Please Sony, Hold Off on PlayStation 4

 

When I was young, I owned an NES and I didn’t know anything else besides Mario, Zelda and all the other Nintendo games. I was young and fascinated by all of these experiences. The funny thing to me as I look back at my young self is that the SNES was on store shelves as I was enjoying my NES. I had no idea that anything could get better than what I had sitting at my house. Then my parents bought me a SNES and I loved that thing just as much as my now “old” NES.

This is the problem that the console manufactures like Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft deal with. How do you know when to introduce a new console? It may seem like an easy question to some, but when do you really know that something is going to get much better? Now back when I was young, I could tell you that the SNES was hands down better than the NES. But that comparison is getting harder to define in this new era of technology.

With the amount of smartphones and tablets in the world today, technology is now progressing faster than I think anyone could think of. Just look down at your phone, I am guessing it is some type of Android/iOS device. Now, cruise through the store and try finding some PS2 era games. I am sure you can probably find a good amount. I was just playing Grand Theft Auto 3 a couple days ago on my iPhone and it looked better than what I remember, which is staggering to me.

So is it time for the PlayStation 4 since a year or two from now our phones will be able to play PlayStation 3 games? My answer to this is no, and here is why I think so.

First, there is a lot of extra juice still left in the PlayStation 3. If you look at Uncharted and then look at Uncharted 3, you can tell that the clarity and graphical fidelity has been notched up significantly. I was never really an Uncharted fan, and in fact, I played Uncharted 1 and didn’t know why everyone was praising it so much. Then the third game came out, and I was blown away. The incredible sand effects made my eyes explode. I never thought I could have such detail in a game. It is to that point that I say developers are now just hitting their stride with the system. Look at any of the new games from MLB 12: The Show to Journey and you will see just what I am talking about. This system has a ton left in it and developers are still finding even more tricks.

Secondly, look at the PC market. It is always a safe bet that PC games will look significantly better than the same game on a console at the end of its life span. Half-Life 2 came out towards the end of the PS2/Xbox/GameCube lifecycle, and I couldn’t believe how much better that game looked compared to what I was playing on my consoles at the time. I was able to play that game with all of the details turned up and in high-definition when most people didn’t even know what HD was. It is to that point that I say that PC games do not have that big edge in graphical power that we are used to seeing at the end of a console’s life cycle. Sure, Battlefield 3 looks great on PC, but compared to the PS3 version, does it look THAT much better? I don’t think so and I have played both. There is more detail, but nothing hampering the game. We have reached a point where there doesn’t seem to be a big jump in graphical power, but small, incremental upgrades.

Lastly, are the consumers ready for a new system? I am sure if you are reading this you are a hardcore gamer that is constantly up on the new releases, the new systems, and all of the talk around the Internet that is gaming related. We are the minority here though. I went around asking my friends when the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 came out and their answers were “Two years ago” or “Couldn’t be more than a three years ago” or even “Recently, right?”

My friends are gamers, but aren’t up on the gaming times. They know when the new Halo or Call of Duty is coming out, but not that a new Xbox/PlayStation might be coming very soon. Even better, one of them just took the plunge on buying a PlayStation 3 and another is considering doing the same, which brings me back to the very beginning of this entire discussion. When should a new console be released? The general public is still debating whether to join this generation, so why confuse them even further and release something new and foreign? The right thing would be to expand your audience right now, and wait to release new hardware. The general consumer is still on the fence, so give them a reason to join now. Drop the price and see as a flock of new customers join PlayStation Nation!

The start of a new console generation is always a very exciting time being a gamer, and the temptation that something new and exotic is being developed to play with always gets me feeling exhilarated. The issue I have though, is that the next generation is going to offer me nothing new or exciting. It is just going to be these small little bumps in performance that I might notice if I keep a close eye out. The PlayStation 3 just has so much more juice left in it, the PC isn’t getting the big jump in performance we typically see at the end of a console’s life, and the general consumer doesn’t seem ready for a new console.

Can Resistance 4 really do something incredibly different on PlayStation 4? I doubt it. Can Uncharted 4 really immerse me further into the game than Uncharted 3 did? I don’t think so. Will PlayStation 4 feel the same as a PlayStation 3? I will bet so!

 

Written by Nathan Hensler

Follow me on twitter, or play a game with me on PS3.
Xbox is also an option: Chili16, or maybe Steam, wait no my computer sucks :(

p5rn7vb
Twitter Digg Delicious Stumbleupon Technorati Facebook
  • http://www.youtube.com/user/Stoffinator2008?gl=CA&hl=en Stoffinator

    You know, in some ways I would love a new system. But its the price of having to pay that makes me not want one. But I don’t think Sony has any intention on doing a PS4 anytime soon. But I guess that would depends on how well Wii U does and what Microsoft does.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Nate-James/639811378 Nate James

    I feel the same way that you do. I always get excited for a new system, but the PS3 has so much life left in it! I will say that Wii U could do some really interesting things that Sony might take notice with!

  • Tim Busch

    If they play their cards right, Xbox Kinect and Playstation Move can extend their console’s lives. If “good” games actually are actually tailored to using these devices it opens up a whole new playing field for the developers.

  • http://twitter.com/OvaltineJenkin Matt Jarosh

    There’s nothing like a new console, but I agree with Tim. Kinect and Move could extend the life of each console by three more years at least if they wanted. It’s just like your PS3 argument. Kinect and Move have so much left in it to develop new games. However, in regards your PS3 argument, sure the PS3 may have so much left in it, but technology has also improved since it came o ut. You may think the next gen consoles may only see small bumps in performance, but I beg to differ.

    And heres a bunny with a pancake on its head.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Nate-James/639811378 Nate James

      HAHAHAHA! Well the bunny stole my thunder! But seriously, I don’t see any games out on PC that I go, “man, that could not be done on the PS3″. We will see, I think the next gen of consoles will do more integrating the community, rather than break throughs with graphics or sound. 

  • Derek / Beaver6622

    Nice Editorial Nathan.  As a big gamer I am greatly looking forward to a new system but I don’t to pay for it until 2013.  With that said, the general public weren’t ready for the PS3 to come out and it seems they still aren’t.  Like Josh had said many times on the show, the PS2 is still selling!  How does anyone expect the PS4 to sell when the PS3 still has a lot more room for growth and the PS2 is still selling?

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Nate-James/639811378 Nate James

      I have heard it on many podcasts that I listen to that both the Xbox 360 and PS3 are still selling well. The Wii isn’t anymore so Nintendo introduced the Wii U. I just don’t want to see another $500-$600 system there eyeing me up in the store like the PS3 did. I just don’t see the need right now for the PS4. And thanks derek, appreciate the good word!

  • http://twitter.com/devilzrule27 Cory Bartell

    I’m ready for a new console. It’s not so much because of graphics it’s because of distribution platforms. They need an overhaul on the consoles. Consoles need to rework how they digitally distribute games and DLC. And how they allow users to interact with each other. And how they function outside of gaming. Everything on current consoles just feels slapped together.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Nate-James/639811378 Nate James

      Well Cory, I am guessing you are a PC gamer? Steam is great, no doubt, but the way the country is right now, Sony and Microsoft would both be alienating their user base if they went all digital. I was just in Virginia and West Virginia and didn’t have cell phone reception for a couple hours. It was just straight up forests and nothing else. If we are just talking me as a gamer right now, having a way to interact with all of my friends outside of the game would be great. Sony could definitely learn some from Xbox Live just with their integration with the cell phone app they have. I definitely agree with you though on reworking the digital platform!

      • http://twitter.com/devilzrule27 Cory Bartell

        I’m not saying they need to go all digital but they need to make it an option and they need to fix the way they handle it. Microsoft has this same problem. Both of these consoles were designed before DLC, downloadable titles, and always online were things in gaming. Between how you are able to use PSN content, their content restrictions, organization of that content, things like the MK DLC debacle, patching/title updates, ect it just needs a change and I think that starts with a new console.
        Also I own all of 4 pc games, sims simcity civilization and SWTOR, and only 2 of those are on steam. haha 

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Nate-James/639811378 Nate James

          Haha swing and a miss there! ha sorry about that. But what would you do if you were sony if you don’t mind me asking?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ender-Wiggin/100000417270448 Ender Wiggin

    I have to disagree, we are 6-7 years deep in this generation and by the time the next gen gets released we will be 8-9. Thats a long time and anybody who just bought a PS3 or will buy one in the next year are the same people who will buy a PS4 when its been out for years and years. Stop complaining about a price I wouldnt mind paying close to $1000 for the PS4 at launch. I have a job and know how to save money well enough that I can afford it. Everybody can get it a a “good price” later when it is old tech. You even contradicted yourself in your article. You say that technology is moving faster than anybody predicted but lets keep 10 year old tech? I personally am tired of seeing excessively low frame rates, texture pop-ins, and poor animations due to the lack of effort on the developers part. It is a terable gaming expierience and takes the player out of the game. Consoles do look a lot better than the PS3 and Xbox. They really do! You may not notice but the game not only looks better with much better texture packages, lighting effects, and sound but run at high frame rates. I loved the PS3 when it came out and I do think it has more potential, but I think we will be damn close to the full potential in a year and a half/two years.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Nate-James/639811378 Nate James

      Well ender, I definitely understand your argument! What I meant in the article is that hardware seems to be moving really quickly, but it is more so in the mobile area. Chips are getting smaller and smaller, but desktop hardware doesn’t seem to be moving as quickly. My iphone 4 has an awesome set of games on it like GTA 3 that look better than PS2 games. I agree with you that PC games do look better than PS3/Xbox games, but it isn’t to the same extent that I remember when the PS2 was dying out. I just am afraid that we will see bumps in performance, but nothing like the jump from the PS2 to PS3. We will see what happens! I would be excited to see what the PS4 has to offer though when it is announced.

  • Vasi Cotia

    I agree with this article. Clos to the end of PS2 life cycle, you could really see that the tech was maxed out: Shadow of the Colossus, GoW 2 and other really (and visibly) pushed the system to the limits. PS3? Despite it’s age, the exotic tech in PS3 was a bit ahed of it’s time and gorgeous games like GoW 3, Uncharted 2+3, Journey and also multiplats like BF3 do not show signs of pushing the system to it’s limits. ATM I fail to see a graphical masterpiece like GoW 3 and Ucharted 2+3 on the PC.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Nate-James/639811378 Nate James

    Vasi Cotia, I couldn’t agree more. I really feel that the tech in the PS3 is so much more advanced then anything that has come before it. I am a pre-medicine major so when I was touring a research lab dealing with different proteins in the body, I saw a group of PS3 tied together to a monitor. I asked the researcher why they had those and he said that for the money, the PS3 is the most advanced platform out there with the cell processor in it. He said for them to do their research, tying together 8-10 PS3 was ideal. It gave them all the computing power they need. I just think about that and go, if it has all of that power in there, it will take some time to see the peak of it. I think we are are close, but not yet there. The PS3 is also still $249.99, not at the $150-100 that we always think at the end of a life cycle. We will see what the next year holds!

  • http://twitter.com/FogRulez84 Eric Hofer

    I totallly agree that its too early for another system.  I’ve only had a PS3 for little over a year and I am seeing a lot of promising titles coming out and a lot that I need to go back and check out.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Nate-James/639811378 Nate James

      what you have to play?

  • http://techmansworld.blogspot.com/ MHazell

    Where does the heat produced from the PS3 exactly go? It looks a little cramped at the back of the console.

    • shadowlaw23

      There are ventilation ports all around the bottom portion for the PS3 and also on the back.

      • http://techmansworld.blogspot.com/ MHazell

        Does the case have its own external fan to connect to the PS3?

  • http://twitter.com/noel_like_bowl Noel Scott

    There’s a reason that the graphics on PC aren’t “that much” better than on consoles, and it’s not because PCs just can’t keep up. Developers have a limited budget and have been convinced that PC is a niche market, and so they spend the vast majority of their graphics budget optimizing for consoles and not adding better features that require the latest and greatest video card. This is in stark contrast to the turn of the millennium when MOST developers were putting a lot of their money into PC games and as a result they pushed the envelope graphically so quickly that gamers were actually frustrated that the graphics cards were developing too quickly.

    Essentially, yes, there is a certain pace that technology will develop because people will buy it, but there’s not really much demand for top of the line cards. My 6850 will run ALMOST anything on Ultra and it’s a middle-end card at best. This is because Ultra isn’t that high a bar to aim at, not because it’s such a great card.

  • http://twitter.com/Punkster_NY Punkster_NY

    If they do they’re dead in the water.