Yesterday evening, on February 20th, Sony held a press release to unveil their new home entertainment console to the masses: The Playstation 4.
Except they never showed the console itself – only the controller.
Granted, it is a nice controller, however, it’s still just a boring joystick. The feature Sony wanted to tell the world? The controller can now accept touch controls. You know, the feature iPods hit the selves in 2007. Not the newest or most exciting news Sony could have released on their big announcement since, well, Apple has a few products already on shelves which utilize the touch interface, Microsoft released the Windows 8 operating system which centers the user’s experience around touching giant blocks on laptops and tablets and the Nintendo Wii-U console came out months ago to less than stellar fanfare and their console came with an iPad-like controller.
Sony also touched upon a few game titles which (to no surprise) are designed with the new console’s X86 desktop-like computer architecture in mind: A new Killzone, Bungie’s new “Halo-like” first person shooter and Blizzard’s own Diablo 3. Some people were shocked to hear Diablo 3 announced for a console, I wasn’t. After playing a few different characters through the game, it is clear Activision pulled their strings and forced Blizzard to simplify the design elements to accommodate console controllers and make it cross-platform: The game itself is playable with a joystick and 4-5 buttons programmed to individual spells to simplify casting per each class. It doesn’t get much simpler than that. I love the idea of Blizzard branching out and putting games in the hands of more players, but at what cost? Diablo 3 is still sitting on my desktop, idle, after the first month of play. I play Torchlight 2 more than Diablo 3 and there’s a good reason for that: it’s a better game.
Bottom Line: Sony failed in three major points trying to gain hype for their newest console. I can already hear people yelling at me about “social gaming” and “always on connectivity.” What about games such as Skyrim, offline RPG’s where there is no multiplayer, take up 200+ hours or time to play and don’t require an internet connection and don’t need a connection to Facebook for constant spamming of friends to play? Some games are great for multiplayer, others should stay offline. Want to impress me? Avoid the DRM and dedicated required internet connection to play purchased titles.