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Opinion

Why The PlayStation Meeting Doesn't Have Me Excited

But why E3 could be incredible.

By now we’re all certain that the PlayStation Meeting on February 20th is going to be the announcement of the PS4. While Sony did try to be fairly mysterious in their teaser trailer for the event, they did a good job of making it obvious they’re ready to talk about their next piece of hardware without ever explicitly saying so. With their iconic face buttons on show what else could it be?

I’m sure the event has many salivating at the prospect of something genuinely new to sink their teeth into, Twitter and conversations with other writers have made that very clear. Personally, though, I’m feeling a bit cold on the event. Maybe they’ll excite me when 6pm EST on the 20th arrives, but for now I’m just not buzzing at the prospect.

To me this can only be a hardware announcement.
I think that may well be because the actual, physical hardware doesn’t interest me all that much. Although we’re hearing some strange rumours about adding a touchpad to the console’s controller, something I’m not convinced by, in all likelihood what we’re going to see will be a box that’s more powerful than the box we have right now. And that’s it.

There’s nothing wrong with that at all, hardware developers are allowed to go in whatever direction they want, but it’s also not terribly exciting. Before Nintendo announced the Wii U I was excited. They’d taken a different approach with the Wii and brought something genuinely new to gaming, I wanted to see what they had up their sleeve to come next. We knew it probably wasn’t going to be an immense bundle of processing power, but the general suspicion was that they were going to do something new and interesting again.

With Sony I don’t get that feeling, and I don’t really get it from Microsoft either. Certainly they’re going to give developers more power to play with and that unlocks new possibilities for future games, new innovations in graphics and gameplay, more powerful physics engines and AIs. However, it doesn’t make the console in and of itself exciting or interesting, it’s what people can do with it. The same is true of the Wii U I suppose, but at least there you can see the new possibilities that the GamePad presents.

Obviously Sony won’t just unveil the new physical hardware, that would be exceptionally strange, they’ll probably have some tech demos and some early concept videos of upcoming stuff to show just how much more powerful the PS4 is than the PS3. Of course if you remember in the past Sony have had tech demos that feature rubber ducks, and while I like rubber ducks, they also aren’t going to make me fall head over heels in love with a bit of hardware.


Will Sony's famous duck demo reappear?
I am, perhaps, being rather unfair to Sony, we probably will see a few bits and pieces about some first-party games for the platform, although they almost certainly aren’t going to be the main focus for this event.

Now if you want to talk to me about what Sony are going to have going on at E3 then I will admit to being almost worryingly excited (what if there’s a new Syphon Filter game?!), and that’s because it’s easy to get excited for games. Games are somehow more tangible than the hardware itself, they’re the product that the hardware exists to power.

I’d love for Sony to blow me away though, I really would. I’d love them to reveal the next console, show me a few big games running live on stage and looking absolutely stunning, and then just drop the mic as they walk off stage. While we might get some of that, I honestly believe they’re going to focus fairly tightly on the hardware itself, with a few trailers for games instead of live demos.

Although I don’t find that nearly as exciting, I can’t blame them if they take that approach. It lets them build to a big showing at E3 and a trailer is much safer than a live demo of a game, particularly when you’re trying to pull of the perfect reveal of your flagship product for the next five to ten years.

But personally I’m counting the days till E3. Just 124 to go.

47 Comments
  1. Deathbrin
    Member
    Since: Aug 2009

    Oh, i do have that game. I think it’s called Super Rubber Duck, it’s SIXAXIS-controlled.

    Comment posted on 06/02/2013 at 09:19.
    • ron_mcphatty
      Member
      Since: Sep 2008

      It’s Super Rub-a-dub, I’ve still got it installed and it’s still an amazing puzzler!

      Comment posted on 06/02/2013 at 11:10.
  2. kjkg
    Member
    Since: Apr 2010

    But Kris, you are missing a point here. The new box will be shinier, blacker and bigger than the one we have. That’s why everyone is excited ;)

    I’m really up for the event. I remember constantly going to the PS3 reveal page and looking at all the launch games. Meticulously poring over screenshots and summaries to make sure I made the right decision.

    Setlled on Resistance FOM and Motorstorm btw. Right decision I think.

    Comment posted on 06/02/2013 at 09:20.
    • Mike
      Member
      Since: Oct 2008

      Bigger and blacker? Oh, Matron ;)

      Comment posted on 06/02/2013 at 09:28.
      • kjkg
        Member
        Since: Apr 2010

        Hmm should have rephrased that.

        Comment posted on 06/02/2013 at 09:31.
    • Kris Lipscombe
      Team TSA: Writer
      Since: Mar 2009

      Blacker?! Fuck, I didn’t realise.

      Comment posted on 06/02/2013 at 09:33.
      • Kevatron400
        Drake, baby.
        Since: Dec 2008

        I heard it will reflect zero light, rendering it the darkest object on earth. I asked them, but they just said they don’t comment on rumour and speculation.

        Comment posted on 06/02/2013 at 11:39.
      • mugsybalone
        Member
        Since: Aug 2008

        “Playstation 4 – Where Light Goes To Die”. That’s a hell of a tag line, though the associated ad campaign would make that “This is Living” advert seem sensible.

        Comment posted on 06/02/2013 at 12:52.
      • Kris Lipscombe
        Team TSA: Writer
        Since: Mar 2009

        Oh man well now I’m super excited.

        Comment posted on 06/02/2013 at 14:29.
      • blast71
        Member
        Since: May 2012

        It’s The Monolith from 2001 ;P

        Comment posted on 06/02/2013 at 17:03.
  3. igotmy9milli
    Member
    Since: Apr 2010

    New console launches are always exciting, personally looking forward to seeing what the first party titles for all the consoles will be. Sony has had some excellent titles recently and Microsoft had loads nearer the begining of the console life cycle. Hopefully the new control methods will be used intelligently and not just as gimmicks, but I guess only time will tell. Even if Sony only release what the console looks like, I think that will be exciting….

    Comment posted on 06/02/2013 at 09:26.
  4. avengerrr
    Member
    Since: Oct 2012

    I think we may only get live demo’s if there is something unique to how we may play a ps4 game, so maybe if they are thinking of a new controller, showing off the features of that with a game.

    This event could also be to get some devs that are wider a field to start developing for the PS4 in ready for a E3/gamescom/TGS unveiling of a game. I am just personally intrigued (nothing more) as to what will be so special about PS4. As I have said before, I like this generation so far, so I’d only be excited if new hardware meant a new level of game design.

    Comment posted on 06/02/2013 at 09:27.
  5. manky_
    Member
    Since: Forever

    If the Vita announcement is anything to go by, the first half of the meeting will be about Gaikai, with the second half starting with ‘oh, and you’ll need a new black box to stream these games to’.

    For me the announcement is just the start, from that point on any publisher can let the cat out of the bag about what they’ve been working on.

    Comment posted on 06/02/2013 at 09:35.
  6. Bilbo_bobbins
    Member
    Since: Jun 2009

    I’m not that excited, but I do want to see what new stuff Sony are looking to bring to the PS4. If it’s just a touch pad controller and better hardware than it will be a pretty boring meeting. I hope to see new games on the hardware, but I guess that will be saved for E3.

    Comment posted on 06/02/2013 at 09:48.
  7. Germanos
    Member
    Since: May 2011

    The only people excited about this are probably hardware freaks with the only desire of better graphics. I will not be very happy if the coming meeting is a PS4 announcement. I think the current gen console has much more potential, but the game industry just is to lazy to make it shine.
    How I miss the times when I was playing a console and I never even a had a conversation about graphics with other platform users (mainly PC players). Everyone knew that the PC is better a graphics and we console freaks knew who had the lead when it came to gameplay or gaming overall.
    Looking forward to see the meeting, but with a bit of stomach ache :P

    Comment posted on 06/02/2013 at 09:59.
    • plutoniumdragon
      Member
      Since: Dec 2008

      It’s not just the graphics, the PS3 is dog-slow, it takes longer to boot than my laptop does and the XMB is so bogged down it’s a pain to use. Some games take so long to load it’s become a joke. It didn’t start out like like, unless nostalgia is clouding my memory, but it’s certainly showing its age now.

      Comment posted on 06/02/2013 at 10:55.
      • plutoniumdragon
        Member
        Since: Dec 2008

        *like that* obviously, and no it’s not my hard drive because all the PS3s I’ve tried are just as bad :(

        Comment posted on 06/02/2013 at 10:56.
      • Germanos
        Member
        Since: May 2011

        Don’t really see that as an problem. The newer games loading times are getting better and better, while if they are slow it’s a matter of the devs creating the game.
        The only XMB problem I have is when I try to see my trophies, no matter if playing a game or not, it’s a real “pain” to use (while that’s a “feature” and another great idea of someone in SONY).
        What I’m trying to say: it’s too soon for a hardware based generation change. The change will not be as efficient as it was when the PS1 changed to PS2, PS2 to PS3….at least if SONY manages to create a console which will overpower current gamePCs, which is unlikely.

        Comment posted on 06/02/2013 at 11:22.
      • Germanos
        Member
        Since: May 2011

        *I think I messed up the last sentence, but you should get the idea :P

        Comment posted on 06/02/2013 at 11:24.
      • djhsecondnature
        Since: Forever

        @Germanos – It’s more than that. Physics engines, A.I., dynamic instances, environmental factors, and so much more. More processing power opens huge doors for what games are capable of.

        As for stating that it’s “too soon for a hardware based generation change”, it can’t come soon enough – it’s been going on for two years too long.

        If you don’t believe that the change won’t be as efficient you are in for a bit of a surprise.

        Comment posted on 06/02/2013 at 11:39.
      • plutoniumdragon
        Member
        Since: Dec 2008

        It’s doesn’t make the PS3 unplayable or anything, it just annoys and frustrates me. Like using an old PC ;)

        Comment posted on 06/02/2013 at 11:52.
  8. djhsecondnature
    Since: Forever

    It’s because you’re an Xbox fanboy Kris :-p

    Or maybe just because you don’t enjoy fun things?

    Or that you’re ankle has turned evil and is turning you evil as well?

    Any of those three really.

    Comment posted on 06/02/2013 at 10:10.
    • Kris Lipscombe
      Team TSA: Writer
      Since: Mar 2009

      Third one.

      Comment posted on 06/02/2013 at 10:21.
      • djhsecondnature
        Since: Forever

        I thought so.

        Comment posted on 06/02/2013 at 10:21.
      • Nate
        Member
        Since: Apr 2010

        Classic evil ankle syndrome really, we should have seen it coming. Oh well, *revs chainsaw.

        Comment posted on 06/02/2013 at 11:51.
  9. Moshbag
    Member
    Since: Nov 2011

    Nintendo will always pull out the most interesting stuff. The map used to be on the select button, now it’s ON MY CONTROLLER!

    Comment posted on 06/02/2013 at 10:35.
  10. Jas-n
    Since: Aug 2008

    “Done!” *drops mic, walks off stage*

    Comment posted on 06/02/2013 at 10:48.
    • Kris Lipscombe
      Team TSA: Writer
      Since: Mar 2009

      Someone really needs to end a press event like that.

      Comment posted on 06/02/2013 at 12:07.

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