Why Didn't We See The Actual PlayStation 4 Tonight? Sony's Boss Explains.

Well, that was weird. We got a console reveal without Sony actually revealing the console. It's left a lot of people confused, maybe even concerned, so given the chance we had to ask: where was the PS4?

"Why do you care?", laughs Shuhei Yoshida, president of Sony's Worldwide Studios.

Pressed as to what we should be reading into when we get a console reveal without the reveal of the console, Yoshida tells Kotaku "It was almost the other way around. When we planned for this event, obviously we discussed what we should show and talk about."

"As far as the DualShock 4 is concerned we wanted to do the live demo. And we were like, yeah, we have to show the controller, because it's awkward not to show the controller when someone is doing a demo. And also the feature that the DualShock 4 has, the share button, is a very key idea behind the design of the PS4... We really wanted to explain what we've done with the DualShock 4, but as far as the system itself we have to keep something new for later. Otherwise you'd get bored."


Comments

    Well Said.

      Not really.

        Agreed, if at E3 Sony show nothing new apart from the console. Then at least he was honest but thats retarded and not going to happen. E3 will have more games shown and revealed so this isn't a valid reason unless the PS4 launching with 6 or so notable games is the plan.

        Also kinda sad to see the mindless PS fanboys out in full force downvoting any comment that is negative towards their precious Brand. Kudos Jedikilla and pals. Funny how those with negative opinions about the PS4 don't do the same. I happen to have a PS3, I'm just not a mindless tool who smiles and nods at everything a company does.

        Last edited 21/02/13 11:29 pm

          Fan or No fan, I'm just saying, there is very little reason to be hung up on the fact that Sony didn't show the physical appearance of the final product.

          I sure don't think it is not an important part of the experience. Sony is primarily a consumer electronic device manufacturer, unlike their competition. Sony's weak point would be OS and online features.

          If you were the chief Architect, for Sony's next gen console, factoring in the secrecy, the talent and what's lacking would you have done it differently?

          Sony has also done this [Release gaming consoles] quite a few times. The guys that were there in the beginning,
          Andrew House,
          Kaz
          Shuhei

          are all still there. If you are going to bet against these odds, be my guest.

          Last edited 06/05/13 10:34 am

      I'm not sure what the big deal is, is the case of the machine the most important thing?

    I think the better question isn’t “why didn’t you show the console at your console launch” but “why have a launch if you don’t have a console?”.

    As I’ve ranted in the other posts, I really think the prospect of Microsoft getting off first again has spooked them into a false start today.

      Perhaps you should stop ranting, because you are starting to sound like a foolish petulant child

      Their marketing people have decided the best way to launch this console. Not you

      And no doubt Microsoft will do something in their launch that will upset the masses - why cant you all just calm down, be patient... you dont need EVERYTHING NOW!

        Exactly! Thanks DansDans.

        This whole thing reminds me of Veruca Salt; 'I want you to get me an Oompa Loompa right away!'.

          I think you’ve missed my point. It’s not that they are holding out and I’m demanding more information, it’s that they don’t actually HAVE a PS4 yet and today’s announcement was extremely premature.
          If the PS4 was an actual, even close to finished product then they would have at least shown the design.

          As Mr Yoshida has pointed out above, it’s not a big deal what it looks like which is fine- but why announce something if you can’t even show people that it actually exists. There’s plenty of other information they could give out at E3, even if they just released ONE photo of a PS4.

          All they showed today was a PC being controlled with a modified duel-shock.

          The bottom line is I think they’ve rushed their announcement to get in before Microsoft, and if you have a look at the mainstream media that the PS4 has received to this point it’s pretty clear that people are underwhelmed.
          http://www.news.com.au/technology/gaming/sony-set-to-launch-playstation-4-in-new-york/story-e6frfrt9-1226582304957

            News.com.au is your source for mainstream media being underwhelmed.

            First of all, it's owned by News Limited where sensational headlines are more important than actual news.
            Secondly, they used about 10 twitter accounts to 'prove' there was outrage. Because 10 equals the majority right?
            Thirdly, I work at News (haha) and Claire Porter has not one clue about technology at all.

              Who cares whether its legitimate reporting or not. That's what was reported by the only mainstream website I came across that covered it.

              It's their product announcement. THEIR event. It's like when a Government releases their budget and they get to filter only good news through when it first happens. You expect a good news story first up and you hide the shit stuff in the detail.

              The fact that the media is reporting today as being a bit of a f*ckup shows that they've managed it poorly. It seems to me that happened because the announcement was premature.

                Uh, being legitimate reporting is pretty important to your argument. Are you saying that the only thing you can find to support your argument is news.com.au, but even though you know it's not reliable, we should still treat it as a legitimate source?

                  Tomorrows papers will have news stories about the PS4 announcement, all of them will mention it wasn't shown and none of them will contain pictures which are crucial for marketing. I haven't gone scouring mainstream media for PS4 news but news.com.au was the only one I found (I also spent time on Smh.com.au and the Telgraphs websites today but didn't see anything).

                  People seem to think Sony holds press conferences so they can give tech specs to gamers. This is completely wrong, these things are designed to bring mainstream attention to the PRODUCT. You only get one chance to make a first impression with these things and by not showing the product they've missed that chance. Most media outlets won't cover the PS4 again now until near launch.

                  You can discredit news.com.au but that's not the point. It doesn't matter if they're right or wrong, it's a marketing exercise and if its reported badly then you blew it. The argument that the journo doesn't know what she's talking about only makes it worse- all Sony needed to do was tick the basic boxes and provide a press release and they should have had near full control of the media reporting.

                  Last edited 21/02/13 6:36 pm

            the console is just a box, they could have shoved the hardware in a massive black dildo and showed it that way. the shape of the console has almost nothing to do with the functionality of the console. they obviously have the hardware pretty much locked down or people wouldn't be making games for it.

        I'm sorry you are clearly a Sony fanboy dork... It's a Console reveal with no console, clearly your parents should sue the educational institutions you went to because they didn't teach you anything and you are attacking this guy who has a more than valid opinion, why sony are panicking to reveal their tech when clearly they dont even seem to have a working hardware model seems like a rushed job on their part... and you should stop being a socially arkward jerk for jumping down peoples throats for stating the obvious

          clearly don't seem to have a working hardware model?

          What evidence suggests they "clearly" don't have a working hardware model?

            Because they held a much hyped press conference without showing a working model. I'm pretty sure if they're going to hold a 2 hour press conference then the onus should be on you to prove that it DOES exist.
            They've said themselves that the form isn't that important in a practical sense, at the same time showing your product and getting brand recognition out there is very important and kind of the whole point of doing the conference.

            There is no way they have a close to final working model. They would have shown it today for sure.

              That isn't clear proof. They showed games, they showed specs.

              They may have done it to do exactly what we are doing now, create talking points and hype.

              Everything you post makes me believe you have no idea what you're talking about. I grew out of these petty, schoolyard arm twisting contests (over video game brands) when i got to high school.

                I'm arguing that its a marketing f*ckup it's not an argument about the eventual quality of the console.
                PS3 is a great console as its whole first year was a debacle!

                Oh and the Sydney Morning Herald is running with the headline: Sony fails to show PS4 at PS4 event.
                http://m.smh.com.au/digital-life/games/sony-fails-to-show-playstation-4-at-playstation-4-event-20130221-2et01.html
                Today was a debacle.

                  The only flaw in your argument is that the event was always marketed by SONY as the 'Future of Playstation', nothing more, and PS4 is a big part of said future so obviously something had to be said about it.

                  It is solely the media's fault by (correctly) assuming that is the announcement of the PS4 but the fault lies in their presumption that this event was its full unveiling.

              Nintendo revealed the Wiimote in a conference without showing the console.

              Admittedly, they didn't advertise it as a console reveal but a controller reveal.

                Technically, the console was shown (in the background of a photo) but never explained (semantics, but it's nice to know the final design has been locked in). Also Nintendo's reveal went for less than half the time of Sony's. Had Nintendo also spent 2 hours dancing around the elephant in the room, it would have been worse

        He has a very valid point. We have a console here with leaked specs - but no actual console. So far most of everything we have seen is running on Dev consoles or PC hardware. This was a console reveal and we haven't seen the console at all - the OS, the system. Just lots of details.

        I think at the end of the day, most of this stuff could have been done without a press conference. But when you hear PS4 and Press conference, you expect to see the hardware in a running form.

        And as for having something for later, wouldn't that be, err games? I think they have pushed this out really early and weren't quite so prepared for it as they would have liked.

          It wasn't a console reveal. It has never been stated as one. It was an event about the future of the playstation brand.

            Sony talked about the future of the Playstation brand which happens to be a new console. They then talk about in length the new console and it's features. If this isn't a console reveal I'm not sure anything is.

              They spoke about the philosophy and approach to both console and game development, and included footage to demonstrate the results of such a philosophy. An announcement that it exists is not the same as an unveiling.

              Last edited 22/02/13 1:04 am

      Hmm I wonder how people would have been if they showed a console but no games.

      OMG it would be the same.

      They showed the controller, they showed games, they showed plans.

      The console isn't coming out until end of the year at least, not tomorrow. Relax, the console and everything else is coming.

        So is winter... But it doesn't seem to bother you southeners

          ok. I'm just going to go over here now.

        Well they didn't really show any games either? Most of it was either tech demos or CGI. And they have just announced a stack of games that are already coming to other consoles.

        Its neither here nor there, but it would have been good to have both - not one or the other. This is a console launch after all.

      They have to have SOMETHING at e3. It is weird but I can see the strategy behind it. Get out first, take the oxygen and press for a couple of months by drip feeding new videos etc. E3 comes along, show the form factor with some more games while MS announces the Xbox 3. It's a win win situation for both. Now Sony gets out first and Microsoft 'wins' E3 by default.

      Last edited 21/02/13 4:08 pm

      Foggy, This is not a launch, it was an announcement. They don't have to show what it looks like but they have proven that it exists and is coming.

        No they haven't. They've proven you can run a modified duelshock on a PC.

        I tell you what, I'm reading a shitty afternoon paper in Sydney right now. You can bet your ass that any marketing company in the world would want a photo of the hardware to accompany the story that's being run.

        The fact that they have run an announcement without even a photo shows how premature this announcement has been.

          I think you miss the point of the announcement...
          It's a marketing thing, not a product release.
          Are people talking about the PS4 now? Yes.
          Are people clamouring over specs? Yes.
          Are people googling game vids? Yes.
          Are people talking about the features? Yes.
          Are devs able to see and get excited about the power/graphics/features? Yes.
          This announcement has completely fulfilled its purpose.
          If you spent most of your time staring at your console's plastic shell, I could understand your exacerbation, but as for detailing games, graphics, features, I think most things were covered.
          But I suppose, some people just like bitching about the things they don't have, then enjoying what they get.

            Today's announcement was shit though. They had an easy opportunity to generate lots if positive hype an they failed to capitalize fully because they weren't prepared.

            Today's announcement was akin to Holden calling a press conference to demonstrate next years model and when everyone gets there going "here's the new version of last years steering wheel. We're building a vehicle with a V8 in it; here's some footage of a Volvo that also has a V8".

            It's a PRODUCT announcement, you can't look at it just as a gamer who just wants the bits inside. As a product announcement it was garbage.

              Each to their own - you obviously feel strongly about the plastic shell.
              I was interested in what it will do for me. The innards. The people onboard. So I was pretty happy.

                You are completely missing the point. It's not that foggy or anyone else in the world cares about the specific shape of the shell. It's about the existence of the thing itself. Obviously we /know/ that they wouldn't lie to us and say that they have a console when in fact they don't. We can rationalize that. But the reptilian part f the brain is saying quietly below "I don't see a thing, this thing doesn't exist" and altering subtly people's behaviour. Any surprise that Sony's market stock took a dive 10 minutes after the reveal?

                I couldn't care less if they didn't show the console, but foggy is correct.

                The purpose of this was to garner media attention and, in turn, to get interest from the general population (hardcore gamers are a solid market, but that's not where all the money lies).

                The general population couldn't care less about specs, 7 floppywattsbytes sounds amazing to them, but a picture is worth a thousand words.

                The lack of an actual prototype unit, at the very least, puts doubt in the average persons mind that the product is complete enough to consider as a future purchase yet.

      All this talk of Xbox doing so well. It did amazingly well in America but in the end it sold less than the Playstation with an extra year on the market...so the biggest criticism that can be levelled at PS3 is it should have done better even though it sold the most with less time on sale.

      In other words, i doubt Sony modifies their plans based on what Microsoft does in any real significant way.

        Another way of looking at the sales figures is that the Playstation 2 managed to dominate and win the North American market as well as every major market compared to the original Xbox. The North American market could swing any way on a console. The Japanese market won't swing any way other then Japanese consoles. In one console generation Microsoft managed to take an entire market from Sony through marketing, pricing, timing and a strong online presence. Even if Microsoft ends up third behind Sony this gen which it might, it still bridged the gap considerably. If the Xbox 3 delivers, the next gen could be led by Microsoft.

        It's all hypothetical at this point and if the rumors around the Xbox 3 are true ( Always online, anti pre-owned) I doubt it will happen, however Microsoft did very well this generation. If they Microsoft repeats what they did this generation again but with a larger variety of exclusives, I see them doing very well. I'm looking toward to the Xbox reveal to see if it gives an indication of what direction Microsoft is going in for the years ahead.

    Console launch?
    I thought it was an announcement?
    Showed a bit of leg and darted behind the curtain.
    Now im confused.

      Man did you see those ankles!?!?

      Last edited 21/02/13 5:08 pm

        The Swain is piqued by the steamy display.

        His busy fingers start a small MOUSTACHE FIRE.
        http://www.mspaintadventures.com/advimgs/ps/ps1054.gif

    Wouldn't showing people the actual console help to make them visualise themselves actually owning it?
    You know, picturing it beneath their television? Seems like a sensible thing to show if you ask me, they'd be pretty sure what it looked like but could always tweak the design a little if they wanted to before launch.

      Yeah because they're never going to show the console. Ever.

        The point is that they missed out on an opportunity to solidify the PS4 as a tangible product in the eyes of the average person, you know, where the bulk of the market lies.

      It helps me feel like owning it more to visualise the controller I'll be using 100% of the time when I use the system rather than the console I'll barely interact with because I can turn it on without actually touching it. And the games I'll be using that controller on.

    I think they are holding some of their cards to their chest. They are just waiting for MS to reveal their hand before they show the rest of theirs. Its a good tactic marketing wise

    Why didn't they leave the launch for later then? What do they think they can achieve by announcing early with no console? Does this mean we get a second "launch" later on?

      They are trying to stop people from buying the Wii U, think about it if you got yourself new Wii U, your probably not going to be buying the PS4 at the end of the year.

      Sony are saying hold out and see what we do, buy a Vita it'll make your PS4 like a Wii U but better. They are trying to convince people to wait for their product.

      Being the first to show Next-Gen looking games means they are taking the wind out of Microsoft's event. Since people have now seen what a Next-Gen FPS is like seeing MW4 at Microsoft's unveiling will then be akin to, "Oh, so... doesn't look that much different from Killzone Shadowfall then?"

      Also, this wasn't a launch, this was an announcement and demonstration of their new philosophy in game development.

    I disagree. With E3 just around the corner and MS still to make any formal announcements, Sony still want to have an ace up their sleeve lest the be overshadowed by the competitions announcement.

    really getting over ppl bitching about not seeing the console... it was an announcement confirming they are releasing a new console... showing off some new ideas they've got which are mainly around software and the controller... the physical look of the hardware has nothing to do with these things...

    plus... E3... imagine the bitching if they had nothing to show apart from "its still coming"... pretty sure we'll see it physically in June... unless of course they cave in to all the pressure of ppl bitching that they didn't show the console physically

      Yeah see people at E3 generally want games or full console launches. We basically already got the console launch but no look at the hardware. We got a handful of games.

      Now for E3 they are going to have to pull out all the stops and get a tonne of software up there to appease there fans.

        But that's the thing people are overlooking. Everything about yesterday's meeting was essentially a Pre-E3 conference. Go back and watch the initial PS3 announcement then watch yesterday's PS4 announcement and you'll be surprised by how similar they were in structure. Yesterday's event existed to do nothing more then say "Yes it exists, here's a bunch of tech demos, here's an early look at what features the OS can do, heres a few upcoming titles, we have much more to tell you over the year before launch, peace out see you at one of the many other trade shows in the year"

        So now when Microsoft does finally announce there Hardware, say E3 time, they will no doubt be banging on about what the Xbox does that is so different. Hey Sony already has that stuff out of the way...so what does Sony show off instead??? GAMES, GAMES AND MORE GAMES. Oh and here's the hardware, here's the pricing, here's all the launch details and a quick reminder of what it can do.

        Smart don't you think

    I wish people would stop calling this a launch. It was a press meeting to say yes the rumours are true we have a new console here are its features and this is what it can do, They still need some aces up their sleeve for E3 and the 2-3 hours they will have on stage demonstrating every single bit of what its capable of. remember they didn't have to sow anything if they didn't want to and could of kept everyone waiting till E3 be happy FFS

    Lots of people were keen to see what the new console looked like. i don't think its terribly surprising that some people are dissappointed. I'm curious about what it might look like and wish i got to find out today. I don't think that makes me a bad person, does it?

    Geez, if you go through the trouble of setting up such a massive event, you may as well show the bloody console as well. From what I've seen so far, I see Sony ripping off Nintendo again, showing just the controller and what it can do - the main differences are that Nintendo's Wii U controller actually looks good and you did see the console, even though it wasn't the sole focus. The "Dual Shock 4" controller looks like a deformed version of the previous controllers - no real innovation (perhaps for a different discussion).

    I think showing the console gets people excited. I know I get excited when I see what the new console looks like. That way, when it comes to E3, they can just focus on any hardware revisions (from the prototype they may have shown beforehand) and mostly on games/gameplay.

    Last edited 21/02/13 4:21 pm

    Why haven't they shown the console yet?

    To make everyone desperate to know what the console looks like, and thus keep people talking about the PS4.

    Well played, Yoshida, well played.

      Exactly, and to see what Microsofts move is before they reveal more. I think they have already finished development of the console but are just playing their cards very close to their chest. I mean the launch is only about 9 months away and they need time to manufacture the millions of consoles that need to be shipped to stores before that.

    "the share button, is a very key idea behind the design of the PS4"

    That statement there, that concerns me. I'm still wondering why it needs a dedicated button, far too much time and money seems to have gone towards the (unnecessary) social side of this console.

      Agreed, I don't even have a Facebook or (Twitter) account and I refuse to make one (I had one for a few weeks but de-registered it due to the fact of the constant friend requests from people I've never met and I just had no interest in using it). I just can't understand why people feel the need to tell everybody what they're doing all the time.

        I just got home from work.

          I see what you did there.

            Sorry, I couldn't help myself, but I agree with your previous comment.
            Personally, I'd say those people are just desperate for attention.

      It shouldn't worry you. I've pointed it out a few times today but the social media side is the same as the home cinema side of the PS3 campaign. They'll pump it as the future of consoles earlier on and try and kick up a little 'the XBOX can't do that!' stink but as the reasons to buy the console grows larger they'll give up on pushing it as important.
      As for what it took to put it in there I doubt it took much. I'm not a fan of that sort of stuff (you can probably tell I think it's a bit of a joke of a feature) but there is an upshot because it helps make sure that we don't see a repeat of the PS3's mistake of giving bugger all power to the OS while games are running. It confirms that they've actually been playing with practical applications for that side as well as the internet connectivity during play.

      Last edited 21/02/13 6:12 pm

    What is with all this "Launch" crap everyone is throwing around including Kotaku. It was an official reveal/announcement, not a launch.

    If they showed everything off now then the like half a dozen shows/events between now and Xmas would be nothing but gameplay videos and trailers, maybe official specs.

    They have spoken quite extensively about the console and most of its features, we got to see actual gameplay footage of multiple games showing off what the console will be capable of at its actual launch in holiday 2013.

    Stop whining and accept that what we got to see was incredible since it was its own standalone event Sony held for us all, much earlier then is the norm.

    Yes it sucks that we still have to imagine what it looks like but hey wasn't that the best thing back in the day? Being able to use our imagination?

    Personally I think one of these http://img.gawkerassets.com/img/18f7w9xox3y5rjpg/original.jpg or this http://img.gawkerassets.com/img/18f7w9tqyak6jjpg/original.jpg are the most down to earth honest design ideas and I would be happy with either one.

    I am quite happy with today's event and am eager to see more over the next 9 months.

    "We have to keep something new for later" to me that means that the console itself is not ready yet. Today was about as much about marketing buzzwords as it was the unveiling of next gen gaming.

    If EB's price of $899 for Australia is to believed then better believe that Sony should be worried about Valve's Steam box as much as the new xbox.

      No price has been announced so it's just a placeholder price.

      We normally get screwed on price in this country so I'm expecting it to be between $700 and $900, and Japan and the US will get it in November and we'll have to wait till probably around this time next year.

      They always guess the price really high. They had the WiiU priced at $600 originally.

        Yeah, I know that's why I said between 700 and 900.

          Agreed. I cannot see this going for less than $600 in Australia

    It's embarrassing watching all the sweaty nerds get upset that they haven't seen any actual hardware yet. Jesus, I was just expecting them to confirm they were making it, and show a sizzle reel of some sort. Be happy with what they've showed us you pricks, stop thinking you're all so entitled.

    Every major media outlet is calling out that no ps4 was shown.

    Fact is nobody wants to like this console - Sony are dead in most people's minds so they just won't buy the ps4... No matter how good it is unless its insanely cheap at launch.

    Even now the ps3 labors under a huge weight of negativity. People are almost ashamed to say they own one!!

      Were you born retarded, or have you just sustained a head injury lately?

    Yoshida's right. First rule of marketing, always leave the audience wanting more.

    I think its great as like, a preview of what to expect from E3, and I must say, I wasnt excited for the PS4 at all... Then I saw the crazy stuff from MM and all the infamous and Killzone stuff hahaha.

    Sony did the right thing, not showing the console.

    A lot can change in 8 to 9 months, computer chips get smaller and cheaper so on so forth.

    Would people be happy if they showed of a huge console and then closer to launch showed a different smaller version? would that create confusion?

    The obviously are not ready or are waiting for something, lets all wait with them and see how it turns out.

    IMO they should have shown concept images or just a single image. Keep the hype rolling.

    I was worried that I had missed the unveiling of the console when I had to find a new stream. It's a little disappointing that they didn't show it but there's still plenty of time for that. I think the controller is more important because the console will sit on the shelf and rarely be looked at, but we all know it is likely to be a black shiny box with a disc slot.

    I wonder when the HDMI port press event is.

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