New console reveals from top competitors like Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo reign supreme in the world of consumer electronics. They’re not like yearly iPhone or Galaxy S press conferences featuring “suitable” tech for 18 months. The systems represent the cutting-edge specs of the day and become engines for your favorite games for the next five-plus years.
Except, with Sony’s and Microsoft’s “hype conferences,” the drama and anticipation for the future of entertainment gets replaced with uncertainty. We see some of the novel features under the hood, the shiny graphics and recognizable franchises showing off the visuals. Yet many gamers look at the stream of reveals say, “Really, Is that all?”
Then, when the ugly information gets out, the parties shuts down before they start. Xbox One’s questionable used games strategy and online requirements already have longtime brobox fans at the fence. A great presentation would’ve made unfortunate information trickling out the back door less problematic. However, when you fall flat like MS did, the negatives get a bigger spotlight.
PS4’s showing three months back looks less egregious in hindsight yet still met mixed reactions. The new touch-enabled controller could open the door for fresh gameplay or more gimmicks. Also, cloud access to PS1, 2 and 3 games seem like an alright solution to backwards compatibility. Then again their showing didn’t drop any bombs or warrant an inordinate amount of praise.
We all knew PS4 was on the horizon well before any official announcement. Why would Sony be so guarded about their latest, greatest creation? They understandably shouldn’t show off everything to maintain its mystique or whatever. At the same time it’s plain to see, aside from a few demonstrations, they didn’t show enough.
Both exhibitions showed off new games but nothing from either side revealed how they’ll drastically push the bar in game design. So far we’re promised smoother UIs, better integration of television, social networking, some bells and whistles like group skype chat and the same stuff we’ve been playing in a new coat of paint. All these facets create a perfect storm of lukewarm publicity and curbed optimism from potential customers.
The backlash for PS4 and Xbox One isn’t about being overexposed to games or neckbeards expecting the world from them. What we’ve seen is self-inflicted buzz kills from Sony and Microsoft. Why create previews for your flagship product when you can’t support it with noteworthy offerings yet? E3 will give each another chance to win people over. Yet the consoles resemble lateral steps rather than sizable leaps like their predecessors.