Under the Knife: PS4, PC Fanboys, and...Sexism?
Sony has finally announced the Playstation 4. Yes, I'm aware I'm a tad late to the reaction party, but I've otherwise been occupied absorbing the reactions of other people and seeing either how analytical, insulting, or otherwise delusional said reactions are. It's quite amazing really. From one small press conference, we have this much material to work with from both Sony and the general public. What I mean is, the press conference generated enough buzz that I can make a proper reaction piece, while riffing on the ridiculous topics that have come up from it. I am of course referring to the sexist idealism that has cropped up and the massive ego of PC fanboys dissuading the Playstation 4 as "meh", but I would rather start off on a positive note.
My general impression of the Sony press conference is one of anticipation for the new system and also liking the new direction Sony is going. Throughout the whole conference they consistently repeated that the Playstation 4 is to be the console that developers can ease into without problems and that gamers can have incredible accessibility in various media forms. This sounds like a great turnaround. One, developers don't have to be scared or intimidated for having to develop for a Sony console. Two, gamers can have various ways of experiencing the best the industry has to offer while sharing said experiences.
Yes, you can indeed share your experiences. Not so much as just putting a camera in your room of you playing the game to the point of you possibly having fake fun like people on console commercials do, but rather that you have the ability to link up your best, worst, and comical moments in a game to your fellow gamers. I have always wanted to capture moments in games that make me want to say, "That was amazing". In the case of being able to go back and show these moments I can prove that I don't make false claims like PETA does by saying that Assassin's Creed is glorifying whaling (this has happened).
On a lighter note, there were a handful of developers there eagerly wanting to show what they are delivering to the Playstation 4. The lead system architect of the Playstation 4, Mark Cerny, showed his new game Knack. Personally, I think it looks like a fun adventure game. It would be a game I would get behind mainly because it has that feel of colorful adventure games that I grew up with (primarily Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon). It's no surprise I get that feel from Knack considering that Mark Cerny was involved with the success of Sonic the Hedgehog, Crash Bandicoot, Jak and Daxter, and Ratchet and Clank.
Moving on to a few more games, the next addition to Killzone which is called Killzone: Shadow Fall premiered with a very cool mix of gameplay and first person immersion. The graphics shown for this game look amazing and the action is intense. Infamous: Second Son was also shown. While I am disappointed to hear that Cole will not return, the new protagonist does show some potential with this smoke/charcoal type powers and the setting of the game. In terms of a new racing game, there is Drive Club. I'm not too crazy about that one, but the cars do look good.
Although we didn't see the actual console, I think that Sony may be saving it for E3. A major problem that I see may plague the Playstation 4 is that it won't be backwards compatible with Playstation 3 games. That might be a reason why some people won't buy it. If anything, the listed features and developers supporting the console is impressive. I can see that Sony is really adding on some good ideas to sell the console.
One feature I am very intrigued by is that Sony is adamant on getting game accessibility to you. This is covered by a couple key things. One is that when you are downloading a game, the data that has been downloaded will be available to play as the rest of the game is still downloading. So you won't have to wait to get to the game whereas for the PS3 you have to and cannot download it in the background. You can go straight into the game. How they are going to do this is yet to be delved into, but it sounds really cool.
A new system that Sony is also adding is prediction of a gamer's library of games. What this means is that the Playstation will upload demos and information for you in regards to the types of games you play so that you can try and learn about upcoming or available titles. This feature allows Sony to showcase games that you may like and can get exposed to. In this way, now developers and games can get the recognition that they deserve. After all, Marcus Beer from Gametrailers said it best in a recent video that Sony has good games, but they need to advertise them better. I think that this prediction system can do just that.
The one thing that I'm kind of confused by is that Sony is still implementing Move. In my time as a PS3 owner, I never got a single Move based game or was really looking into investing in the Move. The presentation, however, showed potential. If user based content can be as well controlled and flexible as Media Molecule is showing, then I would very much like to see more of this. Should this come to fruition, then many aspiring filmmakers, video game developers, and programmers can use this as a template in their work and get recognized for their art and creativity. Only time will tell how this new Move direction will go.
Now we go on to the reactions of the reactions from the conference. One would think that everyone would be more engrossed with the hardware and games that the Playstation 4 will be packing. That doesn't seem to be the case with this first group of people who decided to look into something that didn't need to be analyzed.
First, there are the claims of sexism from the event. Sexism? Really people? Okay, so this was the overall feel some viewers got from the conference: "The Playstation 4 shows promise, but why weren't there any female presenters? Seems sexist to me". My reaction to that, "You people cannot possibly be that naive". Yes, there weren't any female presenters, but saying that the conference was sexist is just asinine.
First off, there are female key figures in Sony and at the developers' studios. It just so happened that the different groups had particular representatives come to the event instead of others. There is no universal sexist regime in the industry. Besides, it's not like there weren't female press or female event organizers there. This blatant bait idea for a reaction piece is exactly what's wrong with video game journalism these days.
How low do you have to go to create this kind of publicity? To be honest, it just sounds like attention craving "journalists" looking for hits. After all, it was pointed out to me that this originated primarily from Kotaku. Yes, we all how reputable the folks at Kotaku can be. Fishing for rumors, adding speculation where it isn't needed, bait articles, and overall bad presentation of elitism, Kotaku is one of the worst sites out there for video game news. Going to Kotaku for actual information on the industry is like betting on a race horse called Slowpoke. It all ends up being a lackluster performance in the long run.
The next bit of ludicrous commentary that sprang up from video game sites came from the PC fanboy camp. I know not all PC only gamers are like this, but I really believe that PC fanboys are the worst fanboys around. Despite all of the great features that were listed for the Playstation 4, PC fanboys scoffed it all off.
What was their primary claim? That no matter what Sony does a well built computer will beat out the Playstation 4 by the sheer power a built PC has. It is amazing that PC fanboys are always so determined to prove that their platform of choice is the best and that it beats out everything else. I have a question for you guys, do you ever consider that graphics and power are not what make video games good?
You can have the most graphically powerful PC around, but the quality of a video game is not measured up to how amazing the graphics look. That is the problem with PC fanboys. They are wearing beer goggles when they get excited over how Crysis 3 looks on their PC and claim that the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions are inferior. Mind you, they often say it's graphically inferior. The game still plays the same. To PC fanboys, no matter how much you spend on your rig and no matter how graphically intense you can make a game look, it will always pale in comparison to the quality of how the game controls and what the game offers. Graphics are only one part of what make a game good.
So aside from the voices of some very misguided individuals, the Sony press conference was an overall good event. I can't wait to hear and see more at E3. If I may, my advice to anyone who would create speculation for the sake of hits and dissuade or write off a product before seeing anything of it, I have this to say: put away your ego. It's pointless to pick a fight that you are not equipped to handle. Driving flamebait articles is poor writing. Making claims of superiority over others is nonsensical. You end up looking like a fool if you try to take a positive event like this press conference and force negativity for no good reason.