You read the title correctly, and it's 100% true. I have had to make a number of what some may consider to be "anti-Sony" blogs lately because Sony is screwing up big time. Everything they've been doing is either anti-consumer, or pushing people towards PC , and the blind rabid defenders are complicit in these moves. Sony is laughing at us right now. And here's why.
For starters you take a look at the PS4 Neo. Now, the existence of the Neo and Scorpio have been rumoured to be something AMD wanted to happen but the point is that while I detest, vehemently, the existence of both of these consoles for many reasons, Microsoft is taking a different approach with their Scorpio than Sony is with Neo. For Microsoft, the Scorpio is more a beginning. It is intended to be a part of their whole Windows 10 integration plans which is kind of a pseudo merger of PC and Console gaming. Microsoft is not trying to compete with PC gaming, they are trying to embrace it while maintaining their own control. That plan has its issues of course, as any PC gamer whose been doing it long enough will be able to recount stories of the last time MS tried to take control.
But when we look at Sony, all we see is a company trying to compete with PC gaming, yet giving gamers all kinds of reasons to go straight to PC. Sony is using Neo as a cash grab. There is no unified plan with Neo, and early indications show that while Sony says that there will be no Neo exclusive games, there will in fact be Neo exclusive games just based solely on numbers. Don't believe me? Take a look at Digital Foundry's assessment of Rise of the Tomb Raider on PS4, specifically the VR portion. DF says the complexity of ROTR precludes the whole game being played in VR without some serious compromises to get the necessary framerate, and that's on a BASE PS4. Sony is trying to push VR and we're expected to believe that this won't necessitate Neo exclusive games simply due to the resource demands of VR? And lest we forget, these are companies. They can say something one day, and then justify why they lied the next. So we have games that will not be able to run properly on a base PS4, creating the incentive to buy a Neo, which with its premium price will definitely cost more than the PS4 did at launch, with the promise that we will see this same thing happen again in another few years with the next incremental "updates."
If you're a gamer that cares about money, why would you NOT now consider PC when the power is superior to consoles and has longer legs? And if that's not enough for you, we move on to...
The PS+ Price Increase.
Sony thought they'd be slick and just non-chalantly announce a price hike in North America for Playstation Plus. In the U.S., the price will go from $50 to $60, and in Canada (where I'm from) it's $50 to $70. A f***ing $20 increase? Justified by what?
Have the game offerings improved? No they haven't. We're still getting the shallow indie shovelware titles instead of good AAA offerings. It's probably why Sony pushes indies so much, so that the vast expanse of time between first party offerings isn't so noticeable, and they don't have to spend money trying to offer AAA games for free on PS+. So why are we paying more for PS+ exactly? Is PS+ more stable than Xbox Live? Not really. From all indications, both services are pretty much on par with each other for stability. Sony also just got around to offering 2-Step Verification for security so.... is that what we're paying for? Literally nothing has changed with their online in games, and I think it's safe to say that the majority of people paying for PS+ are only doing so because online play is locked behind that paywall (thanks for setting a precedent Microsoft), and not for the poor offerings in the free games. So basically Sony has become just like any old cable company that increases their prices, insists that they've made improvements to the service, but now they have to increase the price. Can anyone list the improvements to PS+ please? Because from where I'm sitting, there hasn't been any that justify a frickin' $20 price hike.
Then there's the fact that Sony JUST got around to offering folders on PSN after YEARS of people asking for it. Personally speaking, it's not really a feature whose presence or absence matters to me, but it did matter to literally millions of people and Sony only just now got to it. But where are the custom themes? The themes available for the PS3 are so vastly superior to the shite offered on PS4 that it's too sad to be laughable. Why doesn't that option exist on PS4? Because then there would be no reason to pay over $2 for a very poor quality Dynamic Theme, that's why. Then there's the lack of external hard drive support. This is actually a particularly needed feature for us Canadians and I'll explain why.
The price for games in Canada has always been stupid. Strong or weak dollar, we've always paid more than the U.S. for games, and today is no exception. A physical disc copy of a game, in my province of Ontario, is $80 plus 13% Harmonized Sales Tax. That puts the price of a physical disc over $90 Canadian. For the kind of broken, shallow, or unfinished garbage that passes for games these days, *cough*NoMan'sSky*cough.* The only good thing is that the Canadian government doesn't yet consider the purchase of digital games to be the purchase of a taxable good so if you are looking to save money in Canada with your game purchases, then you have to buy through PSN and pay the flat $80. This means the pitiful 500GB HDD that comes with the PS4 will fill up FAST. So then the argument is made that you can just delete games you're not playing right? Cool, and if you want to play them again (assuming they haven't been removed from the marketplace), you have to download them again. Do you know that Canada is one of the worst countries in the world for competition in the telecommunications industry? We have 3 large companies that effectively monopolized internet. As a result, we have low bandwidth caps and ridiculously high prices. When you have games up to 50GB in size and your monthly bandwidth cap is 60GB, an external hard drive is a life saver.
So we have the fact that the Neo is actually an encouragement to go to PC if you're the kind of person who cares about power. We have the fact that gaming on PC is cheaper in terms of both game pricing and free online play. We have the fact that Sony has not really improved PSN at all and yet feel justified in raising the price due to "market conditions", which was the same excuse they used to raise game prices in Canada (though they never lowered the prices when the dollar was strong). So what's left to ask?
Well, the question is, what has Sony really been doing exactly? Yeah, the PS4 has a TON of games, but most of them are indie garbage, followed by 3rd party titles. Are we to congratulate Sony on the work of other studios? Are we to praise them for moneyhatting exclusivity yet berate the competition for the same? What about features? Sony has shown that they move at the pace of a sloth when it comes to adding features that fans ask for, so are we to praise them for that? Microsoft is getting praise for Backwards Compatibility, even going so far as to make it a core principle of the Windows 10 integration plan going forward; Sony tries to charge us for pseudo backwards compatibility with upscaled, trophy supported PS2 games, no PS1 classics, and the removal of games from PSNow, insisting from their lofty vantage point as current market leader that no one wants backwards compatibility and they certainly don't inflate their prices.
The reason I have written so many anti-Sony posts and blogs lately is because I have become disillusioned with Sony. With the PS4, Sony is putting as little effort as possible forward. And if you don't believe me in that regard, look at the work they put into the PS3 to make it a wanted system, look at the successes of the PS1 and PS2 from a game quality and quantity standard. These consoles eclipse the PS4 in every way. PS3 has more media features, more OS features, and more work put behind it, while the PS4 came out with less, has proceeded to move slowly with adding anything, and all Sony seems to care about are indies, timed exclusivity, and more additional hardware that they'll abandon like PSMove or Vita or PSTV. Those last two pieces of hardware are the saddest of all
While I understand that a lot of the complaints I levied here can easily be levied at the industry as a whole, some of the complaints are specific Sony issues that are bigger than people care to discuss. There is so much blind acceptance for anything Sony does and, as someone who has for years been called a Sony fanboy, it's pretty sickening to see the lengths people go to to be willfully blind about Sony. We don't get our way by praising a company that wants our money, we get our way by making them work for our money.
**EDIT** I have decided to remove that last paragraph as, upon reflection, I had to agree that it was a pointless incitement.