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PlayStation 4: A Fan’s Opinion

March 8, 2013

PS4

If you want to check out the specifications and some of the upcoming titles we can expect for the first assault Sony makes on the rapidly expanding eighth generation console race, check out those links. The following then, are my opinions on some of the other features of the PlayStation 4!

SOCIAL FEATURES

From my previous articles you will know all about the already infamous ‘SHARE’ button that features on the newly designed dual-shock controller. Pressing this magical button will record a few minutes of gameplay footage which can then be uploaded to websites and the PSN by the player (whether this feature will be compatible with YouTube is unknown at the moment). Another interesting feature of the ‘SHARE’ button is the ability to initiate a live-stream which friends can view and comment on in real-time.

This is a bold but surprisingly clever move by Sony. There is a major culture of posting ‘Let’s Play’ videos and this new ‘SHARE’ feature will do it free and easily without hassl – though I doubt there will be dedicated editing software to prepare the videos before they are posted. This new feature could lead to an explosion of ‘Let’s Play’ videos by PlayStation 4 owners, which could be a major annoyance to the majority of gamers; this could be the biggest low quality video spammer ever! Or instead, this ability to quickly share videos that show off tips, tricks, cheats or strategies for attaining those hard trophies, could really help develop a strong PlayStation community, which for once will be seen rather than just spoken of.

BACKWARD COMPATIBILITY

This is singularly the biggest negative of the PlayStation 4 announcement. Just like the PlayStation 3 before it, the PlayStation 4 will not be able to play any of the previous generation’s games natively. Although, whereas the PlayStation 3 could play PlayStation 1 games, the PlayStation 4 can not and will not play any previous Sony titles no matter what; even digital copies will not work. This is a huge disappointment and, for most fans, an unacceptable betrayal to their trust and loyalty.

Even though Sony pointed out that digital versions of PS1, PS2 and PS3 titles will be rendered and available for online download or streaming, this is a catastrophe for players who have built up extensive gaming libraries, even players who bought digital downloads.

I really don’t believe many will be willing to pay again to play past titles they potentially still own by hard copy or on digital copy through the PlayStation-Network, especially if they are close to full price. Sony will need to offer severe price reductions or bundle these games into collections. Perhaps Sony could introduce a scheme so players can redeem the games they have already bought? This would be quite difficult with hard copies obviously, unless you sent a manifesto of your game library to Sony HQ.

Although there has been no word to suggest that games bought through the PSN could be redeemed, you would expect Sony could manage it as they would have a full record of your purchases on your account. But as there is no confirmation that the PSN will even be expanded onto the PlayStation 4, or whether a new digital network will be developed, we’ll just have to wait and see.

Sony seems to forget we aren’t cash cows and that you can’t bleed us dry without a bit of backlash. These concerns need some serious addressing from the Sony higher-ups.

PHYSICAL AND DIGITAL CONTENT

The PlayStation 4 will again offer an online store, whether this will be the PSN we all know and tolerate we don’t know. An interesting development is that it will be able to let you play your download as soon as the first portion is downloaded, letting you enjoy your game while the rest downloads in the background. This is a huge pro! I am quite excited by this prospect seeing as I spent most of my Sunday afternoon watching a download progress bar and an install progress bar slowly creep to completion for Mass Effect. This new download process will all be thanks to the PlayStation 4’s secondary background processor. Thanks to this processor there will be huge cut in the number of players waiting impatiently, twiddling their thumbs.

The new online experience also promises to be smart and, based on your recent purchases, your PlayStation 4 online store will try to determine what new games you will purchase next and automatically download them in the background, which sounds great on the face of it. You and your PlayStation the best of friends, it knows you perfectly and you know it. But, and this is a big but, does that mean the store will purchase these games without first consulting you? This could be a dangerous way of losing all your money because your PlayStation has gone on a crazy spending spree but I highly doubt that Sony would let their product just spend your money without asking you first.

Besides, how does the online store prioritize, what if you like a wide variety of games, will it be able to guess if even you are unsure or will it just pick the hottest releases just because they are new?

These questions can’t be answered until we have first hand experience.

In conclusion it seems there is a fair amount of cheeky cash grabbing to be had by Sony. This is infuriating as a loyal fan because I’ll probably end up throwing way too much cash at this machine and its online magic store. Though perhaps it will actually be worth it? OK, no backwards compatibility sucks, but the innovative social features and smart automatic online downloads and streaming sound very addictive and will let you enjoy your games rather than watch progress bars continually.

Either way, we will only know whether these new features fit to the modern gamer once the console has released in Holiday 2013.

Image Link: PlayStation.com

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 26, 2013 11:44 am

    I rarely leave remarks, but after reading through a few of the comments on PlayStation 4:
    A Fans Opinion | WeHave9Minutes. I actually do have
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    Could it be just me or does it appear like a few of
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    dead visitors? :-P And, if you are writing on additional places, I would like to follow you.
    Could you post a list of all of all your social community sites like your twitter feed,
    Facebook page or linkedin profile?

  2. June 7, 2013 8:04 pm

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