Thinking about the Playstation 4

Gut reactions! Bullet points!

Killzone 4
  1. Are we reaching the point where graphics can get no better? The visual leap between console generations is far subtler than in previous cycles. Adding polygons for each notch in a character’s skin and every strand of his hair is going to make AAA games more time-consuming to do.¬†
  2. Will the need for more sophisticated visuals in games drive up development costs and increase the size of development teams? This will ultimately reduce the number of AAA games that succeed and lead to studio closures and cancelled projects.
  3. Here’s hoping that Sony continues to do its great work in the alt-indie space by supporting devs like Quantic Dream, Giant Sparrow, and thatgamecompany.
  4. Its hard to get excited about hardware right now when in only a year or two consumer PCs will have similar hardware at a fraction of the price. For me, the main draw to console gaming is the social experience of vegging out on a couch with friends in front of a huge screen.
  5. Smart call removing used games restrictions. Bad call removing backwards compatibility. I don’t want to rebuy my games over PSN.
  6. Cloud gaming is overrated, especially for people in areas with slow internet service. Slow internet will effectively shut out a huge number of people from the next generation.
  7. I sure hope the submission process for PSN Indie Games is simple and that the API for developing games is simple and easy to learn. Microsoft did a huge favor for the world by encouraging indie game development with XNA, Sony should consider doing to same.
  8. Maybe Nintendo was right seven years ago when they said that we’re eventually going to reach a point where increased processing power can no longer account for new gameplay experiences. I mean, many of the best games of last year had minimalistic graphics, The Walking Dead, The Unfinished Swan, Journey. Minecraft¬†has weak technical graphics and its already one of the best games out there. I played a bit of Far Cry 3 and felt that it focused too much on spectacle.
  9. Here’s one for new interfaces like motion, touch, and virtual reality.
  10. I haven’t seen any game at the conference that I can get really excited about.¬†Destiny looks kinda cool from an artistic perspective and I’ve adored Bungie’s visual direction, but I can’t really get into the whole “pervasive transmedia-franchise” thing. Time will tell. What I do wish was there at the conference was The Last Guardian, since that dog-goat-eagle thing is friggin’ adorable. Watch Dogs also looks fantastic.
  11. What about support for 3D visuals or 4K resolution? Jumping from 480p to 1080p was a huge visual jump and meant a lot for how impactful games can be. Staying at 1080p seems like a missed opportunity.
  12. Wondering what gameplay experiences the touchpad on PS4 can create. Touch is an incredibly powerful interface and accounted for the success of the DS and modern mobile gaming. If its used in an interesting and creative way, huge potential for great new experiences can be tapped.
  13. People say that this eighth console cycle might be the last. Given how much movement exists with in the industry, the contracting scale of AAA development, and all the new forms of games that we’ve seen over the past few years, that’s probably going to be true. Don’t be sad over this, an exciting new future is about to be built. Be hopeful.
  14. This is actually the most incredible piece of technology I’ve ever seen. Its incredible how they squeezed such incredible machinery into such a tiny device.