Sony kneecapping itself
OPINION – Well with the rumors starting to seem like facts, with an actual announcement supposed to be made around E3 by Sony themselves. It’s time to hit the good old cynicism button (As we Hungarians always do so in times of great crisis). Not because I want to bash Sony, hell at this point, why even bother bringing up the same half-witted points that many other gaming journalists sites have already made which are:
„They are screwing over the consumers aaa aah.”
„This move will fracture the market, and player base – Sony is kneecapping themselves!”.
With all the doom and gloom, and quite frankly astoundingly stupid questions from all over the world saying: Why would Sony do such a thing! Here’s why, and sit a little closer folks because this one is a doozy: „The PS4 and Xbox One (especially) are really fucking outdated!”. No matter how big of a fanboy you are either to Xbox or the PlayStation brand you have to admit the laughable technology within those boxes. Slam Ubisoft for their fake trailers all you want, when it came down to graphics, gameplay and creativity, in my opinion, most games failed (Unless we’re talking about indies, but even most of those are walking simulator).
Sure you’ll have an InFamous here or an Uncharted here, but for the most part, in my opinion, this generation has been a shit show beyond belief. Barely any new IPs, and with most sequels underperforming regarding actual gaming experiences I was ready to call it quits. Luckily the 2016 game line up for the PS4 looks like will have things to care about.
God Almighty when this news hit, I was not pissed off about how expensive this new thing, nor how it will fracture the market, and potential might lead to an Iphone esque industry with a new console release every two years.
No my issue with the whole thing is that even with the launch of both next generation consoles I yelled: „You are finally making games, and do this!”. The entire industry felt like it was in hibernation, and was suddenly shocked to learn they had to make new games for new consoles. It is 2016 and finally this year felt like it was going to be it. Quantum Break, Gears 4, Dark Souls 3, The Division, Ratchet and Clank, Nier 2, Horizon Zero Dawn, Persona 5, Uncharted 4 – all of these games made me hyped and had me recommending people to get the PlayStation 4 (Or even the Xbox One since Phil Spencer is now throwing it out like free candy) because now it was the time (not to mention price)… until the news dropped of a PS4.5 being made.
Now start chanting like a zombie: 4K … 4K …. 4K
Now to be fair we do not know the specifications of this new device, but the leaks apparently confirm that it wants to do 4K in everything! Which is great, but the problem is that currently not even a high-end PC can do 4K gaming, and every media outlet has repeated this for the past few days. Unless AMD has cracked the code on how to provide 4K gaming (the 4K movie watching is the easy part – we all know that is coming) – we probably will only get an upscale on 4K gaming.
On the other hand and just thinking about laughing at this train of thought. We’re talking about 4K gaming in some situations, all the while both the PS4 and Xbox One fail to maintain a proper 1080P resolution with 60FPS. I would be happy if we would stop getting buggy games, that stutter at 1080P because there are more than ten enemies on the screen, and now we’re suddenly talking 4K? We’re going to have this dream of:” Oh finally 4K is here in gaming”. Great have at it, just remember how this generation is barely able to keep 1080P without shitting its pants together.
That is the mantra now, and the new gimmick which will be forced down upon us through the marketing machine if this happens: 4K.
Still my problem with this, and fear is that we might get another slow year or two. The publishers and developers will not want to alienate their fanbases, so they’ll make games for both versions. The question remains how limited the games will be regarding gameplay, graphics, etc. if there are two console versions. Sure you can have all the horsepower under your fancy new console if half the market is cowering behind the idea of anything better regarding gameplay / AI for a new video game. I mean hey this is what happened the last time, with publisher kicking and screaming to release next gen only games. It is one thing to say that the games will look better, but what will happen with core gameplay elements, such as AI, enemy numbers, and length of the product. The game can look nice, but if it still has all the same subpar elements of this generation I do not see the benefit of this.
Oh and by the way, the problem 4K television is that the input lag is horrendous, so even if Sony can craft some technology, you still have to account for the TV issue. Which is that at this point, you bought a new PS4.5 (around 400 dollars), a PSVR (if you want it), and a 4K TV (since everybody is jumping on the bandwagon) – and Jesus H Christ those things cost a lot of dollars. Hell at this point you’re better off just getting a new PC with a high-end monitor. Look I’m not saying 4K gaming would not be a bad thing especially for a 400 dollar console, but all the ancillary costs would end up bankrupting your account.
The iPhone analogy
Many columnists have been referring to this situation as Sony testing the waters to condition gamers to buy a new item every two or three years. While this sounds like a reasonable assumption from Sony, iPhones, and other such devices while not cheap are not only for gaming. There’s also the universal problem of games being developed for a rather long time. So by the time the PS5 would come out in 2019 most games would need to be optimized for a new console again (for a game that starts development in 2016 for example on the PS4.5). It sounds weird having to „Upgrade” our consoles just to experience the newest games, but I wonder what games will those be in the end.
The big question is though for me is what happens to all the games that I currently own on the PlayStation 4? Will I just get a new patch that downloads automatically when I install a game or put on the disc? Or will I have to rebuy my games for the newest console just to get that graphical upgrade? Nothing is set in stone, and that is why I must say, if you thought about buying a PlayStation 4, wait and spare some money until E3 for the inevitable announcement of a better PS4.