By now, most of us that spend any amount of time playing video games (whether it be the “casual peasant console gamers” or “his majesties’ royal PC master race gamers”) have seen the release of the Slim PS4 and PS4 Pro (Neo, the One).
While some of us rejoiced in this news, others have just returned with a fresh glass of “haterade”. So what, if the PS4 isn’t an “over-clocked i7, 32gbs of ram, SLI 1080 GPU with liquid-cooled haterade pumping through its veins ready to unleash its glorious master race juices all over each other’s faces while the peasants suckle at their teats” type of a machine. What it is though, is one of the most powerful consoles to ever be released. Furthermore, it is a glimpse at what the next few years of gaming are going to define and evolve into.
Both Microsoft and Sony are releasing upgraded versions of their latest generation consoles. At this time, we might as well scrap “next gen”, because we’re going to start seeing consoles being upgraded more often. The main point is that they are clearly moving in different directions. While gaming will remain mostly the same, both companies are starting to introduce different visions for the future of how we game. Sony is going in the direction of PC gaming and working on VR. I personally don’t see VR being the absolute future, but I do see it getting better from now on. I’d like to see a “Johnny Mnemonic” style interface for the internet and gaming. Microsoft, however, is working on AR style games, which also has some crazy potential (AKA: Gerard Butler’s movie, “Gamer”, that released several years back). I’d also like to see a gaming reality where your body is the physical controller, although maybe not controlling criminals in death match style game play; that’s a little too dystopian future for me.
Clearly, both companies have a different direction and idea of how that all happens under the hood of their new consoles. While I won’t go into details because I’m not completely enthralled with the tedious duty of the numbers game when it comes to CPU/GPU speed and all that (we all know the numbers anyways), we do know that power levels are well over 9000 and coming along, like Goku and Vegeta’s continuous battles to see who is the strongest. While we all know that Goku is ultimately stronger and always will be, we also know that he can’t do it alone and his close friend Vegeta is always there to kick some ass and throw his rage into any battle to get the job done. Microsoft and Sony are their own unique companies with their own unique ways of entertaining gamers around the world. These consoles are for one purpose and one purpose only: playing video games. It can’t’ help with your homework, it can’t convert Blu-ray’s and DVD’s, it can’t do a lot of things that a PC can do…sand that’s OK with almost everyone that owns one. There are so many analogies that can be applied to this PC versus console debate, but I’ll stick to my Dragon Ball Z one.
With most of the diatribe out of the way, let’s move on to the next point. No 4K Blu-ray drive. I think I’m ok with that. There’s a reason I didn’t run out and buy a $300 UHD player and spend $30 a piece on UHD Blu-rays. As a person who buys more movies than video games, it is the price that gets me. I’ll wait for $20 UHD Blu-rays. Streaming services like Netflix and Amazon are all releasing UHD/HDR content to be purchased, and soon we’ll start seeing more being streamed. While I’ll be the first to say that physical media will reign supreme for a thousand generations, we all know that the medium will die out and that streaming/digital will take over. I’ve already converted over a thousand movies and TV shows from my own collection into a digital format to stream through Plex to every TV in the house. Services like this will become more mainstream and hopefully we can fight to have that “always online” requirement scrapped from the purchases we make. I know some services let you download the movies to HDDs. So, it really doesn’t seem like a bad idea that the PS4 Pro will not have UHD Blu-ray playback capabilities. What it offers will be geared toward a generation of people who are growing up on streaming and digitally owned goods. I almost hate to say it, but I think we’ll all go on living and gaming.
While I am probably going to be a day one buyer of a PS4 Pro, I can’t make you buy it or Microsoft’s console…nor can I make you build a PC rig capable of transforming your soul. All I can say, is don’t spread the hate because you just hate something. There’s good things coming and it’s honestly kind of exciting.
At least hold off your judgement until you can see and feel the changes when the PS4 Pro releases on November 10th. Get your 4k TV’s ready.