As we finally got official word that the PlayStation 4 does exist and will be released this year, there were a few things missing or touched on that makes me wonder. Now, as we saw from the presentation, there are a lot of cool things that can be done with the PS4, unlike the reveal of the Wii U, but there are some nagging issues that could hurt the release of their console.
1) Price is always a factor. As we saw with the Nintendo Wii U, it was a heavy price increase from its predecessor. You need to seriously think about it because how much would you be willing to pay for that system they demonstrated yesterday? That technology doesn’t come cheap and in a day in age where money isn’t as readily available as it was before, this could do some damage if it doesn’t sell out right away.
2) Launch-Window titles can truly make or break a system. As we say with the Wii U, 3DS and the PlayStation Vita, having support for the console is key to its longevity. While we saw some pretty amazing stuff yesterday, how much of that will be available day-one. Remember, the launch-window for some companies can be months and how will that do for holiday sales? Yes, we have a Killzone and a Diablo III but what else?
3) Cloud-technology is another reason you can’t use your old games on the console. Gaikai is having their technology used on the console, which is awesome I grant you. However, when you say that you would like to have the entire PSone, PS2 and PS3 game library on the cloud for you to download and play, what that means is pay for again. Why does this bother me? Because I have already paid for remastered versions of PS2 games for the PS3 and will I have to pay for them again to play on the PS4? If some of us purchased them on the PlayStation Network, naturally we would be able to re-download them again on the PS4 console, right?
4) Pre-owned games was never addressed. As we have said before on this site, we don’t believe that Sony would make their system not able to play pre-owned games, but they never addressed the issue. I know companies don’t like it and it will be a while before pre-owned games hit the local GameStop, but it is something that they will need to address. It is best that they do it now and get that cloud out of the way. If the system was designed not to play pre-owned games, their stock would drop sharply.
5) High expectations with little reward. Remember back when they initially released the PlayStation Vita, they had that whole remote play thing. Did it ever materialize? Not really, and I am afraid that the same thing could happen here. Much like Nintendo did with their Wii U GamePad, claiming that you can use more than one per console, but when it was released they admitted the technology wasn’t there to make that happen at launch. While I see the Remote Play thing working, its some of their other ambitious projects that could be an issue like playing a game while its downloading or the promise of an ambitious cloud-gaming collection. This has a way of going south real quick.
I am sure there are more issues that could make this a stay-away system, but I know there will be people that will get it day-one. However, when you think about the Wii U, there was so much promise, even our own Adam was a believer until more details came out. Once we started getting more of the interesting details, the console began to sit more on retailers’ shelves than in gamer’s homes. I do doubt that will happen with Sony, but they have blown it big time before. Who is to say they won’t do it again?
*Updated* – Sony has officially come out and say that their PlayStation 4 will allow gamers to play pre-owned games, according to The Verge. It is nice to know that we were right about something, even though we knew that would be a completely bad idea.