Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Greatness Can Wait: Why I'm Not in the Market for a PS4... Yet.

Sony is doing quite well for itself with the PlayStation 4. The system is still in high demand, sales are well, and the company is already saying that the system is profitable at this early stage in the game. That said, the PlayStation 4 just doesn't do anything special for me right now that makes me want to plop down the cash (or in actuality, charge to my credit card) right away. I'm sure there's plenty of others like me, but let me explain my own personal reasons as to why the PlayStation 4 isn't appealing to me at this time.

My main issue with the PlayStation 4 is the total and utter lack of compelling exclusives. Let's face it-- Killzone: Shadow Fall and Knack weren't that special as launch titles, and the only real game that is exclusive to the PlayStation 4, worth buying, and is of high quality is currently InFamous: Second Son. I don't think I need to say this, but I'll do so anyway-- One game does not a $400+ purchase make.

Screenshot of InFamous: Second Son
Currently, I see PS4 owners talking about multiplatform games that they are playing. I don't know about you, but I would not buy a relatively expensive, brand-new video game system for the purpose of playing games already available on consoles I already own. This is even with the added graphical and performance boosts. Ooh, I can play such and such in 60 fps instead of 30?! Where do I sign up?! My opinion is that many PS4 owners are buying multiplatform games not because they prefer the boost in performance, but because they have nothing else to play. It's a means to rationalize purchasing a $400 console with little in the way of exclusives to enjoy.

I hear and read the argument that people are buying the PlayStation 4 with the promise of games coming and the potential of the system. When are these games coming? Many titles that had been thought to be releasing this year (to be fair, no solid release date or time frame was ever given) are actually launching in 2015.

Screenshot of DriveClub
However, there's always the potential of the PlayStation 4 having a fantastic library. I can't and don't want to argue against that. I doubt it will be better than what the system's predecessors had, mostly in part due to Japanese publishers and developers working increasingly more with handhelds and mobile gaming devices, but yes, there is potential nonetheless.

Quality exclusives that make spending $400 plus how much for games is potentially what PS4 owners could get, but if I got things based on potential, I'd get a sexy girlfriend who had a great sense of humor, but on the downside had a disturbing fascination with burning down high schools. The potential there would be reforming her to be a sweet girl instead of a freaking maniac, so instead of burning down high schools, maybe I could get her to a lower level, say, like, burning down middle schools or something.

Dark humor aside, it's my honest belief that the PlayStation 4 has sadly proven that a system does not need quality exclusive games to sell well. If that were the case, the Wii U wouldn't be in the position it is now, nor would the PSP have lagged so far behind in sales to the Nintendo DS. It's a depressing thought that manifests itself inside me, and it only grows when I encounter the revelation that it's actually hype and aggressive marketing that sell gaming consoles nowadays, as the PS4 clearly shows. Games be damned, unless playing seventh generation games with prettier graphics appeals to you.

In the U.S. alone, I've been badgered with commercials and ads on television, gaming sites, magazines, and more. Whether it's a really corny commercial featuring a bunch of "gamers" singing "Perfect Day", or sponsored events and shows by Sony and the PlayStation 4.

So while it may be easily apparent that I show some bitterness towards the PlayStation 4 at this stage in the game, please do not think that I am not pleased with the system's success or that I don't ever want to get one. Personally, I'm ready to hop on board the PS4 bandwagon as soon as a new Ratchet & Clank, LittleBigPlanet, or Hot Shots Golf is announced. Well, pending there's money for it, of course.

Let me close this piece with a thought: Greatness awaits for the PlayStation 4, it's just that we really don't have a timetable for when it will be finally showing up.

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