Sony’s PS4 presentation leaves gamers with questions, few answers

Feb. 22, 2013 | 3:40 p.m.


On Wednesday evening in New York, Sony threw one of the biggest magic shows of the year.

“PlayStation wants to win the war against reality,” the company declared at the start of two-hour press conference to introduce its new video-game console, the PlayStation 4. Moments later, Andrew House, president and group chief executive of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc., declared that the machine “represents a significant shift from thinking of PlayStation as merely a box or console to thinking of PlayStation as a leading authority on play.”

That may very well prove to be the case when the PS4 is released this holiday season. For now, however, it remains an illusion.

The period between the announcement of a new system and its launch is one that typically provides more questions than answers. As it was with Nintendo’s Wii U, the answers likely won’t come until the system is out and in the hands of players. Nintendo waited until September to unveil pricing for its November console, and Sony similarly withheld any pricing info from the budget-conscious on Wednesday.

Sony didn’t bother to show gamers what the system looked like, instead focusing on too-brief-to-analyze clips of upcoming games — games that largely looked an awful lot like current console games. Sony deserves every benefit of the doubt, as speculation over how the system looks, works and plays is just that. For instance, it wasn’t until I had the Wii U and its GamePad in my apartment for a good two weeks that I was fully convinced the system and its new multi-screen control schemes were truly an appealingly different way to play.

So I watched on Wednesday not to pass judgement on Sony’s new system, or to see where it stands on the spectrum between hard-core gamers and casual gamers. The PS4 will in fact be impressive. Its design specifications, described Wednesday as a “supercharged PC,” nearly guarantee it. So instead, I tuned in simply to see if Sony’s new console could excite by teasing new game experiences and fresh, unusual development opportunities.

This is where Sony’s extravagant press conference disappointed.

One by one, the company withheld details on new features and instead highlighted the ever vague — and increasingly dull — social-networking additions. Who knows? I may come to love the fact that the PS4 controller comes with a “share” button, allowing me to instantly record and post snippets of my game online, but chances are I will despise and de-friend anyone on Facebook who considers it worth my time to watch clips of their game playing.

Likewise, the ability to tune in and watch my pals play games, even if I don’t own the games, seems right now like a complete misjudgment of how much time gamers have. Gaming, after all,  is not a spectator sport, but Sony detailed in its press release the appeal of live gaming broadcasts.

As an example, the system will make it a snap for gamers to toss what they’re playing up in real time on a streaming site such as Ustream, and friends watching can then offer “health potions or special weapons when a player needs them most during actual gameplay.” Forget co-op play, maybe the future of gaming is co-op watching. These — as well as the ability for those who own Sony’s $250 handheld machine, the Vita, to play PS4 games divorced from the TV — are nice perks, but not changing the way I experience a game.

Yet there were times Sony hit on something I was genuinely curious to learn more about. For one, the company has revamped its controller. This isn’t a complete re-imagining, a la Nintendo’s tablet-inspired GamePad, but Sony has instead re-made its Dualshock so it has a small touchpad on the top of the controller. Again, Sony promises that this “offers gamers completely new ways to play and interact with games.”

A look at the new controller design for the PS4. (SCEA)

A look at the new controller design for the PS4. (SCEA)

If Sony knows what those ways are, it’s not telling. There was no game showcased Wednesday that made use of the controller’s new touchpad and no live demonstration of its abilities. It raises numerous questions, from the types of hand motions it recognizes to how it will integrate the abundance of buttons on the controller. But with no system on display, the one major design change from the PS3 to the PS4 was oddly downplayed.

The end result was a conference that not only raised questions about Sony’s PS4, but the future of console gaming in general. And they’re coming at the exact moment the PS3 has matured into a rather desirable little system. This year promises multiple reasons to be excited about the PS3, from the already released “Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch,” which is part animated film, part old-school RPG, to the upcoming thriller “The Last of Us,” which based on early play sessions emphasizes character interaction over killing.

With the PS3 exclusive, Ellen Page-starring “Beyond Two Souls” also due this year, I would even have recommended that this would be a fine time for those who waited to buy a PS3 to consider purchasing one. But less so after Wednesday’s conference. That’s because the PS4 does not “natively” support PS3 games. Essentially, PS3 discs won’t be playable on the PS4.

Sony is touting its use of Gaikai Inc’s cloud technology to eventually make all PS3 titles playable, via streaming and/or download, on the PS4. Yet there’s still no word on whether there will be a way for players to register what games they own — or their saved game data — to ensure they don’t have to re-purchase a PS3 game.

The streaming plan is ambitious and worth a closer, more extensive look in a separate piece. Sony promises that the technology will enable gamers to play a title as soon as they purchase it rather than have to wait to download it, and the ability to do so on the PS4 and the Vita would be versatility at its finest. But the gleam of the new bells and whistles will be tarnished slightly if there’s no option for backward compatibility.

Another concern: While the new controller “incorporates a new highly sensitive six-axis sensor” as well as a nifty new light bar that will communicate game data to players, Sony said nothing about whether current PS3 controllers will be recognizable by the PS4, but Polygon later reported that old Dualshock controllers won’t work on the new system. It’s an important point that should have been addressed. Nintendo’s Wii U uses a new control scheme, but old Wii peripherals all work with the system, making an upgrade a more budget-friendly decision.

Now let’s get to the games showcased. Games are always on their best behavior at a conference such as this, but a little more unpredictability rather than a lineup heavy on standard shooting and fantasy fare was in order. Also, some of the titles such as “Diablo III” and “Destiny” will be available for the PS3 and PS4, undercutting the mission of the whole night. I went in looking for glimpses of game experiences I couldn’t achieve on the current generation consoles, a message that’s diluted when two key titles will also work on the older system.

"Knack" is a PS4-exclusive game. (SCEA)

“Knack” is a PS4-exclusive game. (SCEA)

Better was Mark Cerny’s “Knack,” a cartoonish-looking title that aims to merge platforming and puzzle mechanics, complete with references to the weirdly wonderful and experimental “Katamari Damacy.” Better still was Jonathan Blow’s “The Witness,” an abstract, open-world puzzle game. Blow was out of place at the conference for numerous reasons. He himself recognized one.

“I really don’t know what I’m going to do to follow up all those explosions,” he said when he took the stage.

Yet while “The Witness” will debut on the PS4, it won’t be dependent on it. Ultimately, “The Witness” is expected to make its way to Apple’s iOS system as well as the PC. “The Witness” is not a next-gen game, but it happens to play nice with next-gen systems. Simply put, the most fascinating game shown on Wednesday, then, wasn’t one that even needed the PS4.

More out of place were the comments made by David Cage, the founder of the excellent Quantic Games, the studio behind the upcoming “Beyond Two Souls.” He said, “When people ask me what is the feature I want most on future hardware platforms, my answer is always the same: emotion.” Yet there’s plenty of emotion to be had on games that are currently available, if one knows where to look.

Storytelling isn’t constrained by technology. Already in 2013 there have been some wonderful games. I love “The Cave,” “Kentucky Route Zero” and “Fire Emblem: Awakening,” all titles that emphasize story, character and arguably out-of-date gameplay over technology. Great characters can even be found on game machines as simple as the iPhone, as proven by BitMonster’s “Lili.” 

In the six-plus years since the PS3 was released, mobile, downloadable and downright more affordable games have expanded the audience of those who play and have made it easier for developers to take more bite-size risks. Couple that with Nintendo’s bold choice  to essentially pull out of the arms race to create bigger, badder and faster systems, and the biggest lie of the console-era of gaming has been exposed: One doesn’t need more expensive technology to build a better game.

— Todd Martens

Follow us on Twitter: @LATHeroComplex


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79 Responses to Sony’s PS4 presentation leaves gamers with questions, few answers

  1. Jack says:

    Sony already ticked off countless people like me by killing backwards compatibility for PS2 games on the PS3. If switching to the PS4 means I'm gonna lose my whole game library, I think I'll find another alternative.

    • Chris says:

      I don't know anyone who still plays their ps2 games… that's pretty much the reason to cut backwards compatibility of PS2 games to PS3 – it's added cost to the production of the unit, and no one is really utilizing it except for a small percentage of people like yourself.

      PS3 -> PS4 compatibility issue is also due to changes in CPU architecture itself. Cell CPU on PS3 is based on PowerPC architecture, PS4 is based on x86. Support is likely to come in the future (PS3 won't be released until later this year and they already said they are exploring options) so you never know.

      • tim gunn says:

        You don't know anyone who still plays PS2 games? Perhaps you would have had Sony allowed PS3 to be backward compatible. This disappointed me as well.

        Sony, if you want to please as many players as possible you will make the PS4 backward compatible all the way back to PS1. This would in no way harm newer players and will generate positive feelings in your longtime fans.

      • Sam says:

        Why should they allow backwards compatibility for games they don't make money on. The PS2 costs 100-150 dollars brand new and the Cell can't emulate both the CPU and GPU. The PS2 chipset would add to the price and it's a feature that would cost Sony money and Sony has been losing money for the past 4 years. They need profit or else there will be no more PlayStation. I bought my PS2 brand new last year. I play my PS2 games on my PS2. Buy a PS2 if you want to play.

      • Guest says:

        The Wii U is fully backwards compatible with the Wii, and compatible through downloads with the GameCube, Nintendo 64, Super Nintendo, NES, Neo Geo and SEGA Master System. Not all titles are available, but the some of the best are, like The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Super Mario 64, The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Super Smash Bros. Melee. The environments are emulated: it IS possible to run old titles on new architectures, especially on powerful machines like modern consoles (Hell, you can emulate a PS1, PS2 and PS3 on a x86 PC! Google it).

        This is why Nintendo has the most long-lasting franchises and characters in the industry: they don't kill their games with every new console. Not having the money or not finding an old console shouldn't stop anyone from playing some good ol' games.

    • Tracy says:

      We went out of our way to find a used backwards compatible PS3 and paid quite a bit more for it just to play one of our 150+ ps2 games should we want to. I agree, they need to make these systems able to play the older games. Chris: I disagree that its a small percentage of people who still want to play their ps2 games. That all depends on the type of gamer you are (families also buy these and kids love to repeat play old games).

    • Tamaracked says:

      With the 8 gigs of Hard memory, emulations for PS1 and PS2 games should be easy. Don't write it off competently it is entire possible it could come threw emulation of the hardware. PS3 might be more difficult though due to the cell structure

    • kyle says:

      I am sorry but I get your are losing backwards compatibility but you have to see the big picture. If the ps4 would be backwards compatible then an entire ps3 would have to be built into the ps4. They would have to use very similar components that are not nearly as advanced as the components that are going into the PS4. I personally believe this is going to be a great system and I think you shouldn't think twice about getting it.

    • JCS says:

      The original PS3 played PS2 games but Sony needed a way to cut the price of the PS3 way back when and one way was to eliminate PS2 compatibility. What if the Playstation All-Star fighting game is as big as that other companies version but it doesnt come to PS4, what then.

    • Big D says:

      I always see this on any story about a new consoles, if its not backwards compatible I will go to another game system. That makes very little sense, will the x-box or wii let you play your ps3 or ps2 game library? I have a ps3 that does play ps2 games, and I can count the number of times I have played ps2 games on my hands. If I am going to invest in a ps4, I want the new, better games, I will keep the ps3 and use it for net-flicks and such on the tv in my bed room. I am not going to dump the console just because I am buying a new one. I don'[t know why people expect backwards compatibility on a next gen console, I want the thing to be geared to do things the previous one can not. I would rather go forward than backwards.

      • john says:

        Ha! New “BETTER” games? Yeah, sure buddy

        But If you want to play ps3 games, use a ps3. If you want to play ps2 games, use a ps2. What’s the big deal?

    • ogre says:

      i guess this is crazy talk – BUT, why not use your ps2 to play old ps2 games….use your ps3 to play old ps3 games?…..i don't want the price of a new console to be HIGHER due to backwards compatability.

      • Anon says:

        Space for the other consoles, controllers, and cords.

      • Dominic says:

        It’s about convenience, organization and smart buying. It’s nonsensical to have several systems when it could be played on one system, which is the current. So, why buy the new PS4 when everything is made easy on PS3. Almost comparable to switching from the psp to vita. Also, it’s likely most got rid of their ps2’s and ps1’s because of the compatibility to play on the ps3. There’s not much incentive to buy a new system when the games are available for the current system. So far PS4 is more socially advance. I personally wouldn’t want a new system that’s not compatible with previous systems, reason why I wouldn’t buy a WII for example. So it depends on what type of gamer you are. I like playing the games, not really the system or social perks.

    • Wesley Pipes says:

      You know it’s 2013, right? Sorry you were ticked off. PS2 games???? You must be checkin in from Antarctica. I know you guys get stuff a little late.

    • Aaron says:

      Unless you are talking about your digital purchases — which Sony hasn't even told us how they are handling those — how on earth would you lose your whole game library? You'd have to have the original system to purchase your games, so why wouldn't you continue to play them that way? Yes, it sucks that it's not integrated, but honestly playing PSOne games through the PS3 is worse than it is on the PS2, and the re-releases of the PS2 classics Sony has been uploading to the store look better than their original versions. I get really miffed about the lack of B/C until I realize I can at least play my games if I really want to, owning their original respective systems and all.

      I am with you all the way regarding digital purchases, though. I would love to know how they are managing digital PS3 titles on the store. Will they put up a new app store altogether, with no older games present? The mystery will be answered at E3, hopefully.

    • tito says:

      Youre gonna have to start a new game library either way whether you get the ps4 or the new xbox.. People have and will keep up with technology so i doubt ull find and alternative for this..

  2. Michael says:

    "Gaming isn't a spectator sport" you clearly haven't heard of or it's increasing popularity as a means to broadcast games.

  3. Gaucho420 says:

    I was not impressed. No price, no console (Wall Street news reports that what we saw was a PC rig running the graphics), no backwards compatibility and the best looking game, Watchdogs, is coming out on ALL SYSTEMS, including the Wii U. I almost wonder and hope, that Sony is keeping some feathers in its hat to counter the MSFT press conference on the 720 or whatever its called. I was so looking forward to Sony's presentation, so counting on buying a PS4…and I got to tell you, their conference made me less likely to dish out the dough. Unimpressed and disappointed is the best way I can describe how I feel. No GTAV version for PS4? No The Last of US version for the PS4? No new Uncharted?

    • ogre says:

      gaucho, judging by what your expectations are, i don't think it would have been possible to make you happy… do realize this was just a first reveal?

      • andrew says:

        it's sony. anyone expecting anything better than a letdown, is going to be hit quite hard. Developers can't even get games right for the ps3 even after 6 years, i'm going to be surprised if sony has a decent following after this. it's a shot in the dark. they've made a completely new, i'm guessing pretty complex system, no backwards compatibility that we've seen (we can only hope, with enough arguing for it, they'll relent, but not likely), and it's going to be more expensive than PS3 was when it first game out. the PS3 was $500 when it first came out, and $500 was the cheap price. PS3's following is going to drop like a rock.

  4. that1guy says:

    Wow you are clearly an xbox fan lol

    • Gaucho420 says:

      No, he's being honest. I became a huge PS3 fan this generation and I was really looking forward to the PS4. I feel totally disappointed by the presentation and I am not alone from the conversation I've had with other fellow gamers.

  5. Gaucho420 says:

    I'll add the last sentence of the article says it all. Perfectly summarized and very well said.

    • ogre says:

      gaucho – you're comment is contradicting your even being on this thread or interested in new consoles. if you think the last sentence is "very well said" – then WHY would you be looking for new tech to begin with?

      • DrMonk says:

        I think the point is if you are going to make truly new gameplay experiences then maybe you need new technology to support that (e.g. the Wii Remote and Wii Sports, or the Wii U Gamepad and Nintendoland or Zombi U), however, if you're just going to make the existing types of games prettier then you aren't actually making a better game. No doubt the advanced processor will allow for more complex worlds eventually, and Sony is offering new features in the social space, but there was no gameplay they showed that isn't possible on current consoles (and much of it will be multi platform). Hence, "One doesn’t need more expensive technology to build a better game"… Sony is yet to show us why we do!

      • Why is he looking for new tech? Because new tech news comes along with new game news. And games are what really matter in all of this.

        It doesn't matter how powerful your system is if the games aren't worth playing. If I can get the same amount of enjoyment from a cheaper, "older" system then why would I buy into new gen consoles?

        The issue with the PS4 is that it's fresh hardware without fresh software. No new ideas

  6. mitt says:

    Right on.
    Grim Fandango is a good example – the best game I ever played.

  7. @kevo_2468 says:

    I think it will take a while for the programmers to fully show what the ps4 is capable of. The presentation of games didn't impress me much, but give them time. I think the capabilities are there. I probably will buy the ps4, but probably wait until it's out a year or so. Unless, xbox has a next gen console that will overwhelm me to buy it.

  8. Wendor says:

    Pretty cool that you may be able to download the games you bought on the ps3 for the ps4 for free if that's the gist i'm getting! Hope Microsoft does that too as i owned the 360 and don't want to repay for skyrim!

  9. chris says:

    While I personally agree that the ability to spectate other people playing games that I don't own to be not only an utter waste of my time but a mind numbing and totally unenjoyable experience, it may not be a miscalculation on the part of Sony as my girlfriends two boys constantly watch youtube clips of other people playing games that they don't have.

  10. adam says:

    Any word on the graphics; physX , drictX 11…..why x86 arcirecture and not 64 or 128bit. I may buy one as I still have not got a ps3, but I'm better off buying a controller for my computer it seems…(asus g75) there's no way it will live up to the power and detail I've come to expect.

    • john says:

      Considering direct x 11 is microsoft tech, I’m going to say, no stupid.

      It’s x86-64. The 8gbs obviously means it’s 64bit. 128bit? Think it’s safe to say that you don’t actually understand what the bits in a processor do.

    • cam says:

      x86 is 64 bit. Or at least it can be. 128 bit doesn't yet, that would be too much of a leap, especially since 64 bit can generate addresses for more memory than all information on Earth. Take it from a Csci major. Not gonna happen.

  11. MASSACRED says:

    This was Sony's best press conference in years. They focused on what the core gamers are looking for games! The new controller looks beautiful and added everything gamers wanted; headphone jack, improved grip, sticks, d-pad, and triggers. (Aside from the share and options buttons [seriously bring back start and select])
    In fact the only thing that most people I’ve talked to were disappointed in, was in regard’s to 3 games:
    Final Fantasy Versus XIII
    The Last Guardian

  12. Ziggy says:

    After talking with many of my "Hardcore PlayStation Gamer" friends and post seeing the PlayStation 4 announcement, we have come up with a list of concerns we have. It would be greatly appreciated it you could pass this list on to the proper channels.

    1. Removal of the Start and Select buttons – While we all agree that the new controller is stunning and beautifully designed, one of the smaller problems we had with it was the lack of start and select. "Options" is not sufficient in attempting to play any old game on the console. Playing older games threw Gaikai or otherwise might prove to be impossible without these buttons. Strongly recommend you change "options" back to Start and Select.

    2. Backward Compatibility – We cannot fathom why this was not important to Sony, as it was a major issue with the PS3 launch. (Most of us have kept the original PlayStation 3 for that reason) If you cannot include the hardware to run PS1, PS2, and PS3 games please allow the PS4 to obtain the software emulate them. With 8 GB of memory, this should not be a problem. Gaikai is nice, but with large collections of PS1, PS2 and PS3 games, we would like to use them on the new system.

    Or if nothing else, release a high end SKU of the PS4 with backwards compatibility, we are sure many of your loyal fans would appreciate (and purchase) this.

    2.5 Along with the "backwards compatibility" section, we believe it would be a smart move for Sony to allow the Dualshock 3 controllers to connect with the PS4 as well. This would be great for anyone converting from a PlayStation 3 to a PlayStation 4 and does not have the money to purchase extras as well as a sign of good faith from the PlayStation brand.

    3. Social Features – While posting your trophies or connecting to Facebook and various other social mediums through PlayStation are good ideas, please make all of these optional. Many of the core gamers have no interest in these features and many, myself included do not use social networking at all. Therefore if it were mandatory we could not play games.

    4. New Friends Methodology – While we found the idea of expanding upon the friends page interesting, we appreciated the privacy that PS3 provided. DO NOT FORCE users to create accounts with their picture and name. Once again, we stress, please make this optional.

    5. New Operating System – The XMB was perfect. Logically laid out with every application categorized into a sub category. Because of this, it was both intuitive and easy to use. While we only received a quick glimpse, the new operating system, seems to make far less sense. Please allow customization so the more logically minded among us can use the new system with ease as well. Perhaps an optional interface, closer to the PSVITA's?

    6. Camera – While this new Camera could be used for some interesting moments and ideas in gaming. DO NOT make it mandatory. Many of us do not nor have we ever liked motion or camera based games. Please DO NOT require a camera to use the new controllers.

    7. Intuitive Downloads – Many of us, like to select games with no pattern or complete randomness, and in doing so do not like games to be downloaded for us. This idea is a good one, but once again it should be optional.

    8. Ideas – With 8 Gigs of memory the PlayStation 4 is the perfect time for cross game voice chat, PSN ID tagged controllers, and a system that allows users to play music at all time along with the game they are playing. Doing this would help PlayStation, to also become a hub for entertainment.

    P.S. it would be really cool if the "PS" button on the center of the Dualshock 4 light up red. This would make it more iconic.

    In conclusion, we have come to the consensus that while we enjoy many of the new PlayStation features we hope that you will consider adding some more and that you leave some optional. Aside from that you should know: keep up the great work! The specs are spectacular, we couldn't have asked for a better controller (almost) and the game line up looks awesome.
    Also, this time around we would like to change or PSN names, have no limit on region locked, and do not prevent any sort of backwards compatibility publisher wise or otherwise

    • Risto says:

      Good review of the shortcomings. I am in full agreement. My take is that Sony is just after the money, with the buy it over and over again marketing, from those not smart enough to know they are being taken advantage of, the morons of the world.

      If the PS4 is not backwards compatible for games then I will play my PS3 until it dies, then if there is not a better alternative, my gaming days will come to an end. The gaming industry is already hurting financially from the marketing path it's been on. If Sony was smart they would make the PS4 backwards compatible with every existing system. This would motivate their entire customer base to upgrade, and would generate more software sales.

      The mistake by Sony is to try to market ego vs real human interaction. It's that feeling of being united as a team, or building mental skills that will entice new customers to buy through the desire to compete, to be better than the next guy. The empty feeling of look at me, I'm cool because I'm instantly the best because I can cheat through hacks, gets boring very quickly. If Sony came out with a system that stopped hacking completely, that would be a strong marketing strategy. Focusing on building self worth and more human interaction is the path to successful long term sales.

  13. Darkmath says:

    Are you kidding? This was Sony's best press conference in years. They focused on exactly what the gamers wanted them to the software and the game-pad. Obviously they didn't want to play all their cards in one hand because in all likely hood Microsoft will announced their console and they need to response with something. Not to mention GDC and E3 are all upcoming events that have a large PlayStation presence.

    They gave us just enough to wet our pallets but didn't give up everything. Absolutely genius.

    I couldn't be more excited going forward

  14. Brand10 says:

    Ya'll buy it anyway.

  15. kg88 says:

    Mental Illness is the elephant in the room. Games, movies, music, and guns are all dodges. The cure became a problem after 1963 with the introduction of the Community Mental Health Act. We started something and then forgot to finish it. Now we have one of the worst mental health systems in the civilized world.

  16. Damnantion says:

    Sir, just because you do not like games "with explosions" doesn't mean the PlayStation had a bad show. This conference was the best conference I have seen in the past 5 years. They showed way more than enough software, announced plenty of games, explained the social approach they were taking, talked specs and showed the re-deigned controller. This show gave us everything we wanted and more.

    So excited for E3

  17. Luis says:

    I’m an Xbox fan but now I’m border line with all these new consoles such as PS4, Ouya , SteamBox WiiU and of course the new Xbox…..

  18. Damnantion says:

    Sir, just because you do not like games "with explosions" doesn't mean the PlayStation had a bad show. This conference was the best conference I have seen in the past 5 years. They showed way more than enough software, announced plenty of games, explained the social approach they were taking, talked specs and showed the re-deigned controller. This show gave us everything we wanted and more.

  19. Andre says:

    I say if Sony wants game compatabile try turning old ps games into roms and build a website space 2 download them @ a small fee. At least I feel it would work w/ the new system based on specs.

  20. Facryfromorginal says:

    …sigh this just shows how out of tune the author is with what the rest of game community wants

  21. Joey says:

    The reason for this event was to just get the news out there that ps4 is ready to be unveiled. That was there goal and they did a great job. They stated its is for reals, they said how fast it was going to be and backed up with specs which Nintendo Wii U was scared to do until like weeks I think before the system came out they kept that quiet. They showed game play of what these games where going to look like and showed the controller which was pretty cool. Then the social stuff will be nice too because they realized that the social stuff Xbox was doing gave Microsoft a advantage.

    Finally it was a tease, the real show is the E3 conference in June, where all game company's tout there future products. If they said everything now then E3 would be boring. Now it's Microsoft's turn to have there tease event before E3 conference.

  22. Caleb says:

    If people are complaining about ps3 games not being compatible to ps4, if you really want to play them that bad, then just play them through your ps3. Yay problem solved.

    • Sahdy says:

      whole problem i have with this Caleb is that i own the 360, wii, wii-u, ps3, along with all the legacies, but i like to not have ALL of them hooked up. i dont like to have all of my consoles setup and have to switch to play certain games, i like that when it comes to backward compatability that i can just pop an old disc into a new console and go. not switch to an old machine.

  23. toddmartens says:

    On the backwards comparability debate — I certainly don't think it's a dealbreaker, at least when it comes to games. I brought it up in the context of this piece because there's a number of significant titles due this year — some of them PS3-exclusive — and it's something that could figure into when/if someone decides to purchase a new console or game. I certainly think it's information that should be relayed to potential consumers.

  24. Steve says:

    Great news… if you have a lot of money, a social-networking addiction, and the best Internet infrastructure in the world.

    I'm guessing that 98% of the gaming world does not fit all three categories.

    As for 4k TVs: in the 3 – 4 years it'll take before prices are "mainstream" will broadcast and cable TV have the bandwidth to support the higher def data, let alone having the technology laying virtually dormant in a gaming console for this period of time?

    • Facryfromorginal says:

      To address the last two, Social networking and all internet based services are optional. this was confirmed yesterday.

  25. ogre says:

    clearly, the author of the article doesn't know the first thing about gaming or gamers. his arguements are really ridiculous.

  26. just stop says:

    people complaining about the ps4 not playing ps3 games common sense will tell you to just keep ur ps3 and play the games on that. problem solved

  27. mission says:

    when is it going to be released os i cant wait to play the game…

  28. thecrud says:

    Triangle Triangle circle square touchpad up down.

  29. pimpt says:

    Long as its got the latest black ops and madden im all in!

  30. Macro says:

    I think many of you spectator sport gaming fans condemning this writer for making a point about spectator gaming are the ones who fail to realize just how many more gamers DON'T care about watching other people play a game online.

    There's a great number of you who do watch gaming, but to me and many millions more, we don't give beans about regularly watching some random guy online, yakking away in annoying fashion, belching his Mountain Dew, playing a game online that we ourselves could be playing. To call watching a "spectator sport" is like calling YouTube videos an IMAX experience.

    Who in the world has time to WATCH other people game all the time? If you do, then you must be either college students with your parents paying for everything, or just people without a thing called a life. Because most gamers my age are guys working with jobs, some of us even with families now, and with only 24 hours in a day, it's a struggle enough just finding time to game during the week. And that's just with gaming. There's no way I can waste hours WATCHING someone game.

    Really, nothing's gained in watching some guy play Starcraft or Battlefield 3. Since when did America (or the West in general) become South Korea? Watching gaming online is like watching a movie in 3D–it's not necessary, but you enjoy it best when you do it occasionally. A treat is only a treat when it's a treat–not when it's your meals.

    Now, I DO occasionally watch a gaming competition or two, but that's completely different–this is a special event, a brief competition, and not just some average guy gaming online as common as YouTube videos. To keep up with someone else's gaming–man, I don't have time in my life to waste watching someone else game. Life is too short to waste it passively watching somebody play online.

    Not to mention that saving our HD gameplay videos on servers somewhere seems like an grievous waste of server technology. I'd MUCH rather use such the server for GAMING itself, like hosting extremely-massive multiplayer online gaming. Imagine gaming in a world with millions at a time, but using the freed server space to host most of the gaming along with effective new streaming techniques to keep such a massive gaming running easy on our machines.

    The focus of ANY gaming machine should be on the first-hand gaming experience. Not the social networking extras, not streaming live spectator gaming, not 3D gaming nonsense, but GAMING ITSELF.

  31. David M says:

    It seems to me that they disappointed tech enthusiasts more than gamers. From what I've seen, the people deep into gaming were very happy with the press conference.

  32. emmett says:

    didnt sony stop making the ps2 like 3 to 4 years ago? if so what are we gonna do to continue playin our ps2 games if our ps2 consoule just quits working. i mean the ps2 machines that are left out on the market will not be there much longer. we will have to just buy a used ps2 or a backwards compatiable ps3 on ebay, but even those backwards ps3 are hard to come by.

  33. Nice try Todd Martens but you should go back to swinging your wii remotes around.

    The focus here was simply to let us know the PS4 is real and its here. E3 is coming up and every developer, gamer, media, and their dog will be there expecting detailed news. Sony gave us more than enough until then with an idea of whats to come and an outstanding presentation.

    The social media twist they introduced is great! with the popularity among youtubers posting game footage and guides, this will facilitate and greatly improve the social aspect of gaming. Being able to share, spectate and what the author failed to mention, "take over" a friend's system, with their permission of course! will be very useful!

    The controller looks great and improved for the core gamers with improved button and triggers, grip, analog positioning and headphone jack as well as improved six-axis, rumble, and radio camera. The touch-pad is really a bonus if you ask me and the use of a share button like an Iphone's screen shot is going to be very useful in helping friends find hidden items you come across and revolutionize "Easter egg hunting" in games. The PS4 guts are also promising with a PC architecture, X86 AMD "jaguar" 8 core proccessor and an insane 8G of GDDR5!

    Sony's idea of a console by developers for developers is also a great hope for the future of games by making the developer's jobs easier and less limited in creating the games we love. The titles they have shown like Watchdogs, Destiny, and Driveclub is absurdly exiting! I look forward to Sony's next move and hope this author can see through the eyes of the gaming community. Thanks Sony!

  34. altair says:

    The guy is right that more expensive technology doesn't make better games. The Call of Duty 4 campaign is still has the best story telling campaign for any Call of Duty, Medal of Honor or Battlefield-type FPS game. Better technology can make better physics engines and better graphics engines, but PS3 and XBOX 360 has already hit a great level of entertainment in all different types of game. It seems to me that this PS4 will just expand upon the experiences we already love

  35. Paulo says:

    I feel pretty lucky with my ps3. My 60gb console is able to play ps2 games

  36. Daniel says:

    I am so tired of hearing the detractors complaining about backwards compatibility. Possibly the most contrived criticism ever. I can't speak for everyone (which the author of this article apparently thinks he can), but I don't know anybody who has ever complained that they can't play PS2 games on their PS3. Because the PS3 games are better. PS4 games will be better than PS3 games, and so on. "OH NO! I can't play games designed for outdated technology on my new technology console!" So what?

    Seems the author is more concerned with playing puzzle games than the vast majority of the gaming world is, so he's entitled to his opinion, but I think he's out of touch. He pretty much confirmed that by bringing up the "mobile and tablet games" argument. That's another ridiculous point. Gamers aren't going to substitute downloadable games on their phones for what they get from consoles.

    As usual with every next gen release – there are haters, and as usual, they'll be proven wrong.

  37. Frank the tank says:

    I just love how all these little boys get super defensive when someone has constructive criticisms about something they “love”. First of all, I’ve never been biased towards any console. I’ve owned a ps2 before my Xbox and then I got a 360 and then a ps3. I’ve never had my Xbox go out on me, my ps3 died 3 times, every time I got it fixed it did the same thing again until it just died.

    Now I see a trend among the ps players, they’re mostly little boys. I don’t know how any grown man can use those remotes. The joysticks allow for my thumbs to constantly hit each other while I’m trying to play games, sorry I don’t have little girl hands like the rest of you ps fanboys. Sony is made in Japan, Japanese have little hands, boys have little hands, boys love ps. Xbox is made by Microsoft, an American company, no little boy hands here!

  38. Joshua G says:

    I have almost 30 games for each system. Why would I buy a Playstation 4 if it can not play any of my Playstation 3 games? I don't want to take up space. I got a PS3, 360 Wii, Wii U, 3DS, 3DS XL and a Vita and have not used any of my old systems. There are far to many A list games for me to play on the systems I have now for me to just put them away. I understand the online part of the systems I have may not work in a bit, but I hardly ever play games online anyway. Besides, why would any of the companies kill the online parts of the systems that are out right now? It seems like there are a large number of people currently playing games on those systems. Maybe when the new ones arrive, there will be price drops of the current thus letting others buy the older systems.

    What is the big draw of the new systems? As far as graphics go, I do not think we will see a PS2/PS3 difference. The online thing is fine to me. If I do play games online, I do so on Xbox live. I guess I just want to know what the next big things will be on the new systems.

  39. dgaze says:

    Whatever the system looks like, it's just going to play games with a controller and a TV. I've played games this way since the Intellivision and I've had enough already. I'm tired of this mind-numbing conservative approach to game development by the console makers. More horsepower, more graphical capability, same tired old game ideas.

    Fortunately there is something totally awesome and innovative on the gaming horizon. I'm waiting patiently for my Oculus Rift virtual reality headset. If any of the big three console makers have half a brain, they'll get in touch with Oculus and start collaborating with them on the next big thing. But I don't think they're smart enough, they just want to push stupid social media functions and repetitive drivel that will somehow keep selling enough just to keep them in business.

  40. sony fan says:

    The Playstation event was HORRIBLE I fell asleep trying to watch it, very boring. They didnt show the console which i understand they want to make a bang at E3. But WTF is that ugly ass new control!!! It looks like one of the Pelican Brand or Nyko remotes that people only buy b/c the real thing is too expensive. But maybe Sony made it cheap so that they can sell it for a little less.

    The sensor bar camera looks clunky and old like something that would have came out when the PS2 was still around.

    Oh and its a SONY PS4 we all know its going to have 3rd party support out the yin yang so why waste our time telling us this very boring. The games they did show which i didnt see very many were all in movie mode with graphics that will never be reality as soon as we actually play it we all see this every time so dont deny it. WatchDOGS!?!?! the only game they showed actual gameplay and it was what youll really be seeing on the PS4 performance wise, the game looks like itll quickly become $5 bin status at walmart.

    To sum it up… No real game announcements save for those we already knew about, ugly ass control with a touch pad which seems useless, a bunch of nice looking clips of games that may or may not even translate into playable games, cocky ass blizz guy getting no laughs and thinking he is greater than great announcing Diablo 2 putting more people to sleep.

    UHHHH very bad sony very bad shame on you.

  41. Rob says:

    I am completely discouraged by the so called press conference that centered on the game controllers. The fact is in my opinion Sony has no intention of making the PS4 backwards compatible for the PS3 games. I believe Sony is expecting to capitalize on memberships that will have to be purchased on their web site. In addition, I believe certain games will have a monthly subscription price after you buy the full game to maintain your progression. I have already seen gaming access cards being sold at WalMart and to top it off Sony is selling pre-order cards for five-dollars to reserve a copy of an upcoming release. I have one word of what's motivating Sony to make these changes and that is GREED. Their half-ass press conference didn't create an atmosphere of excitement or an aroar of anticipation for the release of the console. Sony's Research and Development and Marketing department have failed in so many ways. What the consumers lose is the right to own a specific disc, trading in games after they have finished the game, the ability to resell the game. Instead, even though Sony is denying this, PS4's will require internet access to fully experience the consoles bells and whistles such as streaming video content. Bye Bye Sony! Hello XBOX!

  42. liam.nippard says:

    when is the ps4 controller going to be released

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