I sat through Sony’s entire PS4 announcement on February 20, 2013. The strain of watching the video while so many other people were doing the same caused system processes and internet speed to slow to a crawl, despite my usually above average, 15mbps speed. I wanted to be wowed, like I was when I heard about the Wii U during Nintendo’s E3 2012 presentation. Instead, I came away secure in the knowledge that my PS3 is pretty darn awesome and there’s no need to rush and replace it.
It wasn’t that I didn’t like the presentation. The PS4-Vita remote-play capabilities made my heart smile. I think it’ll be an awesome feature. But there wasn’t enough there to convince me the system I already have needs to be replaced.
First of all, the games didn’t wow me. Yes, the Deep Down, Knack and inFamous: Second Son footage looked amazing. I’m sure I’ll eventually be playing all three games. I don’t feel a deep and pressing need to play them now, however. Especially since the other games announced, Watch Dogs, Destiny and Diablo III, will be on both the PS4 and PS3. Of all the games I saw last night, Diablo III and Watch Dogs are the ones I’ve been most interested in playing. They won’t be as pretty on my PS3, but they’ll be serviceable enough, I’m sure.
Backwards compatibility was a crucial flaw. See, I’m a console collector. I own pretty much every system, except for the 3DO, Jaguar, Turbografx 16 and Xbox 360. This means TV space is at a premium. The systems that can do the most are the ones that get to stay out all the time. My backwards compatible PS3, Wii and NES and SNES playing FC Twin console handle all my gaming needs. I can’t see investing a large chunk of money during the 2013 holiday season to insert a PS4, that won’t have backwards compatibility out of the box, into the mix. Especially since even Gaikai’s Dave Perry say when streaming PS1, PS2 and PS3 games would be playable on the PS4.
Not to mention the price. You may all have heard PlayStation Cloud and streaming games when Perry was up talking about the backwards compatibility alternative for the PS4. All I heard was, rebuying games and paid subscription. I know he didn’t actually say those two things, but that’s what I started thinking when it came up. First, I don’t know if I’d trust my internet with game streaming. Maybe on a good day it could manage, maybe not. Second, I’m worried about the cost and if my existing PS1, PS2 and PS3 PlayStation Store purchases will be taken into account. If this backwards compatibility streaming is made a part of PlayStation Plus then sure, go ahead. Let’s do it that way. I trust and love PlayStation Plus. If its a set of additional fees, no thanks.
Basically, what I took from those major talking points is that my PS3 may not have as many social and streaming features as the forthcoming PS4, but it still has a lot of life left to it. My reliable 80GB system handles my PS1, PS2 and PS3 games with no problem and I have a backlog of about 10 games, including the huge Dragon’s Dogma and Yakuza Dead Souls, thanks to my last birthday and Christmas. That isn’t even getting into the other recent PS3 releases I own and want to replay.
Plus, it isn’t going to just roll over and die the second the PS4 is released. Destiny, Diablo III and Watch Dogs are coming. Those are some pretty major games and I’m sure they’ll have friends. I know I won’t be able to play Second Sons, Deep Down or The Witcher 3 on my PS3, but I’m okay with that. If I wait until 2014, or maybe even 2015, to buy a PS4, then I’m confident the PlayStation Plus program will appear on it and maybe Sony will give one or all of those games away for free as a perk.
As for the other social aspects, like the streaming media, multicasts and ability to have friends jump into my game or alter my experience, I’m be more than fine waiting for that too. My friends and I already have our weekly game night every weekend and the host has pretty much every console known to man hooked up to her TV. We’ll just do our multiplayer the old fashioned way until one of us feels a pressing urge to invest in a PS4.
I don’t feel like I have to buy a PS4. The system seems very cool and has some promising tech and concepts surrounding it. The big announcement last night was enlightening, but it didn’t make me feel like my PS3 needs to go. Instead, it reassured me that everything is okay. I can trust that some of the biggest, new releases will come to the system I already know and love and that upgrading isn’t something I’ll have to do. My PS3 is incredible, it’s still going to get games and I can take my time deciding if the PS4 is a console I really want or need.