of the game to play, downloading the rest in the background as you play.

Should you be excited?

Yes, unless your local internet provider caps your download allotment.


 The PlayStation 4 Becomes a Capture Card, Livestreamer, and Remote Access Machine

Initial reaction

livestream

Ryan Wilson: you can share video as you play
Ryan Wilson: retsupurae just came
Ryan Wilson: backseat gaming allowed
Ryan Wilson: help a friend who sucks by taking over control
Ryan Wilson: real name and profile pictures
Evan Burkey: Streaming gameplay is awesome. World of Warcraft does a great job of it
Ryan Wilson: share button broadcasts live games
Evan Burkey: Makes sense, watching streams is super popular right now
Ryan Wilson: curious to see if streams are only available on other PS4s
Evan Burkey: Oh god, remote assistance in games. I can hop into Ryan’s game and screw it up

Second thoughts

This is a double-edged sword. On one hand, this makes it a lot easier for reviewers and livestreamers to capture their work and get it to the public. On the other hand, expect to see even more crappy Let’s Plays than ever on Youtube because of it.

Should you be excited?

The majority of people will probably never use this functionality, except by accident.


PlayStation Vita Will Remotely Play PlayStation 4 Titles

Initial reaction

Ryan Wilson: Remote Play built in the architecture
Evan Burkey: Remote play is rad. I’m all about them updating it
Ryan Wilson: PS Vita play from PS4
Ryan Wilson: sorry Wii U, you’ve been replaced
Ryan Wilson: kids want the TV, you can still play on the Vita
Evan Burkey: Now if I can do that over the internet, that would be rad. Run Super Robot Wars on the PS4 and play it at work on my Vita
Evan Burkey: Uses a server/client architecture instead of video capture streaming. Interesting.
Ryan Wilson: PS4 becomes a game server
Ryan Wilson: that’s brilliant
Ryan Wilson: no to minimal lag with that idea

Second thoughts

As an early PlayStation Vita adapter, I’m absolutely thrilled at this idea. Sony tried this with the PlayStation 3 and PSP, but due to its video stream nature many games were unplayable due to lag. With the PlayStation 4 acting practically as a server to the PlayStation Vita, lag will practically become a thing of the past.

Should you be excited?

If you live in a busy household, absolutely!


PlayStation 3 Games Not Natively Supported

Initial reaction

Ryan Wilson: PS3 titles not natively supported….shit
Ryan Wilson: Cloud services in phases
Ryan Wilson: man, that backwards compatibility was a bummer
Evan Burkey: Makes sense though, as you’d have to update the PS3 games with the new server/client code
Ryan Wilson: at least they’ll be available in some way

Second thoughts

Dropping backwards compatibility from the PlayStation 3 was an effective cost-saving maneuver by Sony, so I can understand why they would not consider it at all with the PlayStation 4. Let’s just hope that the savings are passed on to us.

Should you be excited?

If you have an extensive PlayStation 3 collection, probably not. The older systems will be backwards compatible via the cloud, but it’s likely that you will have to rebuy the games in some way.


The Next Day: Games will Retail from $.99 to $60

Initial reaction

Cool.

Second thoughts

People freaked out when games added the “next-gen tax” of $10 to their price tags, but they still ate it up. The fact that Sony plans on keeping the price at $60 bucks for another generation of games keeps it competitive with the Wii U, which is great for them when dealing with multi-platform releases. Announcing a $.99 low-end price tag shows that they are willing to take a chance on much smaller titles.

Should you be excited?

Yes! Sony is looking to amass quite the game library with this decision.


PlayStation 4 Will Support 4K…But Not for Games

Initial reaction

Understandable

Second thoughts

4K televisions are nowhere near reaching the houses of anyone but the wealthy, so it would make sense for Sony to put their effort into making the 1080p experience as beautiful looking as possible. However, it’s a smart choice for Sony to allow 4K output resolution for other mediums such as video, as this futureproofs the system for when the technology has reduced in cost enough.

Should you be excited

Yes! A 4K television may not be in your house now, but it’s likely to be in the next 7 years.

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