Perhaps it’s my age. I don’t think of myself as being that old, but then, who really does? Still, I’ve experienced 32 years of life on this planet, and I think that makes me the oldest Leviathyn contributor. I’ve been gaming since I was four, so that means I’ve had 28 years of gaming experience. I’ve literally had more years of gaming than some of our writers have had of living.
And in that time, I’ve seen five generations of game consoles come and go. I started with the TI-99/4A home computer, playing games like A-Maze-ing, Munchman, and Parsec. And then my fate was sealed when I got a Nintendo Entertainment System. And every time a new console released, I’ve seen the massive hype machine crank up and tell gamers “this is the future”.
Maybe that explains why I was completely uninterested in the PS4 announcement. Maybe that’s why I still feel completely indifferent about it now. I’ve seen this marketing song and dance before, and they haven’t even bothered to change the tune.
Everybody, and I mean everybody at Leviathyn has been falling over themselves to report on and discuss the PS4, and everyone seems really excited, and I’m just desperately trying to find a shit to give. I had plenty of opportunity to see the announcement live, but I had no interest. And nothing I’ve heard since about the PS4 has impressed me. Quite the opposite, actually.
It’s not like I got burned on the PS3. I’ve had more than my money’s worth out of it over the years. Sure, its lack of backwards compatibility with the PS2 bothered me, but I’m apparently one of very few people who cared. And I’ve enjoyed a lot of awesome games on it, and I love the fact that I didn’t have to pay $60 just for the privilege of playing games online – though I hate playing games online, so I don’t know why I was thrilled.
But for reasons I just can’t get a grasp of, I just can’t bring myself to care about the PS4 details Sony deigned to release. However, while I’m not quite sure why, I do have a couple of inklings.
First – it was never going to be a huge leap to the PS4. The technological growth in computing has been slowing for years now. The jump in graphical quality from the PS1 to the PS2 was much, MUCH bigger than the jump from the PS2 to the PS3. To me, it seemed from the outset that the PS4 was going to be much less than a leap forward in technology; more like just a step.
Second – I’ve spent most of the last year doing most of my gaming on the PC. I still love my consoles, and still play games on them from time to time, but usually only when guests come over. If I’m by myself, I’m usually gaming on my PC. Part of the reason is the accessibility and affordability of direct-download games services like Steam, and the other part is that the indie scene is where all the interesting things are happening in gaming, and if you want to play great indie titles, the PC looks like the place to be.
Third – it looks like PSN titles won’t transfer between the PS3 and the PS4. This is a huge mistake on Sony’s part. Now anyone who’s looking to get a PS4 won’t buy anything on PSN for their PS3 for the next year, because that would literally be a waste of money. I’ve got some games I enjoy from PSN, but it looks like I can kiss those goodbye when I upgrade – IF I upgrade. At this point, unless the games are absolute must-haves, it’s not looking too probable.
Fourth – no backwards compatibility. I’m not really surprised, considering how PS2 compatibility disappeared after a year or so, and Xbox 360’s backwards compatibility has always been a joke. I should think the benefits would be obvious – the new console having a huge library of available titles right out of the gate, and previous console owners don’t feel they have to trade in or mothball their favorite older games. Not to mention, it helps to preserve our gaming heritage. Some might say emulation does that, but I’ve heard it quoted that there isn’t a computer powerful enough to emulate the Xbox 360, and I have to imagine it’s worse for a PS3.
There are people, whom one presumes were born without the ability to think, who claim that those last two complaints are easily taken care of by simply leaving the PS3 hooked up at the same time as the PS4. Really? You still have your PS2 hooked up? How about your PS1? Do you just have every console ever hooked up to your TV? Are you willing to pay my electric bill? To some people, this just isn’t a viable option. Limited space, limited HDMI inputs, limited bullshit tolerance, all of these could be getting in the way of them taking your suggestion.
The point is, there really isn’t anything about the PS4 I find exciting. Maybe the games will be epic. Maybe the Playstation Plus version 2.0 will be a fantastic online service. Maybe the PS4 really IS the be-all and end-all of gaming. And I’m glad so many of you are excited to finally hear about it. But I’m afraid all you’re going to get out of me is a loud, resounding “meh.”