I’m going to take a change of pace here and attempt to tell you why the Xbox 720 and PS4 don’t excite me. Trust me I know what you’re thinking and nobody likes a smart ass complaining about something we’ve yet to see, I don’t like those type of writers either. I’m not here to convince you that any of what I say is a fact, it’s just a harmless opinion.
The great thing about our site is that I’m never under any pressure to say things a certain way, I feel that I’m given complete freedom to express myself and my opinions. Before we get started allow me to get something cleared up, it was always something that was bothering me for a while.
I joined this site in late last year and upon joining I searched around to better acquaint myself, I found a certain editorial rather misleading. The article in question was “Why The PS4 May Fail” which is fine but when the piece was posted on N4G it went up as “Why The PS4 Will Fail” which I didn’t like as it’s basically tricking all of you, our readers. I’m told it was a typo but I’ll just say that it’s an “interesting” mistake to make, perhaps it shows us the true intention behind the piece? Maybe I’m looking too deep into this…
With this article I want to avoid that and whatever sinister undertones you may think I secretly have. I simply would like to express my opinion as to why the Xbox 720 and PS4 don’t currently excite me given what we know so far. I understand that whenever you write about something that hasn’t been officially revealed you’re basically playing with fire. There’s a good chance I’ll anger people and not everyone will agree with my opinion but that’s fine, just as I express myself here I would like you the reader to also have a voice.
Now that I’ve gotten the long ass introduction out of the way let’s truly get started. Remember this is me writing as a gamer no different to yourself and not as some cocky “game journalist”. In fact the word “game journalist” is nothing short of a joke these days for reasons I may go into someday but now isn’t the time or place. Let’s get started with the PlayStation 4 as it’s set to debut a few days from now.
At the time of writing we don’t know an awful lot about the PlayStation 4, we don’t even know if it will be called PlayStation 4. There’s been leaks of the controller which sources are claiming is basically more or less what the final design will be like so we’ll be using that as a reference point.
The problem that I have with the PlayStation 4 is that I’m not seeing what the big deal is, better yet I can’t see what the big deal COULD be. At the moment the general hype seems to come from the fact it’s simply a new console and people just like to get excited about new shiny things. What exactly is the PlayStation 4 capable of that the PlayStation 3 wasn’t able to do to warrant the upgrade?
The age when graphics made an important difference is over, I think once we got to the HD era games we got to a point where one could say “that’s good enough”. I can’t imagine the indie games benefiting all that much from the extra horsepower this system might offer up and how many developers are the world have the manpower to push for photo realistic visuals anyway?
Whilst it does seem like the PlayStation 4 is all about the power we do have the controller leak which I found to be disappointing. The controller itself looks fine but the little touch screen is basically a modern day Dreamcast VMU from the looks of it and we all know how useless that proved to be. Actually the VMU was cooler as it acted as a small handheld on the side. It’s just a tweaked dual shock controller with a tiny touch screen on it, I fail to see what purpose it could possibly serve. It looks to be about as useful as the six-axis was on the PlayStation 3.
With the PlayStation 3 we got online gaming, HD visuals, blu ray, digital downloads, a multi-media capable system and an operating system that can be updated with new features. You can watch YouTube and Netflix videos on it, hell even motion gaming came to the PS3 via the Move so this leaves me wondering what the PlayStation 4 can offer?
Prettier visuals and a small screen on a controller isn’t really exciting to me, at least not in this day in age. There’s been talks about cloud based gaming but at the end of the day who gives a shit how you play the game, it’s still the same damn game in the end. The only real hype behind the PlayStation 4 seems to be graphics and even that will be bested by the PC in no time, in fact I bet Battlefield 4 will be superior on PC.
I look forward to seeing what Sony plan to show us on February 20th but as of right now, I’m not really all that hyped going in but I’d love to be proven wrong. Killzone 4 with better visuals wouldn’t really peak my interest so hopefully something more original is in store for us.
Much like the PlayStation 4 a large amount of the hype towards the Xbox 720 is likely based on horsepower so most of what I said above applies here. The main difference however is that the Xbox 720 is EVEN LESS exciting than the PlayStation 4 in my opinion. This is coming from someone who used his Xbox 360 as his main system in the last generation.
The Xbox isn’t the same system that it used to be, the Xbox name is now a brand and not so much a games console. Originally Microsoft’s contribution to gaming was online and they did a fantastic job on that end, they truly believed in online gaming and fought hard to make it a standard within our industry. I have nothing but the utmost respect for Microsoft and for what they have done in that space but it looks like someone has gotten a little cocky over the years.
Microsoft still offer up the best online service although it feels like it’s a result of Sony & Nintendo doing a horrible job of playing catch up rather than Microsoft continuing to raise the bar. The Xbox dashboard has turned into a well organized clusterfuck over the years, the only online service I pay for is the only one shoving adverts down my face?
The Xbox is no longer a games console, it’s Microsoft’s attempt to dominate everything you do. That’s fine to an extent but it’s obvious success has gotten into their heads and they’ve lost focus. Where the hell are the Xbox exclusive titles? Does Microsoft even have any first party developers? Is Rare even worth mentioning these days?
In case you didn’t notice the Xbox 360 has been surviving off 3rd party developers towards the end of it’s life, that’s great but we are drawn to systems because of the exclusive games. Off the top of my head Microsoft have 343 Industries, Turn 10 and Twisted Pixel games but beyond that what’s left?
Rumours all point to a Kinect 2.0 and this just makes me want to kill myself, Kinect was shit and finger tracking this time isn’t going to change that. I bought a Kinect when it launched, I too was interested in it’s potential and in the end I found out that it only ever really worked for Dance Central. Kinect isn’t good for gaming, it’s good for one genre and that’s about it.
As with the PlayStation 4 it’s too early to start judging but as it currently stands I’m not really excited about the Xbox 720. From what I can see Microsoft does not seem to bothered about gaming and so in turn I’m not too excited about them. Anything cool or interesting happening on Xbox 360 is the result of a 3rd party developer, not Microsoft.
So you’re excited about Wii U?
Well kind of and I don’t mean to sound like a Nintendo fanboy but the Wii U just seems like the more interesting option. Yeah it does feel like it was rushed to market and there isn’t anything to play on it but at least it tries to offer up something unique. Microsoft and Sony can fight all the want in the graphics department but at the end of the day the PC is still going to shit over both of them so why focus on a battle you can’t and won’t win?
I bought the Wii U when it launched (silly of me I know) but I’m a believer in the potential of the system. Gaming has gotten a little stale in recent years with sequels reaching third and fourth entries but the Wii U managed to reinvigorate gaming for me. I’ve played some Nintendoland with my friends and I saw a certain level of excitement in their eyes that I hadn’t seen since Bioshock blew them away in 2007.
Trust me there’s a million different things wrong with the Wii U right now namely the lack of killer apps but as a gamer it’s new, fresh and promising. Have you tried the Rayman Legends demo with some friends? It’s fantastic stuff makes the game feel like something much more than a Rayman Origins level pack. I don’t know what Microsoft or Sony have planned for their system, I’d love to see them fill in the gaps that Nintendo leaves but if it’s just a power increase with a little gimmick like Kinect 2.0 then that’s not very interesting to me.
I want you to take a look at something I found over at Kotaku, yeah I know it’s not my favourite site either but please do take a look. It’s basically Alex Ward of Criterion Games discussing Need for Speed Most Wanted on Wii U and pay close attention to the overall mood of that interview. Though he is pushed for speak on the technical aspect of both the game and Wii U, he simply isn’t interested in any of it, instead he chooses to discuss what excites him about the Wii U.
Criterion Games have been known for being a very capable developer on the technical front so it’s nice to see them show us a different side to them, one not so focused on the technology. I feel that I’m in a similar position to Mr Ward himself, I like my pretty visuals but as a gamer it’s no longer interesting to me any more. I was actually more excited about Nintendo adding a Zelda Miiverse community to Wii U than I was reading up on the PlayStation 4 controller leak.
I don’t think gamers are going to rush out and buy Sony’s or Microsoft’s new system, the last three systems that launched (3DS, Vita & Wii U) have all been disappointing to say the least. Nintendo thought the 3D aspect of the system alone would sell consumers on the 3DS and that didn’t work out. Sony went for the horsepower/technology route with the Vita and that flopped too. Nintendo again figured the Wii U would sell based on name alone and sales in January dropped to a new pathetic, rightly so in my opinion.
The hype behind PS4 and Xbox 720 is looking like it will only lead to disappointment, I base on what I’ve read and what I know that I can’t currently discuss. People are not going to buy a PS4 to play a “better” Call of Duty, a good chunk will only upgrade once there is NO Call of Duty on their PS3 leaving them with no option but to upgrade. This upcoming generation is going to take a good while before it gets going, consumers are more hesitant to upgrade than ever before. Hoping to get by on name recognition alone isn’t enough, killer apps and aggressive marketing will be key.
That’s basically it from me then, Nintendo seem to hold the most promise with Wii U whilst Sony look like they’ll focus more on the horsepower side of things as usual. Microsoft don’t even care about games any more, they’ll give us Halo 5, Forza 5, Fable whatever and call it a day.
I fully understand if you disagree with what I’ve seen, that’s perfectly fine and you’re more than welcome to leave both positive and negative comments. I’m not claiming I’m correct, I’m not even suggesting my opinion is above yours. Long story short, screw the hardware talk and bring on the games.