The Sony PlayStation 4, my hopes and fears

SONY DSC

Well, it’s coming down to the wire, but here it is, a blog post on Grinding Down about the forthcoming Sony PlayStation 4. Later today, Sony is hosting a meeting which many believe exists to announce its newest console, the next in its line of PlayStations. Given that I just bought a PlayStation 3 only a few weeks ago and have barely found time to both play with it and explore its non-gaming functions, like Netflix and PlayStation Home, I’m not at all interested in owning Sony’s newest system any time soon, but I am curious to see what it’s going to be all about. As always, I remain cautious, but let me share with y’all some hopes I have, as well as my biggest fears, many of which can apply with whatever Microsoft’s new console is gonna be, too.

Here we go.

Hopes

New games in established franchises

From the look of things, Naughty Dog is done with the Jak and Daxter franchise, but I think they should open it up for a new trilogy. That kooky platforming series really did wonders for the PS2, and a new Jak game could easily sway me, especially if it is more Jak II than anything else. Let’s also get a new true Ratchet & Clank game, one that focuses solely on platforming and crazy-ass guns. Some steps have already been made, with Sly Cooper 4 coming out and surprising everyone, mostly because it came out with little promotion from Sony, but whatever–it exists. New IPs are exciting for their newness, but offering up a new experience in familiar territory can be quite comforting. Hopefully I’m not alone in that.

Bring back the forgotten

I want a new Jumping Flash! I want the rebirth of Crash Bandicoot. I want whatever might come after Chrono Cross. Remember how awesome, G-Police was? Yeah, me too. Now’s the time, as those franchises are old enough to hit the nostalgia funny bones and unknown enough that the younger generation might just think of them as new IPs, sad as that might be. A return to the glory days, ya know.

Enhancing PlayStation Plus

My only complaint so far about getting a free year of PlayStation Plus is that I don’t have enough time to play all the free games they give out. I’d love to see this service carry over to the new system, as it offers a ton of great content and discounts for a reasonable price. Granted, my first year is free, but I can see myself signing up for it once that runs dry.

Fears

No backwards compatibility

When the PlayStation 2 was revealed, the concept of “backwards compatible” was entirely new. You could buy the new console, but still play all the games from the previous one. Sah-weet. It’s a concept that is fantastic for gamers, but it seems that head honchos don’t love it, eventually snipping it as a feature from later remodels or iterations. I believe the PS4 will allow you to play (or at least download) Ps3 games, but maybe they won’t for a guaranteed amount of time. Which would stink considering how many great games are still coming out for the PS3, like Ni no Kuni and The Last of Us. But the times, they are a-changing.

Always online

Granted, with Wifi, always being online is easier to accomplish, but something about the restriction rubs me wrong. There are certainly situations that might cause for your Internet to be off, but your power still on, and the fact that you then couldn’t play the videogame you paid for on the system you paid for seems really offensive. Yes, I have Steam and use it frequently, but haven’t really run into any problems with always being connected. But Steam is on a computer, and a videogame console should really be treated as a separate entity.

Online no longer free

I’m really close on cancelling my Gold membership for the Xbox 360, since the only time I really use it is to play Borderlands 2 online, which is happening less and less these days. You don’t have to pay to play online with the PS3, something I’d love to see going forward. If that gets put behind a paywall…well, dang. Just yet another thing to pay for that should be part of the whole package. It’s the first step to charging players to save their game progress.

Gimmicky controller

I’m sure you’ve seen that image of a supposed PS4 controller, which has some kind of touchpad on the front of it. Whether this operates as a sort of main menu hub is yet to be determined. I just hope I don’t have to look down while playing to do something else; that only works on the DS/3DS, where the screens are very close together to begin with.

Hopefully we’ll know a lot more by tonight! Are you going to watch Sony’s presentation live or wait for reports to go online? Me, I’ll be watching Giant Bomb watch it live, as I need some kind of humorous filter to get through all the pomp that these events harness.

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3 responses to “The Sony PlayStation 4, my hopes and fears

  1. We agree on a lot of things here, notably bringing back established franchises. I’d LOVE to see a new Jak and Daxter game, and heck yes bring back Chrono Trigger! New IPs are great, but I’d like to structure a new console on a foundation of solid franchises I know can deliver.

    I’ve convinced myself the PS4 will NOT be backwards compatible with anything but PS3 games. Unless Sony creates a successor to the Blu-Ray, they’d be doing themselves a disservice by alienating an entire generation of games by not including the PS3’s processors to play those games. PS2, PS1, and possibly PSP games can all be downloaded to give Sony more cash. A solid business practice but one that hurts those of us that still have those discs.

    I also don’t think the PS4 will be always-online. I think we might see some games that require it, but not the whole system. It’ll segregate a lot of gamers if that were the case. Same goes for charging for PSN. Playstation Plus is easily one of, if not the, best things the PS3 has going for it, so I can see that being the future of paid subscription for Sony, while keeping the PSN free to everyone else. I’d like to see Microsoft adopt a similar patter as well.

    Haha, it’s so fun to speculate! All will be revealed soon though. I wonder if anything you’ve discussed will be correct?

    • Well, looks like we’re safe in several spots! Won’t be always online, won’t block used games. Doesn’t seem like it will play PS3 games though, at least not from the disc. I’m really interested in the recording and sharing functions of gameplay.

      • Yeah, same. I wonder if it’ll post through Youtube, or Facebook, or something entirely different. And they sort of left the door open on how the PS4 will handle PS1/PS2/PS3 games. It seems like there might be a possibility that every game (!) could come out at some point. That would be amazing!

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