There’s always a disadvantage in going first to present what you have created. Just like in school, you get to set the bar and in the meantime, all the other students get to slightly adjust their work to please the evaluator based on the feedback that you have gotten. In this case, the evaluators are the gaming fans from all over the world …and they were quick to review the PS4 conference this week and let their grades known – immediately after Sony’s conference for the announcement of the new Playstation 4, millions of tweets were sent out to judge Sony’s performance and Microsoft’s upcoming answer. The verdict? Well, there was plenty of disappointment in the air, but nothing that would really prevent the gamers who currently use Playstations to go anywhere else. It is the lack of surprises and big innovations that was mostly being felt here.
Of course, Sony’s performance can only be judged by the features that they decided to show, not the one that they decided to hide. Naturally, many fans were disappointed by the lack of a physical console to look at, but it’s pretty obvious that Sony is saving that historical moment for E3 so that this big glass bubble can see some camera flashes again. The Playstation 4’s controller was unveiled though, which proved to be a sort of consolation for those wishing to see some hardware. Sony didn’t blow anyone away with the new controller, but they certainly didn’t scare anyone either – they reinstated how their current controller design is a quality one and added fan requests to it like an headphone jack and some non-slippery joysticks. The main addition comes in the form of a touchpad in the middle of the controller, which is pretty in-line with how popular tablets and smartphone have become in recent years. The controller design itself didn’t really change though as all the classic buttons are right in their respective spots. However, it will be interesting to see how confortable the slighty modificated shape will be. People with big hands should at least now be able to hold the controller comfortably compared to the Dual Shock 3. The new controller also boasts a share button, which then lead Sony to talk about their ambitious cloud-integration plans.
The subject of cloud integration hasn’t been exactly new as of late, so it was a little hard to get excited as well – everything is headed towards the clouds these days. The instantaneous aspect of playing games by barely downloading the game file is quite impressive, but not exactly what we expected to blow us away at the announcement of the PS4 after a eight long years of waiting. Then, we found out that players would be able to stream games at the push of a button and that your friends could even take control of your game remotely. That’s more of an unexpected feature… but not a major one just yet. But that was it! Sony then was off the stage to let the developers show their work…
While the few PS4 announcements from the Sony conference might sound disappointing, everything needs to be put into perspective when compiling your PS4 review so far. The lack of surprises at the Sony conference is by no means an indication that the PS4 will be a lackluster product. We still have all the reasons in the world to believe that Sony will slowly but surely be a strong contender to win the next-gen consoles war. Because after all, Sony never thrived by introducing daring products in this market – they simply provide a gaming and entertainment system with the name of a brand that people trust when it comes to electronics. So why would Sony switch lanes? Microsoft is known as the infinitely rich american-based company who think they can take over anything and the company responsible for the red ring fiasco, while Nintendo is traditionally associated to a younger audience and to be delivering a more family-oriented experience. Sony represents the knowledge and expertise of the eastern world and there will always be a massive audience who won’t trust anything but that brand. Sony doesn’t have to introduce anything weird or hard to understand to attract and retain customers after all.
In conclusion, the PS4 features are technically impressive, but that didn’t necessarily help the undecided players to know if they will choose the Playstation over another brand like Microsoft… and those undecided players are probably the ones that were watching to make their own Playstation 4 review, which would explain all the negative comments received on these social sites. There’s almost nothing that was presented by Sony that would really distinguish them or that Microsoft can’t implement here. The Americans already have their answer to the touchpad with the SmartGlass and cloud integration is probably what Microsoft was headed towards anyway, so this conference probably served as a checkpoint to see how they’re doing against their rival. All there’s left to do at this point is to wait for Microsoft’s counter-attack to judge your next big move as a customer. According to recent rumors, Microsoft might reply as soon as April with a show of their own. It looks like the two companies weren’t patient enough to wait until E3 this year!