Back in November, I wrote about the first of the new generation consoles to come out, the Wii U. Now that the second of the big three new-gen consoles of the current decade has unveiled, I think it’s about time I talk about Sony.
Let me start by saying that I’ve always praised the Sony line of consoles. They always seem to get it right, from design, the controllers, the graphics, and right down to the game library in general. The original PlayStation was a timeless classic, with a controller design so easy to grasp, it continues to this very day. The game library was memorable, and it just about kicked the N64’s ass until it could only eat through a straw (depending on what kind of gamer you are).
The PlayStation 2 made the analog sticks from the original DualShock controller a default aspect of the controller’s design, which was important because now, virtually every game ever made from that point onward would use the 3D perspective. It also improved the graphics over the first one, was capable of limited online capability in some games, and I remember hearing that it could also play DVDs. With a massive game library, it’s also the longest-lasting PlayStation console, having been discontinued 7 weeks ago, after 13 years on the shelves.
The PlayStation 3 was the first in the series to utilize blu-ray discs. The games for that system were released on blu-ray discs, so the PS3 could also be used as a blu-ray player for those who can’t get an actual blu-ray player. With the PS3 came the PlayStation Network, which allows people to download classic titles or new games from their online store. It also allows you to watch movies on a games console, but I feel that the PS3 was trying extremely hard to be like the Xbox 360, or the Wii with the unnecessary PlayStation Move.
Moving on, the PlayStation 4, for all I know, will be released during the upcoming holiday season. It sounds crazy, but I’m just as uncertain about the PS4 as I was about the Wii U in November. Why?
When I go to make games, I only want to develop for Sony consoles, due to the fact that I can always rely on Sony to come out with consistent controller designs, and have top-notch graphics. So let’s move on to our first item of business: the PS4 controller.
I actually like the design of the PS4 controller. It mostly sticks to the traditional design from past systems, and Sony didn’t resort to unveiling another ungodly “Banana controller” prototype. The L2 and R2 buttons are going to have a “curved” design, which are reportedly supposed to allow for better control, which is good, because often I feel like my fingers are slipping off of the trigger buttons (probably in one of those panicky situations). When I saw this thing, I thought “where the hell are Start and Select?”, until I found out that the two buttons have been merged into a single “Options” button. There’s also a “Share” button on the side of the touch pad, which is reported to allow players to upload video of their gameplay experiences. But I do feel that those buttons should have been placed below the touch pad, and not next to them. Wait a minute, a touch pad? Maybe Sony is trying to capitalize on Nintendo’s Game Pad design. But honestly, the touch pad isn’t as bad as the Game Pad, because it’s smaller.
Now for the next issue, backward compatibility.
I was not amused when I learned that the PS4 would not be backward compatible with PS3 games. Really? The other consoles let you do it, so why not this one? But I eventually found out that Sony is planning to allow for backwards compatibility, but through Cloud streaming! What? The Cloud? I don’t want to utilize a megalomaniacal computer network that could destroy society just to do something that Sony could have just built in to the console. Besides, I still have a PS1, so I can just play that.
I can’t say anything about the game library, because there aren’t a lot of announcements as of yet, and there probably won’t be until E3 comes along in June.
I am actually rather excited by some of the other tentative prospects, like the “suspend mode”, which allows you to continue from where you left off simply by pressing the power button, the ability to play digital titles as they download, or the ability to update the console.
However, I am concerned that Sony still hasn’t revealed enough about the PS4, not enough to satisfy all of us at least. I’d like to know if the PS4 will even use physical discs.
Regardless, I am waiting for more news about the PS4, from now, up until its eventual release some time near Christmas, and I imagine that the next Xbox console will be announced soon, and it’ll probably be released the year after the PS4.