Ben's Week In Review: April 3
Only five weeks away from Uncharted 4: A Thief's End and I'm stoked. :)
Still need to learn a lot more about "PS4K"
This past week, we heard a new report that shed more light on the upcoming "PS4K" console, which is supposed to be a more powerful version of Sony's current machine.
I've said before that I don't want to buy another system this early in a generation. I stand by that; if Sony really does produce a new console that launches this year, and there's a visible and significant increase in quality in terms of game performance, I'm not going to be pleased. I'll feel like I'm playing lesser-quality products on the machine that I have, and I'll have to assume that future games will be gimped on my "outdated" system. Again, this feels more and more like a PC culture as opposed to a console culture, and there are reasons I've always despised the latter.
But we do have to acknowledge that we still don't know enough. If, for example, this newly updated machine really only has an impact on PlayStation VR, I won't care in the slightest. If these new "Ultra HD" graphics it can push really aren't visible on my standard 1080p TV, I won't care until I upgrade the TV (makes me wonder if Sony will offer some cool 4K TV/PS4K bundles). They say there's no chance of the new system producing true native 4K visuals for games, so what can we expect in terms of a visual and performance jump? We also don't know how much it would cost, though I don't see how it could cost any less than the current console. I suppose if they offered a big trade-in promotion, gave the system a 1TB hard drive - so I don't have to pay extra to upgrade my current 500GB one - and gave me $200 in trade for my PS4, I might do it.
We still need a lot more info, though.
Sony says they delayed PlayStation VR due to demand issues, but...
Talking about PS4K leads me to this subject and frankly, I smell a rat.
I never really believed Sony's "first half of 2016" estimate for PSVR in the first place; I always thought they'd want another E3 to really push the hell out of the unit, and it would make more sense to release during the holiday period. Now, they talk about this new, more capable PS4, supposedly to be announced before PSVR comes out (and we know it will help PSVR int he power department), and...well, come on. Isn't the handwriting on the wall? Sony says they had to push back PlayStation VR due to higher-than-anticipated demand, but launch bundles sold out almost immediately for the October release. It's not like shelves will be full of units, if this is any indication. And if PSVR is clearly such a rare item after Sony took extra months to supposedly produce more units, what the hell would it have been like before? It would've reminded us of the absurd lack of product at the PS3 launch.
I really think it has more to do with PS4K, because Sony knows current PS4 owners aren't going to be all that thrilled about the idea. You need to give us an incentive to upgrade and PSVR might be a great incentive for some core gamers. And let's face it, would PS4K even exist without Sony's virtual reality endeavor? Even if it was inevitable, I have a feeling we wouldn't have seen it this early. The whole situation shows a company banking big time on the virtual reality revolution.
Personal gaming update
I finally finished Assassin's Creed Syndicate; just have a couple Queen Victoria missions left to do and everything else is done. I've maxed out loyalty with all the associates with the exception of Topper, and I'm having a bitch of time doing that. It's weird; I did all the bare-knuckle fights and now his loyalty bar doesn't move at all when I do them. And the street races seem broken, as the carriages all seem to go the exact same speed, so I can't catch anyone if I'm behind. I did manage to win a few but even then, the loyalty bar doesn't move much at all. WTF. Well, I don't really care, whatever you unlock at Lv. 5 for him can't be all that amazing; I have the best stuff in the game for both Jacob and Evie, including the Aegis Outfit for Evie.
Yes, I played the Final Fantasy XV demo and it was laughably bad. I really don't care what kind of game it is, whether it's an RPG, action/RPG, or whatever; the gameplay is bad. Can you imagine if these controls were found in the upcoming Dark Souls III? Jesus, people would be freaking out, and rightfully so. Speaking of which, I've got DSIII now and I plan to dive in this week. Ten-to-one it plays twice as good and has more depth than FFXV would ever hope to have. Oh, and MLB 16: The Show is excellent. I haven't given an entry in this series a 9+ score since 2011 but this one is the complete, rewarding sim package baseball fans will adore.
As for real RPGs, I'll be interested to see how Star Ocean 5 comes out in June, and though I've never been a Persona fan, Persona 5 should be great this summer.
4/2/2016 Ben Dutka