Why I will invest in the PS4

I hesitate to consider myself a Sony fanboy.  I am a big fan of my PS3 and love the games that are available for it.  Considering it’s the second game console I’ve had where I’ve significantly and consistently played the games.

When the PS4 was first announced by Sony a few months ago, the only mark I had against it was the fact that it did not have backwards compatibility with the PS3, although with Sony purchasing Gaikai, the plan is to make old classic titles available through Cloud gaming.  It’s kind of like ONlive where the games are streamed to a console, very little of the logic is actually run on the console itself.

I’m kind of meh on this style of Cloud gaming.  Mainly because, here in Canada, and I suspect a good part of the world outside the United States, we have caps on our net bandwidth.  We don’t have the unlimited bandwidth plans that other countries have, or otherwise I am looking at changing to another provider.  Admittedly, I’d prefer not to change providers because of this.

Ideally, I’d have preferred to be able to retire my older PS3 (though I love the first generation design!!) and use the PS4 in the living room and the PS3 in my mancave. Looks like I won’t be doing that.

If my older PS3 does die, I’ll either get it fixed or I’ll invest in a newer PS3 slim with the sliding door.  I am surprised I’ve not seen the YLOD (Yellow Light Of Death) on that old PS3.

Most of my friends are also interested in the PS3 and are interested in the PS4.  Even my 360 friends are interested in the PS4.  So that is a big consideration.

The consideration of DRM was also a big factor.  If Sony had similar DRM restrictions on the PS4, I would be second guessing purchasing in this whole generation.

I am not concerned about DRM from games companies.  We’ve seen Electronic Arts and others institute codes for playing online or requirements to buy an online pass if you buy a used game – and those seem to be going away.  We’ve already seen this.  I dealt with this in the 80s and 90s on older platforms too.  Key thing is, DRM is not built into the platform, and I like that I can let my friends borrow my games and play them and vice versa.

I also buy used games.  Why not – if someone doesn’t care much for a game, why should I pay full price?  I also have no problem with the capitalistic model used by EB Games/Gamestop.  I get what the game is worth at the time, and I often have my games for a long time.  I also find I trade in games I’ve only played for a short period of time – which other people have only used for a short period of time.  Like I said in my last post – almost all of my PS Move games have all been traded in.  Also interesting to note, most of my Nintendo 3DS games were worth more than my PS3 and 360 games I traded in.

The price point was also right.  I invested in a PS4 when it was $499, around the time Little Big Planet came out.  I did think long and hard about making this purchase and I justified it as the PS4 was more than just a game box, but also supported BluRay, NetFlix (which I don’t use) and other services.

Funny that with the XBone I’m somewhat critical of it because I won’t use the TV services, yet with the PS3 I was looking for something more than just the gaming aspect.

$399 was a no brainer for me for a Day One purchase.

I will be critical of Sony for a moment – that $399 doesn’t include the PS4 Camera.  I can see this going two ways – it’s a good thing because you’re not forced to buy gratuitous hardware that’s simply not needed.  At the same time, you’re putting out more money.  $449 versus $499?  Is that really a good bargain?  To be determined.

One thing I didn’t go into was how much XBox Live Gold is a/was a rip off relative to PS Plus.  I would say that PS Plus did take a step backwards that in order to play multiplayer games  online that you need a PS Plus membership.  But they are not requiring it for Netflix and Free-to-Play games. XBox Live does require it.  You also get free games – some are AAA titles, some are less so, but I would say PS Plus is the greater value.  With Microsoft including free games, it does change the landscape in a good way.

The games I am looking forward to on PS4 are Driveclub, Knack and Infamous Second Son.  The rest I’m neither here nor there about.

Sony’s attitude has also been a lot more open and they’re interested in gamers and helping developers.  Sure, it’s going to help them in the long run to get profits.  I have no issue with that, it’s good business sense.  If they’re being a good corporate citizen, then I’m happy to support Sony.  I can’t say the same with Microsoft.

I think Sony is striking a good balance between downloading games from the cloud and physical media. There aren’t a lot of frills and if you want them, then you can add them as needed.  You’re not forced into it.  There’s very little advertising, you get a lot of value with PS Plus, there’s little DRM, and the graphics seem better – though Driveclub versus Forza remains to be seen.

If I’m gaming, I’m gaming.  I don’t need to bring my television into my gaming system.  Voice recognition – it’s fun but I find it annoying.  Yes, Kinect is ahead of it’s time, and it’s a cool system, but along with Kinect, I don’t use Move as much as I was thinking I would.

I would LOVE to see someone come up with a few games that leverage a cloud gaming infrastructure that Microsoft has created.  That’s probably my only wish from Sony.  Cloud gaming in the Gaikai format I have little need for, but if that helps to introduce intelligent AI type functionality, that doesn’t hog my bandwidth, I’m all for it.

December can’t come soon enough, though hopefully the PS4 will be out for Black Friday. That would be very cool, especially given that’s the start of the holiday shopping season.

That said – I know Microsoft and Sony will do well on the sales of their respective consoles.  As much as I was anti-XBone, I have actually somewhat chilled on my stance.  Still, the way the XBone works, and even how my 360 works, they both irk me.

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