It’s always a pleasure to hear from system architect Mark Cerny, but yesterday’s PlayStation 5 deep dive was a mistake. I’ve already illustrated why it was misjudged in my reaction piece, but effectively I felt like Sony had the eyes and attention of its most rabid fanbase, and then proceeded to bore them all to tears. That’s not to say that technical information is dull, but it isn’t what the majority of console owners care about.
There’s no question that the PS5 is an insanely capable machine, and as Cerny’s presentation continues to be dissected, the advantages it’ll bring are becoming increasingly obvious. Many professionals within the industry are singing the SSD’s praises, suggesting that this is about more than mere loading times – it will fundamentally change game design. I think the bet on 3D audio is also bold – sound is such an immersive element, but it often gets overlooked.
I’m just disappointed with the way Sony decided to present this information for the first time. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the manufacturer uploading a GDC speech, but it shouldn’t have been fans’ first impression. I think a shorter, simpler presentation with Cerny’s core design tenets and real-world examples would have been much more powerful than the 52-minute lecture we ended up with. And it would have been relatively easy to produce.
For example, the Japanese giant’s already shown in secret how the SSD can improve load times and the speed of traversal in Marvel’s Spider-Man – repurposing a demonstration like this would have much better communicated how the PS5 will improve next-gen game design. It could have also demonstrated the advantages of 3D audio with a side-by-side comparison of some sound effects for people to listen to.
All of this could have been packaged up as part of a short trailer. I understand the organisation isn’t ready to announce any next-gen games yet, but a short snippet of something in the works would have maintained fans’ interest until it’s ready to reveal more. It then could have followed this initial unveiling with Cerny’s deep dive, enabling those gagging for more information to digest it if they wanted to.
Sony may have been clear about what yesterday’s presentation was going to be, but it’s clear that its audience of 600k came away confused. It’s simply got to do a better job of communicating with its audience than it currently is; this was a dismal debut for the PS5, and it could have so easily been better than what we got. I’m happy with the hardware and what it’s going to bring, but I shouldn’t have had to spend the entirety of my evening trying to digest what Cerny said.
Do you agree that PS5's deep dive could have been handled in a more accessible manner? What are your thoughts on the console now that the dust has settled down? Come up with a better strategy in the comments section below.