Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Ready or not here they come Pt III: Playstation 4

In a week where a government shutdown has occurred, one would expect me to heap the praise on Ted Cruz and Mike Lee for their courage under fire. However, I pretty much said my peace on the matter. Obamacare needs to go, I don’t care how it gets done, it needs to go. All the party in-fighting over procedure is obnoxious at best and will only encourage more conservative voters to sit out future elections at worst. I’ve been railing against this problem for years now, so, this week I am taking a break to finish a tech blog series I started a couple months ago when the new game systems were announced.

Before I start that process though I would like to encourage you all to check out my book; The Great Compromise: Getting Past the Emotional Nonsense Dividing Americ, available on Amazon.com. Some of you have written me asking for a Kindle version, but getting that done will cost some $300.00. In other words I need to sell some physical copies before I can afford the cost of the conversion. The proposals are designed to get a national conversation going, so it is important that you read this book, find the areas of agreement and then let’s start reaching out to people, otherwise we are dead in the water politically. Your patronage is greatly appreciated.
Last time I wrote about the Xbox One and I predicted doom for it. Since then, Microsoft has walked back a lot of their more controversial proposals, and the pre-orders have pretty well sold out. This should not be indicative of a future success. It is important to remember that the Wii-U also sold out its pre-orders, it was what happened afterword that gave us a real indication of the market’s reaction to the new system.  I predict  that there is only one system that can really succeed in today’s market. The era of multi-platform ownership is over, at least until we get a new President and Obamcare and the money devaluing policies are repealed… I can dream right?
In terms of raw power, most agree that Playstation 4 is where it is at. Moreover, the tech demos I have seen from the PS4 have blown me right away. While games remain in the uncanny valley, the animation is becoming a great deal smoother, creating very life like visuals like those seen in Infamous: Second Son. 
In terms of social networking,  the PS4 is ready to connect to everything. This got started with the PS3, those of you who check out my facebook posts with regularity are bound to see My PS3 bragging on my behalf. The system does it automatically, letting my friends know what trophies I have unlocked in what game as I go. PS4 will build upon that, allowing players to record live clips from their games and then post them to facebook, so that moment your little sister humiliates you in Mortal Kombat can no longer be kept under wraps.  She can post it to her facebook page right away and re-tweet it until her heart is content. That epic moment you saved the kingdom from the dragon menace, or saved the city from a zombie infestation can be posted too.
Another aspect I am looking forward to is the improvements to digital distribution. I had resisted this in the past, I like having discs and the art books and such, but without realizing it I purchased well over 50 games digitally in this last cycle, mostly re-releases of classic games, but still it happened. I’d have done even more if the PS3 wasn’t so slow in downloading games. The PS4 will be much faster, not only that but it will let you play the games as they load, which is awesome.
The only negative side of the new unit is that it will not be backward compatible. So far that includes the games you purchased through the PS Network (download), though I have read some indicators that this may change for PSN games only. Your PS1, PS2 and PS3 discs will not work, and that is a shame because I have limited shelf space as it is.
Moreover, Sony’s backing away from 3D games serves as further frustration,  as they have done almost as much as Nintendo to sell me on the idea and the PS4 will be 3D capable, as well as 4K capable, though it will not emphasize either, which is a shame. 3D really changes the gaming experience, and as budget priced 3D TVs are starting to re-emerge on shelves at Costco and Best Buy it wouldn’t hurt for them to remember this niche, but growing, market.

The PS4 is priced to sell at only $400.00. It’s lower price point gives it another edge over the competition. It is more powerful than both the Wii-U and the Xbox One, yet only a little more than the Wii-U and significantly less than the Xbox One. With all this horsepower and it’s reasonable price structure the PS4 is ready to dominate the next generation. 

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