Yesterday we were asked, as always during a product launch, to fall in love, but, like the social media page with the random picture of a cat or anime character for an avatar, we have no idea what it looks like. What we are left with is its personality, what is written on the screen, the best foot forward, all the hopes and dreams laid bare for all to see, accessible as it can be, an attempt at desirability with a hint of desperation.
After all, Sony is only human.
And some potential suitors cannot get past that.
Sony told us why, well, a few reasons why, there was no console on display. True, they need to have a few more things up their sleeves to reveal later on as the release gets closer, to keep everyone talking, controversy or no, but they stated clearly the main reason, Sony wants to be seen as the “Leading authority on Play.”
This is a console for developers by developers, what it will look like is only a distraction.
The PS4 is a shot across the bows of Nintendo and Microsoft. It is easy to forget this is also a declaration of war against the Fourth Faction, the PC club.
I had visions of the Xbox launch with subtle hints of Apple and Raptr while the PS4 presentation rolled and with good reason, someone at Sony has been listening, watching and taking notes.
What are the highlights that jumped out at me?
‘Episodic’, ‘free to play’, ‘self publishing’ (I wrote that down twice), cloud computing, fantastic highly detailed graphics of character, landscape and game play rendering,3D capabilities from companies like Media Molecule using the Move controller, Vita and the games that will be available at launch, both new, Destiny, Watch Dogs, Driveclub and Witness, and returning favorite franchises from big name companies, Killzone: Shadow Fall, Infamous: Second Son and the ‘as yet to be officially announced at E3, probably’ new Final Fantasy game from Square Enix.
Where is Sony going with all of this?
Like Apple wants to be everything to everyone, Sony has seen that particular the light as well.
The PlayStation Network will become a social site with features inspired FB and Raptr, a store reflecting iTunes and Google Play existing, at least in part, in the ‘Cloud’, and an integration of the Vita as a separate but integral part of the whole, a step towards a multi-device setup similar to the iPhone/Mac/iPad ecosytem.
True, this is speculation from the bread crumbs scattered at our feet, statements made with promises of follow-through and actual functionality.
The menus displayed for us looks a lot like the current version of the PS3 Store, which has not impressed me much, and cloud computing has real drawbacks, especially for those without dependable and consistent internet service which may limit the appeal and size of Sony’s customer base.
Despite those and other possible hash-marks floating over the ‘negative’ column, waiting to land once the consoles are in our hot little hands like a flock of birds devouring those crusts, it is hard not to get caught up in Sony’s enthusiasm.
It is difficult to fake the awe and devotion we saw on stage yesterday, especially over that many faces, and Sony already has taken the first tentative steps towards this larger, more fulfilling marriage with our gaming hearts by beginning to drop the price for the Vita.
How Sony prices this venture will largely determine its initial success. The main variable for the PS4 appears to be the size of the hard drive. It looks like there may be different levels as with the initial release of the PS3 or every version of the iPhone. Will the components be upgradable like a computer or will we be stuck with what we buy is another question yet to be answered.
The pieces and parts are what is really important, who really cares what it looks like, it will be a box.
Lasting relationships are built on trust and the interplay of those involved.
The courtship has only just begun between us and Sony. Will their vision of the World as PS4 be enough? We will have to wait and see as Sony continues to woo us over the coming months.
What were your impressions? Will you be buying the PS4 at launch or waiting for the price to cool down? Let us know below!