The most honest way that I can discuss this upcoming generation of consoles is to say that I’ve been seriously considering putting together a moderate PC for next to my television and to utilize Steam’s Big Picture Mode in lieu of dropping a bunch of money on different consoles and expensive games. One of the big deterrents is the lack of backwards compatibility, something that you rarely see on a PC and can usually be remedied by software or game patches. That changed for me when Sony went ahead and unveiled the PlayStation 4 on February 20th in New York City and the idea of the next generation of consoles being a let down started to feel like less of a reality, at least when it came to Sony.
There really hadn’t been a lot of specs leaked out for the PlayStation 4, but the Xbox 720 has had some of the specs leak out and while they are definitely more advanced than anything already on the market, they weren’t really that jaw-dropping. The specs that came out for the PlayStation 4 were actually kind of surprising, as Sony has a tendency to want to walk to the beat of their own drummer and make their systems notoriously difficult to develop for. This system will be a lot more like a PC, thus it won’t be as complicated to program for like previous systems were and should open the door for more developers doing bigger and better things. Stuff like the RAM that they included as well as the processor are actually quite forward thinking and stuff that modern PCs are even barely tapping into the potential of. I’m sure that Microsoft will rival that in some way, but Sony beat them to the punch in this case.
It doesn’t hurt that the talk about price points has been a lot lower than we saw at the launch of the last PlayStation console. It felt a bit odd not rushing out and buying one on launch day, but the inclusion of a Blu-Ray drive, the costs of hard drives and including the chip to play PlayStation 2 games just made it seem like an outrageous purchase for not really having any games at the time that were showstoppers. A lower price point and some really forward-thinking features on the PlayStation 4 are making the whole next generation a lot more palatable for a lot of people, not just myself, which can only help the industry right now.
Of course we’ve yet to really see a lot in the way of launch titles. Generally speaking, most consoles have a kind of weak launch line-up, but seeing as though it should be coming out this fall right around the time when everyone is releasing their big titles, most will probably get next-gen releases as well with some upgrades, which can only help the launch out. Seeing some of the games in actual action was also fantastic as sometimes it is hard to really visualize how much better games can look. The irony for me was that I waited until Assassin’s Creed came out to purchase a new console, opting for the Xbox 360 at the time and that to me was one of those “we can do this now” moments and for the PS4 that moment came with the trailer for Watch_Dogs.
We can do that now, isn’t it beautiful?