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Playstation 2013 Event Afterthoughts

ps4logoIf you missed it somehow, Sony revealed their new console deemed the Playstation 4.  With its announcement I figured I’d give some afterthoughts on how it played out and what it means for other companies.

The Presentation
I assumed all we would get is Sony claiming the PS4 was coming, flash a video reel of game names, then say good night with a Holiday 2013 caption. Thank goodness I was wrong. Instead we were greeted by some of gaming’s biggest heads discussing their visions, we got some live gameplay of a few games, some general specs, and a look into an amazing new network.

The high note from what I seen was the new social and networking features. Using the share button feature, players can upload segments of their gameplay on the fly and continue playing. That’s really what got me, recording and uploading is done in the background while you still game on. Then the ability to have friends watch you play online from any device, or watch others. Also, developers will be able to add in features like having friends who are watching to be able to then assist you on the fly. It just gets me excited because this is the networking Sony has been missing.

ps4controller

Dual Shock 4

This same technology is also being used to allow remote play of PS4 games on the Vita handheld. Now, some have claimed that this will be playable anywhere. I didn’t see that announced, but in home remote play is a shoe in (if they pull it off). Now from another wireless network away from the PS4, I’m not sure. I just assumed it was similar to the Wii U. Which is still great, but again I’ll believe it when I hold it in my hands.

The specs so far look promising. While the Cell processor from PS3 had some amazing potential, it hurt itself for cross-platform gaming. They aimed to change that with a powerful 8-core AMD Jaguar, a custom AMD Radeon GPU, and 8GB of GDDR5 shared RAM. A platform that developers will be more comfortable with, and more importantly, cross-platform titles will have no difficulties running on it.

Then things rev up with games! We got to see the new Killzone subtitled Shadow Fall which was a live demo. Noticeably beautiful, chaotic, and featured some interesting climbing mechanics similar to Mirror’s Edge. After the demo, they used the PS4’s video capture capability to upload the footage to Facebook, which was great.

The other gameplay footage we seen was a new IP called Knack, which was also remotely streamed and played via a Vita. Little too cartoonish for my taste, but reminded me of a Jak and Daxter style game.

watchdogs

Watch_Dogs YouTube Screen Capture

The last game live demoed was one that had me overjoyed. Watch Dogs. This game looks amazing ever since I seen it at last year’s E3. Open world with hacker elements. I was dreading having to buy a new Gaming PC as I knew the PS3 wouldn’t handle it in its beauty. PS4 will be housing it, which has me over joyed.  Great visuals, some interesting unique hacking mechanics, and some insight into it’s possible networking capabilities.

Other games announced but not demoed were Diablo 3, Sucker Punch’s InFamous: Second Son, Bungie’s Destiny, DriveClub, The Witness, and Capcom’s Deep Down. Square Enix is also developing a title, but only trolled by giving no information but that it’s a Final Fantasy title.

The only flop I seen in the presentation was a bit too much talking and not enough gaming. While I appreciated seeing the top heads discussing their vision, it dragged on too much. In a presentation for a game console, we should be seeing games, not light bulbs flying in the air. Also, I was utterly confused by Media Molecule‘s presentation. Unsure if it was PS3 related, PS4 related.. if it was a game at all.

kz4

Killzone: Shadow Fall

What This Means For Vita
Sadly, I didn’t get what I had hoped for when it comes to the Vita. I figured the reason why Vita’s current forecast seemed dry was because they couldn’t announce some titles that had tie-ins with the PS4. Cross-buy titles and such. However this wasn’t the case. Instead, we are left to wonder where Sony plans on going with Vita’s software line-up in 2013. Hopefully we’ll get a Vita Dream event to clear things up.

For now, the PS4 holds an interesting key for the Vita’s success. Depending on exactly how extensive the remote play feature is from Gaikai technologies. Will it mean just being able to remotely play PS4 games while on the same network as your PS4, or will it be taken further than that. Again, people have speculated being able to take the games ‘on the go’ which makes little sense unless it’s cloud based through other WiFi networks.

What This Means For Xbox
The ball is in Microsoft’s court at this point. I’ll be eagerly awaiting what their response will be. What technology Microsoft has that will say “We can do one better.” What experience they can provide that is unique to them. I have to say, Sony’s new networking capabilities seem hard to beat. For me personally, I havn’t touched my Xbox360 much lately. Sadly, it’s subscription model is a big part of that. Hopefully we can see a shedding of it.

What This Means For Wii U
It’s hard to peg Nintendo into a corner. It’s first party titles seem to always drag it out of the mud in many cases. However after the PS4 announcement, I can’t help but feel as if the Wii U lost its flare really quickly. PS4’s power, networking, and remote play makes one wonder what they are getting into with the Wii U. Of course, remote play is extremely expensive even with a low price tag on the PS4. But who would buy a Vita only for that? Even with the similarity of Vita/PS4 to the Gamepad/WiiU, the gamepad is still a unique experience for the Wii U. They need to continue to create unique experiences with that. As well as provide the First Party experiences only obtainable for Wii U. As well as those amazing family experiences only Nintendo can produce. At any rate, I hope Nintendo can push through this. I don’t want my Wii U to turn into a dust bug like my Wii did.

Conclusion
I guess the obvious question at this point is, “Are you sold?” Of course we need more to go on. At this point, I’d say that if Watch Dogs was day one release and and the price tag was $400; I’m sold. Unfortunately even though the networking and hardware is amazing, the only title that has me gripped at the moment is Watch Dogs. I’m sure E3 will hold price and more titles, so we’ll have to wait and see.

Images Source: Playstation Blog

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