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Twenty Sided’s PS4 Launch Coverage!

By Shamus
on Thursday Nov 14, 2013
Filed under:
Video Games


Twenty Sided has learned that the PS4 launches tomorrow. We have heard rumors that it is, in fact, not very powerful. Other rumors have suggested that the machine is an obelisk of raw computing potential. We have it on good authority that the machine is either shamefully overpriced or a complete bargain, and that the launch titles are either awesome or uninteresting. The device comes in black, but might also come in other colors and may be positioned either vertically or horizontally.

Despite this speculation and uncertainty, we can confirm that the machine runs on electricity and will have one or more cables attached to it. We have contacted our sources, and we have confirmed that this is NOT a picture of the device in question:

The Mattel Intellivision launched in 1980 with a keypad controller and 1456 BYTES of RAM.
The Mattel Intellivision launched in 1980 with a keypad controller and 1456 BYTES of RAM.

Okay, I’m done being silly. The thing doesn’t run PS2 games, so I have no idea what I’d use it for. It looks pretty cool, though. I snark at the launch coverage, but this is actually a really interesting time for the industry. I’m not planning on getting any of the new consoles* but I’m very curious how things will play out over the next couple of years.

The Wii was king of the last generation, but the WiiU is not really exciting anyone. Microsoft has burned every bridge and salted every field on the PC, so they really need to keep their console customers happy. But their run-up to the XBone Launch has been plagued by bad press, horrible PR, customer confusion, policy reversals, rumors of technology problems, and questionable design principles. The PS3 was greatly harmed by its daunting price tag and small library (which was caused by its unorthodox hardware) but Sony seems to be doing everything right to correct these mistakes for the PS4.

Basically, this long console generation has given the three sides a lot of time to think about where they want to take their platform. They know how things went last time around, they’re aware of each other’s mistakes, they have a pretty good guess at each other’s strategies, and they know that this next generation will likely be even longer than the last one. The stakes have gone up.

And then Valve will enter the fray sometime in the next couple of years with their dark horse Linux PC / Console / Living Room Device… thing.

I don’t have plans to buy any of these machines, but I’m really anxious to see how the market responds to them.

How about you? Have your heart set on a next-gen console? Planning on getting a PS4?

* We’re still using our Wii for games and PS2 as a DVD player. My Xbox 360 died by RROD and we just don’t play enough console games to justify an upgrade.

Comments (138)

  1. Knut says:

    While the Sony/MS battle is interesting enough, I am more curious about the Steam Machine myself, especially considering:
    – It’s running Linux, which I like.
    – I can keep my Steam games (and other games I have steam keys for), and hopefully many of them will work on the new machine.
    -The controller, while I’m not sold, seems interesting. Also, it seems easier to use a different one if I need it

    • ET says:

      The Steam Machine is pretty much the only thing I’d be getting, and I’d either wait until I get a TV, or until they have enough of my current games ported/emulated that I can stop using Windows.
      I’m really looking forward to their controller, and hopeful that having such a technically advanced input device will force the big three to up their standards.
      Don’t get me wrong, the new controllers from Sony/MS/Nintendo are cool and all, but they seem to be based more on gimmicks* than on actually improving the basic input mechanisms.

      * Social media buttons on PS4, giant screen on WiiU which makes input device awkward as a controller and isn’t a full tablet.
      I was searching for what gimmick Microsoft is bolting onto their controller, but it looks like they’re basically keeping it the same.
      Won’t run the risk of angering anyone with a radical new design, but…well it’s the same old design.

      • Chris Robertson says:

        Microsoft’s gimmick is Kinect. Kinect and voice control.

        • ET says:

          How could I forget that?
          I Googled Xbox One controller, and got images showing something like the Xbox 360 controller.
          (Possibly the Xbox One doesn’t even have a normal controller.
          I’m too lazy to Google again. :)
          I’ve known about the Kinect for a long time, but apparently my brain shut off for a while there… ^^;

        • The Kineckt is cool, but mostly (so it seems to me) for purposes OTHER than gaming, or at least, other than direct use as a game controller. A lot of the things that would ever make me want to own one are hacks (like being able to make 3D models of yourself in Minecraft).

          Now, if game companies were clever (let’s pretend here), they could come up with some sneaky/interesting uses for the Kineckt. Using all those Big Brother sensors to mess with you during your game might be fun, if the game called for it (i.e. an Amnesia-like game that might reserve a loud noise for when it detects little movement or noise in the room, or perhaps hits you with a surprise right as it detects someone opening the door or entering the device’s range). Imagine if it could detect body motion so that when you jerk your shoulders to the left as you try to turn left, it adds a little extra “oomph” to whatever you were doing in-game?

          It’s still not enough to make it a must-have for me, but it’d be an interesting concept to play with.

      • Hitchmeister says:

        The biggest hurdle facing Valve with the Steam Machines is a Catch 22. Steam machines aren’t going to be very popular option unless a significant portion of the Steam library runs on Linux. On the other hand it’s not going to be a high priority for developers to add Linux ports to their releases until there’s a big enough installed user base to justify it.

        Valve can possibly overcome this by offering promotional incentives to games with Linux ports. “Starting with the release of Steam Machines, Featured Items and the front page of sales will be reserved for games with Linux ports. Windows only titles come ‘after the fold.'”

        • ET says:

          Valve’s other option is basically souping up Wine.
          I read several years ago, that there was a company whose entire income came from selling a beefed up version of Wine, which had a very high success rate, at getting games written for Windows to run smoothly and glitch-free under Linux.
          If that company is still around, well…Valve should have enough moneys…

        • Bryan says:

          Wasn’t the idea that it could stream games from a windows machine running steam?

          Sucks for anyone who wants to actually completely drop windows, of course, but it would at least allow you to run those games. At a bit higher latency as well. (Much better if the network is wired, but still nonzero either way.)

        • Knut says:

          As a casual gamer, I think the number of Linux games on Steam is not too bad, at least for my taste. Of course, I wouldn’t say no to more, but because I don’t have time to play very much these days, and don’t have an interest in COD/BF4 etc, I am generally satisfied with what I can get. I have also bought several Humble Bundles, and most of those work on Linux too (and with Steam keys)

          But for gamers who are more serious about the hobby than me, and who play more AAA games, I agree, there is a need for more games to support Linux if Valve hope to get more people to use it.

          At least I see more and more cross platform game development tools these days, so there is hope.

  2. Ben Hilton says:

    Honestly at this point I’ve just gotten so tired of the console wars I can’t summon the energy to care anymore.

    I’ll just wait a few years till prices drop and maybe pick up whichever one has a better library.

    Till then I’m perfectly happy with my last gen games and my low to mid end PC.

    • Ben Hilton says:

      EDIT* I realized part of my apathy is because the console wars have become more about politics than the games.

      Seriously do a side by side comparison of national conventions leading up to election day and console press conferences….they are essentially the same thing.

      • Paul Spooner says:

        Since politics is verboten I can’t say I see a similarity at all.

        • Ben Hilton says:

          Valid point.

          • Ciennas says:

            In regards to media and coverage of any event, when they’re being asked to analyze events, they generally boil it down to two sides, and then let the viewers choose which side they wish to support. or actively root for one side while pretending neutrality.

            Even if they are neutral, we see a bias regardless.

            So as far as COVERAGE goes, most stories follow this format.

            Because the audience generally doesn’t care enough about any given topic to devote more serious debates about it.

            Unfortunately, when the audience decides it cares is sort of like when you decide you like…. rugby…. and see a game of it as it’s winding down. While pestering people to translate, because you don’t know the lingo.

            • Ben Hilton says:

              True, but it is not just about the audience.

              It is political in the way simple questions are deflected or ignored, the way blame is always passed around to everyone else, and the way that part of every press event is subtly, or not so subtly slurring the opposition.

              I know Shamus never claims be be an expert and always clearly states that these are just his opinions, but I’ve gotten to the point where sites such as Twenty Sided and Errant Signal are the only places I trust to give unbiased information about the gaming industry, to ask the right questions and to be honest about real problems.

              • Ben Hilton says:

                Oh and if I’m talking about people who aren’t afraid to call out developers on B.S. I can’t leave out The Spoony One.


              • SKD says:

                Shamus and Errant Signal aren’t unbiased and I can’t recall any time when they have claimed to be so. The beauty of their reviews is that they are biased, don’t pretend not to be, and that they at least attempt to be fair and consider the opposing viewpoint rather than dismissing it out of hand.

                • Ben Hilton says:

                  To me That is what makes them unbiased…being fair. They are fair to every game whether they like it or not. Even if they love a game they will still tear apart it’s flaws… and they will give credit where it’s due to games they disliked.

                  From my point of view being fair is being unbiased.

  3. Simplex says:

    “The PS3 was greatly harmed by its daunting price tag and small library (which was caused by its unorthodox hardware) but Sony seems to be doing everything right to correct these mistakes for the PS4.”

    As far as price is concerned, I agree. But as far as library is concerned – not so much. The exlusive launch titles are: Killzone, Knack, Resogun – that’s it.
    Metascores for the first two are underwhelming.

    • venatus says:

      “(which was caused by its unorthodox hardware)”
      I think that’s the part that shamus was talking about, Sony doesn’t have a lot of options to make games for their system (like Nintendo can do if they don’t have third party support). so Sony is trying to make their console easier to develop for hoping that third party games will eventually follow.

      • Peter H. Coffin says:

        Sony doesn’t have a lot of options to make games for their system?

        Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios includes, not exhaustively,

        SCE Japan Studio ““ Ape Escape, LocoRoco, Patapon, Knack
        Team ICO ““ Ico, Shadow of the Colossus, The Last Guardian
        Project Siren ““ Siren series, Gravity Rush
        Polyphony Digital ““ Gran Turismo series, Tourist Trophy
        Naughty Dog ““ Crash Bandicoot series, Jak and Daxter series, Uncharted series, The Last of Us
        SCE Santa Monica Studio ““ Kinetica, God of War series, PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale
        SCE San Diego Studio ““ MLB: The Show, ModNation Racers
        SCE Bend Studio ““ Syphon Filter, Resistance: Retribution, Uncharted: Golden Abyss
        Sucker Punch Productions ““ Sly Cooper series, Infamous series
        SCE London Studio ““ SingStar, EyeToy, PlayStation Home
        Evolution Studios ““ World Rally Championship, MotorStorm series, Driveclub
        Guerrilla Games ““ Killzone series
        Guerrilla Cambridge ““ MediEvil, Killzone: Mercenary
        Media Molecule ““ LittleBigPlanet series

        • Alexander The 1st says:

          Japan Studio’s making Knack. Team ICO is probably still trying to put The Last Guardian on PS3. Project Siren’s probably being put to PSVita games, such as, for example, Gravity Rush 2. Polyphony Digital is probably taxed helping Drive Club come out, if not GT. Naughty Dog -> The Last of Us. Bend Studio is probably up there with Project Siren. Guerilla Games just worked on the PS4 Killzone.

          The point I was hoping to make is that Sony currently just had a bunch of these teams busy, some even mostly focusing on PSVita titles – some even still working on PS3 titles, probably.

          So far as I can tell, Sony is trying the same approach Nintendo did with the 3DS and WiiU launches – bank on 3rd party developers holding the line, as Sony focuses on providing both platforms with application support. Could be wrong though, I guess.

          Personally, I hope it works for them, but I saw the WiiU/3DS launches…

          • Thomas says:

            The situation is very different with the Wii U launch though, in that Sony have successfully convinced people that they will be a competitive platform and they have the history to back that up. Nintendo failed at doing that and didn’t have the history and didn’t have the hardware.

            Sony sold 1 million in 24 hours, that’s already enough that you can guarantee all the decent multiplatform games for the year and a bit will come out on the PS4

            • Thomas says:

              For comparison, apparently the Wii U sold 800,000 units in 6 weeks. It never had any momentum. Nintendo had a hard job because they promised the Wii would satisfy core gamers and already failed to deliver that promise, and then they couldn’t convince either the publishers or the consumers that this time round would be different

  4. Daemian Lucifer says:

    “But their run-up to the XBone Launch has been plagued by bad press, horrible PR, customer confusion, policy reversals, rumors of technology problems, and questionable design principles.”

    And yet,joe average doesnt care about any of that.

    • ENC says:

      I agree, I’m getting confused by all these people saying the xbox one has horrible PR, yet the majority of people (i.e. the average person) does not know about this, nor do they care if told.

      They’re just going to buy whatever console has the games/features they want.

      • Ciennas says:

        It’s a mixed bag, but so far, everyone I’ve talked to were simply not paying attention.

        Explaining the Kinect alone was enough to induce concern and a sudden lowered interest in purchasing the thing.

        The remainder of their hastily backpedaled policies killed what interest was left.

        And my local Wal-Mart pre-sold all of their PS4’s… but have yet to move a single XBone.

  5. Ilseroth says:

    Personally, I bought a Wii U. So far there has been precisely one game that I really gave a collective pile of brown terminate about. However as it was a sequel to my favorite game series (Monster Hunter) I had no choice. It was either don’t by the system and don’t play the game in my favorite series.

    That being said, I was an xboxer in the last gen, purely because I bought my xbox early on in the console cycle and the PS3 didn’t really have anything when I bought the Xbox. In the last couple years I considered swapping to PS3 but similar to Shamus… I don’t really touch my consoles enough, with the exception to Wii U as favorite game series on it.(why won’t they release the PC version in US :( )

    As for the new generation of consoles, neither of them seem particularly interesting. I mean as compared to xbox -> x360, or ps2 -> ps3 the power differential seems kind of small. I mean, the idea is that the console is cheap enough and easy enough to make it worth not just upgrading my computer with that same amount of money. The games exclusive so far aren’t really calling to me either. I mean, I liked the dead rising series, but not enough to buy a console.

    Honestly, while I am sure plenty of people will buy the new consoles simply to have the latest and greatest; but I think unless they start announcing some very good exclusives that they may have trouble enticing people to buy their console.

    • What’s kind of funny is that a lot of my (admittedly older) friends are factoring into consoles is whether or not they’ll be an asset to their home theater and network setups. If they can use them to stream content from their computers, play Blu-Ray movies, access Netflix, etc. without a lot of headaches then the ability to play games on them becomes almost secondary.

  6. Ian says:

    I’ll be doing what I’ve always done – the occasional Buzz with some friends on an old PS(something), and the other 99.9999% of the time using my PC – a far superior platform if, like me, you’re very rarely interested in social gaming.

    The few people I know who have a PS(whatever) use it as a media player – though that’s happening less and less as Sony get ever more draconian with their DRM strategies. Once you figure out how to attach a PC to the telly, you don’t look back. Apparently.

    I have no interest in a Steam box, for the same reasons that I won’t allow an Apple TV in my house. Overpriced, and chock-full of DRM.

    • ET says:

      Why would you assume the Steam machine would be over-filled with DRM.
      So far, Valve’s policies seem very reasonable with respect to DRM, and the Steam machines.
      The Steam OS looks like it’s going to be open-source, and run-able on more than just the sanctioned brands of machine.
      As for Steam itself, yes it has DRM, but it’s pretty darn unobtrusive, as far as I’m concerned.
      It only checks up every couple hours for updates, and it checks your ownership when you first launch a game.
      If it’s a single player game, and your internet is out, I’m pretty sure it still lets you run in “offline mode”.
      You just won’t be able to check for updates/patches to your game.

      • ET says:

        That first line should have ended in a question mark. Oops.
        Also, I forgot; Steam is a very good social gaming platform, and also has lots of cheap games, and lots of sales.
        It’s far from perfect, and has a few policies* I don’t like, but overall, it’s light-years ahead of the competition.

        * One, for instance, is the no-returns policy on games.
        Valve already keeps track of how many hours you play a game for.
        It would be fairly straightforward to institute a policy, which lets you return a game for a full refund if you’ve played it for, let’s say, less than two hours.
        Developers could even give Valve a recommendation for the maximum time for the return policy for any game they make.
        Short quick puzzle game X: Half an hour maximum.
        Forty-hour plus sidequests RPG like Skyrim? Give it five hours.
        This would also work as a default sort of policy for demos of games.
        Honestly, the games I’ve wanted a refund on, are ones I would not have bought, if I’d have been able to try them out in a demo.

        • Abnaxis says:

          They do have the free weekends, at least.

          There are a few games I have not bought, because I played them on a free weekend and didn’t enjoy myself.

        • Ian says:

          (Necro-thread… comes from being in a different timezone – you tend to miss replies.)

          Well, “over-filled” is a statement of judgement. Steam already has too much DRM for my tastes, which is why I will not allow it on my PC, despite being an avid gamer. Any platform that requires a dedicated service, requires me to poke holes in my firewall / PeerBlock / etc, is not for me, and that’s not to start on the myriad reported problems with “off-line” mode, and what happens when Valve sell out? I don’t imagine a “box” dedicated to Steam applications would be any different.

          Your mileage will obviously vary, and that’s fine. It’s just not for me. As a potential customer, I choose to opt out.

  7. Nick says:

    Well, the only reason I own a PS3 is that I wanted to play Rock Band and you can’t do that on a PC. Also it plays DVDs, and at the time I was buying it the XBox RRODs were well publicized so I went with the one that could last.

    I’m unlikely to get a PS4, but honestly I might be tempted if a new version of Rock Band comes out on the new consoles

  8. Soylent Dave says:

    I’ll be doing what I normally do:

    Waiting at least a year after release before buying any of ’em, because by then we’ll know which one has the fewest crippling hardware errors, which one has games I actually want to play, and the price of them all will have dropped by at least a third.

    I’m leaning Xbone-wards at the moment, but that’s mostly because a) I’ve got a 360 at the mo and b) their “it’s an entertainment centre!” marketing describes what I actually use my console as, so if it actually performs as advertised it’ll… no I’ve got bored part-way through that sentence.

    I’ll definitely be waiting.

    • Attercap says:

      I take the same vector. I’m not a release-day buyer, waiting until there’s a large enough library of games that I want to play before I purchase… or that one game that wins me over. Not to mention the waiting allowing companies enough time to discover and work out any kinks in the system–which has helped me avoid most of the RROD and overheating issues with my XBox. That (well, not the game part) is also why I aim for any car-purchases to happen in November and to get that year’s make and model, rather than the next.

    • Volfram says:

      That is generally the best route to take. My policy is “Except in VERY particular circumstances, NEVER be an early adopter.”

  9. Rick C says:

    “We're still using our Wii for games and PS2 as a DVD player.”

    Just FYI, you can go to Wal-Mart and get a really decent low-end DVD player for about $30, which I did last year when my old one died. I was surprised because it had HDMI and I think did upconverting, and it actually had a fast processor unlike my old one, so it didn’t take 5 seconds for it to do anything when I pressed a button. It’s a much nicer DVD player than a PS2 is.

    • Warrax says:

      I bought a blu-ray player almost a year ago for $50, and that’s not even the cheapest one out there. It does netflix, hulu, pandora, and a whole slew of other services I don’t even need. That’s one of the reasons it seems so silly to me that the console makers (especially microsoft) are pushing the non-game services so hard; they’re already available way cheap and way easy from a bunch of different sources.

      • Ciennas says:

        That’s because there’s not a whole lot else that they can bring out for non-enthusiasts.

        ‘It has twice the RAM’ versus ‘It can play your Blu-Rays’ versus ‘were using the new Gring-Flagoya vertex shader jubblies to render the protagonists likable jaw’

        Advertising is not often aimed at the existing customer base, and certainly not the in depth how it work sorts. So they’ll assume that if they’re not buying the game player for the games, they’ll mention the other features, get them slowly into games.

        a wise strategy

        • Warrax says:

          Perhaps, but MS in particular has this really bad habit lately of seeming really out of the loop in terms of what people want/need/actually do in real life (see: the evil camera, windows 8, thinking people want targeted advertising. etc.) They seem to have this desperate need to appear innovative while actually being 2+ steps behind and/or headed in the wrong direction, and completely clueless about why.

          It seems to be a cyclical thing for really big businesses. Sony looks to have learned from the mistakes of the previous generation, while Microsoft is heady with the arrogance of last gen’s successes. It was reversed 8 years ago, and will probably reverse again in another 8.

          • Ciennas says:

            You’re right. But hopefully a new CEO can get them back in the curve.

            Also, all companies want to do targeted ads and constant over your shoulder watching, because guessing what people want is frustrating and terrifying, but making the exact thing they seem to like is easy money. Theoretically.

            I’m not keen on it- it sounds like it’ll quash innovation.

            They’ll work real hard to build this corporate police state, realize that the data they’re mining is functionally worthless, and discard/fail to maintain the system, and then it’ll come back up next decade or so.

            • Ciennas says:

              Doh! Forgot to say: The advertising arm is wholly seperate from the developing arm. And they hate each other.

              They covered it on Cracked.com last month; neat stuff in that article.

  10. Baron Bytes says:

    I’m gonna wait till march to get a PS4 then in september I will try to get my friends on the same console for the next NHL game. If I fail I’ll get an xbone too I guess.

  11. bloodsquirrel says:

    I haven’t seen anything announced yet for the next generation of consoles that I’m interested enough in to buy one. There’s a couple of Xbox One games that I might pick up if I had one, but I wouldn’t buy the system for them. Nintendo flat-out needs to get out of the hardware business.

    I’m just really, really bored with the current AAA design trends. Everything even remotely interesting seems like its happening on PC now.

  12. The truth is that I care so little about the new console generation, that I keep forgetting the new consoles are launching now. The PS4 launches this week, and I only remember whenever I see the giant displays in stores or see it on gaming news sites, then promptly forget 10 seconds later.

    Mostly, it’s a case of my changing game habits. I don’t care about AAA games or having the newest thing at launch, so I’m not interested in whatever’s exclusive. Most of the games I play are indie games, older, or just not console focused, so I don’t particularly need one. The Wii U is most appealing to me, simply because it has the most interesting games that I won’t be able to get on the PC. I’d probably get a Nintendo 3DS first, though.

    It’s actually kind of funny. The same day most people are releasing as much PS4 content as they can, I’m working on a blog post about games like Joe Danger and Stealth Bastard. I believe this is why I can never seem to build up much traffic.

    • ET says:

      Oh man, I remember playing Stealth Bastard a couple years ago!
      At least I think it was SB; Hopefully not a cheap knock-off. :P
      That game was super fun!

    • Corpital says:

      Pretty much exactly what I’m going to do. Upgrade my DS with a 3DS to make the daily 2hours of commute more bearable and one or two indie games or a big title on sale every few months are enough to keep me happy-ish.
      Don’t actually have that much time for games, since there is no time when I’m not playing Minecraft.

  13. Daimbert says:

    I bought my PS2 for the DVD player and the ability to play games.

    It took me much longer to buy my PS3 and I only got it when I got the HDTV and wanted a Bluray player as well.

    There’s nothing with that on the PS4, and there are only one or two possible games that I’d buy that console for. So I might end up skipping this generation entirely.

  14. AJax says:

    For now, I’m skipping the next-gen consoles entirely and just focus on gaming on my PC, 3DS and the interesting PS3 and Wii games that I missed. If I’m getting a new console it might be a WiiU primarily for the next Zelda game or least likely a PS4… only if they were dirt cheap or I’m able to find a really good deal for one.

    As of right now, not interested in purchasing any of these new consoles any time soon.

  15. RTBones says:

    Funny part? I still have my Intellivision, with a multitude of games, and the optional Intellivoice add-on. And they all still work. And its cool…and stuff. The wild thing about those controllers is that each game had an overlay that you slid over the buttons. You could also buy a suction-cup joystick handle that would attach to the controller disk so you could use it like a more conventional joystick.

    As to consoles, I broke down last year and bought a PS3. I did it largely for the bluray player, but have enjoyed some PS3 exclusive titles, and a few bits from the bargin bin as well. I’m a PC gamer mostly, so I have no intention of buying either a PS4 or XBone.

  16. MelTorefas says:

    The last console I bought was a PS3, and the last game I played on it was a bizarre tactical JRPG called Phantom Brave (which I will always remember for an early battle where a werewolf boss picked up one of its allied slime creatures and beat my tank to death with it). That was… more years ago than I can actually remember offhand.

    Since then the only titles I have cared about are the Halo games and Rockband. Neither of which were sufficient to justify me buying a console. This generation doesn’t look more interesting to me, except for the Steam Machine (since that is where most of my games are). I had a good laugh at Microsoft and the XBone though.

  17. The Rocketeer says:

    I am going to do what I did when the current generation first came out: wait for the price of games for the dying generation to tank, and buy up everything I ever wanted to check out but didn’t have time or cash for.

    This will keep me in games until, and likely long after, the new generation has eventually dropped in price and has a healthy library of affordable, time-tested hits, and I will decide if anything suits me at my leisure.

    I understand that there are people who don’t do this, but I cannot understand why for the life of me.

  18. Strangeite says:

    Sony and Nintendo also have to compete against a competitor that doesn’t care that much that its video game console division loses money.

    What will be really interesting is what happens if Elop is named CEO of Microsoft, because his statements have made it pretty clear that the Xbox division would be sold off. If that happens, then xbox would no longer have a 2 billion dollar a year crutch to lean against.

    But at the end of the day, I really don’t care, the last console I purchased was the Wii and before that was a used Nintendo 64.

  19. Adam says:

    I’m a college student who will be graduating in the spring and HOPEFULLY won’t spend months wandering the barren job market before I find a job that makes use of what I’ve learned (as opposed to minimum-wage scrape-work, like most of my peers) so I won’t have a ton of time for gaming for the forseeable future. As such, my current library of unfinished games should last me until sometime in 2015. At which point I’ll just snap up some more current-gen fare on the cheap. So I’m not looking at having to even CONSIDER buying a new console until at least 2016.

  20. MadTinkerer says:

    I’m looking forward to all the cheap PS3 games. Every generation foolish fools trade in all their old games to buy the latest console which barely has any launch titles. I then scoop up dozens if not HUNDREDS OF CHEAP GAMES. My extensive PS1 and PS2 library is mostly due to this phenomenon. Soon I will have a massive PS3 collection as well!

  21. Hal says:

    We're still using our Wii for games and PS2 as a DVD player.

    You know, I bought a Wii at launch back in 2007, and that poor machine has just crapped out on me in the past month. Disk drive stopped working.

    I don’t know if that’s a good lifespan or not, but I’m saddened by the loss.

  22. Peter H. Coffin says:

    Largely, I think it’ll come down to those that have PS3s will (eventually) buy PS4s. Those that have 360s will (eventually) by XBones. And some will (eventually) buy Steam things (which I still think should be called Steam Chests for technical reasons). These are not exclusive sets, either.

    But I do think that the lack of backcompatibility is gonna hurt the uptake, for all the reasons that we’ve gone through before. The PS3 under my tv can play the vast majority of the PSX games I’ve ever bought, not to mention almost all the PS2 games. (Boy, am I rusty at Gran Turismo…) That’s gonna mean that the PS3 is staying and it’ll be sharing shelf space and time.

    • Tizzy says:

      I wouldn’t be so sure. I have a 360, and I swore off the XBone because of that spy-in-my-livingroom fiasco. Also, I am keenly aware of the PS3-exclusive titles that I’ve had to miss, and though I loathe the idea of encouraging exclusive titles, I’d like the option anyway.

      In other words, one’s experience with the previous generation of console can encourage away from a model brand rather than renewing one’s confidence in it.

  23. I haven’t purchased a console since the ps2 (which I bought at the end of its cycle for cheap) and I don’t know why I would. All the games I want to play come out on the PC. Eventually.

    • neolith says:

      I am in the same boat – I got a PS2 late and cheap. I only use it to play Guitar Hero once or twice a year.

      The XBOne and the PS4 are both failures IMHO, but for different reasons. While Microsoft got the “multimedia for the living room” part right, they screwed up the software part where people want to own their games, play the offline and not have the system call home every five minutes. Sony on the other hand did it the other way round loundly praising how the PS4 lets you do all the stuff Microsoft won’t let you and then silently admitting that the console propably won’t let you play CDs, DVDs and MP3 files and doesn’t let you plug in external drives from the start.

      The sad thing is – both consoles are essetially PCs. General purpose computers. Sure, they come with some extras mostly interesting for gamers – but still. These machines should give their users freedom of choice, they should present possibilities, just like computers do. But their makers instead try to shoehorn their customers into stupid services in hope of pressing a little more money.

      So, no, I am not going to buy any console. I still can play GH on the old PS2 and my PC can still run any game I throw at it. I really liked the PS3 when it came out, because you could even install Linux on it – but that was some shortlived joy.

      I might build me a Steam box at some point. :)

  24. Paul Spooner says:

    Never owned a console, not planning on starting now.
    It certainly is interesting to see the grief and goading that spills over into other discussions. I’m only peripherally aware of console issues, but keeping in touch with gaming culture seems ensure a fairly exhausting education on the topic.

    • ET says:

      The only console I’ve ever bought was my Nintendo DS.
      I think it was its second run of models, when they’d slimmed down a bit.
      I only had a couple of games for it:
      1. Some zombie game I can’t remember the name of. The Box and manual art were fantastic, the cutscenes in the game were a wonderful comic book style, and the gameplay…got me to throw that thing in the trash.
      2. Megaman X something-or-other. Good game, but honestly it’s Megaman X. It’s pretty much the same game from even the SNES days, and almost identical to any of them after the first couple Playstation ones.
      3. Borrowed friend’s copy of SUper Mario Version Whatever so I could play against a third friend. Fun-ish, but we all got too busy with life to ever play.
      4. Izuna 1 & 2. Amazing games. Loved every minute.

      Honestly, this was after about 4-5 years of the DS being on the market, and I found what…five games worth playing?
      I don’t think I’ll ever play anything other than a normal PC, except maybe something reasonably cheap and/or innovative, like the Steam Machine or an Ouya.
      Honestly, a lot of the games I play come on multiple platforms, including obviously the PC, so I don’t think I’ll ever get another console.
      They’re just too expensive and restrictive to offset the gaming I’d get out of them

  25. Primogenitor says:

    I’m spectating this phenomenon without understanding any of it but it’s the “fight for the living room” mentality I don’t understand most.

    Most people with the income and desire for one console and a reasonable library of games will probably buy other platforms too. It’s not a “winner takes all” situation and everyone would be better off if they cooperated – ‘tragedy of the commons’ and better to have a smaller slice of a much bigger pie.

    Also, I’ve had my PC in the living room with a mouse and keyboard for 5 years – so why is this problematic for anyone else that wants to do that? What problem is Steambox et al trying to solve?

    • Paul Spooner says:

      I would hazard that the Steambox is trying to solve the problem of “I built my own PC and I can’t get the video card drivers to work with X.”

      The whole “battle for the living room” is marketing targeted at people who are susceptible to marketing, which is to say people who are not you.

      • Tizzy says:

        I wouldn’t underestimate the power of inertia in most people’s living rooms. Yes, it’s true, there are other ways of accessing various forms of entertainment, but I don’t think the console manufacturers would be so gung-ho over this if the data from the current generation’s console didn’t bear it out. (Whether things stay that way is another question.)

        I love to make my life harder by compartmentalizing my various distractions, which means a lot of electronic gadgets who could overlap but really don’t. Many people would rather have one item that does everything, and upgrade it regularly; OTOH, I can lose my smartphone and lose essentially nothing, rather than my whole life.

    • ET says:

      The main problem is that lots of companies (including the big 3 console makers) would rather fight each other trying to get exclusivity and vendor lock-in, than to try and share with anyone else.
      Companies will take money by any means necessary, unless they have laws, or consumer boycotts/etc giving them a reason not to.

    • Daimbert says:

      Most people with the income and desire for one console and a reasonable library of games will probably buy other platforms too. It's not a “winner takes all” situation and everyone would be better off if they cooperated ““ “˜tragedy of the commons' and better to have a smaller slice of a much bigger pie.

      If I can get everything I want with only one system, there’s no reason for me to buy any of the others. It is only through exclusives that you can get any sort of “commons” at all, and get people to buy more than one system. So if they don’t compete, then one will win the living room anyway, most likely, so they might as well actually try to do that.

      The only exception to this is if they aim at different target audiences, like the Wii did in the last generation. The problem is that it can be hard to justify buying a system just to play some games on it, especially if it’s $400 – $500 when you can play games on your laptop, phone, or buy a cheaper handheld device that you can take anywhere.

      Also, I've had my PC in the living room with a mouse and keyboard for 5 years ““ so why is this problematic for anyone else that wants to do that? What problem is Steambox et al trying to solve?

      I have a hard time playing games with a mouse and keyboard while lying on my sofa, and the PC or laptop would clutter my living room more, which is the room that I want to look neat when people come over. Thus, even games that I had on the PC I only played when I got a console version of them.

  26. Tychoxi says:

    My last console was a SNES, *sheds a tear* and I hope “Steambox” kills consoles for good, or at least the way consoles are. I know that’s not necessarily the best situation possible, but the big consoles have been so bad at doing what they are supposed to do that I couldn’t care any less.

    Damn you and your exclusive titles.
    Damn you and your always-online shenanigans and draconian DRM.
    Damn you and your limitations.
    Damn you and your lack of backwards compatibility.
    Damn you and your limited peripherals.
    Damn you and your weird pricing schemes.
    Damn you and your excessive proprietary specifications and closedness.

    Long live the glorious PC master race!

    • TMTVL says:

      If I had all the money in the world, I’d buy a PS4, ’cause the PlayStation series always had the titles which interested me the most (JRPG’s, which get released on Nintendo systems, but don’t get exported).

      I’d never consider getting one of M$’s systems, mainly because of all the bad press I’ve heard (pretty much nothing but AAA crap like FPSes, the XBox live crowd seems to be full of horrible people, the systems are badly engineered,…).

      Similarly, I didn’t buy Nintendo because of how they used to be (look up how Sony got started with the PSX if you wanna know what I mean), and because they pretty much only release Mario and Zelda. I liked Metroid, but Other M caused me to lose all faith in the franchise.

      Finally, I have the PS Vita, so the synergy with the PS4 might be interesting to play around with (I’ve got the PS Vita dev tools, playing around with the systems is really fun).

      But I don’t have the money, so I’ll just invest in a PS3 + Demon’s Souls.

  27. Aelyn says:

    There will an XBox One in our house at some point in the relatively near future. The XBox One and its Kinect is like unto voice recognition as the future of computing. It is going to take some time and work, but you’re seeing the future interfaces right now on these devices. It’s not even that far off.

    • ET says:

      Personally, I think motion controls will require too much work, to be of any real use in the near-term future.
      A huge challenge is that there’s no good way of giving feedback to the human.
      We’re tool using animals and we can pick up a joystick, mouse, or any physical thing very easily.
      But trying to precisely wave your arms around?
      At best, the games will give good visual feedback, but honestly, I think custom, open source, and/or interchangable joysticks/controllers will provide a much better input interface to our gaming machines.
      I mean, the joysticks on all the major controllers: they have a small spring, which causes you to instinctively know how far you’ve pushed, even before you hit the limit of the stick’s motion.
      Pressing a button?
      If it’s well thought-out, with just the right travel distance and resistive force and/or ‘click’, it’s an extremely intuitive, unambiguous input mechanism.

      • Corpital says:

        I’m aspiring to be a bit of a speedrunner and love me some button mashing. While speedrunning a game with motion control undoubtedly sounds hilarious to watch, I’d rather not try it myself.

        Also, the lazy argument: To unwind, I like to sit down while playing a game, chat with a few friends, maybe have a sip of whiskey or gin. If I want to exercise, I usually leave the house and frolic in the nearby hills, woods and meadows, thank you very much.

        • Veylon says:

          I’m actually looking forward to when the tech-savvier-then-me TAS-ers start playing around with motion controllers. What is the scientifically-determined perfectly optimal way to move in order to beat Steel Battalion in the fewest number of milliseconds? Inquiring minds want to know!

          • I’m of the opinion that motion controllers will never outperform physical controls until there’s a method for some kind of force-feedback. At least, we’re not getting a sword-swinging game out of a motion controller, as “push button combo to kill dude” is more precise than “wave at the sensor in precisely the right way to execute a series of commands.”

            It’s why the Star Wars Kinect game became a dance game (which motion sensing devices excel at) instead of a lightsaber game (which stink because you’ve got no way of telling quickly that your swing has gone wrong).

      • Aelyn says:

        I think you’re going a step further than I am. I agree that some (much?) of game control requires more tactile feedback. But your average, everyday business user – which is the world I inhabit – could use this to great extent. Imagine the CFO in his office manipulating spreadsheets and financials with a few words and the wave of his hand.

        This interface isn’t perfect, but it will be in use a good bit before too long.

        • ET says:

          I’m pretty sure spreadsheets require more precise controls than waving your arms can do.
          Even if you assume that selecting certain rows and columns is somehow a solved problem…how are you going to type effectively by waving your arms?
          As for voice command, I don’t think people would like having their voices go hoarse before the end of the work day, trying to dictate non-stop to their machines, instead of say, just moving their fingers a little bit.

          • You don’t type when you’re doing a presentation. It’s a very undemanding interface case, actually–as long as you have a gesture for “next slide” and maybe “go back to previous slide” you’re there. Possibly something for starting and stopping animations.

        • Asimech says:

          I’m not sure I’m thinking the kind of manipulation you’re thinking, since all I can think of is data entry*1 or moving graphs/charts around*2. Maybe adding a graph/chart*3? Unless you mean browsing the data*4.

          *1 Dictating content is slower than typing, especially if it’s numeral data. (pressing “5” compared to saying “five” for example)

          *2 Which would likely be more intuitive, faster & precise when done with a mouse and keyboard.

          *3 This might be practical, since clicking “insert” then “graph X” and so on tends to take a surprising amount of time, but only if the technology works perfectly and the user isn’t able to learn hotkeys for functions.

          *4 Browsing data with voice & motion commands sounds more tiring and slower than alt-tabbing and mouse clicks by far. It would be more cinematic, though.

  28. False Prophet says:

    I have never bought a console at release, and I skipped the 5th generation of consoles entirely. (I’ve otherwise always owned one console from each gen except the first.) The last one was a PS3, because a) I was favourably inclined towards Sony because of the PS2, b) it played Blue-Ray discs, and c) there are a few of the PS3 exclusives I found entertaining, like Uncharted, God of War, Last of Us, whereas the only XBox exclusives you can’t get on PC didn’t appeal to me at all.

    Given that both these new boxes are just low-power gaming PCs with walled-garden ecosystems, and my 2-year-old laptop probably has better specs than either of them, and most of my gaming these days is indie/small titles or older games, I’m very much inclined to just skip this console generation.

    If I had children my situation might be different. But even then, I see my cousins’ kids playing mobile games on tablets more and more, while playing the consoles less and less. If consoles lose the “hardcore” audience to PCs, and the kids, families, and casuals to tablets, who will be left? They probably need to get back to their roots as a living room box, and do things that PCs and mobile devices can’t do as easily yet. Emphasizing a return to local co-op? Creating the next big social/party game phenomenon a la Rock Band? I don’t know, but I don’t think pitting a $400 device as a set-top box where their competitors hover around the $100 range is the right play.

  29. postinternetsyndrome says:

    I was born a PC gamer and will likely die one. I had friends with NES and mega drives and whatnot, but at home, we only had the one PC with jazzjackrabbit, duke nukem (the original!), command & conquer, myst, etc. When I got older (14-15 maybe?) I finally got my long longed for N64, on which I played Perfect Dark to death and beyond, and later on my brother got a gamecube so there has been some Zelda and Super Smash Bros happening in the house, but those are all exceptions. (Apart from Perfect Dark, that game was my life.)

    I never owned a console from the last generation, and I don’t see myself getting any of the new ones. I’m getting a new graphics card and an SSD somewhere in the near:ish future and expect that to carry me through the upcoming years. (My current rig – still fully competent by modern standards – is almost 5 years old at this point.)

    I just don’t see the point of consoles. I own a 360 controller because it’s useful, and if I had an actual living room I might have wanted some solution for getting games on my TV, but then again, I like the fidelity of a big, normal 1920×1080 monitor. I even sort of prefer films in that format. When I get a living room I might not even put a TV in it. Don’t have one now and don’t really feel the need.

    • Corpital says:

      Oh boy, Perfect Dark for the N64. Counting together the hours I (and, occasionally, a friend) put into this would even let the combined hours I’ve sunken into the complete Elder Scrolls Series shrivel like a very cold day in the locker room.

  30. TMTVL says:

    …And I can’t edit my comment, and it appeared somewhere odd. I guess WordPress’s broken again.

  31. Zukhramm says:

    People seem to choose their machines backwards sometimes. I’m not deciding anything. I’ll buy whatever console I’m required to when the games I want to play make me.

  32. Blake says:

    As always I’ll end up getting them all when there’s exclusives I care about, for Wii U that was day 1 (starting with Nintendo Land and ZombiU and then all the Ninty games since), for PS4 that’ll probably be a Ratchet and Clank game, for Xbone it’ll be… Fable? Maybe? I can’t really think of any other Microsoft exclusives I’ve ever cared about.

  33. Klay F. says:

    Yeah, I’ll be holding off until the new Metal Gear Solid is out. Hopefully, there will be some interesting games between then and now.

    Honestly though, if Kojima-san would ever just fucking port the series over to PC, there’d be no reason for me to ever get a console again.

    • Klay F. says:

      Ummm Shamus, I think something is up with editing comments.


      EDIT: I’ll also be buying a WiiU once Bayonetta 2 comes out.

      • Shamus says:

        Editing of comments is disabled for the foreseeable future. My site was down for most of a day this week, and it turns out that the WordPress plugin that lets you edit comments has been devouring tons of server CPU. (I’ve noticed these slowdowns on the backend but didn’t know the cause.)

        • Paul Spooner says:

          This kind of thing happens all the time. Stuff breaks for whatever reason, and it’s more trouble to try to fix it than it is to just throw it out. Or the problem seems to fix itself and then it’s impossible to diagnose until it comes back.

          Just had that same kind of problem on a huge milling machine at work. The control system throws up an error. A couple of engineers poke at the machine for a couple of hours, and then the problem goes away. No one knows why it starts or stops. We would disable the functionality if we could, but in this case it’s crucial to keep a two story tall machine running. There are at least three of these chronic phantom problems on that machine alone.

          At this point the question isn’t really “Why do things break?” as much as “Why does anything ever work?”

          • Abnaxis says:

            Oh, my favorite problem is the phantom bug, the elusive beast that only shows it’s head on days divisible by 4, that when you finally track it down you wonder why the hell this code ever worked to begin with?

            I ask myself this question way, way too often considering the sheer size of the equipment the code I’m looking at is controlling (more often than not it isn’t my own code, though it sometimes is). I think there’s something endemic about automation software that makes phantom-mystery-bugs more common.

        • Klay F. says:

          Okay, thanks for the info. Its good to know whats up.

  34. Volfram says:

    Until Valve made their announcements, I was expecting to skip this console generation.

    Microsoft generated tons of bad press with the announcement of the Xbox One. I would not buy the machine they announced, and stopped listening when they started backpedaling. I will not buy an Xbox One.

    Sony worked very, VERY hard to offend me during the run of the PS3. It was my favorite console of the generation, and then Kazuo Hirai was put in charge of SCE and proceeded to launch tons of policies that almost look like they were DESIGNED to offend customers. And then he was put in charge of the company for some reason. I will not give any money to Sony until Kazuo Hirai is gone. Possibly not even then.

    I want a Steam Controller, though.

    • Paul Spooner says:

      I’m seriously thinking about getting a Steambox, but that’s easy to say at this point since they aren’t for sale.
      It certainly does look interesting, and I’ll need to upgrade my PC at some point… who knows? In any case, I really hope they sell the controller separately… though chances are there won’t be any drivers for Windows?

      • Volfram says:

        No windows drivers sounds like a massive oversight given the incredibly lucky people who are testing it already. Also, I was under the impression they wanted it to be a general controller, not something specially for the Steambox.

  35. IFS says:

    I’ll be getting a PS4 eventually, once its started to get more games on it. Right now though the launch titles aren’t looking that interesting, and the future titles I’m interested in for it are also coming out on systems I already own (Dark Souls 2 primarily).

    Part of this is because most of my friends are primarily console gamers so I’ll need one to keep playing with them, the rest is because there are some interesting looking games in the works for the system that I will want.

    • Klay F. says:

      Yeah, Dark Souls 2 is literally the only reason I still have my 360. I know they are building a separate PC version, but (this sounds crazy coming from me) I think using a controller is the best way to play Souls games, and using a controller WITH my PC just offends me for completely irrational reasons.

  36. Allan says:

    I liked my original Xbox and I really liked my Xbox 360, plus nearly everyone I knew had one aswell so we were always going around each other’s houses and playing multiplayer(barely ever touched live) so I was pretty much all set to buy Microsoft’s next console offering right up until they opened their mouths and started talking about it.

    I was thinking of getting the other one instead but then I realised I’ve got over a hundred games on steam and such that I still haven’t played or completed. I’m already so spoilt for choice that the effort of deciding what to play can get rather intimidating.

  37. Humanoid says:

    The only soon-to-be-current-gen console I will likely end up with will be the Wii U, not because I’m particularly impressed by it, but because of the usual multiplayer gaming with family (they already have a Wii U, I’m waiting for the first-party titles).

    As for the others, eh, I see no reason to go for them anywhere near launch, if ever. Just about all the games I’d ever want to play on them are multi-platform releases available on PC. I mean, I own an Xbox360 currently, which I purchased to try out the pay-TV-via-Xbox feature, and I’ve probably barely logged double digits total using it as a gaming machine (and have cancelled the pay-TV thing as well, so the whole thing was a waste of money really). And at no point during the generation just gone did I think “hey, I really think I’d like to play that PS3 exclusive game”.

    And besides, I still am soft-boycotting Sony over the rootkit fiasco (I know, that was like a decade ago, but I hold grudges), as in, if there’s a reasonable alternative solution to a Sony product, I’ll take it.

    The Steam Machine is the joker here of course. I will almost certainly not buy a Steam Machine as such, but will be happy to take advantage of the collateral benefits that its development will bring. That is to say, the likely universal access to Steam’s library of games on “normal” Linux, as opposed to SteamOS specifically. It’s a self-correcting policy in a way – if Valve turn out to be evil bastards who enforce SteamOS as the One True Linux for Gaming, then screw them, I’ll not bend to their ways. If they’re altruists and have everything truly open, then what’s the reason to choose Valve’s immature distro over the established, mature and trusted incumbents?

    In short, I don’t particularly trust Valve to not be evil, since their business model doesn’t exactly jive with open source. But beyond that I don’t particularly trust them to be competent anyway in terms of usability, features and the other things that make an OS. (I do admit that I’ve just spent way too much time wrangling with Steam’s god-awful UI for categorising games in their own client, but if they can’t get something as simple as that right, what hope is there?)

  38. Lisa says:

    I realised the other day that the only reason I’ve bought any console in any generation (starting with the GameCube) was that there was one game I really had to have. I bought more after I had the console, but it was that one game that made me buy the console in the first place.
    So far there isn’t any game that I care enough about that’s only on XBone or PS4. Once there is, then I guess I’ll make my decision.
    Having said that, I have never (for some reason) got on with the PS controllers. I don’t know why, but I just such at using them.

  39. Cybron says:

    I don’t really see anything worth buying a console for this generation. Nothing console exclusive looks interesting. The only exceptions are on the WiiU, and I’m not really ready to commit to buying one yet (especially when most of the games I really want aren’t on it yet).

  40. Jingleman says:

    Xbone? PS4? Why not both? It’s going to be a long generation, folks, so I’m thinking the thing to do is just to wait around until a given console hits an exclusive that makes it all worth it. If these companies eventually swear off the Big Brother crap, and the DRM policies on these things sort of stay reasonable over time, then I imagine I’ll end up with one of each at some point over the next 8-10 years — it’ll just take a title that I can’t live without, and that I can’t get anywhere else.

  41. Iunnrais says:

    Honestly, none of the “next gen” consoles excite me much. What does excite me is the Oculus Rift.

  42. Chargone says:

    If past patterns hold up, in a year or three there’ll be some well made ‘tactical’ (read: turn based combat on a grid, generally) rpgs and a number of really good oddball titles come out on the PS4 from small to medium sized japanese developers, and/or a koei (well, tecmo-koei/koei-tecmo/whatever these days) game i want (except for Samurai Warriors 3 for some never to be sufficiently explained reason, they release everything on the sony platform of the day with erratic x-box releases for the bigger name titles and delayed PC releases for particular instances of smaller series/games which do unexpectedly well)

    Sooo…. i expect to get a PS4 eventually.

    Steam box looks interesting, but given that my ‘Livingroom’ is a subset of my bedroom equating to ‘half my “office” space’, AKA the desk my computer and (technically it’s a tv, though it’s main job is VDU for PC, PS3-as-dvd-player, and to a lesser extent PS3 and PS2) are on, surrounded by shelves containing my games, consoles, books, and dvds… well… i might get the controller? That said, the way microsoft is going with windows, and my buying habits for PC games are going, when it comes time to replace my pc due to obsolesence, i may just get a steam box then (if they’re still things) instead… though then i’d have to go back to a laptop instead of a tablet as my ‘gaming pc’ is also functioning as ‘word processor and web browser when poor design means a feature is incompatable with my tablet’…
    So, yeah, that’s an ‘eventually’ on that one. Though if those japanese devs would release for the steam-box instead of/as well as the PS4 i’d be all over it…
    Sony’s pretty terrible, but less terrible than microsoft and provide a specific service i want… if steam would provide that service i’d jump ship on Sony in a heart beat.

  43. Duoae says:

    I’ll most likely get a PS4 – despite doing the majority of gaming on PC, it’s getting a little long in the tooth right now (components are 2010-level tech) and whilst that previously wasn’t a problem, most PC ports were hamstrung by the relatively low power of 360 and PS3 so graphical requirements haven’t really been strained for a long time now.

    Now, I know the XBO and PS4 are mid-range PC levels of hardware (with some custom parts and obvious benefit of optimisation and whatnot that devs can do for a targeted platform) but this is still going to start pushing up PC requirements for the ports from consoles because of increased graphical niceties, geometry and texture resolutions… so I’m not sure how much longer my current PC will have to play those games.

    Couple all this with the fact that my PC is noisy as hell and I don’t currently have a gamepad to use on it (I just prefer to play some games on a pad rather than mouse+keyboard) I want one of the new consoles in order to cover all my bases without having to completely upgrade my PC (mobo and CPU are a dead-end) which will end up costing more.

    I might have considered buying an XBO but MS have done everything conceivable to stop me from wanting to get one… including refusing to sell the console in my country or even name when it will be released; I live in Europe.

  44. kdansky says:

    I’m planning to buy a Dual Shock 4 controller, as it seems to be significantly better than a PC360-one (non-shitty Dpad!), and is supposed to work perfectly well on PC.

  45. Zekiel says:

    No console at all. The only difference this makes to me is that I’ll probably finally be forced to upgrade my PC. This is a sad thing, since I can’t see any reason why games need to be prettier than the Witcher 2 or Bioshock Infinite. But I’m guessing if I want to play the Witcher 3 then I’ll need a better PC. (The new consoles have twice the RAM of my current PC and also exceed it in a few other areas.)

  46. Phantos says:

    -I invested a lot into the Xbox 360, and I was not rewarded for it. Even years later, after these people have gotten used to the machine they created, every major release ends up being a f***tastrophe. And the console itself deserves its’ reputation as a malfunctioning disaster.

    So I’m not exactly eager to give Microsoft another chance and more of my money.

    -Sony seems to be friendlier to the indie scene, and it looks like they’ve learned their lesson from the problematic PS3 era. But I would only consider a PS4 to get digital copies of PS1/2 games that are out of print.

    -Nintendo’s disappointed me in recent years, but the Wii U looks interesting. It just doesn’t really have that one game I HAVE to buy. Everyone made fun of the 3DS at first, but once it started releasing games like Kid Icarus, Fire Emblem, Animal Crossing and the new Pokemon, it exploded in popularity. I think the Wii U just needs that killer app to get the ball rolling.

    Maybe a game where Mario, Sonic the Hedgehog and Mega Man beat the snot out of each other?

    -As for Valve… well, I’ll never forgive them for Left 4 Dead 2. So I guess my wallet will be spared this console generation.

  47. urs says:

    Pfft. My last and only console was the PlayStation Pre-Numbered.
    Chances are I’ll keep it like that. Maybe I’ll get something in the next-next generation when the kid is old enough…

    But, DO WANT the Kinect!

  48. Drinking with Skeletons says:

    The Wii was the king of the last generation in terms of consoles sold, but it’s hard to view it as anything other than a long-term failure that set the stage for the crushing disappointment of the WiiU. Nintendo sold a game console to people who didn’t play videogames and, lo and behold, they didn’t buy very many games. Actual gamers bought Nintendo’s first party titles but the mostly dreck that was being churned out by everyone else for the system kept people away from the titles that were actually pretty good (like Red Steel 2).

    Suddenly people are surprised that the WiiU is doing poorly; the people who most strongly responded to the Wii weren’t going to maintain interest very long, and those who might felt like the system was a waste. Three of my top five games of last gen were Wii exclusive, but it still sat untouched for months on end. Plus, the poor sales on the Wii have kept third parties away from the new system. Why would I rush out to pick up its successor?

    • Phantos says:

      I’m not sure if I’d call the Wii a failure. Or a success. “Experiment”, maybe? I guess only if Nintendo learned something from it.

      Not denying the whole “collecting dust” part, or the disappointing trend of Nintendo just doing the paint-by-numbers game design track record in recent years. But it was such a wacky left turn from the competition that I think it’s weird to even try comparing it to the PS3 and 360. At least in a “win or lose” state of mind. It certainly made a lot of money, and it influenced decisions by Microsoft and Sony down the line, but is that a victory?

      This is also why I’m reluctant to compare something like the Ouya or the upcoming Steam Box Thing with the Big Three console giants. What does a failure-state even look like in a console war?

      • Well, they are a corporation. Making money is a victory by definition. Spawning a dynasty so you can continue making even more money is a bigger victory, but being in a position to take the money and run is always better for a corporation than having no money to run with.

      • daveNYC says:

        Pyrrhic victory maybe? The Wii and its motion controller won the last generation’s sales battle, but that seems to have caused Nintendo to double down on the ‘funky controller gimmick’ with the WiiU.

  49. Ed Blair says:

    On the topic of backward compatibility, I got an SNES and it never occurred to me that it should play my NES games. I got an N64 and it never occurred to me that it should play SNES carts. Is the current angst about backward compatibility simply due to the fact that the piece of game-containing plastic that goes into the machine is the same size and shape as the previous generation’s game-containing plastic? I’m not a hardware guy and don’t have current consoles and so I don’t know if the generation gap between consoles is significant enough to merit interoperability.

    • Paul Spooner says:

      That’s an excellent inquiry, and the answer has a lot of nuances. Let me see if I can hit a few of them.

      First off, you’re right; Backward compatibility is a huge pain, and goes a lot deeper than the shape of the media. Any time you can break backward compatibility, the engineers rejoice.

      On the other hand, any time you can include backward compatibility, the customers rejoice. Existing libraries bolster launch value, so sales and marketing loves it too.

      The famous flagship for backward compatibility is Windows, and Microsoft works very hard to keep that in place. They know if they broke backward compatibility they would loose a huge portion of their customers. A lot of people expect the same thing from their console as they do from their VCR or PC. Why won’t it play the old games?

      Even better would be forward compatibility, where you could play your PS3 games on your PS2 or PS1. But this is even harder to do, as it requires figuring out future requirements before they are even an issue.

      Of course, it is very possible to make fully forward-backward compatible software. Blender, for instance, has the save format built in to every file, so you can open a Blender 0.1 file with the current version of Blender, and you can also open a current version with even the earliest versions of the software. Some recent features may not work in older software versions, but the meat of the file will load just fine.

      But the problem gets even more difficult when you’re dealing with hardware that is trying to run at a certain rate. Imagine, for example, that Nintendo designed all their drivers with full forward-backward compatibility. This means you could run a N64 game on your NES, and vice-versa. But the NES would run out of memory all the time, run really slowly, thrash the hard-drive, or whatever hardware failure state they came up with, because the NES hardware just isn’t powerful enough to run N64 games. Backward compatibility is a bit easier in this respect, as newer platforms generally have greater capabilities, but again, this would require a highly disciplined software architecture.

      And of course, this powerful fully backward compatible software architecture designed to emulate any generation of hardware would require larger overhead than a single-hardware OS… which is why Windows is a huge unwieldy mess.

  50. Jokerman says:

    I will get a ps4 in about…. 2017…. maybe.

  51. Lalaland says:

    Picking one up on EU launch, I need 64 player BF4 with my mates like I need oxygen ;)

    Been craving proper armour engagements in a BF game since BF2, the 24 player limit on the consoles largely ruined the vehicle gameplay as there wasn’t enough space to flank.

  52. Factoid says:

    I predict that both consoles will sell roughly equally well. PS4 will probably have the lead going into christmas because of the lower price point and earlier launch. But I think has xbox has a larger domestic fanbase than playstation, and more “baked in” consumers who will buy the new one no matter what.

    Personally I don’t care which one I ultimately own. I’ll probably have both eventually. But right now there’s not a single game for either one that I want, so I’ll be waiting a while. Hell, I might buy a WiiU before either one if they launch a new zelda game.

  53. Disc says:

    I’m not in a rush to get anything new at this point. Just invested in a new rig last summer, so I’d rather stick with it for the time being. I might make a dualboot for the SteamOS if it really proves to be better than Windows for running games and assuming there will be games made for it, but otherwise I think I’ll stick to my Win7-machine.

  54. rayen022 says:

    depending on waht consoles Kingdom Hearts 3 is coming out on will determine my family’s purchases. If it gets a release on the PS# will stick with what we have, if it’s only on PS4 we are likely to pony up the money and buy a new one. I really wish these things were backwards compatible…

  55. Thomas says:

    I’m likely to get a PS4 because I figure that, just like last generation, the decision between the two consoles is basically going to be irrelevant. Like choosing uni’s there’s no point stressing out because you’ll most likely end up enjoying whichever one you go to.

    Sony has more studios that have the capability of producing games that interest me. I prefer Naughty Dog to 343 Industries, I prefer Quantic Dream to Remedy, Media Molecule to Rare and Sucker Punch to Lionhead.

    So in the long term thats the platform which is more likely to give me good things, plus it’s vastly superior support in Japan brings all the medium sized Japanese studios into the equation.

    But I will probably wait a year or so, I’m in no rush. I don’t interact with people much and a console is a better way of ensuring some level of interaction for me than a laptop, plus I hate having to play all the games of the lowest settings and worrying about not being able to play new ones. And spending extra money on a PC for all those features my laptop already provides seems silly (plus a console is easier to transport)

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