Hero-of-Time

PlayStation Meeting 7th September 2016

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I'll happily admit this was my reaction but if you can't get the message across clearly via a stream, then why attempt it in the first place? For those in the audience it would be fine but for people at home, the ones who are possibly going to buy the thing, it's a very hard sell if they can't demonstrate what they are trying to achieve with the device.

 

To be fair, this product was never going to be for me. I'm not a tech head, i'm still happily rocking a 37inch LCD TV and games look absolutely fine on it as is. I'm certainly not willing to shell out money for a 4K TV and a new console just to see a prettier picture.

 

I'm intrigued to see how the market reacts to this device once on sale. It's a very interesting time for the industry, even if i'm not happy with the direction it's going in.,

 

I think they've streamed it just to get info out there and because in the modern day and age it's expected. How many people would be left wondering if there hadn't been a stream available to them and they were just getting info from other sources, and how many more questions would there be knocking about?

 

Anyway I'm absolute ditto with you for the bolded - not a tech head on this level at all. I barely buy DVDs, let alone Blu-Rays and let alone 4k ones. Still use a rock bottom priced shit brand TV and an old Samsung for my PS4 and have no real issues with either for it.

 

I reckon they won't go crazy on their initial manufacturing for this - I think it's more niche than some realise. Having said that my mate has just managed to finally get himself a job and was saying he wants to get a the PS4-Pro but that was before the announcement - I wonder how he'll feel about the lack of 4k BR drive. Tbh I was asking why even bother - sure some of the new games might be nice but does it matter that much??

 

Having said that I imagine I'll definitely be popping round to have a see how it looks at some point if he does get it ;)

 

 

On the whole I have no issue with the PS4-Pro - it's an option for people. Nice option to have for those who want it, absolutely no big issue for the rest of us right now. My bigger issue is probably pricing of the PS4 slim! Talk about evergreening. Should be good prices on the old models as a result though, shame they'll eventually get phased out, as I think I still prefer the look of my current white one against that. Also echo someone's earlier sentiments - where/how do you upgrade the hard drive on them??

 

 

I wanted to praise Sony for keeping its fanbase well updated in comparison to Nintendo's weird muteness - but the no 4k movie player yet plays games in 4k sounds like something Nintendo would do.

 

Dem D'oh! moves.

 

I feel they rushed to release this for this year, but what was the rush?

 

A constant pull for me to buy a PS4 has always been the Blue Ray player and the additional benefit of experiencing movies in higher quality. But this move kind of reduces that pull for me.

 

Has it been explained why they omitted it?

 

I haven't got an answer - but I imagine it's simply a price/cost thing.

 

Messaged my aforementioned mate -

 

'So Ps4Pro doesn't have a 4k BR drive. What's your opinion as someone interested in it'

He came back quite simply 'I weren't bothered by 4k optical it was the 4k gaming I wanted'.

 

So it seems, unless he's just a very special weird/unique case, there is still going to be a market of people out there who are happy enough with it.

 

I'd also wonder - how many people with 4k TVs already are likely to already have a 4k BR player? I don't know much about the tech or the market - what much else is there to be having with your 4k TVs?

Edited by Rummy

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So...what do you propose they do?

 

It's kind of the same issue as VR; you can't be told how good/immersive/whatever some of these things are, you need to experience them.

 

I think they've streamed it just to get info out there and because in the modern day and age it's expected. How many people would be left wondering if there hadn't been a stream available to them and they were just getting info from other sources, and how many more questions would there be knocking about?

 

You both aren't wrong and they done the best they can to get the message out. We would all be complaining had the meeting not been streamed. Poor guys at Sony can't win. :D

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I haven't got an answer - but I imagine it's simply a price/cost thing.

 

Messaged my aforementioned mate -

 

'So Ps4Pro doesn't have a 4k BR drive. What's your opinion as someone interested in it'

He came back quite simply 'I weren't bothered by 4k optical it was the 4k gaming I wanted'.

 

So it seems, unless he's just a very special weird/unique case, there is still going to be a market of people out there who are happy enough with it.

 

I'd also wonder - how many people with 4k TVs already are likely to already have a 4k BR player? I don't know much about the tech or the market - what much else is there to be having with your 4k TVs?

 

Fair dos I guess, just wondering why it was so hard to deliver the complete package as they've done since the PS2, even PS1 with music CD playback.

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Sony didn't rush this. This generation, if you haven't noticed, has been done completely on their watch. The best decisions they have made, they did on their own time and this is really no different.

 

The Pro is a completely different proposition to the Scorpio.

 

Microsoft may be gloating, but they've really got shit-all to gloat about. They're hemorrhaging XBL subscriptions while PSN is making bank. Their hardware sales are lethargic against Playstation's (and Scorpio coming out next year isn't going to do anything to the ever more affordable PS4). Their gaming portfolio is nowhere near as diverse as Playstation's (although they have quite deservedly stolen the racing audience with Forza while Sony let Kazunori Yamauchi drag them down with slow and weak GT releases).

 

And their demographic is younger than PlayStation's; the audience with very minimal disposable income.

 

On paper, Scorpio looks like it's going to be laughing but the reality is quite different.

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Have you listened to PS I Love You yet @Hero\-of\-Time? I've not watched yet but I hear Colin Moriarty was pretty scathing about the whole thing, presentation, console and the hardware manufacturer's obsession with power

 

[tweet]773714380382834688[/tweet]

 

He sounds like a Nintendo fan, not a lapsed one.

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Have you listened to PS I Love You yet @Hero\-of\-Time?

 

Yeah, I listened to it this morning. I found myself agreeing with most of what he said.

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It's a bit of a flawed argument though. Sony and Microsoft are providing a platform for people to make games. If the people that are making the games aren't doing a good job of it, it isn't inherently Sony or Microsoft's fault. An argument could be made that it becomes a constant arm's race and developers may feel the need to always be at the front of the pack, sure, but as much (or more) fault lies with the developers for making stale games as it does with the hardware companies for providing better power. We've seen plenty of examples of great games that don't use the most power, so I'm not sure why more power is apparently making bad games.

 

Anyway.

 

[tweet]773832476175151104[/tweet]

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It's a bit of a flawed argument though. Sony and Microsoft are providing a platform for people to make games.

 

Another way of looking at it is they're shoving developers down a path where only the most high fidelity games will do. Basically forcing them to compete with each other because a large chunk of gamers have come to demand only the prettiest games.

 

It's pretty commonplace that games at the end of a generation are the standout titles once devs had gotten used to developing for the new step up in hardware. Now just as they're getting used to the PS4 and XBO, they're being asked to spend time making their games even prettier (as well as making a less pretty version as well)

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It's still difficult what to make of how this informs the long term direction of consoles - is this the 1st step for incremental Playstation updates or an irregular reiteration? Happy with my base model in any case, glad their won't be too drastic as disparity as may be feared.

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This is interesting:

 

“Our feeling is that while physical media continues to be a big part of the games business, we see a trend on video towards streaming,” he said. “Certainly with our user base, it’s the second biggest use case for people’s time on the system so we place more emphasis on that area.”

 

Curious what the Blu-ray usage is on the PS4. As much as we talk about the need for UHD, if current Blu-ray usage is low, a format that has had enough time to 'solidify' by now, would there be much justification to include a new one for what might be a minority of people but at a cost to all?

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It's still difficult what to make of how this informs the long term direction of consoles - is this the 1st step for incremental Playstation updates or an irregular reiteration? Happy with my base model in any case, glad their won't be too drastic as disparity as may be feared.

 

Sony have been doing tricks like this since Nintendo were too - PSOne, PS2 Slim, PS3 Slim - sure they've added some extra functionality with this but a completely optional one for those that want it. I don't see it much different to offering a smaller model, or bigger storage, and things such as that. I honestly just see a lot of it as evergreening to present an existing product in a slightly different form or functionality that's mostly optional to keep margins up.

 

This is interesting:

 

“Our feeling is that while physical media continues to be a big part of the games business, we see a trend on video towards streaming,” he said. “Certainly with our user base, it’s the second biggest use case for people’s time on the system so we place more emphasis on that area.”

 

Curious what the Blu-ray usage is on the PS4. As much as we talk about the need for UHD, if current Blu-ray usage is low, a format that has had enough time to 'solidify' by now, would there be much justification to include a new one for what might be a minority of people but at a cost to all?

 

Tbh I mostly agree with them. I stream almost everything. As said I barely buy DVDs/Blu-Rays due to technology and the ability to stream - it's just cleaner and easier and much much lazier, lol. I think they're right in making the decision to forego UHD if it was going to add an unnecessary excessive cost to everyone who probably doesn't care for it. Sure they *may* lose a sale or two from it, but I'd be willing to bet they'd still make three or four against it with the pricing point for those that want the system. Think also that tech's moving fast - you add your UHD drive right now but what if it doesn't really saturate - it could be dead in a year or two and that strikes me as a silly risk to take.

 

As you say - how much blu-ray usage is there even on PS4? Hell, how many people do you know who actually don't even have blu-ray players or blu-rays? I can think of a few I think. DVDs are still common and abundant, and it's because whilst blu-ray took off to a point, it simply just wasn't as widely adopted so as to replace the DVD format.

Edited by Rummy

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This is interesting:

 

 

 

Curious what the Blu-ray usage is on the PS4. As much as we talk about the need for UHD, if current Blu-ray usage is low, a format that has had enough time to 'solidify' by now, would there be much justification to include a new one for what might be a minority of people but at a cost to all?

 

I think it's different though. This is a pro version, aimed at hardcore gamers and high end tech enthusiasts. This being all about 4K and HDR and such, that is a big aspect of it, may be not in the mainstream, but there is a market there which they seem to be aiming this at, but then omitting this. People have new 4K tvs, 4K streaming is not close to ultra hd bluray and if you want to make the most of your new tele, UHD Bluray could be really attractive.

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Kind of surprised that Sony didnt hold on to it to make it stronger to take the Scorpio head on, this will be very interesting to watch and see how it all pans out.

 

Completely forgot to check out all the info when I woke up, but saw them hanging up the advertisements in Yodobashi Camera around noon.

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Another way of looking at it is they're shoving developers down a path where only the most high fidelity games will do. Basically forcing them to compete with each other because a large chunk of gamers have come to demand only the prettiest games.

 

It's pretty commonplace that games at the end of a generation are the standout titles once devs had gotten used to developing for the new step up in hardware. Now just as they're getting used to the PS4 and XBO, they're being asked to spend time making their games even prettier (as well as making a less pretty version as well)

 

Weren't you saying earlier Nintendo's success with handhelds shows people don't necessarily care about the top of the range graphics? Sure, those nice graphics get buzz but it's not the only things people care about.

 

And "making their games even prettier (as well as making a less pretty version as well)" is a fallacy. If you make something prettier, you won't also make a less pretty version because then you will have made three versions (0, 1 and -1). The original will be less pretty in comparison, but that doesn't mean you have made a less pretty version. You just have simply made a better version.

 

I think it's different though. This is a pro version, aimed at hardcore gamers and high end tech enthusiasts. This being all about 4K and HDR and such, that is a big aspect of it, may be not in the mainstream, but there is a market there which they seem to be aiming this at, but then omitting this. People have new 4K tvs, 4K streaming is not close to ultra hd bluray and if you want to make the most of your new tele, UHD Bluray could be really attractive.

 

Hardcore gamers and high end tech enthusiasts and people wanting UHD Blu-ray are on a venn diagram, but are they that overlapped? Or should I say, will the majority of people be put off from buying it due to lack of UHD?

 

If Sony has done the research into their own console usage and found that streaming is more commonly used then I believe them. They'll be able to cross-compare it to the type of input they're playing on, account usage etc etc. Sure, they will have lost a percentage of potential purchasers but I don't think it would be a majority.

Edited by Ashley

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This gif post on gaf made me laugh. Summed up last night's presentation, though at least Sony had one person clapping.

 

giphy.gif

 

I've read the Eurogamer article and it hasn't changed my view that this is a completely pointless hardware update. Really strange, but personally I'm happy, just saved myself 300+ quid.

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Hardcore gamers and high end tech enthusiasts and people wanting UHD Blu-ray are on a venn diagram, but are they that overlapped? Or should I say, will the majority of people be put off from buying it due to lack of UHD?

 

If Sony has done the research into their own console usage and found that streaming is more commonly used then I believe them. They'll be able to cross-compare it to the type of input they're playing on, account usage etc etc. Sure, they will have lost a percentage of potential purchasers but I don't think it would be a majority.

 

I think there'd be a reasonable overlap yeah in terms of adding up reasons to upgrade to this.

 

Also, mainstream I think streaming is the way forward, I just feel this product is aimed at a slightly different market.

 

Maybe not, but it's definitely made me not want one and the reaction has definitely been negative and one of disbelief.

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Weren't you saying earlier Nintendo's success with handhelds shows people don't necessarily care about the top of the range graphics? Sure, those nice graphics get buzz but it's not the only things people care about.

 

Fair point though they're different markets really. The bottom line is the arms race could be stifling creativity and gameplay itself which is surely the whole point of video games?

 

 

And "making their games even prettier (as well as making a less pretty version as well)" is a fallacy. If you make something prettier, you won't also make a less pretty version because then you will have made three versions (0, 1 and -1). The original will be less pretty in comparison, but that doesn't mean you have made a less pretty version. You just have simply made a better version.

 

I don't know enough about video game development to comment with any authority but surely there is SOME additional work coding a game for two platforms? Not to mention the extra work making the assets etc even more detailed.

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I think there'd be a reasonable overlap yeah in terms of adding up reasons to upgrade to this.

 

Also, mainstream I think streaming is the way forward, I just feel this product is aimed at a slightly different market.

 

Maybe not, but it's definitely made me not want one and the reaction has definitely been negative and one of disbelief.

 

"The reaction" being yours or generally?

 

From what I've seen people have at worst said "I won't get it because of UHD" but mostly, if 'negative' it's just been "it's not for me". I never thought this was going to be huge personally. Kind of like the New Nintendo 3DS XL or something like that. Just a different version for the audience to choose from.

 

Fair point though they're different markets really. The bottom line is the arms race could be stifling creativity and gameplay itself which is surely the whole point of video games?

 

I don't know enough about video game development to comment with any authority but surely there is SOME additional work coding a game for two platforms? Not to mention the extra work making the assets etc even more detailed.

 

Sure. But then propriety formats could be stifling creativity because the cost of those means you have less to spend on creativity. Poor market conditions could be stifling creativity because people will be more inclined to stick to a "stable" job. A lack of computer power could be stifling creativity because you want to do something super demanding but you can't. You can find just about any reason creativity could be stifled if you wish, but I genuinely don't believe having more powerful hardware is going to have a largely negative impact on creativity.

 

My argument was you were suggesting they make the original version (0). Then they make the superior version (1). Then they "make" the "less pretty" version (-1). You seemed to be suggesting PS4 developers going forward will have to actively make their games worse, when in fact Sony's approach with this is you make your version as you would have been doing anyway (0) and build on that (1), not build down from that.

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Sure. But then propriety formats could be stifling creativity because the cost of those means you have less to spend on creativity. Poor market conditions could be stifling creativity because people will be more inclined to stick to a "stable" job. A lack of computer power could be stifling creativity because you want to do something super demanding but you can't. You can find just about any reason creativity could be stifled if you wish, but I genuinely don't believe having more powerful hardware is going to have a largely negative impact on creativity.

 

I totally get what you're saying but in terms of the arms race potentially stifling what should be the main priority of a video game, look at two demos they showed yesterday...

 

Horizon looks absolutely incredible visually, but that's the third or fourth time we've seen the hunting a dinosaur gameplay loop in three or four gameplay trailers. Sure it looks fun, but so was No Man's Sky the first five hours. Where's the gameplay depth for a game so hyped?

 

Mass Effect looked incredible but the gameplay they showed off consisted of rocket jumping over a few chasms, pressing a couple of buttons and looking at some kind of energy reactor thing. Where's the gameplay ?

 

I get that the whole point of the presentation was about visual fidelity, but it doesn't exactly bode well. Especially since we've barely seen much else from Horizon since reveal. Look how amazing our game looks, instead of look how much FUN our game looks, seems to the main message these days.

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Essentially it was about presenting a version of the PS4 that would work with incoming TV standards (and better suits VR).

 

I don't really get the issue people are having; your PS4 isn't lessened by the Pro's existence.

 

It's not a PS4.5; it's a PlayStation 4 that's upwardly compatible. If you don't have a 4K TV you don't need it. If you do have a 4K TV, you don't necessarily need it either but hey, all PS4s have HDR now so...have a taste of that.

 

If anything, this has future proofed this generation for another few years. Basically, you don't need it but if you still don't have a PS4 this might be the one you want (because a lot of us here payed £350 three years ago that can't output in HDR or do 4K)...or there's the PS4 Slim, which is now cheaper.

 

It's like the 64DD. Except it's scalable and built in to all new models.

 

I thought everyone liked options? Here are your options.

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I think the only people who will be getting a markedly different experience are those using PS VR. From the impressions I've heard PS VR was a pretty low-res experience at E3 and Mark Cerny mentioned last night that 'Farpoint' specifically takes advantage of the PS4 Pro to enhance the image that is sent to the PSVR headset so the impression I get is that PSVR is going to be a much more comfortable and enjoyable experience if you're using it in conjunction with a PS4 Pro.

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I totally get what you're saying but in terms of the arms race potentially stifling what should be the main priority of a video game, look at two demos they showed yesterday...

 

Horizon looks absolutely incredible visually, but that's the third or fourth time we've seen the hunting a dinosaur gameplay loop in three or four gameplay trailers. Sure it looks fun, but so was No Man's Sky the first five hours. Where's the gameplay depth for a game so hyped?

 

Mass Effect looked incredible but the gameplay they showed off consisted of rocket jumping over a few chasms, pressing a couple of buttons and looking at some kind of energy reactor thing. Where's the gameplay ?

 

I get that the whole point of the presentation was about visual fidelity, but it doesn't exactly bode well. Especially since we've barely seen much else from Horizon since reveal. Look how amazing our game looks, instead of look how much FUN our game looks, seems to the main message these days.

 

I think you're pointing out issues about gameplay from small visual segments during a presentation about improved visuals. Those games might well be shit, but they probably won't be because they have better tech. A company of the size of Bioware would have different teams working on gameplay and visuals anyway. If Bioware has decided to pump more effort into visuals than gameplay it is as much Sony's fault as it is the wider industry, but ultimately the blame lies with Bioware for a poor focus.

 

Yeah sure complain things are getting stale, but a lot of things across the industry are getting stale. It needs addressing, but saying it's Sony/Microsoft's fault because they provide more powerful machines just feels like a red herring to me.

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Surely the development of different visual modes isn't going to be any bother at all for developers? Most games that come to PS4/Xbox are on the PC as well, where they're already catering for different spec machines. It's not going to put them under any pressure. Have they said it's compulsory to develop to cater for 4K? I didn't think they had, so the developer will surely only develop extra visual modes if they want to.

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