Sunday, 24 February 2013

What I thought of the PS4

PS4, that's officially a thing now, so I guess I should do a blog about it. I watched the whole presentation and on the whole I was pretty damn impressed. Now I am not going to go into all the reveals, because if you are reading this, you probably already know them. I am instead going to take about what excited me. Being honest I was probably most happy to see the new Killzone game. It looked pretty damn stunning, and while it didn't seem to offer many new innovations in game-play  it still got my blood pumping. As far as other games go, I am glad that the Infamous franchise is returning, with a nice new, almost x-men like, game. Now that I think of it, all stuff I got excited about, not a lot of it was games. I mean Watch Dogs still looks great, but that would probably be a PC purchase, same goes for the likes of Project Destiny (Activison may be a horrible company but they have a strong tradition of bringing IP's to the PC). Krank looked like fun but was more interesting in that it showed what the PS4 can do with physics.

In fact probably the most interesting game (and I use the term very loosely) was what Media Molecule were doing, using the Move as a 3D sculpting and creation tool. Little Big Planet already has very inventive audience and I would be fascinated at what could be created. The fact that they are bigging up the computing power makes me happy, no, the CPU doesn't seem that fast but with clever programming, you can get the GPU to do things easily.

I was quite taken with the pad, more of a refinement than a reinvention. I am certainly glad that they haven't got to extremes like the Wii U. The touch pad is a nice addition, though I suspect it will get most use in menus, almost like a cursor. The motion tracking on the pad is an odd one, but I can see the uses, such as leaning to the side in a first person shooter. The improved shape and triggers are a bonus. It took me a long time to get use to the PS3 pad after a 360 one, and even now the 360 is still, marginally, more comfortable.

I have to confess that some of the new features seemed more like obvious stuff that consoles should do, but don’t at the moment, like the instant restarting. Yes being able to pick up a game from exactly where you left it is cool; however this is something the PSP did years ago. The same goes for the behind the scenes downloading and patching, something Steam has also been doing for years. I think it is a little hard to justify these as cool new features.

I am less convinced about all the social sharing stuff, being able to instantly upload video and screenshots is cool, but not something the vast majority of people will use. Or at least I won't, but maybe I am an anti-social bastard. I am also not sure I would like someone on my friends list watching me suck balls at a game, I sure as hell wouldn't want them to take over playing for me. Still hopefully this means that the online play and communication has been significantly improved on the PS3. I know that it mentions you could chat cross game now, and the inclusion of a mic port in the pad should mean more voice use.

All in all I remain impressed, but still a lot of questions. What games will be out at launch. When will it be out? How much will it be? How much hard drive space does it have? Hell, what does it look like? Still seems like a long way off, though some companies are already taking pre-orders. I think Microsoft will have to make a big impact when they do there reveal (rumoured to be in April). Though for Microsoft to get my attention, they will have to do 1 thing, scrap the Xbox live subscription.

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