Here we go again.

I took Japanese for 4 long semesters in college.  It sucked.

In honor of our Japanese Overlords.

So the big “news” this week was that Sony held a press conference where they showed off the new, fancy version of their trademark DualShock console controller, trotted out a few flashy game demos and movies, and dug up the least socially awkward game developers they could find in order to announce that the PlayStation 4 would be coming by the end of this year.

The question is, does anyone really give a shit at this point?

CONSOLE WAAAAAAAR

Prepare your anus.

I really can’t seem to get myself very excited over the prospect of another new generation of console wars. Let’s be honest – you know they’re coming.  Nintendo’s Wii-U is already out, the PS4 should be here by the end of the year, and I’m sure Microsoft will trot out some info about the next-gen Xbox console by E3 in June, so we’re going to be stuck in the middle of the least enjoyable three-way ever. Again.

Meanwhile, the actual technical innovation being pushed forward seems to be grinding to a halt. Remember the massive jump from the 8-bit era to the 16-bit one?  The first time you saw full-motion video?  Your first 3D-rendered game?  Of course you do; it’s seared into your brain with a branding iron.  The graphical difference between the PS3 and the PS4, judging from what was shown at that news conference, is much narrower than the gap between the PS2 and the PS3 – and the massive jump between the PS1 and the PS2 puts them all to shame.

The DualShock 4. Now with outdated techology!

Wat.

What’s the biggest claim to fame for the PS4 so far? There’s a light bar built into the controller to integrate with the whole PlayStation Move thing.  On top of that, there’s a touchpad – like the kind you’d find on a laptop – and a “Share” button, so you can post video snippets to Facebook or whatever.  Big goddamn deal.  Hell, they didn’t even announce a price point for the new console – and there wasn’t even a blurry, low-resolution picture of the console itself.  I call bullshit.

On top of that, if you’ve got an extensive library of older PlayStation games – since the current-gen and older Sony consoles have all had backwards compatibility – you’re going to be out of luck, as the PS4 won’t have the ability to play older-gen titles right out of the box.  It’s something that might be integrated down the line.  Whatever that means.  Though I’m sure Sony will be more than happy to take your money so you can download a brand-new copy of your old PS3 games from the PlayStation Network.

The only bright spot is that Sony says they won’t go the rumored route of Microsoft by locking you out of playing used games.  That’s about the only good thing that I can see from this mess.

Oh yeah, and Diablo 3 will be coming to PS4.  Which is great if you don’t have a toaster that can run the PC version.

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4 thoughts on “Here we go again.

  1. I was literally talking about this the other day with a friend of mine, and said the exact same thing about the difference between console generations. It used to be about huge leaps in graphics, then about moderate graphic leaps and moderate gameplay leaps. Now it’s more about features, like voice activated this, touchscreen that, facebook this, gimmick that. This is the FIRST time I haven’t been excited about a sony gaming console release.

    Oh, and BTW, Only the first few models of PS3 had backward compatibility. The majority of them don’t have it. My first PS3 had it, but my newer slim one doesn’t. Xbox only had it for “select” games. When I think about it, I don’t really mind not having backwards compatibility, since the older gens didn’t have it either. That was a new thing when the PS2 was released. Cool feature, but not core. The only systems to have full backward compatibility were PS2, wii, wii-u, and some gameboy/ds models. Not a long list, all things being considered.

    • I knew the 360 didn’t support every older generation game out there, but I didn’t know that about the new iterations of the PS3. It’s a shame, there’s so many excellent older-gen games out there that now you have to re-purchase on an online marketplace instead of just using your original copy.

      Score one for emulation in that case!

      • Actually, if memory serves, only the 60gb model initially had the backwards compat feature. Only the 20/60/80GB models of the fat ps3 are backwards compatible. The slims are not, and the 40gb fat ones are not. The 80GB fat one has select backwards compatibility, since it used software emulation to play older games, so not all games work. The 20/60GB models had the actual PS2 hardware integrated, so it worked much better.

  2. Dude, considering the specs of the PS4 I think your being a little hard on it.

    8GB of DDR5 and a GPU alone capable of 2 terraflops (no idea what the CPU can do) is not a small jump compared to last gen or even current top of the line computers.

    The best a top of the line consumer PC can do is around 700 Gigaflops to say nothing of the ram.

    The only thing holding people back from the WOW factor I think is that we are all so jaded, and the fact that there isn’t any more major quantum leaps in the near future for graphics.

    Remember we went from 2d pixels, to 2d sprites, to 2d sprites in 3d to 3d with little or no textures to 3d with full textures and now 3d with complex textures, shaders and lighting as well as special graphic effects like moving grass and realistic clouds as after effects.

    Whats left? Short of creating some kind of VR helmet or something that gives full true 3d at high res, all that’s left is making the current stuff more powerful so it can simulate more realistic resolutions and after effects.

    When we went from the SNES/Genesis to Playstation or N64 we we really making the biggest jump from 2d to 3d. That’s why that was IMHO the reason the Playstation took off, Nintendo didn’t seem to understand how to make good looking graphics anymore or a comfortable controller (Sorry N64 sucked). Sega’s system was ass… and playstation was all that a titty mag and two bags of chips.

    From what I have seen of the new Engine from unreal (I think it was unreal) for the next gen games it looks like Crysis 3 on crack. So I fully expect the NORM for the release games of the next generation gaming systems to be at least as complex and impressive as Crysis 3.

    I imagine Crysis 4 will make your face melt.

    The way I see it, there is a LOT of awesome cool shit coming in the next generation…

    But what I want to see most of all, is for the consoles to try to appeal more to the PC crowd. I want my console to be something that I can point to and say – Yep – I can play Guildwars on that.

    Or Yup, I have that Special Mod installed for Skyrim…

    Right now PC’s have that market 100$ locked down. If consoles could open up and make their consoles more appealing to PC gamers without alienating console gamers with forced complexity it would be the end for high end gaming PC’s for me. and a lot more money in the bank.

    Imagine how much more money blizzard would be raking in if the consoles supported WOW? all that really stands in the way is lack of a keyboard, and the issues caused by the consoles being unable or unwilling and the MMO makers being unable or unwilling to open their servers up to one another.

    The First Console that really does this will win the console wars once and for all… and no FF online doesn’t count… I’m talking a game like Guildwars or Elder Scrolls or Wow. Something HUGE and actually good (OK that means no wow then but yeah.).

    In the mean time any game devs reading this, if you want to hire me to design the CONSOLE MMO of the future, just send me a PM 🙂

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