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Feature: Sony's PlayStation 4 Reveal - Did It Meet Our Expectations?

Posted by Push Square Staff

Mulling things over

Just moments before Wednesday’s big PlayStation 4 press conference, we rounded up as many Push Square staff members as we could get our hands on, in order to discuss our hopes, dreams, and fears for Sony’s next generation platform. Now, with the console blown wide open, we’ve repeated the more-challenging-than-it-sounds task, herding together a familiar roster of names for a good old chinwag about the impending system and its coming out party.

Anthony Dickens, Managing Director

Sony bravely scoffed a hearty slice of humble pie with its PS4 announcement, addressing some of the technical challenges developers faced with PS3, which should prove a particularly solid move by them. Its effort to embrace social gaming all sounded excellent, too, but we'll have to see it in practice before getting too excited. As for the re-birth of Vita as a 'second screen', it could be a saving grace for the struggling handheld.

However, I’m not convinced about the new DualShock controller. While the form factor tweaks look nice overall, it seems too busy and slightly confused – perhaps there’s still time for refinement? I would have liked to have seen more games, too, but I’m sure E3 will solve that. I thought that the titles that were on show offered a reasonable demonstration of the system’s capabilities.

Overall, I thought the press conference was positive, and a great foundation for further announcements throughout the rest of the year. Bring on E3.

Sammy Barker, Associate Editor

I understand that there are people desperate for the next generation to usher a new wave of creativity, but I was honestly satisfied with the pretty graphics. Sony is renowned for innovation, so I’m certain that titles like Journey, LittleBigPlanet, and Heavy Rain will come in time. For now, I just wanted to see the Helghast being shot in the face in glorious 1080p – and the manufacturer didn’t disappoint in that department.

But it was Sony’s attitude that probably impressed me the most. It was almost like the platform holder had a list of problems with the PS3 and responded to every single one of them. Difficult development environment? Fixed. Awkward patching and firmware system? Fixed. Lack of social and community features? Fixed. I wrote in my reactions piece that the PS4 sounds like a return to the ‘Plug and Play’ ideals of yesteryear, and the more I read about the console, the more that appears to be true. As someone who wants to scream every time I see a progress bar, I’m excited for a new piece of hardware that promises to work without any hassle.

Mike Mason, Assistant Editor

I'm fairly convinced that I'll be buying a PS4, though as of yet I'm not certain I'll be putting down the moolah at launch. This was just a first showing, though, and with E3 on the horizon I'm looking forward to seeing a fuller roster in a few months.

Overall I found the line-up somewhat underwhelming; efforts like Killzone: Shadow Fall appeared to be nothing more than prettier versions of games already possible on PS3 – right down to the 'press Square to plant C4' button prompts. Deep Down and Watch_Dogs look superb, however, and Media Molecule's bizarre technology demo plastered a grin right across my face. I didn't and don't understand what that game is going to be, but I already want it.

Game streaming, media sharing, and instant, download-free, demos are big wins. The user video features are brilliantly thought out and are sure to entice the YouTube crowd. I don't know how much I'd use them, but as somebody who loves the video recording functionality of Just Cause 2, I'm sure I'll find some fun uses.

Greg Giddens, Reviews Editor

I had pretty high expectations for the PS4, but I wasn't prepared for how stunning the next generation of games were going to look. Killzone: Shadow Fall's vast, beautiful city vistas; Deep Down's incredible lighting; Quantic Dream’s photorealistic old man demo – they all blew me away.

But what took the biscuit for me was seeing a live demo of Watch_Dogs. The living, breathing city and the power you have over it left me amazed. It was spectacular to see both fancy new visuals and new ways of playing. It’s going to be a wonderful launch title.

My only issue now, though, is the long wait until the holiday season. Current generation games are probably going to struggle to impress me – I might just take to watching that Killzone demonstration on loop.

Asher Asghar, Staff Writer

The PS4 will deliver a new benchmark for gaming. After seeing this week’s presentation, I’m convinced of that. I’d rather have seen the console’s inner-workings than its final look any day, and for me, the event, specifically Destiny and PS4 streaming on Vita, was very reassuring. Sony has learned its lessons, and is leading the charge for the next generation.

If I have any criticism of the PlayStation Meeting itself, it’s that I’d hoped to see a little more of the Vita. But, alas, this was a show all about Sony’s next generation console, and I already can’t wait for E3 later in the year.

Ben Potter, Staff Writer

Well, that was something, huh? Besides being spot on with my Gaikai predictions – I’m twirling my mustachio as I type – there was one feature in particular that I, even in my infinite wisdom, couldn’t have foreseen. The ability to relinquish control of your game to a spectating friend was, for me, one of the most exciting features that the PS4 will offer. Yes, the console is powerful, the games will be beautiful and innovative, and there’ll be stellar exclusives – but streaming and social integration is the direction that the industry is heading, and as long as Sony lives up to these promises, they’ll certainly have a leg up over their competition.

I've overheard a lot of people that were disappointed with the conference; people complaining that there weren't enough games or information. These people need to have a little patience. This was an announcement conference. For such an event we were treated to a surprising volume of information and reveals, and with a promised release window of this Christmas, you'll have information coming out of your ears by the time that E3 rolls around.

Robert Ramsey, Staff Writer

I’ll start by saying I think Sony did a great job. Maybe the press conference dragged on a bit now and then, but they’ve set themselves up perfectly for E3. For me, being able to stream games to other users and share videos was probably the most exciting reveal – the potential here is huge, especially since the PS4 looks to be an astounding piece of hardware. Nothing showed off the sheer technical grunt better than Killzone: Shadow Fall – I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited for a shooter.

Given the nature of the PS4’s architecture, it’s clear that Sony’s moving in the right direction, and that’s really the most important thing we can take from the event. Recent times have been rough on the brand, but the manufacturer’s shown that it’s still confident, full of ideas, and willing to improve. Bring on E3 – I hope Kaz Hirai makes an appearance this time.

Simon Waldron, Staff Writer

My biggest concern about used games may not have been answered until after the press conference, but I still came away from the presentation delighted with the hardware. The processing power is impressive and should give developers a lot more freedom after the notoriously taxing PS3. The idea of being able to Remote Play games on your Vita is beyond cool, and I really hope that it’s something that is fully developed.

Unfortunately, I found the software a bit disappointing. We weren’t shown much other than a couple of ho-hum titles and footage of games that we already knew about. I know that Sony wants to save some content for E3, but it would have been nice to end the conference with a bang. The same is true of the price point; I understand that it’s a strategic decision to keep that under wraps, but the Internet is already awash with rumours of an exotic cost.

With the spectacle over, I’m still left with plenty of questions. But I’m eager to learn the answers, and I think that’s good enough for the time being.

Did the PS4’s reveal live up to your expectations? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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User Comments (15)

Ginkgo

#1

Ginkgo said:

For me yes. I had two real criteria.

First the hardware specs had to be on a par with high end PCs to reduce the current gap and they were. I was especially pleased with the 8GB memory, as I believed that the rumored 4GB would come back to haunt them in future years.

Second, I wanted to see what they would do with Gaikai and streaming. The sharing (and pass to a friend) features are fantastic as well as the control on any device (including Apple and Android). I still have a concern that reality won't quite live up it to the idea. Time will tell. Obvious ideas are instant upload to YouTube. and remote media streaming (videos, TV, music etc) to any device.

I am still interested to see the new user interface (huge need of an overhaul) and I hope that it has way more features to customise and personalise.

BornOfEvil

#2

BornOfEvil said:

Sony did a fantastic presentation. They went into detail about all the PS4 has to/will offer. I'm extremely excited about being able to drop in on a friend and help him and vice versa.

Sony seems to have learned thier lesson with the PS3, and are now actively redeeming themselves with the PS4

Gemuarto

#3

Gemuarto said:

PS4 looks to me like perfect game machine =). And Killzone 4 looks like really amazing Star Wars game =). I am impressed =).

Brotagonist

#4

Brotagonist said:

Overall I thought the presentation was a bit disappointing, Square Enix's part in particular, but that was probably my fault with my gigantic expectations. I'm excited for the PS4 though, and inFamous Second Son made my week!

SuperKMxAdmin

#5

SuperKMx said:

I will buy a PS4 on launch day, and I'm definitely in for Driveclub and Killzone. However, I don't think Sony should be getting credit for fixing the "problems" from the PS3, because those problems should not have existed in the first place. Creating a patching engine where people sometimes have to download entire 900mb texture sets in order to replace a single 20kb graphic was rank idiocy on Sony's part. Especially when the network that supplies those files is so tragically slow. And it isn't like they're new to software development - they could have seen that coming.

As I say, I want a PS4, but for my money, the presentation was poor. Too much talk about things that gamers - the people who will buy it on day one no matter what - don't really care about, and not enough about the things that they do care about. "You can share videos of your games!" shouldn't take 15 minutes to say, unless you're padding the time.

And that Media Molecule demo just made me angry. The whole "look at how we're making this band play with Move" thing was a ludicrous waste of time. If it ends up in a game, it'll either be so complicated that people can't use it, or it simply won't do what the demo suggested it will and be so limited that people WON'T use it.

Don't even get me started on the controller and PS Eye 4. The controller isn't the right shape for Move-style games. The lightbar can be obscured if you turn too far. There's no reason for a touchpad, other than as a gimmick. It has matt and gloss parts which just don't gel properly. It looks ugly. They've left the triggers so that your hands will slip off the back of the pad as they do with the DS3. I could go on.

As a gamer, I'll be there on day one with my preorder in hand. But I don't think Sony have put themselves in the untouchable position that they were hoping for. E3 is going to be interesting this year, that's for sure!

antdickensAdmin

#6

antdickens said:

@KenB I kind of agree with what your saying, there were problems with the PS3, but hindsight makes them look simple... remember the PS2 didn't have anything like this. I think it's a really good sign that they are publicly addressing the issues, not a lot of companies would do that. Shifting to x86 is probably really good for developers and should mean cheaper consoles, good for the consumer.

Have to agree with the Media Molecule demo though, I have no idea what that was all about...

doublejj

#7

doublejj said:

My expectations were met I pretty much called the event and I knew it was going to go down the way it did cause with e3 coming up sony didn't want to show all their card in one hand they played it close to the chest and real smart and I do not feel bad that they did not show a finished product cause after all it was a sony meeting to show the future not a full blown presentation on a mass stage.

belmont

#8

belmont said:

What disappointed me was Square. With the potential to reveal FF15 or a FF7 remake or something like FF13-4 they trolled us by announcing the announcement of a game. And they would have sold the console to me and to many others. FF is still a popular game series.

As far as the PS4 reveal is concerned I really didn't get all this social this and social that stuff. Seem useless to me. Also Remote Play and PS1,2 emulation was unclear. We sort of knew that it would not happen but I also wanted PS3 BC.

They admitted their mistake with the PS3 architecture but consoles always had different architecture from PCs. I don't know if a PC tower made console is good thing (I never played games on PCs). The previous scheme worked for many years anyway. Somehow now the developers thought the opposite after so many years of experience?

Anyway the critical point is games anyway. I don't play FPS or GTA style games so there was not really much for me in the reveal of PS4 but after seeing the developers working on the console I am sure that adventure and rpg games will come.

get2sammybAdmin

#9

get2sammyb said:

@KenB I don't think the patching system quite operates like that across the board on PS3 at all. Some of the launch titles — Everybody's Golf, for example — were poorly designed in that the patches had to operate in the way you're describing. Also, there are games like Burnout Paradise and Mortal Kombat which integrate DLC into the patch so everyone playing online can "see" it, even if they haven't "bought" it. I'm not sure how these games work on Xbox. The vast majority of games rarely have patches above 100MB — it's just the whole process that's frustrating, I agree.

I don't know, maybe Sony doesn't deserve credit for outwardly fixing issues that shouldn't exist, but as someone who spends hundreds of hours a week with a PlayStation platform, I don't think it's necessarily wrong to be excited about the improvements.

Totaly agree with your points on the controller, though. It looks a bit messy (though the triggers curve up now, so I don't think your fingers are going to be sliding off as easily as the DualShock 3.)

Valky

#10

Valky said:

I voted this conference 9 out of 10.

For me it delivered everything right, all my expectations fulfilled, new games (90% of which are must have for a reasonable day1 buy), new specs (the memory above the rest, no more tech restrainings).
New sexy looking controller (i dunno why but i love it, i love this new style, I always found the ps3 controller rather disappointing, basically a port of the ps2 controller, which was a port of the psx one), and basically a glimpse on the future I was hoping for (Gaikai, Social aspects, a more useful meaning of "gaming with friends", more love for VITA ideally becoming what the WiiU pad already is and even more).
Honestly I don't know what could have gone wrong.

Hell, if only VITA could have had such a great conference back then..

I really don't give a damn it the whole internet is disappointed for the lack of retrocomp., it's the same old story every time, what about just stop blaming and go get a PS3 for your nostalgic needs, for once!
There are plenty of great games that justify it, for sure don't expect that ALL of them will be available on the Gaikai service (the PSN surely doesn't have all the PS2 and PS1 era).
You can pretty much expect the Sony internal game franchise, but what about 3rd parties? It's up to them to accept or not the Gaikai solution, meaning they could even disappear or go with a different competitor.
I wouldn't bet on them if you ask me.

With that said, I hope for new juicy reveals at E3 and then consider myself an early adopter (hopefully with an affordable price that doesn't kill early adopters).

Sanquine

#11

Sanquine said:

My exepactions where not so huge. Maybe because i am a really sony fanboy ( I buy every system on launch). The reason is that sony has proven since ps1 that they serve the hardcore gamer! Even games like killzone 3 who enabled move where pretty hardcore with move:D

stealth

#12

stealth said:

I was not impressed at all. The games were so generic, and so plain and so boring

Squiggle55

#13

Squiggle55 said:

I also still cannot think of a good reason to have a touchpad on the dual shock. I can think of practical uses for a touchpad on a screen like the Vita or an Ipad or the Wii U controller, but I can't for the life of me think of any good gameplay reasons to have a touchpad on a normal controller. I really can't think of anything.

NathanUC

#14

NathanUC said:

The conference wasn't what I was expecting really, but the PS4 really met my expectations. I was expecting something short and sweet with a few video montages and a couple announcements, not a 2 hour long break down lol. It was a nice surprise if I hadn't just got Metal Gear Rising.

I was really hoping for a Gran Turismo 6 announcement and (it's a long shot) Demon's Souls 2, but the games announced were interesting. Killzone is easily going to blow my expectations out of the water, inFAMOUS can go either way (I was hoping for more Cole). The MM game.. I had no idea what was happening and played with my Metal Gear Rising lamp instead. DriveClub, not GT, but looks interesting. The most impressive features for me were the share features. Being able to watch my friends play games live is an awesome idea.

The ONLY aspect I was disappointed about was the Final Fantasy presentation... showed a video I already saw and simply said "Yes, we are making a Final Fantasy". A name or screenshot would have been nice...

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