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About two weeks ago, Sony finally unveiled the Playstation 4 to the whole world. Now that things have calmed down since the announcement and more details surfaced in the past few days, Entertainment Fuse has their reactions on what transpired so far for Sony’s newest console, which is launching sometime this holiday season, and their thoughts on how Microsoft should respond with the next Xbox.
I think that Sony did a decent job of the unveiling of the Playstation 4. I wish they had shown more original IPs, though the PS4 exclusives they did show looked amazing. That is the biggest thing when it comes to new console reveals. I’m not sure I care really about the specs of the console; I want to know if the games are any good. The new Killzone and inFamous looked great but what really stole the show for me was Watch_Dogs. If the game plays exactly the way that it was shown, it’s going to be just as good and fun to play as Grand Theft Auto or even better. Many people bemoaned the fact that Sony didn't show the system, but I don’t really think that was too big of an issue. Yes, they had been hyping it up for awhile and really just showed the controller and talked specs, but, in all honesty, is anyone really expecting a groundbreaking box? All in all, Sony did a good job of their reveal and if I had to score it, I’d give it a B-.
Microsoft will have their hand full when it comes time to reveal their next-gen system. With Destiny being announced as a Playstation 4 game, Microsoft lost one of their biggest would-be exclusives. That being said, hopefully we see more of Destiny when Microsoft shows off their console, because that game looks great. Speaking of games, that’s going to be the make or break point for me when it comes to the console. I know the specs will be up to par with the PS4, maybe above, maybe below, so what I’m really looking for is how many new games they put out. Sure, they’ll probably show off the next Call of Duty, Assassin’s Creed, and maybe the new Madden, depending on when the unveiling is. But I’d like to see new IPs, original games that are also Microsoft exclusive. That is a big spot that Microsoft is lacking when it comes to the console wars with Sony. They need to show off exclusives, not timed exclusives, real genuine only for Nextbox exclusives. If they can provide a good amount of new IPs to add to their stable of next gen old IPs, Microsoft will be in good shape come the holidays.
After the latest PS4 reveal from Sony I feel the ball is very firmly in Microsoft’s court. Firstly, the PS4 claims to have next gen hardware with “PC” like graphics, however my current gaming rig is far superior in terms of hardware and will play games at a far better frames per second. The GPU in the PS4 is and will be even older hardware by the time of release, so Microsoft could easily announce a much higher powered machine possibly featuring a GPU version of their newly announced “Titan” Graphics card from Nvidia perhaps? Or even something new using the same technology? It is Sony who have set their benchmark for “next gen” graphics and hardware and it is now up to Microsoft to respond with something better.
Secondly, Sony have announced that the world’s fastest selling and most popular game Diablo III from Blizzard Entertainment will not be going cross server thus meaning anyone playing on a PC will not be able to play with their PS3 or PS4 brethren. I think this is a horrible idea as the game is so popular and so easily transferable to console it would make perfect sense to have cross platform server support. This is another example where Microsoft could pull ahead and have no ambiguity over their servers and could happily announce a cross server merger where people playing the xbox 360 could join in with Windows Live gamers. This is just conjecture, of course, but would certainly bring a lot more players with more multiplayer action to the whole Microsoft brand and would make sense seeing as Sony have not jump on this bandwagon. This would definitely swing me towards Microsoft but only time will tell whether this could happen.
Well, Sony's press conference happened, and we are all living in a post-PS4 announced world. That's right, Sony officially unveiled the Playstation 4 this past week, or well, at least they confirmed that it exists.
While I am happy to see anything next gen at this point, since we've been living with this current generation of gaming consoles for almost a decade, I can't help but point out that at least to me, Sony's press conference was kind of underwhelming for all the hype it received. The biggest issue here is that they didn't even show their new console. Instead, we got two hours of tech demos, and reveals on the new controller and camera that go with the system, along with a bunch of developers talking about “how great” this new system is to develop for. Call me old fashioned, but I'd actually like to see this machine and at least one really huge title announcement.
We did get at least two new title announcements, along with the fantastic looking Deep Down, a Capcom game that looked a whole lot like a cross between Skyrim, Dark Souls, and Dragon’s Dogma. Apparently Killzone is still a franchise, and Killzone: Shadow Fall is on the way. Are people actually still playing and enjoying this franchise? The graphics sure looked nice, but again, I have to question why Sony would dump anymore money into that thing. Secondly, and probably the most exciting of these two, Infamous: Second Son was also shown. The new incarnation of Infamous features a totally new hero, and I'm ok with that. While neither of these games will probably be a launch title, at least Sony showed us two things that weren't just tech demos, which is pretty much what the rest of the conference revolved around.
The most embarrassing moment of the evening was when they dragged out the head of Square-Enix's Final Fantasy division to let us know that “we are working on a new Final Fantasy”, and that's it. No title announcement, nothing. I guess we are waiting for E3 for more on that, but why even bother to drag this guy out to say that? It came off as more of a joke to me than anything else.
Blizzard and Sony partnered up to announce that Diablo III is coming to Playstation 4. But they've been mum on whether or not the game will be multiplatform. They didn't actually come out and say it was exclusive, so I have a feeling we'll be seeing it on all the consoles, being Xbox 360, Xbox 720, PS3, and PS4, so I think all of us console gamers will be able to rejoice and get our Diablo III on this fall, that's for sure. I would have liked to see the announcement of something new from Blizzard, and I can't help but point out that a little bit of hope was left inside me that maybe they would resurrect Starcraft: Ghost, but that is truly dead.
Also, some more Move controlled games were shown, but again that's another part of gaming that I just don't see many people really into. Is the Move that big of a deal? Has the Kinect really been that big of a deal? It seems that both companies are hell-bent on selling us technology that has us put down the standard controller, but I don't see as many people adapting to this form of gaming as they make it look. It seems as if the PS3 Move controllers will work with PS4, but I can't confirm that either. What was shown looked exactly the same though.
The best thing you can take away from the entire two hour unveiling is this: the Playstation 4 exists, it is coming sometime this Fall, and we will hear much more on it within the coming months. Considering Microsoft got a head start last time new consoles were announced, it was nice to see Sony get up there and have their moment, even if it fell just a tad flat. But again, if Sony really wants to win me over, they need to come out with a halfway decent price (this thing can't be over $500 at this point), and develop a much better online service instead of what they currently offer. I think the days of free online gaming are over though, and I would be utterly shocked if Sony doesn't adapt some sort of paid, “Playstation Plus Premium” subscription service for the new console. While it was exciting to get a glimpse at next gen, I'm only that much more excited to see what Microsoft has in store for us in the coming months.
While it is easy to say Sony has gotten off on the right foot already, I really think Microsoft took a better approach this time by allowing Sony to go first with their unveil. Rumors still abound about the new Xbox blocking used games somehow, but at this point, I can almost guarantee you that because Sony announced they won't be blocking used games, Microsoft will follow suit. But I'm more interested to see how Microsoft handles account migration to the new system, and more importantly, if your content will transfer over to the new system. I'd be pretty bummed if the 80+ arcade titles I own don't transfer to the new system, not to mention my embarrassingly massive gamerscore. Microsoft has a fantastic opportunity to really come into their own this next generation, and really potentially win any sort of war here between the big two companies. With those “4 new IPs” Microsoft has been hinting at, I can hope at least two of them are actually games that anyone cares about, while the other two will most likely be causal or family games.
At the end of the day, it is anyone's guess what actually goes down, I'm just glad after an extended console cycle, we are finally getting some new hardware.
My reaction to the PlayStation 4 announcement was very positive. I was hugely impressed by their focus on core games and not just about being the entertainment hub of your house that Microsoft seems more focused on. The fact that developers are happy with the specifications of the console and the apparent ease to develop for it compared to the PS3 makes me very happy indeed. I like that they went for a modified Dual Shock and not something completely different. The share integration could be huge if it’s implemented well and as someone who wants to get into video production and live streaming I’m all for this. As far as first impressions go, I think Sony met my expectations and more.
What they could do to get people excited at E3 for me is to just continue what they are doing. Obviously show the console and announce a price and release date to really get people interested in the PS4. Keep concentrating on games, announce new IPs, perhaps release teasers for the next Gran Turismo or Uncharted game. Overall I think Sony are heading down the right track and look to right all the wrongs of the PS3 and try to regain the glory days of the PS2.
So where do Microsoft go from here? The success of the Xbox 360 was way higher than they could have ever imagined and maintaining that success is going to be vital for the next generation. I honestly have no idea what direction they are going to go down. They clearly don’t want to cater for the hardcore gamer audience like Sony, but probably the more casual user who not only plays games but likes to watch Netflix and use the other apps. In terms of games I can’t imagine they will announce a new Gears game with Judgment coming out soon. Halo 4 was only out last November so unless they do a spin-off, Halo 5 should not be talked about just yet. Hopefully Microsoft will focus on new IPs, but I have a feeling they will once again heavily rely on Call of Duty, which I couldn't care less about.
In terms of hardware I am not as big a hater of Kinect as many, but if it does come with every console and plays a big part they really have to make sure it works efficiently. Dance Central is currently the only game I have played that works the way it was designed and everything else is just a mess. With Kinect integration seemingly in Microsoft's future, if the sensor doesn't work properly this could be an absolute disaster for Microsoft. I love my Xbox 360 but I really wonder how Microsoft can improve it that drastically and I am fascinated to hopefully find out very soon.