The Playstation 4 is just two days away! So, should you be lining up outside Best Buy, $400 in hand? I certainly have nothing against buying consoles at launch in theory, but there are some legit reasons you might want to hold off on that PS4 purchase, such as…
There’s Nothing To Play On It
Reviews for the PS4’s big launch game, Killzone: Shadow Fall have been pretty mixed, and reviewers have a tendency to take it easy on launch titles. Killzone currently has a Metacritic score 7-points lower than last-gen launch dud Perfect Dark Zero. Ouch.
The PS4’s other big launch title, Knack, is accumulating even worse reviews. And the guy who designed the PS4 made Knack! Not a great omen.
Better learn to like this guy.
There Won’t Be Anything To Play On It For A While
Killzone and Knack may not be great, but you better find a way to love them, because the PS4 release calendar looks pretty bleak. The next glimmers of hope are Driveclub and InFamous: Second Son, which are both set to come out spring of 2014 (hopefully). Driveclub just looks like a generic racing game, but InFamous: Second Son has potential, although who knows — we haven’t seen much of the game outside of a few cinematics. After Driveclub and InFamous things go quiet again as far as exclusives go.
Microsoft may have put a lot of gamers off with their constant harping on about the Xbox One’s TV-watching capabilities, but the reality is the next Xbox has a much richer selection of exclusives coming out over the next six months.
It Won’t Do A Number of Things Your PS3 Did
Obviously the PS4 does a lot of things the PS3 can’t, but Sony has also quietly axed a number of features. You can’t play videos or MP3s on it for instance, and it’s lacking a YouTube app. The era of “It only does everything” is over.
No catching up with Ellie and Joel on PS4.
No Backwards Compatibility
Speaking of not doing things the PS3 did, the PS4 also won’t play PS3 games — at least not yet (Sony promises some PS3 games will be available through its Gaikai cloud service eventually).
Now, this might not be a big deal if you’re a longtime Sony loyalist and already own a PS3, but what if you’re one of the many people turned off by Microsoft’s Xbox One policies? There’ll no going back to catch up on PS3 classics while you wait for something decent to come out on the PS4.
No New Big Ideas
The Playstation 4 is going to deliver improved processing power and graphics in spades, but aside from that the PS4 doesn’t do a lot that’s truly new. The system’s controller has a mini-touch pad and a “share” button you’ll probably never use, and that cloud service may shake things up when it finally arrives, but for now your 400 bucks basically gets you a more stylish PS3 with somewhat better graphics.
Say what you want about Microsoft’s wrongheaded policies, but the Xbox One, with its updated Kinect and DVR-like abilities, is bring more newness to the table.
The Bottom Line
Listen, I’ll be honest — the PS4 looks like a solid piece of hardware, and will probably be the next-gen console I end up buying. That said, if you’re going to push your machine as The Gamer’s Console, you should probably have some games for it, and so far Sony has failed on that front.
Will it be a different story in a year or so? Probably, but for now you might want to hold off on the PS4, or if you need some next gen goodness right now and money is no object, the Xbox One’s launch window line-up looks quite a bit stronger than the PS4’s.
So, did you find the case for or against more persuasive? Is Sony getting your (or Santa’s) 400 clams this holiday?