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PS4 Countdown: Sony’s launch lineup is weak, but that’s OK

Sections: Consoles, Exclusives, Features, Opinions, PS4

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PS4Every critic probably asks themselves this from time to time. Is it just me, I wondered as the launch lineup for the PlayStation 4 didn’t grab me?  The answer is an emphatic no.  Writers at IGN, Kotaku and plenty of folks without a blog are looking at the offerings and deciding they can wait. We believed Sony’s PlayStation 4 launch lineup was lacking before the Watch Dogs/ Driveclub one-two punch. My first purchase on the PS4 will probably be the Ultimate Edition of Injustice, a fighting game I already own. This isn’t a huge problem. Nobody other than extreme brand loyalists thinks this thing will be over by the end of the year. Console cycles are a marathon, not a sprint.

The PlayStation 2’s US launch lineup included such blockbusters as Q-Ball: Billiards Master and Wild Wild Racing. Sega’s Dreamcast launched that same console generation with NFL 2K, which became a legendary sports series, and an arcade perfect version of SoulCalibur.

The Dreamcast launched first and had superior software, so they won, right? No, Sony’s momentum from the first PlayStation and marketing power carried it until software caught up with hardware. The Dreamcast became a collector’s item, and Sega left the console business.

At $400 for the cheaper alternative, consoles are an investment, not an impulse purchase.  We buy them because we will still be enjoying them   The PlayStation brand has never let me down, so I’m in with the understanding there will be better software down the line. PlayStation Plus and the Instant Game Collection will not leave anyone with a shortage of games to play.

Sony’s new ad tells us why we should be excited:

This is pure Sony PR and it’s essentially telling us “Just wait. 2014 is going to be awesome.” There have certainly been titles such as the first Halo or Super Mario World. They revolutionize the game and carry systems through the first year to huge profits.  They are the exception, not the rule. Most launches we see a lot of Q-Ball: Billiards Master and next gen versions of games we’re already playing.

Sony used to catch flak for saying it, but we really are talking about “10-year cycles” where these products are concerned. Looking at it that way, $400 is almost a steal.

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