Saturday, February 09, 2013

Raise your hand if you're looking forward to the PS4 reveal on Feb. 20

You may be surprised to hear that my hand is raised, too.

Sure, I don't yet own a PS3, but that's not because I have no interest in Sony's current-gen console. The fact is, I only have so much money to spend on games these days, and that pile of dough has to support a lot of systems, including the 3DS, DS, Famicom, PC Engine, PlayStation, PlayStation 2, PSP, Wii and Xbox 360 (among others).

Anyway, I'm interested in the PS3, just as I'm interested in the PS4--or whatever Sony winds up calling its next-gen console.

Speaking of which, Sony's supposedly going to reveal its much-anticipated PS3 successor on Feb. 20 at 3 pm PST/6 pm EST.

Will you be watching the event live (at, I believe), or at least reading about it afterward?

I will, although I have to admit I'm not at all sure what to expect. Will we see a mock-up of the console itself? Will we get a glimpse of its controller, which is rumored to include a small touchpad (a la the back of the Vita)? Will we be shown snippets of in-the-works games, or simply the video equivalent of bullshots?

I'm guessing at least a few of the above-mentioned things will be covered during Sony's presentation, but I'm not so sure all of them will.

Regardless, I'll be sure to post my impressions shortly after it ends. In the meantime, what are all of you hoping to see and hear as part of this event?


diaglyph said...

Not really.
I'll just read whatever comes out on various sites but I'm not going to go out of my way to get it etc
I have a PS3. It's rarely used, mainly to play movies. Games - every so often if something interesting is out (the next game will most likely be Ni No Kuni). said...

Oh, I didn't mean to imply that I'm interested in the PS4 to the extent that I'm planning to pick one up anytime soon. I just meant that I'm interested in it in general, you know?

There's pretty much no way I'll pick up a PS4 this year or even next. A Wii U and, likely, a PS3 have to be acquired before I'll even consider a PS4, I think.

As such, I fully understand where you're coming from as it relates to the PS4.

I'm guessing you're also not all that interested in the next Xbox, Igor?

diaglyph said...

xbox even less interested.

After my experience with xbox360 I don't think much of it at all. MS doesn't understand UIs at all (look at Win80, they show ads even if you have paid, most games are dude bro shooters (*yawn* boring).

I got xbox to play Lost Odyssey and Blue Dragon. Blue Dragon disappointed me and I didn't finish Lost Odyssey (I just couldnt be bothered turning on the xbox to play). So I sold the xbox and used the money for Wii U. I've been playing Wii U much more than I have xbox (I'm sure if total time spent was compared, Wii U would have more haha)

I'm expecting super duper hardware for PS4. Enough to give orgasms to all the people who believe everything is about power etc (yet they always fail to look at 3DS vs Vita...)
And I'm sure the big publishers will have orgasms over it too.
In any case, I think the indie scene might get big on the Wii U and who knows, there will be better games from indies than from majors.

Simply_Awful said...

I'm interested in what they have to say. And if they say "used games can't be played on PS4" then I'm switching to PC games! Apparently the new Xbox is planning to do this too? I generally buy games new nowadays, but what happens when the system is old? Or if it does that "online required for single player" what happens when the servers go offline? If the NES disallowed used copies the system would be extinct...this is pretty much the planned obsolescence that Sean on Famicomblog laid out
so succinctly:

This whole thing just gets my goat and it'll be a deal breaker if they go through with it. Sorry for being so negative, haha. The WiiU is probably going to be my last console for a lonnng while. said...

Ah, you and I are so much alike in this way, Igor.

My experience with my 360 has been such that it's doubtful I'll ever buy another piece of MS hardware again, to be honest.

Also, yes, it's pretty clear Sony will once again focus entirely on graphics/power when it comes to the PS4, which I find disappointing--and confusing, considering the PS1 and PS2 were hardly beasts when it came to such things.

As for third-parties having orgasms over the PS4 and next Xbox: all I can say to that is "ugh." In many ways, third-parties these days act like lamb being led to slaughter. This path to ever-greater graphics--and ever-more-expensive games--is likely to end with many of them going out of business, yet they happily continue along it instead of focusing on making interesting, unique games that don't necessarily push a billion polygons and use all of the latest bells and whistles.

Hopefully indie devs will be able to find success on the 3DS and Wii U and even the digital shops of the PS4 and next Xbox. If not, I think folks like you and I are in for a depressing gaming future :|

diaglyph said...

I found Ubisoft's announcement shocking. Even though Rayman didn't interest me, but to pull the rug out from so many people waiting for Rayman....delaying a finished game by 7 months - wow!

So I thought, well fuck the majors ;)
Nintendo have created a great indie environment. So I hope an indie comes along and creates a great game that shits on a major's "similar" game.
So far its been going great. I hope more and more indies sign up. said...

Oh, god, I'm so glad you brought this up, Simply_Awful. (Why can't I remember your real game right now? Sorry about that.)

Reading about MS' and Sony's rumored plans to block used games with their next systems last week depressed me to the core.

I honestly can't believe so many gamers are OK with this. "I usually buy new anyway, so who cares" they tend to say. Uh, I care, and for some very obvious, important reasons, as you suggested.

The biggest reason in my mind: I firmly believe that if I want to go on eBay and buy a used game for my PS4 or Xbox 720 or whatever, I should be able to do so.

Who on earth are these companies to think they get to control this part of the market? If I buy a game and want to sell it after I'm through with it, I should be able to do so--and, no, they don't deserve a cut of it. This happens all the time in all sorts of other markets--you don't see Toyota getting a cut when I sell my old Corolla, for instance--yet Sony and MS believe they deserve one? Whatever.

Should both of these companies go through with these plans and make it so only brand new games can be played on their systems, I will avoid them like the plague. And I'll do the same to Nintendo's systems if it ever follows their lead.

Which, really, is sad, as I like buying and playing consoles. If I have to stick with my old ones from here on out, though, so be it. said...

Oh, I agree with this, too. And, really, I don't think this particular instance will end well for Ubisoft--which will be poetic justice, if you ask me.

The reason I think this: by the time this game comes out, the Wii U should be just about to hit its "autumn stride," which means games like Mario Kart U will be out (or about to be released) and the next 3D Mario game will be near, too--which means fewer people to buy Rayman. Plus, I have a feeling Ubisoft has pissed off enough people with this announcement that some of them now won't buy the game at all. And I doubt the environment will be much better on the PS3 or 360, as their successor systems will be weeks from release at that point and Rayman will be looked at my the graphics whores as being old news.

As for the Wii U attracting more indies: I sure hope you're right. This industry has become so strange in regards to Nintendo. So many devs and publishers (third-parties) seem to want Nintendo to go out of business. Is it because they no longer want to compete with Nintendo's IPs? Probably, but what a strange thing to wish for in such a case. Why not just try to make games that are just as polished and tight and accomplished? Oh, I know the answer: because they can't, or they don't want to.

Admittedly, Nintendo is partially to blame for being ganged up on--thanks to some of the horrible policies that were put in place back in the NES and SNES days. Also, I have a feeling that the decision-makers at Nintendo continue to be more than a little stubborn when it comes to working with third-parties, which surely isn't helping things.

So, I guess what I'm saying is that when it comes to indies or third-parties or whomever making Wii U games, I'll believe it when I see it.

diaglyph said...

If MS/Sony do this, it'll be another reason not to bother with their new consoles. said...

Amen, Igor. Part of me just can't believe they'd be stupid enough to pull this, but another part of me is pretty sure they actually are that stupid :|

diaglyph said...

Yea. I'm thinking instead of putting crap on Nintendo, why can't these majors, oh I don't know, create a game of similar quality? True they do have *some* games of similar quality, but most are just churned out rubbish with a number slapped on.
I also hate how they'll release a game on a Nintendo system, it won't sell well then they go "See? It doesn't work" then give up
They like creating self fulfilling prophecies said...

I couldn't have said it better myself, Igor. To say I'm sick of third-parties whining about their lack of success on Nintendo platforms would be the understatement of the century.

Zaphod65 said...

I'm looking forward to the presentation, but I'm not buying their machine at launch. I love my Vita, but Sony's epic mishandling of such a great little machine is going to make me wary of any new offerings. Also, I'll want to know their plans (or lack thereof) concerning backwards compatibility.

diaglyph said...

Forgot to say, the games they are likely to release on Nintendo is a port! Not an original game.
Actually when was the last time a major release an original game?
Nintendo seems to have more original games (I'm not counting Mario series, for me they are starting to feel stale) said...

Yes, it's hard to make too much of late ports that are poorly received, isn't it? Why not try an original game--and actually market it--just as you do on other platforms? said...

Sounds like we're in the same boat, Zaphod65. I'll always be interested in these kinds of announcements, but that doesn't mean I'm going to buy the resulting hardware on day one (or ever, to be honest).

Also, I understand completely being a bit gun shy after Sony's mishandling of the Vita. Hell, they still haven't addresses any of the issues that are holding that system back from even a bit of success.

As far as backwards compatibility goes: I'm fully expecting neither the PS4 or the next Xbox to allow folks to play games from previous hardware. I'm just not sure how it could be economically feasible for them to do that at this point.

What I do think we'll see, though, are digital re-releases or even HD 'remakes' of some older (PS2/3 and Xbox/360) games.

michaelstearns said...

I really don't get the lack of backwards compatibility moving forward. As these consoles get more and more powerful, they don't need to be weird and quirky anymore with individual hardware ticks to squeeze out the power (there's no point in pushing them "to the limit") and in making games easier and easier for developers to make games for them (and attract their multiplatform titles)--essentially, becoming PCs--they're going to hit on something consistent enough that the only thing holding back backwards compatibility is literally just a switch that says "yes" or "no."

I actually started this post out kind of optimistic because I have such a hard time believing that they could throw the "no" switch, but now I'm feeling what Simply_Awful said about disallowing used games--it's planned obsolescence plain and simple, if you aren't playing the hot new thing then you aren't giving them money (any more).

It's so, so, so short sighted and self destructive, too! I usually apply this to "Nintendo charges too much for games" argument, which is that Nintendo makes a game and then plans to continue to sell it for a while, it has "legs," as they say, which is again something that is counter to industry trends in general. But you look at the movie industry, there's periodic format upgrades that they love to milk (on a totally different timescale), but when Pixar makes a movie, that movie stays on the shelves FOREVER. They have all these different ways to continue to make money beyond the initial release, and it doesn't mean exploiting someone who already bought it (ie, I own six different versions of Sonic CD)! They always talk about how the audience for games is expanding but at the same time, on the scale of individual games, they still aren't reaching as many people as they could. I mean, you have to assume when they re-release a game it's meant for a new audience, which makes it all the more ridiculous that it comes at the expense of shutting out the old version.

Anyway, rant happened. I'll be interested in the news but probably not too excited about any of it. :/ said...

Hmmm, your first point is interesting to me, Michael. I certainly don't understand the guts of today's systems (as in, the specs that are trotted out by folks on NeoGAF and elsewhere are completely lost on me), so you're probably much more knowledgable in that area than I am. I always thought, though, that making the PS4 compatible with, say, the PS3 would be pretty difficult at this point. Making it compatible with PS2 and PS1 games should be fairly easy, of course, but I thought doing so with the PS3 would be pretty tough--unless, like the Wii U and Wii before it--the PS4 actually includes a mini PS3 inside of it.

Correct me if I'm wrong, though, as, like I said, I know very little (possibly even nothing) about the guts of today's systems.

All that said, I think you're 100 percent right that MS and Sony are likely to turn their noses up at backward compatibility even if it's possible at this point because all they can see is the $$$ they'd gain by re-selling PS3 games on more time (either as digital titles or as 'HD remakes').

Also like you said, such a tactic is so short-sighted (and self-desctructive) it's nearly silly. Like I said earlier, though, so many game companies seem to be happy to march to their doom these days.

Anyway, I'm still curious about this event, just as I'll be curious about whatever event MS holds to announce the next Xbox. I have a feeling, though, both companies are going to disappoint me far more than they're going to thrill me.

michaelstearns said...

I don't really know that much about hardware and this is mostly speculative, but I just don't think it makes sense to make hardware that's completely different from the previous iteration. You have to change all your tools (or Unreal or somebody has to custom build you a new version of their engine), developers have to learn new stuff, it's all a big waste of time, you want them to hit the ground running from your old hardware. It shouldn't even be a matter of power or even emulation, it should literally be the same thing, just more powerful and with some new features. It made sense when your hardware might have been something ridiculous like the Saturn, cobbled together out all those different processors--you don't want to be stuck with that--but as consoles become more and more PC like I don't see any reason for them not to enjoy the same features in terms of developer friendliness and backwards compatibility.
This might not be where we're at right now, it requires setting down a really good foundation at the start, and obviously part of why PCs can do it is because they're more expensive, consoles have to squeeze a lot of power out of a lot less money so it makes sense to design something a little more clever and less brute force. But if new hardware is still such a radical departure from the old that backwards compatibility isn't an easy thing to accomplish, then it still doesn't seem worthwhile because as a consumer I'm not really seeing the difference. Maybe they'll show me how wrong I am on the 20th!

diaglyph said...

One thing I'll say, regardless of how powerful the CPU/GPU of Wii U, I think Nintendo always "crafts" an efficient system. It's amazing that the Wii U uses the same power a light bulb!!

2D2Will said...

I'm split. I'm interested in what Sony has to show, but I don't think now is the time for the PS4. The PS3 is capable of displaying games in 1080p, meaning the PS4 will have to be more powerful. This means the PS4 will likely display games in 4K resolution to coincide with their 4K TVs since no 4K TV channels or blu-ray players exist. It feels like, much like the PS3, this would be Sony going too big too soon.

When the PS3 launched, about 10% of US households owned HD TVs. I imagine the number of households owning 4K TVs right now are even less. I fear this direction will only result in Sony losing more money, something they can't afford to do any more. If Sony continues to go in the direction on high powered machines, I fear Sony may cease to exist before it'll be time for generation 9. said...

What you say makes a lot of sense--although, again, I'm someone who doesn't understand much about what's under the hood of today's PC and consoles.

That said, I think you hit the nail on the head near the end when you said "this might not be where we're at right now." I'm sure someone much more educated than I on such matters could explain why, but that's my feeling--that console tech hasn't progressed to the point where backwards compatibility could be so easily achievable.

I hope I'm wrong and that on the 20th Sony announces the PS4 is completely and totally compatible with all PS3 software, but I'm willing to bet that won't be the case. And the same will be true of MS' next console.

And if they are backwards compatible, it will be because they literally included the guts of the PS3 and/or 360 in the new hardware--which I also don't think is entirely possible at this point.

Regardless, it'll be interesting to see what's revealed on the 20th (and whenever MS finally unveils the next Xbox). said...

Yes, there's certainly something to be said for that, Igor. Also, the Wii U basically contains all of the Wii's guts, too--which is pretty amazing when you consider how small the Wii U is compared to, say, the PS3 and the 360. said...

Good thinking, 2D2Will, and I agree--that Sony may once again be trying to go too big, too soon with the PS3 successor.

That's one of the things that's going to be really interesting in this transition from the PS3 and 360 to the Ps4 and the next Xbox, I think--will the games on these systems really look that much better? I have a hard time imagining it myself. Oh, sure, there are elements that could be improved in a lot of current-gen games, but overall I think it may be difficult to discern a PS4 game from a PS3 game for some time, and if that's the case Sony and MS are going to have some problems on their hands.

Now, clearly, a good number of hardcore gamers are going to buy these systems regardless, but after they've had their way with them, what will the masses think? If they think the PS3 and/or 360 are good enough for them for a while, the PS4 and next Xbox are going to suffer--much like the Wii U is suffering at the moment.

Justin Difazzio said...

Let's just say that I'm excited for one thing and one thing only on the 20th. The local frozen custard place is opening for the season! Hooray!

I'll be sure to follow coverage of this, but I'm not really excited... said...

Ha ha! I love this response, Justin :) What's the name of your local frozen custard place, BTW? Man, do I miss frozen custard :(

Kevin B. said...

Not me... I'm sure it'll be cool, but... Sony's just so blah to me now...

Simply_Awful said...

Haha, your passion about the subject is making me angrier about the whole thing. It really comes down to "once we've made our money on it, we don't care if it brings joy to anyone else in the future" which makes sense in a business sense but it just means that in the future the console will be forgotten because no one will be able to play it (barring the obvious digital PS4 Classics re-releases on the PS5).

Espiga said...

The more I hear about the next gen systems, the less interested I become in them. At times, I feel like Danny Glover in Lethal Weapon, and I just want to say "I'm too old for this shit."

But here we have a current generation of consoles that want to rip people off. We have:

1. Terrible DLC that should have been included in games to begin with (Capcom, I'm looking at you)

2. An online service from Microsoft that charges you $60 a year to use your own console as the server to host games (ironically enough, the only two games you could play on XBL for free, Final Fantasy XI and Phantasy Star Universe, had you connecting to Square Enix's and SEGA's servers rather than using your own console as the host).

3. A toxic focus on graphics over gameplay, to the point of reducing a game's framerate to 30 FPS so you can fit in more sparkly graphics. Games that are gorgeous now won't always look that good. But a great gaming experience is great forever.

The next generation looks to be more of the same, but worse if the rumors floating about prove to be true. I'm pretty much on the verge of being a handheld-only gamer when it comes to recent consoles.

If you need me, I'll be in the corner crying while hugging my SNES, Genesis, and PCE Duo in a big group hug. said...

I think you may be right, Simply_Awful. Sigh. Although in a way, I think these consoles will deserve to be forgotten if this news is proven true in the end. said...

I can see that, Kevin. I'm still interested in what they put out, but that doesn't mean I'm going to buy it. Should they ever return to the mindset that prompted them to produce the PS1 and PS2, though, I may be tempted back into their fold. said...

Can I join you in that corner, Espiga? I'll even bring my handhelds :)

Seriously, though, I agree with you. I'm starting to feel like I'm too old for this shit, too, and that's not because I think people over 30 shouldn't play games. I'm just tired of some of the stuff that the bulk of devs and publishers seem to want to focus on these days.

I'm really, really hoping these rumors of the PS4 and next Xbox requiring an Internet connection and not allowing used games to played aren't true. If they are, though, both MS and Sony can count me out as an owner of their respective next-gen (blech) consoles.

Chalgyr said...

I probably won't get to watch the event live, but I'll be watching it after and reading about it I'm sure. Of this next generation of consoles, the PS4 is probably the one I'll invest in first - but there are a ton of points I'll be considering too. I'm sold on nothing yet. :) said...

I'm guessing a lot of folks are in the same boat as you are, Chalgyr. Anyway, it's going to be interesting to see what's revealed at this event, isn't it?

Justin Difazzio said...

Ollie's Frozen Custard. It's been around since I was tiny. It's probably the reason I never lose my winter weight in the summertime. said...

Ha ha! Well, at least it's a good--or at least yummy--reason, right? You'll probably find this silly, but one of the things I really miss about Wisconsin is being able to go to Culver's on a regular basis. Sigh.