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PS4: "The beginning of a new era of PlayStation"

PS4: "The beginning of a new era of PlayStation"

Thu 14 Nov 2013 5:33am GMT / 12:33am EST / 9:33pm PST
BusinessHardwarePublishing

Shuhei Yoshida talks about PS4 being a "transitional generation," reacts to low review scores, explains why 720p vs 1080p Call of Duty is "significant" and more

Sony Computer Entertainment

Sony Computer Entertainment is a Japanese videogame company specialising in a variety of areas in the...

playstation.com

At The Standard hotel on the lower west side of Manhattan, it feels like Sony has created a fortress. Every floor is dominated by PS4 games and demos and even the elevators are decked out in PlayStation imagery. The launch of the PS4 is only hours away now. It's a big deal for Sony and the industry, and judging by what feels like all of Sony Computer Entertainment taking up residence in this hotel, it's clear that the company is making a statement: we're bringing the industry into the next generation and we're hoping to recapture our mojo from the PS2 days.

It's within this atmosphere that Sony cordially invited me (and full disclosure, paid for my accommodations) to interview Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios boss Shuhei Yoshida. The long-time Sony executive has been with SCE since the company's inception, so perhaps another console launch feels old-hat. The affable Yoshida certainly didn't make it look that way, however. Even in the face of less than stellar reviews for the PS4 launch games, Yoshida remained enthusiastic, and in classic console wars fashion managed to get in a few shots at the competition.

In the full discussion below, you'll read Yoshida's thoughts on the launch scores (which he joked afterwards that he was hoping I wouldn't ask him about), how PlayStation is being redefined in the PS4 era, why Drive Club had to be delayed, why graphics and 1080p resolution absolutely matter, and he explains his skepticism for Xbox One's cloud computing tech. It's a lengthy conversation but well worth the read to absorb Yoshida's refreshingly forthright answers.

Q: You've been with PlayStation from the very beginning, you've seen it all and played a part in the growth of the games business, so perhaps you're the best person to answer this question. How would you compare this launch to the previous hardware launches? Has it been harder or easier and why?

Shuhei Yoshida: I think this is the most organized launch we've had as a company. The launch of PS4 reminds me a lot of the launch of PlayStation 1 because we were a very small company at that time. We had a small group of people trying to do almost everything. Because we were new, we tried to speak to the people in the industry, our partners and developers, and we tried to learn a lot. So we kind of stopped with that approach as we became successful and larger and more confident. The pace of change was not that fast during PS2 and even PS3. The PS3 era for us was the beginning of the network platform being integrated at a system level... but back then people didn't really use smartphones and that all changed in three or four years and it was a huge change. That forced us back to basics almost, and it required us to really think through everything that we do from the hardware specifications to services to the overall business plans. We had to think about the use of new devices and what that means for us. When people use mobile devices, is that competition? Or are [mobile devices] tools for us? We had to redefine our platform almost, and we have come to conclude that this is the beginning of a new era of PlayStation, shifting more from a hardware focus to a service focus.

"We have come to conclude that this is the beginning of a new era of PlayStation, shifting more from a hardware focus to a service focus"

The PS4 generation is going to be the transitional generation. In a sense, it's the completion of the evolution of the strong 3D capable consoles, but at the same time it's at the maturing phase of our network platform and the beginning of our new service phase, like our cloud gaming that we are preparing to launch next year. And the use of mobile devices is part of our ecosystem. So all that considered, and the difficulty we had at the launch of the PS3, and very strong competition especially in North America, that made us really revisit everything we've been doing and redefine the company, almost like we're re-entering this industry. Even across our teams, I think you now get more consistent messages [about PlayStation] compared to past generations, because we talk a lot more and get a lot of input [from all the teams] on different decisions.

In the past, it was very much [driven by] Tokyo. And now [Group CEO] Andrew House is playing a major role in getting the US and European groups integrated. And I've been playing a major role myself on the development side for the last five years... So, Andy and I can quickly decide for certain projects, “let's get this person from the US team or this person from the European team” and put someone in charge of a global project. So it's a much more integrated international team that we have now and we are always communicating. There's been a great maturing of our organization compared to past generations.

Q: During Sony's last earnings call, CFO Masaru Kato said that PS4 actually will contribute to the division's profitability much earlier on than past consoles. How important is this to the continued sustainability of PlayStation as a business, and does this mean we should expect Sony to cut prices on PS4 to make it more affordable sooner?

Shuhei Yoshida: Yeah, I read an article where an executive of a major publisher said something about [prices coming down sooner]... Because Masaru Kato used to be CFO of Sony Computer Entertainment and he was the key guy on the business side when we launched the PS3 - he was the right-hand man for Ken Kutaragi - he had to go through that really tough time. During the PS2 era, we were very proud that we were generating like half the profit of Sony Group or something like that, but with the launch of PS3, we lost billions of dollars and we became a burden for Sony. So Masaru's comments, comparing to PS3, it's too easy a benchmark. In a sense, we're doing great because we're not losing billions with the launch of PS4 - in fact, we're pretty much breakeven in this launch year of PS4 - but looking forward, it's fair that as CFO of Sony, and with his experience with previous PlayStation generations, that he would expect a better financial performance... And of course, he's in a position to really whip all of the business groups at Sony to get the best performance possible.

1

On the question of whether costs come down quicker, I think there are a couple ways to answer that question. One is that our hardware teams have chosen more standardized components to create PlayStation 4 and that's contributing to our launch price of $399 versus $599 for the PS3. When we need to source components to get more supply to the retailers, that approach definitely helps compared to some cutting edge component that only one manufacturer can produce, like Blu-ray or the Cell processor. Those were big bottlenecks. It's much better this time, and that's all great, but it might mean that because we're already using more standardized components, the room for costs to come down might actually be slower than when we were starting with cutting edge stuff.

Q: The PS4 software reviews so far have been average or in some cases, worse than average. As the head of Worldwide Studios, what's your reaction to this? Are you worried about the impact on PS4? The PS3 suffered from a lack of great software but the system did well in the end, so how important is it to have that "system seller" at launch?

Shuhei Yoshida: Yeah, it's disappointing to see some of the low scores. I haven't spent enough time reading reviews, but I would characterize them as mixed. And with this launch there are lots of games coming out, so the media must be very busy going through the games quickly, and especially since the online functionality wasn't ready until in the last couple days. So we have to look at how much time they spend on what aspect of the games and how that may be contributing to some of the lower scores. It's disappointing but I don't think it's worrisome for the launch of the system. I've played through all of our games, Killzone, Knack and Resogun, and I totally enjoyed playing through these games. I'm now on my second run of Knack and Resogun at a higher difficulty - these games really grow on you when you play more. I'm very confident that once you purchase these games and play, you'll be happy that you've done so.

Q: You mentioned Knack, and unfortunately that game got even lower scores than the others, and I'm wondering if that's more frustrating since it came from Mark Cerny. Was Mark not able to devote his complete attention to Knack because of his responsibilities as PS4 system architect? Was he spread a bit too thin?

"[Knack is] not the type of game reviewers would score high for the launch of a next-gen system. The game was targeted as what we call a second purchase"

Shuhei Yoshida: No, I don't think that's right. He spent maybe a quarter of his time during the development of Knack and in his position of giving creative direction and overseeing development, it was appropriate... He was in Japan every month for a week, working with the team, so the communication was very good.

The game wasn't designed [to meet specific] review scores - I was hoping Knack could score in the mid 70s and last I checked it's around 59-60, so I'm hoping it goes up. The game uses only three buttons to play, so it's not the type of game reviewers would score high for the launch of a next-gen system. The game was targeted as what we call a second purchase; you know, people may purchase PS4 for Call of Duty or Assassin's Creed or Killzone, but if they also buy Knack, this is a game that you can play with your family or your significant other. It's a message that as a platform we are not just trying to cater only to the hardcore, shooter audience - we are looking at all kinds of gamers - but Knack is a great game for core gamers as well because when you up the difficulty level it becomes a really tight, tense action brawler.

But the goal was to design it to be played by anyone, even someone who's never played before. So it wasn't aimed at high review scores, even though higher would be appreciated! Killzone is different - it's definitely targeted to the core gaming audience and we're still waiting on more reviews because some sites are saying they played single player but not enough multiplayer. So I'll wait with my personal judgment until I read more reviews.

Q: Regarding the Drive Club delay, considering that the PS4 has been in development for 6 years, it's odd that an internal studio like Evolution that knew the launch, the specs and everything else well in advance of even the closest third-party partner should miss the launch. Was there some miscommunication or what happened to cause the delay?

Shuhei Yoshida: It's almost an amazing achievement for any studio to set a release date and achieve it, especially for the launch of a new system because the hardware and software tools are always getting updated. So you always have to work with the moving target, so to speak. That said, PS4 has been praised for the ease of development and the stability of the dev kit by everyone - not just our teams but other developers and publishers. And it's true that Evolution was also heavily in discussions about PS4 hardware features and network service features. Where the team missed the date and miscalculated the tasks was when they tried to do something they have not done before.

A launch title is especially tricky if you aim too high. When you try new things, you definitely have to prepare for multiple iterations... In order for a title to come out at launch, the ambition level has to kind of be kept in check; the team has to rely on tried and true mechanisms. That I think is the main reason for missing the launch date. Drive Club is exciting because it really goes aggressive into the integration of social features and the second-screen experience, and that's a new addition for Evolution. The team has been making racing games for a long time, so they're veterans when it comes to core racing...

Q: So it was the addition of social integration features that set them back?

Shuhei Yoshida: They always planned the game to have these social features but because these features are new, they found some technical matters or flaws in play testing, and that's the reason we waited until the very end to announce the delay. They might have been able to hit the date, but in terms of both getting technical matters down and getting the game polished enough... we decided we wanted the team to go back to some of the features and spend some more time to get it done.

Q: This is a multi-part question. First, there's been a lot of noise in the media lately about how Xbox One runs Call of Duty: Ghosts at 720p, not the full 1080p resolution that it plays on PS4. How important is this? Do you think the average consumer would really appreciate the difference? Second, how much will the average consumer notice a difference between last-gen PS3 and Xbox 360 games and what PS4 now offers? PS3 games look very good, so do graphics matter in next-gen? Why should consumers spend $400 on PS4?

2

Shuhei Yoshida: I can confidently say that graphics matter, because I played through Killzone: Shadow Fall. What I mean is, most people probably can't tell looking at 720p or 1080p unless you're in the industry or you're a hardware nerd, but when you compare a game like Killzone: Shadow Fall to Killzone 3 on PS3, for example, the fact that the game is rendered and displayed at 1080p native means that every pixel is rendered, and in combination with the new Dual Shock 4 analog sticks and triggers, it's great when you're playing a shooter and you can see the enemy far away from you and you can move the crosshair to aim with pixel perfect precision.

When you talk to game designers at Guerilla, they would tell you it's kind of traditional for shooters on consoles to include some aim assist [function] because of the lack of accuracy of the control and the lack of clarity in the graphics, but with 1080p and the power of PS4 you don't need that. So you actually have more control and the satisfaction level is higher. So when you're shooting enemies, it's all you. You don't need to be able to spot the difference in resolution but it just feels great. That's the difference; graphics isn't just about making things look pretty, but it can make the gameplay better. Another example is in racing games, like Gran Turismo, when you see a long road ahead and it curves to the left or right, you can tell what's coming thanks to the resolution and power of graphics. The improved draw distance gives you anticipation for what's to come. So the power of hardware and graphics in some areas is actually very related to great gameplay experiences.

"There are a lot of hidden powers in our system... in two to three years the graphics will be really amazing"

Since the beginning of this year when we saw leaks [about the specs] of next-gen platforms, we immediately knew since the tech specs on PS4 were accurate that the Xbox specifications were likely accurate as well. So we knew at that point that we had much more raw power... So I was hoping from earlier this year that when games come out from third-parties - because that's the best example, to look at the same game on different platforms - if there's any slight performance difference on the two systems I'll be very happy. I wasn't expecting something like [what happened with] Call of Duty, 720p versus 1080p - that's a significant difference. Or Battlefield 4, which is 900 versus 720 - 900 requires 50 percent more pixels to be rendered. I learned all this from the Digital Foundry site.

There are a lot of hidden powers in our system. You may be familiar with GPGPU and PS4 has a lot more GPGPU processing in it, which is difficult to learn and master, similar to a Cell processor. So every year the games on PS4 will perform better because most of the launch teams probably didn't use GPGPU - they probably just used core graphics. So when the developers [use more of these] in two to three years the graphics will be really amazing. Resogun, by the way, is already using GPGPU... and that game is getting very good reviews!

Q: That may be the PS4 system seller you were looking for!

Shuhei Yoshida: At least we have one game that's getting great reviews.

Q: It's great for Sony to say that PS4 is more powerful than Xbox One, it's a great marketing point but...

Shuhei Yoshida: Well, I always say "I believe" or "We believe." I'm not saying that it is.

Q: Ok, but from an industry standpoint, in a way isn't it good that both consoles are so similar, so that developers can easily create games for both and target a larger combined installed base? I'm wondering - and this may sound like an odd question - does Sony ever communicate with Microsoft to get a sense of where an industry “standard” for consoles might end up for another generation?

Shuhei Yoshida: No, no. We didn't conspire [laughs]. But it's very interesting how we came to the same selection of CPU and GPU vendors. It's not exactly the same as each company customized the processing choices and so we ended up with more processing power but the architecture basically is quite similar. If you talk to any third-party developer, they say it's a wonderful thing because they really want to make the development process very efficient. So I think it's great, because learning the Cell processor was very difficult and now with PS4 everything's much easier - and at the same time, if you're a multiplatform developer it's going to be very easy to create PC, PS4 and Xbox One versions of a game because all three share the same kind of roots.

That said, each company, including Nintendo, has some unique additions to the core... So the multiplatform developers do have some decisions about how much customization and additional work they want to do to take advantage of the different unique aspects of the platforms. And by the way, I don't think developers have to do much more to take advantage of the raw power of PS4, to get games to render at the highest resolution.

Q: Microsoft has talked a lot about their cloud computing and the extra power that gives the Xbox One to offload some of that processing to a server in games like Forza or Titanfall. Is this something Sony can compete with? Can Gaikai be used in a similar way? Is that realistic, or perhaps Sony and Microsoft view the cloud differently?

Shuhei Yoshida: We've been clear on what cloud gaming means, and that's getting games to run on the server and sending that video signal to a distant device. The way they are using cloud computing seems very different and I totally don't understand what they mean by that. So we can't react to what they are saying because we don't understand. The explanation I found personally was, again, an article on Digital Foundry. They went through all the computing tasks a game goes through and for each one they checked off if it can actually be done on the server versus the client, and most of the tasks a game has to perform, they said, cannot be done on the server because of the huge latency and the bandwidth. There's so much data going back and forth between the CPU and memory and GPU inside the console compared to going through the internet... There were maybe four or five tasks that actually could be done on the server. So that was very educational to me. After reading the article, the Microsoft message was even more confusing to me.

Q: With PS4 launching, we haven't touched on Vita at all, but I did want to ask if you think those two systems will feed off each other? The Vita business has been slower than Sony would like but do you think the interest in PS4 and features like Remote Play could help boost the Vita sales over the long-term?

Shuhei Yoshida: Yeah, I hope so. It's been exciting these past couple days when we saw the media experimenting with Remote Play. It's very impressive. And the use case is if the main TV is occupied, then you can continue the game on Vita. If you live alone, maybe the use case is less, but even if you live alone there's some value in it. For example, I like to play games before I sleep, so I use Vita in the bed before I sleep and so whether or not the TV is occupied it's just very convenient for me to be able to continue to play, unless I really need that accuracy with shooting like I talked about earlier, so maybe I wouldn't play Killzone with Remote Play but I totally enjoy playing Knack on Vita.

So that definitely makes your Vita much more valuable if you already own one, and if you don't, once you get PS4 the potential value of Vita is much higher. We definitely hope people see that value and have a chance to see PS4 games running on Vita in person, because the combination of PS4's power and the great display of PS Vita is awesome. It's like mini cloud gaming, and actually Gaikai has worked on Remote Play. I'm very happy with the implementation - it's a seamless experience.

22 Comments

James Prendergast Research Chemist

735 432 0.6
@ Christian Keichel

He's probably referring to Sony Computer Entertainment Division - or whatever it was called back then.

Posted:11 months ago

#1

James Prendergast Research Chemist

735 432 0.6
Maybe if you take it in the context of poor translation either on his part or whoever. You can have a "company" meaning division, a group etc.

Posted:11 months ago

#2

James Prendergast Research Chemist

735 432 0.6
Popular Comment
Christian, I don't know what language you speak but having a lot of interactions with foreigners myself I get that they don't always use the correct words for things in other languages (e.g. Italians tend to use "nervous" instead of "angry"). That's still a poor translation and is covered by when I wrote "on his part" whether it was conducted in English or in Japanese or whatever...

You're nitpicking his conversation on a very minor point instead of looking at the overall meaning of the statement which was "Back when the PS1 launched, the division was a smaller group and so had to get a lot of people on board with the development for their console. For PS2 and PS3 they didn't need to because they were already a big influence in the games industry - especially for the PS3 this resulted in an arrogance that hurt the brand and division. This has been rectified during the PS4 development where they really had a strong outreach to developers and other people in the industry which was then likened to how it was in the beginning, when the PS1 was being developed."
Whether he used the correct word or if it was mistranslated or not, the intent is quite clear from the context of the paragraph.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by James Prendergast on 14th November 2013 1:43pm

Posted:11 months ago

#3

Richard Browne EVP Gaming and Interactive, Evergreen Studios

108 119 1.1
Popular Comment
SCE was absolutely a small division of a massive company ; one that didn't really believe in what SCE was doing or going to do. With any large multi-national you're going to get massive divisions of belief and there were a lot of people in Sony who thought the Playstation was an idea that was going to fail. When we were putting together the music tracks for Wipeout Sony Music was less than collaborative for one, as I recall they ended up wanting to charge more per track than other publishers like BMG - as a result lots of other publishers music went on the soundtrack and only after the PS1's massive success did Sony Music backtrack and want to be part of it (putting out the Wipeout music compilation for one!). SCEE at the time was very small, what Ian Hetherington and Jonathan Ellis put together in London over the space of a couple of years was amazing but still hardly Nintendo/Sega.

Posted:11 months ago

#4

James Brightman Editor in Chief, GamesIndustry.biz

252 416 1.7
Guys, Shuhei speaks English and this was conducted in English. And while Sony itself was big, the whole games business within Sony was just starting and was small.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by James Brightman on 14th November 2013 3:05pm

Posted:11 months ago

#5

Germán Vázquez Executive Producer, Neggi Studio

36 17 0.5
@ James and Christian
Maybe I´m older than I thought and you were too young to remember but in the late 80´s and early 90´s gaming was reduced to Nintendo and Sega, any other company that tried to break in was seen as the underdog/outsider be it Atari trying to make a comback with the Jaguar, 3DO or even Sony. My point is that gamers at the time and to an extent developers looked very sceptical to any company trying to get in the games industry other that the aforementioned Nintendo and Sega. To put it simply they were looked as if no matter how big you are as a company, as was the case with Sony, you have yet to probe yourself as a console maker. With no proven IPs no knowledge of how to make must have games, previously Sony only direct connection to making games was by way of Sony Imagesoft that made games for the SNES, Sega CD, etc. None were particulary groundbreaking.
So in short I get the feeling that what Shuhei was trying to say is that as a newcomer in the games industry and as a small division withing Sony they really had to do all the hard work with a small team.

Posted:11 months ago

#6

Hugo Dubs Interactive Designer

163 24 0.1
The remote play feature binding the ps4 and the vita is a very strategic advantage for Sony. I see plenty of possibilities and this will sure make lots of people switch from the slowing down DS to a combo Vita + PS4. I don't know if that's possible but with the upcoming 4G we could hope that wifi won't be necessary anymore to use the feature. How many people will let they ps$ running and use their vita during travels. I think it's very smart.

Posted:11 months ago

#7
Winter is coming.....so it begins

BlackFriday Southpark

Posted:11 months ago

#8
@ Dr Chee: priceless :)

Yes, let this "war" commence. Lets get the promises, and dreams out of the way - and replace them with something tangible so real comparisons can be made.

Posted:11 months ago

#9

Michael Vandendriessche Studying Computer Science, K.U. Leuven

85 12 0.1
I think Shuhei Yoshida explains things very well. Thank you for the great interview!

Posted:11 months ago

#10

James Ingrams Writer

215 85 0.4
Low review scores for the consoles is indicative of a market that now know, on average, what type of games will be released on these consoles over the next year. And they don't want them.

Posted:11 months ago

#11
I'm pretty sure Shuhei knows how to spell Guerrilla ;-)

Posted:11 months ago

#12
...new era of PlayStation, shifting more from a hardware focus to a service focus...
Funny how the comments here have seem to be about his comments on the definition of the size of Sony's game division, rather than the meat and potatoes of the actual presentation.

Look guys the man just confirmed the dedicated shift of Sony's game division to a service focused operation, and near enough heralded the move to a DLC future - and you want to discuss if he meant a big division or a small division when the PS1 was launched!

Focus on the picture guys!

Posted:11 months ago

#13
@James,

Not sure the reviews are a direct reflection of what the market feels?

The media has been proven pretty off base and oblivious in charting the mood of the buyers and core audience for this market. They got the Nintendo Wii-U reaction wrong, with some embarrassing hyperbole about the machines launch and performance, only to start secretly pulling down previous coverage off their web sites! The majority of the games media has also dropped the ball on gauging the markets mood in general; the whole XBone launch reaction, the interest in SteamBox and the reemergence of VR all seem to have been caught late (if at all) by the traditional consumer games media.

With PS4, the vast amount invested in 'sweetening' the medias coverage of the launch, and performance of the hardware has proven 'distracting' - I am sure some serious questions will be asked by the players and the publishers about if some journos were a little 'too' imbedded with the marketing team, and already we see some media distancing themselves from making the same mistake again with the upcoming XBone launch party (only sending one member of the team rather than flying out the whole office out on Sony's dime!!)

I wonder if Generation-8 (next gen console) will be the first game system where its reviews and coverage will be played out on the digital (independent) media and leave the traditional game media behind?

Posted:11 months ago

#14

Nick Parker Consultant

290 161 0.6
I joined SCEE in April 1995, about five months before the PlayStation launch. SCEE was definitely NOT another Sony silo like Pictures or Music. We felt like a start-up, fleet of foot, spiritually and almost literally autonomous to the rest of Sony. The European President was Chris Deering and his day to day contact was Kato-san, mentioned in the article and luckily very understanding of how we wanted to execute strategy in Europe. I remember there were even rules about the distance that the PlayStation logo had to be from the Sony branding on packaging because Sony was still not sure of wanting to be associated with a potential flop. SCEE wanted to show Sony how to communicate with the gaming market in its own way and not have Sony corporate dictate that message. Hell, do you remember the PS roaches made for Glastonbury? Do you remember the controversial posters "PlayStation, more powerful than God"? We got away with that because Sony turned a blind eye in recognition of how we were going to create the new cool "PlayStation Generation"

Posted:11 months ago

#15

Gregory Hommel writer

91 53 0.6
I think anyone launching a new console in that age, competing with Nintendo and Sega, could be considered a small company. You also need to understand that he was there and has watched SCE grow so quickly. So undoubtedly, they were small by comparison when Sony's home console business was first conceptualized.

As for low review scores; I don't think Kilzone has ever had a score to compliment it's sales. As always, with the ease of COD and the size of BF reviewers can't help but bring those experiences to a review of another shooter. It doesn't matter what button crouch is mapped to, that is a direct comparison to other shooters and should be discounted. What matters is that there IS a crouch button. That said, I wish COD and BF would include a cover/blind fire mechanic but the games should not lose review points because they don't.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Gregory Hommel on 15th November 2013 2:50pm

Posted:11 months ago

#16

Posted:11 months ago

#17

Nick Wofford Hobbyist

180 190 1.1
Kevin, they are reporting it. I've seen it on countless sites since last night. It's not that unexpected, though if MS has their service up and running on that server farm, then I'll be disappointed that Sony is still a step behind in the online department.

Posted:11 months ago

#18

Jakub Mikyska CEO, Grip Digital

202 1,108 5.5
@ Kevin: It seems that you got up on the wrong side of the bed today, didn't you?
Of course that the gaming media is part of the hype train. We are in the entertainment business after all and the key to making money is getting people excited. Including the press.

That is why the new consoles are so important. Not because they bring something significantly new, but because after being stuck in this generation, there is finally some fresh air. And yeah, people get excited. New consoles are on TV, people talk about them, console gaming is once again part of the popculture.

That's something that the "mobile people" obviously don't get. Console gaming is about excitement and hype, while mobile gaming is about cheap escapism. New consoles are exciting and super important and will probably reinvigorate the console business simply because they exist. Even if they brought worse hardware spec than their predecessors.

Posted:11 months ago

#19

Nick Wofford Hobbyist

180 190 1.1
@Jakub,
But that hype does need to be managed. I highly doubt these consoles will see the sales that would correspond to the hype that's stirred around them. That can be really difficult for MS and Sony to sift through when they're trying to predict sales numbers and whatnot.

Posted:11 months ago

#20
@Jakub,
No not the wrong side of the bed, just one of those with an independent view of the situation rather than part of the herd! And claiming that over-hyping the product is part of being "in the entertainment business" seems to miss the point of independent journalism against "imbedded" self interests.

The hype was way over stated by the media, and trying to down play it at the last minute smacks of crass self regard, rather than independent reportage. The players smelt through it with the Wii-U and they will smell through it again with Gen-8. A reason so many executives are bailing before the product launches?

I may be saying something that is too uncomfortable for the games media to confront, but if I am just a little bit right, the console sector will plummet as the playing audience votes with their feet for PC, mobile, and other alternatives route, decimating the current industry. A perfect storm to repeat the 1984 Crash.

Fundamentally, with the next-gen consoles battling for a service style future, against a performance approach, the game has become less of the focus for the manufacturers. As seen with XBone, they are fighting for the living room rather than building a strong game platform. While Sony seems to be trying to redress the mistakes they made with the PS3 (with out admitting they made any mistakes!)

As a old bunny in this sector that has lived through the ups and downs since microcomputers were superseded by consoles - I am more and more drawn to the conclusion that Gen-8 walks and talks a lot like the old CD-i systems of the mid 80's, platforms that claimed great things, but ignored the reality that this market is all about the game!

Posted:11 months ago

#21

Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing

1,138 1,181 1.0
Generation 8 is not a new era, it is the continued serving of an audience which expects to be up to date to some degree concerning technological features and hardware prowess. HOW you do that, i.e. by calling yourself a service these days, does not matter; same people, same games.

There is certainly competition now that has diverged wildly from the console formula, but it is up to the games to prove that even a smaller part of the overall pie can still mean more in absolute numbers. Growth means growth, not being the largest part of the gaming pie in an era where gaming explodes to virtually every place and device.

So far we have a lot of sequels and HD versions of proven gameplay concepts. Good to sway the established audience and get it excited. But consoles are hardly the first device on which people get into gaming these days. That could prove to be a fatal point of corrosion for the platforms in the future.

Posted:11 months ago

#22

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