To call the PS4’s first full year on the market “good” would be a bold-faced understatement. If anything; it’s been great — the very word that Sony themselves have been using to market their shiny new system. With that being the case — it’s hard to believe how much stuff has happened, and the magnitude of it all. Has the PS4 returned the “PlayStation” name back to the glory of the late PS2 days? Let’s review some of the highlights that has helped shaped its amazing first year.
? SALES, SALES AND MORE SALES
The PlayStation 4 is an incredible system on both the inside and outside, but of course, it’s main flaunting quality is definitely its sales. The PS4 has literally been topping the charts from since its release, in country after country, and right now, Sony execs are dancing to the tune that just a year later — their system has sold over 15 million units worldwide.
In stark contrast, its predecessor, the PlayStation 3, was a pain to purchase for many gamers for a while. It had an incredibly high price-tag, lack-luster launch titles, and a lot of multiplatform titles ended up being of a slightly lesser quality. While these woes were gradually addressed as the system progressed throughout its lifespan; it took quite some time before the PS3 became a truly “must-buy” system — the very opposite of its predecessor, the PlayStation 2.
With the PlayStation 4 — Sony definitely didn’t want a repeat presentation of the PS3’s early blunders. With that being the case, they made it their imperative objective that their new system would be a very tempting piece of pleasure that gamers would feel guilty for not jumping on.
Ken Kutaragai (former Sony exec) made a very arrogant statement pre-launch of the PS3; stating that because PlayStation-fans loved the PS2 so much, they wouldn’t mind getting two jobs if necessary, in order to acquire a PS3. At E3 2013 however, Sony did the very opposite — and proudly announced that the PS4 would be launching at $100 less than its closest competitor, the XBOX One. While Microsoft was trying to paint DRM, TV integration, voice commands and motion controls as all being “amazing” features — Sony was pushing the PS4 as being the one-stop shop for all things a console gamer could ask for. With those highlights in hand, gamers have had no trouble handing over their money to acquire their PS4’s — and 15 million consoles later, it’s quite obvious that Sony’s strategy has paid off quite well.
? A DEVELOPER’S BEST BUDDY
Of course, while it’s imperative that the gamers are happy; a console is nothing without its games. After all, how could we have gamers owning a console with no games?
As mentioned before — quite a few multiplatform titles were a slightly lesser quality than that of its direct counterpart(s). This was due to the fact that the system was not very developer friendly; with its inner workings under the control of the now infamous Cell processor. This was every developer’s nightmare, with only Sony’s own A-Team having the keys to make use of its full potential, and a few of the more elite third-party developers.
Sony indeed wanted to completely reverse that experience with the PS4— making sure that all their bases were covered this time around. And made sure they did; as it was revealed that during the development of the PS4, many third-party devs were actually approached by Sony themselves, who thus ended up contributing to the final specs of the new system. This has led many developers — from small indie studios to massive third-party juggernauts, time-&-again commending the PS4’s sleek and powerful design, and its ease of development. Naturally, if you have yourself a system that’s not only powerful, but also easy to make games — then of course you expect their to be an influx of titles, and that’s indeed been the case. While the PS3 was (technically)the most powerful console of the 7th-gen, its power was locked away by the aforementioned Cell processor. With the PS4 — developers once again have quite a bit of leeway to explore, and this time, it isn’t going to make them want to pull their hair out.
? BEAUTIFUL, ISN’T SHE?
Consoles have definitely changed a lot over the years; they’ve become more powerful, adopted multimedia playback capabilities, and are now heavily reliant on Internet access. Surely, while their inner workings have changed a lot — that’s not the only thing that’s undergone a great transformation. In the before-times — consoles — just like computers, phones and TVs — were these big, ugly things, square things. Times were much simpler back then, and the design surely reflected that.
Of course, as the technological age grew more and more, devices became smaller and sleeker. Now, it really matters a lot how “pretty” a device is — and the PS4 is quite the beaut to look at.
I was rather surprised when I first laid eyes upon it when its design was first unveiled. I was even more surprised when I saw it up-close n’ personal. The slanted, low-profile design truly makes for pretty addition to anyone’s entertainment center — and of course, that blue LED in the middle makes it feel all the more futuristic. Consoles have had some interesting designs in the past; take for instance, Nintendo’s Gamecube. But Sony really thought outside the “box” here, as the system looks more like an eraser. Quirky, yet somehow, very attractive. This generation, the designs for each system are quite distinct, but PS4 definitely wins in overall beauty, followed closely by Nintendo’s Wii U. Microsoft’s XBOX One isn’t ugly, but that VCR-esque design isn’t exactly pretty, either.
In the end, as said before — to call the PS4’s first full year on the market “good” would be a bold-faced understatement.
Sony has made it their utmost priority to drive the system to achieve “greatness”, and indeed they have. With the PlayStation 4 at the forefront — the PlayStation brand looks like it will very well return to the former glory days of the legendary PS2. Will it ever sell as well as its grand father? Who knows?
Even if it doesn’t reach those mega-heights, the system is doing just about everything right. Its a powerful console that’s easy to develop for — making it an enjoyable experience for developers, which in turn provides a sprawling playground of mega-AAAs and indie-classics for gamers to indulge in. Its certainly been selling at a great pace, with its competitive pricing and VIP membership program, PlayStation Plus. On top of that, the system is simply a beauty to display in anyone’s entertainment center.
Indeed, the PS4’s future looks quite bright. All compasses seem to point towards the S — success, and if this first year is a peak into the system’s future, then all I have is two little words to say: