£349 and out before Christmas. With that, some might say the console war has been settled and that Sony have hands-down “won” E3 and deserve all the plaudits they are getting. But there are a few things which just slightly knock the gloss off Sony’s newly angular PlayStation 4. Take a journey through some musings on where problems might arise…
The PlayStation Eye or Camera, whichever phrase you prefer to use, is not included in the price of the new machine. While many people probably wouldn’t have used it with developers possibly not making best use of it even if it was included as standard, it raises a future conundrum.
What will happen if the motion tracking and voice activation found in Kinect 2.0 really take off three years after the new console’s launch? Sony might just find that they have missed a trick by not bundling the camera as standard with the PlayStation 4. Sure, I don’t see Kinect taking off in a big way in-game, but leaving people in a position where they have to purchase an accessory to get the most out of the latest games will leave a sour taste in the mouths of many.
I haven’t seen or heard mention of Sony getting involved in the mobile space with anything to match SmartGlass. People might turn their nose up at Microsoft’s app, but with so many games that have been shown at E3 talking about mobile integration, one wonders where Sony are in this area. Now yes, they do have the Vita (which seems to have been pushed aside once more) and an app at the moment, but the Vita is underutilised and the app is frankly, rubbish compared to what Microsoft have shown off.
People are becoming ever more connected with tablets, smartphones and ever more powerful PCs. People can hit up the Steam app on their mobiles and buy the latest one-day special deal that they might not get to their PC to do. Microsoft showed off live in-game stat tracking and the ability to launch multiplayer games from SmartGlass.
Finally I come to their used game policy, they are sticking to their guns of continuing with the waythings work right now on the PlayStation 3, at least when it comes to first-party titles. Away from their first-party area, they are allowing third-party publishers to go their own way. Will we seesome companies coming along with next-gen versions of the awful Online Pass?
The question also have to be put out there….if digital distribution is being seen as the way forward, what plans do Sony have to tackle the issues of trading-in and swapping titles with friends? I’m not saying that Microsoft have made all the right choices, but at least they are looking ahead to these issues.
At a time when everyone and their dog are singing the praises of Sony to high heaven and damning Microsoft to hell, it is essential to look beyond the tips of our nose and think about what things might be like a couple of years down the line. I’ll admit that I am impressed with what we have seen with the PlayStation 4 so far, but maybe we just need to tone things down a little.