The debate: is it time for PS4?
Claims impatient awaiter of tomorrow’s shiny tech, Joel Gregory
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not dissatisfied with what my PS3 is giving me. Already this year we’ve had Mass Effect 3, SSX, Journey (oh, beautiful Journey…) and there’s plenty more to come. And, as a media hub, it’s still top-notch, outputting crisp Blu-rays and showing me episode after episode of cancer-riddled chemistry teachers slinging meth. But Sony needs to at least announce its next console at E3 this year in order to prove that it’s learned from the past.
In the wake of the dozens of truly great games we’ve had, it’s easy to forget that the PS3 has been a mixed bag commercially. And launching a full year after its Microsoft rival has been a big part of that: it took time and some aggressive price cuts to claw back the disparity in the install base. It’s a near-certainty that a new Xbox will be announced in LA this summer, and Sony needs to keep pace with a PS4.
The key is to focus on making the best next-gen console it can right now. There’s no sense in trying to create another all-powerful technical behemoth and launching it at – look away now, Mr Hirai – 599 US dollars. But new hardware is the lifeblood of this industry, and Sony can’t afford to be the last to the party again. A teaser, some specs, a logo – anything. Just don’t show up when the DJ’s on the slow songs and the birthday girl’s sat in the bathtub crying.
Argues contented current-gen aficionado, Leon Hurley
It just doesn’t feel like it’s time yet. It’s as simple as that. PS3 is still going great guns and the stuff that’s lined up for the next year or so looks amazing – why look to the future when the now is still pretty hot? With previous generations of PlayStation, you could see the cracks starting to form as the consoles reached the end of their lifespan; the tech ageing a bit as PC games began to pull ahead and look a little bit shinier and I-wanty.
That’s just not happening yet with PS3. Games such as Uncharted 3 show a console that seems to still be settling into its stride. At no point yet have I sat down to play anything and enviously eyed up its PC equivalent. Sure, some things – Rage and Skyrim, for example – do look better on PC, but not enough to want to invest in the regular, expensive tech upgrades needed to play them on that format. Or the NASA-level problem-solving skills needed to get them to work. Houston, we have a driver conflict…
At the moment, I’m still only mentioning games that are out. There’s still stuff coming – including The Last Of Us, which looks astonishing, and whatever Quantic Dream’s beautiful Kara demo turns into. We’re talking movie-quality visuals in an actual game engine, not pre-rendered in Heaven by God. I want PS4 – I look forward to it – I just don’t think we need it yet.