Talking Point: Does It Really Matter That Sony Didn't Reveal the PS4's Hardware This Week?
Posted by Sammy Barker
It’s been dubbed the ‘invisible’ console. Technology enthusiasts expecting an Apple-esque presentation during Sony’s widely publicised PlayStation Meeting left this week’s event disappointed when the PlayStation 4 – the actual console, to be precise – failed to materialise, and demonstrated their frustration in a slew of damning articles after the fact. But does it really matter that the platform holder showed nothing of its next generation system’s chassis?
Let’s be frank: a box is a box. It’s arguably the most periphery component of the console experience; a plastic-coated piece of circuitry that occasionally grunts and groans as its inner-mechanics pull data off discs and write code to a hard-drive. But it’s also the focal point of a system’s marketing; it’s the tangible shell that represents the experiences under the hood. Short of a few high-resolution shots of the controller, the platform holder failed to provide any images that truly encapsulate its latest product. The logo is nice, but it doesn’t exactly tell you much about the machine.
However, we think critics approached this week’s PlayStation Meeting with the wrong expectations. This wasn't a comprehensive unveiling of a product that’s weeks away from hitting the market, but more of an introduction. It outlined the philosophy behind the system, showcased its social connectivity functions, and demonstrated some of the software we can expect to play when the console eventually arrives in around nine months. There’s still plenty of time – and events – to come between now and 'Holiday 2013', and thus there’s ample opportunity for more announcements.
And let’s not overlook the fact that, even without a box to hang its hat on, Sony still furnished us with more information about the machine than we ever anticipated. The manufacturer provided us with a comprehensive breakdown of the system’s specifications mere moments after the press conference’s conclusion, while regaling us with its entire long-term strategy for Gaikai and the cloud.
But it seems that wasn’t enough. Pressed by journalists after the press conference on Wednesday night, Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida explained that “we have to keep something new for later [...] otherwise you’d get bored”. And it’s true. The company just about managed to reveal enough this week to sell the experience, without dampening the hype for events still to come. We understand the disappointment – we really do. But let’s not forget that the PS4 is still almost a year away.
What did you make of Sony's decision to not uncover the PS4's hardware during its big coming out party this week? Let us know in the comments section and poll below.
Do you think Sony should have revealed the PS4's chassis this week? (37 votes)
Yes, of course
I'm not really bothered, but it would have been nice
No, this week was all about the specs and the games
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