With the PlayStation Meeting nearly a week on, much of the games media and gaming community has had a chance to digest what happened and share their views. A lot of it has been negative, but is that fair? Daily Reaction’s Seb and Dan rush to Sony’s defense for the first time in their lives, and feel weird afterwards.
Seb: It’s probably best to get this out of the way for new readers/non-regulars. Yes, this is a PlayStation only website, yes it focuses on PlayStation news and, yes, we play PlayStation. But, contrary to what the url may indicate, we’re not PS fanboys, something our last Daily Reaction helps show. Hell, there is a group of people convinced that we are part of a secret Microsoft department that pretends to be PS fans, only to spread negativity and dissent (where’s our check Ballmer?!).
With that all said, it’s time to (temporarily) join the Sony Defense Force and say what we liked about the PS Meeting and why everyone else is wrong, making this the first truly positive DR since September.
I’ve seen a lot of responses to last week’s show, and one thing that confused me was the lack of relief – that’s what I felt when Sony came on and failed to announce PS4 Eye Sports, PS4 Eye Dance and EyePet 3. We saw Nintendo fall to the wayside and run off to court the casuals last gen, with terrible presentations that were responsible for at least 64 suicides. Then we saw Microsoft give up more and more presentation time for Kinect. Kinectimals. Star Wars Kinect. Dance Central. All help show the change of focus from above, something Sony could have easily done at the meeting. Instead, what we saw was a slurry of core titles, with the possible exception of Knack, which might be Ratchet & Clank-like (but maybe more casual), although it is at least a fully fledged title. Core gaming is still alive and well. As a writer who works for a core gaming website and enjoys core games, all I could feel was relief when Usher did not rush onto the stage.
Notable industry figure Jim Sterling recently did a video on what he hated about the PlayStation Meeting. At one point, he said that he fully understood why the PS4 couldn’t play PS3 disc games because they had to move away from The Cell, but that there was “no excuse” for why it couldn’t play PS3 PSN games. Jim, they are developed on The Cell too, they’re like disc games, but not on a disc. That’s the excuse. He then said that the PS Vita can play PS3 PSN games, so the PS4 should be able to. Nope. They have to be ported, redeveloped. And it’s easier to downscale visuals, than upscale. Come on, this is simple stuff that everyone knows, don’t say stuff like: “The PS Vita can handle PSN content on a PS3”, unless you actually mean they bought a PS Vita game and just happened to download it to the PS3. Which you didn’t, you seem to think I can put Journey on my Vita and it’ll run fine. The cross-play titles are not the same game, Jim.
The one thing I do agree with of Sterling’s comments is the lack of new IPs, although he wrote off Watch_Dogs and The Witness because they were known entities, basically ignored Destiny and glossed over Knack. Of course, I do wish we’d seen a killer new IP, and said as much on the last must-listen Bad Gamers, plus I wanted Sucker Punch to reveal something new. But that doesn’t mean Sterling should fail to explain the full picture. Guerrilla Games (Killzone) are working on a new IP, and have been for a while. Sony Santa Monica (GOW) are working on a new IP, and have been for a while. Quantic Dream will bring a new IP to PS4 once they’re done with Beyond. The Last of Us is a new IP that’s not even out yet. E3 is in a few months and Sony isn’t going to announce everything now. Mentioning these points would have made the video more well rounded and correct… but then it would have killed his argument and meant less views.
Hyping up doom and gloom equals traffic, so flamebait is an unfortunate outcome of any major event, but it’s still saddening to see.
Dan: Yeah, the fact that people are ignoring all of the positive aspects of the PlayStation Meeting, and looking for abstract methods to downgrade it is simply disheartening. This is all the more true when prominent figures within the industry are trying to capitalize on the hype by making nonsensical statements, either due to personal ignorance or to simply drive traffic.
During the early years of the PS3, it became popular to hate on Sony’s ‘overpriced behemoth’, but this is something that has changed over the last few years as they have (mostly) picked themselves up from the hole they dug. Sadly, the fissure that was created from those years has still left a great number of people skeptical about the intentions of Sony, and established a bond between Microsoft’s newly formed fan base. These people who were trying to cut the PlayStation brand at every turn without cause, looked for any reason to bash the system’s shortcomings and praise their competitors’. Now, Sony has not only announced the PS4, but they have answered the calls of fans and naysayers alike, in hopes to seemingly find their roots and make it up to fans. Whether or not this is something they can accomplish or not, has yet to be seen, but credit must be given where it is due.
As was said, we are not known for our pro-Sony sentiments, but that does not mean we don’t want the best from the publisher and platform holder. If you are to complain about an aspect, but then ignore things when those problems are addressed and fixed, you are simply just bitching to bitch. We really want Sony to push forward, and get themselves out of the holes they dig, but at the same time no one will ever improve if they never get a straight answer from the people who care about them the most.
Sony’s PlayStation Meeting 2013 was pretty much exactly as it should have been, regardless of what people are trying to pull out of the details that were obviously omitted. We did not see the PS4 because they need to keep the mystery going all the way to E3 (and they haven’t finalized the design), where they will have to compete for the limelight with Microsoft – not because there are any problems with the console itself, something a certain sector of the internet has tried to claim. The lack of new IPs for the PS4 is not a major factor at this point, as the system still has a great deal of time to go before launch, and giving fans of established franchises something to back is a good way to garner interest early. We haven’t even had E3 yet. Also, given that Sony is now trying to say that they acknowledge the fact that they need to focus on the core audience, there is no better way of saying that than ‘here is more of the stuff you love’.
Seb: Ok, this just felt weird. We need to say something anti-Sony or the universe will implode. Let’s see, there’s so much to choose from… but I’ll pick on the Vita again, because I’m lazy. Announce some games! Release some games! Reduce the price! Reduce the price of memory sticks considerably! Realize that word-of-mouth advertising only works if people have the product!
Dan, anything to add?
Dan: Sure, I don’t think it will be too difficult to find something wrong with Sony’s plan. I understand the potential behind utilizing something like Remote Play, but given that this was something they tried to push onto gamers years ago in an attempt to sell PSPs, I don’t see it working out too well for the Vita. The Vita is a masterpiece of handheld technology, but art is only as good as its ability to be seen, so, for the love of god, give me something new to play, and don’t rely on the ability to second screen to push sales.
What did you make of last week’s PlayStation Meeting? Are you as freaked out about a positive DR as we are? Have Seb and Dan secretly bought shares in Sony and sold out? Follow us on Twitter here and here to find out, let us know your inane thoughts in the comments below or email us love poetry which we can pass onto Sony at [email protected].