Ben's Week In Review: November 17
The PlayStation 4 is here and thus far, I'm sticking by my launch day analysis.
Unfortunately, Sony, "mixed" reviews CAN hurt a launch
While I'm the biggest proponent of Sony's first-party titles, and I firmly believe that once again Sony will offer the most diverse, highest-quality exclusives on the market, there's no doubt that the PS4 software launch lineup is lacking.
It's all the more noticeable when the two biggest exclusives - Killzone: Shadow Fall and Knack - don't quite meet expectations. You'll see my reviews for both shortly, but let's just say I'm mostly in agreement with the general consensus. I don't believe Shadow Fall is worth less than an 8 and Knack is worth less than a 6, but that's about all I can say for them. We really needed inFamous: Second Son, I believe. That could've been the game to really push the new console over the top in the eyes of both gamers and journalists.
Thing is, even though Yoshida said that the "mixed" review scores won't hurt the system's launch, I don't believe that's 100% accurate. I think he's right in saying that the launch lineup won't dissuade those who have already resolved to buy the console. The pre-orders will sell, regardless. But I think from a media, hype and early reputation standpoint, better reviews could've done nothing but help. I think we all know that's true.
Sony needs to be as upfront as possible about these defective systems
Some say the reports are overblown. Some say Xbox fans are artificially flooding the Internet with bogus complaints. Some say the issues people are having are either A. easily fixed, or B. the fault of the user. Now, I'm certain that each possibility is legitimate, and it all factors into the overall picture. However, that's precisely why Sony needs to be as candid and forthright as possible. They need to continually address the situation because right now, vagueness and evasion are not what consumers want to see. We definitely need more official statements like this one, which work immediately to refute stories like this, which spread like wildfire. Just be honest and if there is a problem, tell us. Keep us up-to-date on all PSN maintenance, too.
If the reported defective rates are still well within expectations (and we always have to anticipate growing pains with new hardware), great. Just keep telling us. Verify what you can and put the brunt of the consuming public at rest. That's the absolute best plan of action moving forward; answer all questions and address all concerns.
Personal gaming update
Well, gee, there are plenty of PS4 games in the hopper right now. ;) I've decided I won't be providing entirely new reviews for PS4 versions of games I've already reviewed, like Call of Duty: Ghosts, Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, and Battlefield 4. We're really talking about the same games, with obviously better graphics and maybe better frame rate. I think we all know the PS4 versions are a little better, so just add a few tenths to the scores you already see. If I haven't yet done a review of a cross-gen game, like Need for Speed: Rivals, I'll just do a review for the PS4 version.
Not sure about all those downloadable games, though. Guess I'll start with Contrast and Resogun. So, if you've got the PS4, how has your experience been thus far? Thoroughly positive?
11/17/2013 Ben Dutka