The Best And Worst Of Sony's Big PlayStation 4 Reveal

Sony's PlayStation 4 reveal yesterday was one of the stranger console announcements I can remember. We heard from a lot of developers, but some big ones didn't have anything concrete to show or talk about. We saw a lot of games, but many were games we already knew about. And we heard all about the PlayStation 4 without ever once actually seeing what the PlayStation 4 looked like.

To that end, I'm going to sort through the good and the bad, the highs and lows, and see what we can make of the whole thing.


Talent: Consoles don't sell consoles. Games sell consoles. Sony needed to show that it had the development community full behind this machine, and between this image and the volume of guests speaking on stage, for the most part (see below) they showed that. We know, then, that the PS4 is going to have a lot of games. Let's just hope it keeps getting them once those studios have all released their first PS4 title.

Gameplay: Unusually for a first-showing, we got a few good looks at gameplay from PS4 titles. Watch Dogs may have been first spotted last year but we got an all-new demo at the PS4 event, and it looked great. Killzone was shown running as well, and while that series has something of a history with events like this, this time around it looked like something you could totally expect to be playing by the end of the year, not something from the distant future.

Controller: I hate the DualShock. I find it flimsy and uncomfortable. So it's awesome to see that, nearly 20 years after the release of the first PlayStation, Sony has finally made a significant departure from its original controller design, smoothing the curves of the DualShock 4 and adding a host of interesting features.

Sharing: I'm not entirely sold on the whole sharing concept just yet, because I've yet to see it in action, but the premise is an enticing one. I especially like the real-name Facebook stuff, because I don't have strangers in my friends list, I have friends. It'll be better seeing their real faces and names. The new PS4 dashboard that incorporates all this also looked very pretty.


Vita: This event was called the PlayStation Meeting. It wasn't all about the PS4. Indeed, the Vita kicked off proceedings, and after Japan's price cut earlier this month all money was on Sony doing the same for Western markets. For whatever reason, that didn't happen. It should have.

Missing In Action: Sony showed a lot of developers who had publicly backed the PS4. But at the event itself, the place where the big guns are put to good use up on stage, there were still some very notable absentees. Electronic Arts did not have a presence. Square Enix's showing was laughably thin, showing an old trailer and mentioning a Final Fantasy game in the vaguest terms possible. Konami's Metal Gear series, traditionally a PlayStation stalwart and which is all but confirmed as having a next-gen title, wasn't there either.

Nor were The Last Guardian and Grand Theft Auto V, but as titles destined for the PS3, perhaps that shouldn't be too surprising.

Sausage Party: Over a dozen men took to the stage to represent the cream of Sony's development crop. There was not a single woman.

No PS4: An event that began strongly ended in slightly ridiculous fashion as Sony wound things up without actually showing the PlayStation 4. Withholding controllers and peripherals for a later date has become an industry norm, yes, but keeping the actual console a secret is not. While Sony has its reasons — marketing reasons — I think it backfired, as it creates more worry that the thing's not even finished than excitement at what it'll end up looking like (hint: probably a black box).

That's about all I can wrap my head around for one day. What about you guys, anything stand out one way or another?


    Worst whatever that was yesterday? Whoever came up with the idea to blueblall the gaming press and users like that needs to get their ass kicked for that cock up yesterday. Some days it's hard being a Sony fan...

    I'm just going to cut and past this comment I made in a different article a few minutes ago....

    I am going to do something strange. I'm going to applaud Sony, for several reasons.

    1) The WiiU has been released and has been garnering a lot of attention recently. This will divert a lot of that attention- why buy a last gen console when a next gen one has been announced???

    2) They have games from third parties already. Everyone knows that first party titles are a consoles bread and butter that sell systems, but having third party support from pre launch means that the console will be backed strongly by Sony early on - it will only garner more success.

    3) Everyone knows the next Xbox is on the way, but for the meantime, Sony can release a steady stream of next gen news and info, completely stealing the limelight from Microsoft until E3.

    4) Microsoft is now expected to "win" E3 with their reveal of the next box, but Sony may be in a position to have a stronger lineup. They can focus more on console features and gameplay of games, whereas Microsoft will be console news heavy. This will make the playstation seem like a more complete product, and it's only June.

    This gives Sony a huge advantage over Microsoft until it becomes more a level playing field. So I applaud Sony to a great first innings. Hopefully they follow it up with more good marketing and don't waste this opportunity.

    I personally think Microsoft must reveal the next box before E3 otherwise Sony will walk away with a win this generation before release. I can't see Nintendo selling as much as either, but time will tell.

    Exciting times!!!

      Remember there is still 3- 4 months till E3!! I think E3 is leaving it to late for Microsoft, leaving them only 5-6 months of hype and marketing if they want to release in the Christmas period. I have a feeling that Microsoft will announce their own event in the next 2 weeks.

        I think they'll do it in April sometime. They don't want to come straight after the PS4 otherwise they look a little desperate to win. Plus, by that time, PS4 excitement will have died down a lot, and Microsoft is ready to sweep people off their feet. And that late in the game, they leave the Xbox fresh in people's minds just long enough to keep them hyped for the E3 news.

      I agree, but Sony needs to do a massive advertising campaign, at least the scale of Halo 4. At the moment they are only marketting to core audiance, via internet.
      Believe it or not most people are not avid browsers. Most people watch movies, TV, and a few read newspapers.
      I'm talking Jay Leno, Sony Pictures movies, ... cmon man.
      Being the best is not enough, you have to tout it sometimes.

    As mainly a PC gamer all I wanted to know was the specs!
    So I'm happy(ish) with the presentation :P

      Me too! But for different reasons as I said in another article:

      I'm highly impressed that it is an x86 CPU. One of the biggest things that developers hated about PS3 was that it was so difficult to program for. The different architectures between PC, Xbox and PS meant that the port was never as nice as the game on the lead development platform. Now with them all being x86 based, games should be ported far cleaner, meaning quicker releases between platforms, and a more consistent experience.

      As a PC gamer, this makes me very happy, as we tend to be an afterthought therefore missing out on the best experience.

    You forgot Diablo 3 release for ps3 and ps4!

    No one was disturbed by the fact that the very thing they were announcing wasn't actually there? It doesn't count if they are running from a PC.

      If you consider justo11 comment, specifically remark 4.

      Then i would imagine that "They can focus more on console features and gameplay of games" will also be the time they could reveal what their console will look like. This will allow sony to not receive as much of a hit when xbox reveals their console (either at E3 or before).

      Correct me if I'm wrong, but the event was advertised as 'Playstation Meeting 2013' and the teaser video was based purely on seeing the future and direction of the Playstation brand.
      There was NO MENTION by Sony that this was going to be a PS4 launch, that was just the rumours and sensationalised garbage that the media released.
      Sure it is a touch surprising they didn't reveal the console given everything else they did reveal, but they never said "Come and see the PS4 console' did they?

    I swear Patricia Hernandez's sole use on this website is to think of the most stupid things to play the sexism card on so you guys can get hits. Complaining about there being no female presenters at the event? Really?

    What's even worse is I'll get flamed by whiteknights just for calling out how stupid this whole sexism thing is...

      Why hello there white male aged 25-35.

        So brave.

          Actually from my own comment on the article you'll see i have no whiteknight interest; patricia posts boring COD videos alongside actual articles. But i'm sure my guess was right.

      I think it's sexist suggesting that not having any females presenting is sexist.

      It was misguided at best. The aim shouldn't have been at Sony. The issue is, there are few women in positions of power in the gaming industry as represented by the GUESTS of Sony. All those developers and CEO's were simply representing their position in their company. Their position is not represented by women and that would have been a valid argument but blaming Sony and calling them sexist was a wide shot that missed completely and made the article seem like an agenda piece more than being a valid commentary on the state of gender equality in the industry.

      I'm going to flame you because the headline says "LUKE PLUNKETT"

      Last edited 22/02/13 11:42 am

    No women at the conference? To be perfectly honest, I'm glad there wasn't. Sure, these companies could have sent attractive young PR ladies in mini-skirts to present for them, but instead they chose show they actually care their products by sending the 'big guns' - the CEOs, the department heads, the directors. It just happens that these positions are filled by men.
    If a game developer was headed up by a woman, I'd be more than happy to see her up on stage showing off her games, but just how many of these women actually exist?

      Exactly. Why have women at the presentation just because they are women? Then Sony'd be accused of hiring 'booth babes'... I think anyone with a basic knowledge of the gaming industry would realise that there just aren't that many women in senior roles. That being said, Media Molecule could have sent Siobhan Reddy, depending on availability. In any event, most of the speakers would have been picked by the guest organisations, not Sony.

      OUYA CEO Julie Uhrman. That's all I can think of off the top of my head. But by the same token I also could care less about the names of people at the helm of dev companies.

    This was Sony's attempt at a pre-emptive strike no doubt.

    There was SO much just not ready yet, which indicates they're trying to smoke out Microsoft. Why? Not so sure.

      You're not sure why one company would want to force their competitor to show their hand? Seriously?

      If Microsoft's event for the next Xbox doesn't have any women presenting, I want to see them cop an equal amount of criticism, please.

    Sony didn't show the console. My guess is that they are saving it for E3. While yes people were yelling and screaming about Sony not showing the console but E3 is the biggest event for the year and they need something to showoff

    Last edited 22/02/13 10:20 am

    On the female showing...Sony is an old school Japanese run company and games are dominated by males, working on or playing games, more so than women.

    I too would prefer to see a number of our female players/developers represented (in 2013 no less) but with this industry and Sony I'm not surprised one bit.

    They're obviously holding off the console reveal until E3, so that Microsoft doesn't get all the attention to itself.

    Overall, I was satisfied with the presentation. The whole point was so we could hear Sony say "yeah, there's a PS4." That's exactly what they got. Additionally, we're used to simply seeing the console and having very few other details. I'm quite happy that Sony has revealed things like the controller, UI, games and other features, rather than just show the box and leave it at that. The first time we saw the Wii U is an example of this.

    I think it is a brave new direction for gaming which Sony is taking for their PS4 console; reducing games to nothing more than cutscenes. Who needs all that gameplay anyway?

      Presentation was for the developer motr than for gamers. wait until E3 DA

    I heard that Diablo III will be making it to consoles, which I think is just Blizzard getting money hungry. The last time Diablo was on a console (the PS I think) it was not that great a game. :-/

    Does anyone else think it looks like that touch pad moves??

    It does. It's clickable, much like the analouge sticks.

    wish everyone would stop complaining, it was a great presentation, and all you guys just expect too much now that they've revealed a heap

    "Sausage Party: Over a dozen men took to the stage to represent the cream of Sony’s development crop. There was not a single woman."

    What do you want Plunkett? Do you want the private sector to take lessons from the Australian Governments positive discrimination recruiting process?

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