The PS4 Has Massive Momentum, But Faces Problems Of Its Own
Posted on Saturday, May 25 @ 11:54:47 PST by Jonathan_Leack
Following the announcement of the Xbox One the results have been clear: Many people aren’t happy about what Microsoft is doing with the Xbox brand. Reading comments and feedback online would lead you to believe that the Xbox One has no chance of competing next-gen. Meanwhile, gamers have been quick to wrap their arms around the yet-to-be-released or even seen PS4, which Sony touts as gamer-focused hardware. While there is good reason for these trends, this is only the beginning of a long feud and there are several challenges the PS4 faces that make it anything but the perfect machine you may be led to believe.
Your wallet won't like the PS4
There’s no getting around it: the PS4 is going to be expensive, and certainly the most expensive of the three next-gen consoles. Similar hardware from a PC costs upward of $600 in today’s market, and that’s not including a controller or an operating system. Everyone remembers the famous announcement of the PS3’s US$599 price tag, and the PS4 won't be much different with $499 being highly likely. Remember, this is a machine that is rumored as being 50% more powerful than the Xbox 720. You get what you pay for, but boy, are you going to pay dearly.
Gimmicks: a gift and a curse
The Kinect is by no means a revolutionary device for hardcore games, but at the very least it gives developers room to experiment. Similarly, the Wii U’s large touchpad is something that raises the creative ceiling. These might not often translate into better experiences for AAA games, but they do substantiate new hardware from that of the past. The PS4 is a straight-shooting gaming machine without the fluff. It will have to be marketed as a machine that makes up for the difference with power. As diminishing returns have a profound impact on how much that really means, Sony is going to have to put together some killer marketing campaigns to combat the more easily conveyable perks of competing hardware.
Sony is hiding a dark secret
Unsurprisingly, Microsoft has come under hostile fire for adopting an anti-used game policy for the Xbox One. Rumors of such policies spreading from software to hardware have been circulating for years now, and PC gamers have been experiencing its nuances first-hand. Although gamers have been vocal, it hasn’t been enough to deter the inevitable. But truthfully, it isn’t Microsoft that should be getting the flak; it’s the publishers. They’ve been paying close attention to piracy and lost revenue for the past two generations and are sick of it—they’re demanding a solution.
Microsoft has something in place to appease publishers, and I can’t imagine a scenario where Sony can get away with not doing the same.
Backward Compatibility is dead
Upset that you can’t play your Xbox 360 games on your Xbox One? Well, you can’t play PS3 games on your PS4, either. This is a direct result of hardware manufacturers trying to bring down the bottom line as far as possible. There’s no room for BC these days unless you’re Nintendo, it seems.
Sony isn’t the first-party juggernaut you remember
PlayStation has been known for carrying a long history of diverse exclusives, but that advantage has withered the past few years. Insomniac Games (Ratchet & Clank) is seeking the riches of multiplatform as are Konami’s Metal Gear and Square Enix’s Final Fantasy. Meanwhile, Zipper Interactive fell mightily after years of great SOCOM releases and Team Ico is struggling to get The Last Guardian on store shelves before it’s irrelevant. Today, Sony relies on an elite few to attract gamers, talented studios such as Naughty Dog, Media Molecule, and Guerilla Games. There’s still a great line-up, but it's nothing like the PS2 days.
The clash of the titan-ic sized hardware
The Xbox One’s aesthetics have received mixed reviews, but there’s one thing everyone can agree on: It’s massive—that’s what she said. We haven’t seen the PS4 yet, but chances are it’ll be just as hefty. PC gamers, including myself, have seen this coming for a few years now. Last generation, there were issues with hardware failure due to a lack of adequate cooling for long gaming sessions. Neither Sony nor Microsoft are making that mistake again. This time it’s going to be about massive boxes that are nothing more than PC cases turned horizontally.
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