We’re just 24 days removed from the launch of the PS4 (yes, I’m sticking with my European bias, you lucky Americans…) and Sony flooded us today with four new YouTube propaganda videos praising the greatness that awaits us with the new system. Let’s have a quick look at them and see if they add to the excitement about the next-gen revolution. Don’t hesitate to add your own opinions in the comments below the post. Are you cancelling your pre-orders? Are you getting two more units? How many DUALSHOCK 4 controller will you get day one? My answers are no, no and two, respectively. Now, onto the videos!
A New Age for Games on PS4 System
The video starts with a blurb from TechRadar which can be interpreted in many ways. “This is a new age for Sony and its games”. Well, obviously a new console is coming so we might as well call it a ‘new age’. The literal meaning is not too exciting, as you see, but that’s obviously not what Sony means by that statement. You might have noticed that I’m not a fan of marketing-speak and I don’t (want to) believe that lines such as this one really influence people’s consumer habits. I know they have to do it in an advertisement video but I would rather they didn’t. Anyway, let’s move on to a more exciting part of the clip where we’re shown a reel of all the games we’re patiently waiting for and are excited for on PS4. FIFA14 is also there. All the usual suspects are present including NFL Madden 25, inFamous: Second Son, Battlefield 4, Killzone: Shadow Fall, WatchDogs. To emphasize that PlayStation 4 is THE console to buy, Sony then proceeds to boast all the timed exclusives they got. Still nothing new.
In the ‘Discover future hits on PS4’ we come across a couple of titles that I haven’t heard of until today. The first one is Warframe, which is a free-to-play cooperative third-person shooter (useful abbreviation: FTPCTPS) that apparently has been available on PC since March and is going to debut on consoles with the PS4. It’s Metacritic score is not too exciting at 67 but the users seem to like it with an 8.0 average. I’m not too pumped up about this one since I don’t play online too much but a game with so many genre descriptions could be interesting and develop a small but devoted group of followers.
Next up is Super Motherload by XGen Studios. The call it an RPG-based co-op digging adventure, which sounds intriguing. It has an indie/retro look which is currently en vogue and the levels are procedurally generated, which is another buzz word in the gaming world. Go here for a full trailer. I’m not too convinced, though. Dig Dug meets Terraria. I’ll pass, at least for now.
The remaining games in this section, that is War Thunder, DC Universe Online, Blacklight: Retribution and Planetside 2 go with the free-to-play MMO flow and may convince some of the PC gamers to check out the PS4 versions when they choose to upgrade their Blu-Ray players.
Finally, the crown jewels, the exclusives. Knack, Driveclub, The Order:1886, Resogun and the aforementioned inFamous and Killzone. Obviously, not all the games are coming day one but Sony states that there are over 180 games in development which sounds exciting and should be enough for many hours of gameplay on the new system. I still haven’t decided if I should get Knack, Killzone or both at launch. It’s probably going to be a spur-of-the-moment decision, if there are copies available.
Epic Journeys Await you on PS4 System
This video is all about how the developers loooove the new PS4 and how they are no longer limited by technology and can do whatever their imagination tells them to do and so can the players. Well, that’s true until you want to enter that building that you’re not supposed to enter or go a different direction in a scripted sequence. I can’t hide that sarcasm very well, can I? I know that what they really mean, and some of them say that, is that the boundaries have been stretched even further and that the sizes of the worlds and the freedom the player is given have no match in the current generation. It’s very exciting to see games such as GTA 5 and Assassin’s Creed 4 where the open world idea is taken to the extreme and I hope that WatchDogs will also not disappoint in that regard. The graphics will also improve, especially once the developers get to know the system even better. I really hope that the games will take the player’s choices more seriously and that gameplay will adapt according to what the player does or doesn’t do. The hardware certainly allows this to happen on a scale not seen before so it’s all in the hands of the writers and developers.
Greatness is Portable with PS4 and PS Vita
I am a proud owner of the PlayStation Vita and I find the integration of the handheld console with the PS4 great. Sony prepared for the Big Daddy to come with today’s firmware update for the Vita. Improved messaging, party mode and friends list. Panoramic pictures. Better e-mail integration. And, what’s most important, Remote Play. The PS3 games didn’t really work with the Vita but it’s all about to change with the PS4 Link application. The YouTube video shows how easy it is to move from the PS4 to the handheld. Just pause the game, start the app on the Vita and continue playing (obviously, ‘connection sequence shortened’). What’s even better is the fact that the two devices can communicate directly, without the need of a local network, if they are in range. On the other side of the spectrum, they can also work via Internet, although I wouldn’t count on the experience being great due to connection latency.
DUALSHOCK 4. Revolutionary. Intuitive. Precise.
I haven’t had the chance to see the new controller in real life but I haven’t heard a bad word said about it anywhere. We all know the cool new features – the built-in speaker, the share button, the touchpad, the color indicator. Everything apparently works and is ready. On top of that, it is possible to use the DUALSHOCK 4 on the PS3, although not all games supported and it needs to be connected to the console. One thing I’m not so sure of are the ‘new and improved’ triggers. I PS3 was my first console since the NES so using R1 and L1 feels natural but that’s apparently not canon in the gaming universe. I will need some time to get used to the new way of controlling games but people seem to be satisfied with it and say that Sony did well on this front.
I’m also very excited about the live streaming/sharing feature which opens up a gate of possible content creation to all the players. People like me, with their small blogs and video channels, will be able to provide high-quality content without having to invest in additional expensive hardware. It also brings the community closer – we can all watch each other play, provide hints and tips, make fun of each other and have a good time altogether.
Obviously, I didn’t care for all the marketing mumbo-jumbo in the videos, although I understand it had to be there. Still, I’m very excited about all that’s coming very soon and I love that Sony continues to put video after video on YouTube and TV (have you seen this commercial?) to keep up the hype surrounding the PlayStation 4. I envy my friends from across the ocean who will be able to check out the new hardware two weeks in advance, although I hope that all the day one bugs that will surely come up will have been solved with an update by the time I put my hands on my own system.
Are you also excited? Did you enjoy Sony’s campaign so far? Let me know in the comments below.