I watched the Sony Conference over lunch today, thought I’d share some of my thoughts. I’ll preface this saying I have not yet watched the Microsoft Conference but I will do so soon, and probably dedicate a future post to my thoughts.
So, obviously, the star of the conference was the PS4. We finally got to see what it looks like, which is nice, I guess? It was designed to be ‘visually striking’ which is exactly what we all want from consoles that sit on shelves and under TVs.
Joking aside, we got a slew of previews and marketing talk about just how awesome gaming is and how great it will be on the Playstation, which is what we all expected anyway. So what did we see that was actually interesting?
It was nice to see them dedicate a portion of the presentation to highlighting their support for the independent sector of the industry. They showcased some high-profile Indie titles (such as Don’t Starve and Transistor), and talked about how they wanted their platform to be better than ever for supporting Indie studios. Interesting, but I wonder just how ‘open’ the platform will truly be for smaller, less well known studios.
Used Games and Online
In a rather amusing (and not so subtle) shot at Microsoft, they mentioned their plans regarding used games and internet connectivity. Particularly, they would not be restricting the trading and selling of preowned disc-based games, and the PS4 would not require an internet connection to operate. They definitely scored some major points among gamers with these plans, as Microsoft has come under some very heavy flak regarding the Xbox One’s necessity to connect to the ‘net once every 24 hours or it becomes a large, black paperweight.
Used games have been a contentious issue for the industry for some time. The major reason publishers want rid of the second hand games market is that they don’t get a slice of the profits when a preowned game is sold or traded. Having said that, this is true for every product from books to cars, and the draconian measures parts of the industry have taken to prevent this has angered gamers for years.
We got a large string of trailers and footage ‘running in-engine’ to showcase the power of the console. I never pay much attention to these, as there is a significant difference between something running ‘in-engine’ and the actual game. Still, there were some promising looking titles (unfortunately, the presentation of Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag suffered some technical difficulties, oops!).
The raw talent and passion in the games industry is evidently stronger than ever and it’s inspiring to see just how far studios are pushing the boundaries nowadays. I think despite the turmoil the industry is experiencing at the moment, there is a lot to be excited about for the coming years.
Having been a long time Halo fan, I enjoyed the gameplay preview of Destiny. It looks like it will be a fun experience, which is probably not surprising considering Bungie is behind it. Yes, that is me showing personal bias, I’m allowed!
The PS4 wins the price battle, at just $399 compared to the Xbox One’s $499.
So, will I be buying a PS4? Hard to say. I’m impressed by Sony’s apparent dedication to gamers and their focus on gaming. I like that their plans for PSN remain similar to that of the PS3, (I have had issues with Xbox Live and it’s policies in the past). The console looks good, there are some exclusive games that look enticing, but for me I will have to see just how much free time I have when the console launches.
Currently, I’m a PC gamer, my (sadly very limited) free time for gaming is largely spent playing MOBAs like League of Legends and Dota2, thanks to the quick ‘play a round or two’ style of gaming the genre offers. Whether I buy into the next generation of consoles, or stick to my PC, is a question that I’ll only know the answer to once the next generation truly arrives.