PS4 Impressions From A Diehard Xbox Gamer
I was never one for console wars. In my mind they are stupid, useless and pathetic. I never saw the point of telling someone that bought a different console how much better your console is in a hostile manner and expecting them to convert to your cause. In recent years it seemed that console wars faded out because gamers started to realise how futile they were and proceeded to life in co-existence. But something is going to throw a wrench into that machine. Next-gen is coming. Brace yourselves etc.
However, that’s going to be a discussion for when the consoles actually release and I suspect that it’s going to be good times. As you might have noticed from the title, I’m an Xbox gamer. It’s the only console I can afford and the only system that I game on. So why should I take interest in the PS4 announcement? Before I answer that question I have to create an outline first. I stayed awake until 1 am on a weekday to experience the live stream of the announcement. I had to be awake at 6:30 am to get ready for university, but I felt that I could not miss this opportunity. I stayed up and watched the entire thing until the end and only went to sleep at 4 am. If you know math then that’s 2 and a half hours of sleep. Needless to say I was knackered the entire day that followed.
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Why did I put myself through such an ordeal when I had absolutely nothing to gain from the announcement? Simple answer, really: I wanted to see the future of gaming. I’m a lover of games and to get a chance to see what we are going to experience in the very near future excited me. So I stayed awake and tanked through my fatigue just to witness the start of a new era in gaming. Even if it’s not on my preferred console of choice. Now I’m here to share my impressions. Impressions of someone that will probably never buy the system.
The first thing I want to talk about is the potential of the share button. I’m an avid YouTube watcher and I have noticed that the Let’s Play community has exploded in popularity. There are guys such as Pewdiepie who have millions of subscribers and all they really do is play games, record themselves as they play games and upload that to YouTube. Simple premise, but the entertainment value is astounding. Now, if the PS4’s share button is done right then it can become a benchmark in the Let’s Play community. If it grants users the ability to record gameplay, voice and even video of their face using some sort of camera in an easier and more compact manner then it can become something quite wonderful.
The graphical capabilities astounded me especially when I saw Killzone 4 in action. The skyboxes and visual effects were amazing and even if it’s “just another FPS game”, it certainly blew my socks off. Also, Watch_Dogs looks like it has the potential to make me tight in the pants. If this is the future of console gaming’s graphics then I’m as giddy as a schoolgirl drinking her first cocktail. It’s really something to look forward to. I did like the fact that you can suspend your game and just continue where you left off when you put the console back on. This is especially useful for gamers on the go that just want to squeeze in a few minutes of gaming before they continue with their busy day.
The touch pad on the controller also has a lot of potential. Imagine an user interface where you can swipe and tap things like on a tablet. There’s also the possibility of switching weapons or gear in game with a simple swipe motion. There are literally hundreds of ways for this to be used and I for one hope that they don’t bugger it up and make into some sort of gimmick.
There was a quite a few disappointments as well such as the fact that the actual console wasn’t shown, but I do get the logic behind that one since it’s only going to be really showcased come E3. Still, I was really looking forward to it being shown. Another thing that pissed me off was the obsession with social interaction. Just how many friends do these people think we have? At this moment I only really have two persistent online friends on Xbox LIVE and I know a lot more gamers that only have a select few “good” friends online. Not everything has to be social all the time and I certainly don’t want some random dude looking at me while I’m playing singleplayer games. It just does not make sense to me.
I understand that Sony want to appeal to the more “casual” market, but the fact is that most gamers don’t do social interaction that much. And the inclusion of someone intruding on your gaming experience just sounds cumbersome and pointless. It has some entertainment value, but most people will only do it once just to see how it is and never use it again. Basically, it’s Playstation Home for the new generation. Yeah I said it.
I did think that the conference was a success and they got a lot of information across and revealed some cool games in the process. I did wish that there were a little more new IP’s shown, but you can’t really expect Sony to show of all their new stuff now and leave nothing for E3. I mentioned that I was primarily an Xbox gamer because I believe that all of us should be excited for the next generation regardless of our platform of choice. These are exciting times to be a gamer and we all should embrace it.