Friday, March 1, 2013

Thoughts on the Playstation 4

Sony's press conference last month convinced me of one thing and one thing only: the company is willing to learn from it's mistakes. In not so subtle language they both demonstrated new (potential?) features as well as clearly displaying a humbleness learned from their past mistakes. The company finally seems to understand how people want to use their device instead of forcing them into antiquated non-existent use cases.

The emphasis seemed to be focused on speed and usability more than anything else. Instant on, instant resume, and instant streaming games thanks to the Gakai aquisition. All the things that used to be a nightmare, like patching, on the PS3 are now relegated to a completely discrete secondary chip. It's as if the featureset of the new box is totally reactionary to the criticism of the their last console. That's not a bad thing.

In terms of services provided and the actual hardware, I think we'll see parity on the part of Microsoft in the coming months so it's not all that relevant  Stereoscopic cameras may be interesting but I'm sure the Kinect 2 will be just as convincing (or not). Perhaps it's taboo to say so, but it seems as though Sony is finally producing a western produced product that responds to the needs and wants of the average non-Japanese consumer. The cultures are quite different so it's refreshing to see that Sony's hubris is gone.

The information dump was rather exhaustive considering the timing of the announcement yet it left me wondering what bombs they had left to drop come E3. Sony is an experienced company and they must know they have to bring something huge to the table for the biggest show in the industry.

All in all the announcement left me pleasantly surprised and optimistic for (this division) of Sony. A new interesting featureset that addresses everyone's concerns about the difficulty of development and usability of their previous device while showing us a good assortment of future PS4 games as well as a humbleness that is in stark contrast to what the company's presented in year's past. Microsoft better have their game-face on because Sony is still here to play with the big boys.


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