Geeks and Nerds Stuff

The PlayStation 4 Announcement / Why I Think Console Gaming Is Dead

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On Wednesday, Sony held a major press conference in New York City.  The 140 minute event was streamed online for the world to see.  And Sony was hoping the new PlayStation 4 would create a lot of hype and people would be snatching them up this Christmas season.  After reading about the press event and seeing the reactions on social media.  I really doubt the PlayStation 4 will be a huge success when it goes on sale.  The PlayStation 4 is Sony’s first new game console in seven years.

Not one actual PS4 console was shown during the event so one has to wonder if Sony will have the consoles ready for sale this holiday season.  Sony never showed us what the console looks like, how much it costs, how much the games costs, when it’ll ship, what kind of hardware it uses beyond “x86 processor.”  The PS4 will have x86 CPU and a souped-up eight-core processor to juggle more complex tasks simultaneously.  That means it’s basically as powerful as a modern PC.   The PS4 will also have 8GB of unified memory.  Since no one saw the console, no one can tell if the console will look different from the PS3.

One of the biggest changes for the PS4 will be social sharing.  Several gamers do not want their social media followers to know what game they are playing or what they are doing.  Admit it; do you want someone to message you on how to complete the level instead of you figuring it out yourself.  Also, there is a risk of privacy concerns.  Jason Evangelho tweeted, “This system is very aware of the player and whatever is going on in the room at any given point, I DO NOT want this, do you?”  But Dennis Fong from Raptr said the social sharing feature allows gamers, “The ability to capture an image, video, or instantly broadcast what’s on your screen to your friends is transformational for the new generation of consoles.”

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The PS4 game controller will look different!  This was the only actual part of the PS4 that was actually shown.  The controller will have a LED light bar that will help differentiate between multiple players on the PS4.  The controller will have a built-in speaker and headset jack and bundled headset for chatting with other people.  The Select and Start buttons have been replaced by Options and Share, both of which sit near the top instead of closer to the thumbsticks.  But the biggest change will be the addition of a touchpad on top of the controller.

On the PS4, you can “suspend” games in low power states.  Gamers can hit the pause button and you’ll come back to the exact right spot.  That means no more “booting” like on the older PS systems.  Also, games will be playable even as they download, that’s cool!  Some of the newer games for the PS4 like Killzone: Shadowfall, Driveclub, The Witness, and others looked very cool!  But after reading and watching all of this; I have one problem.  Who buys gaming consoles anymore?

The PlayStation 4 is still going to be a console.  This way of playing games was popular before smartphones became people’s all-in-one electronic device.  Much of the excitement in video games today has shifted to the Web and mobile devices, which are cheap, easy, and fast.  Nintendo’s Wii has been a disappointment.  And Microsoft’s Xbox is racing to become a home entertainment center as fast as it can.   In the world today, instead of buying traditional games, which typically cost $50 or more, many consumers are being drawn to the cheaper, sometimes free games available for their smartphones and tablets.

People can do anything with a smartphone and tablet.  And the graphics have caught up to the same level you would have seen on a gaming console.  In 2012, American consumers spent $14.8 billion on game content, including computer and video games, down from $16.34 billion in the previous year, according to the NPD Group, a research firm.  I expect this trend will continue as games on tablets and smartphones gets even better!  Why would you waste money on a console when you can play great games much cheaper on a tablet ,smartphone, or PC.

Later this year, Microsoft is expected to announce the XBox 720.  But in my opinion, this will also be a waste of time!  I believe in around 10 years, console gaming will be a thing of the past as smartphones, tablets, and computers takes over for good.  You must have a smartphone and computer; why waste the extra money on a console?  Basically this event was a huge waste of time for many people!

 

4 replies »

  1. I can see your point, but I disagree to an extent. I think console gaming isn’t going away necessarily, but is starting to hybridize with other entertainment forms, and likely until all forms are nearly seamless. Nintendo is leaning this direction with the WiiU touchpad controller. It’s cheaper to make, and cheaper to sell a console that will stream info to a touchpad controller than try to make a stand alone touchpad device like the iPad. And yet, it will still allow running tv, video, and gaming services on your television as well.

    Don’t get me wrong though, I am still disappointed by Sony and Nintendo at this point, because I don’t think either have fully grasped this inevitability. However, to say that console gaming is on it’s death bed because Sony is on the wrong track is a bit extreme.

  2. If consoles wants to survive, they do need to do a variety of things other than play video games. They need to allow the streaming from Netflix and Hulu Plus, connect to the internet, watch TV, play Blu-Ray movies etc. The one good thing about console gaming is the sensor gaming. But it will not take long before smartphones and tablets catch up. Sadly, lots of people were very disappointed from the Sony event on Wednesday. I do think Microsoft has them beat.

  3. We’ll have to wait and see on that. I’m not so sure Microsoft will do any better, but I probably would have lost a lot of money betting against them before.

    Microsoft’s biggest advantage now is they know what they’re up against. I am curious to see what they do with it.

  4. Microsoft has surprised people before so we will have to wait and see what they will offer in the Xbox 720. They know the competition and they will improve!