What If PS4's Power Disappoints?
At this point, there's no knowing how much virtual punch the PlayStation 4 will pack.
Any and all supposedly "leaked" specs are nothing but rumor, and that includes the latest set of rumored details, which includes 3840 x 2160 resolution, "10GB of working memory," and backwards compatibility. But let's put that aside.
What if the PS4 really isn't a technological behemoth? What if Sony is looking to cut costs in the next generation; what if they aren't interested in digging a huge hole from the outset? The PS3 was quite the tech Goliath but it cost $600 at launch and even then, Sony was losing money on each machine sold. And given their recent financial numbers, the company probably can't risk doing that again. So what if the PS4 is less about crazy power and more about added casual/mainstream features and accessibility?
Epic Games evidently got a look at both the new Xbox and PlayStation and said neither lives up to their power expectations. Given the amazing capability of the PS3 - which should continue to shine with upcoming titles like God of War: Ascension, The Last Of Us and whatever Quantic Dream might deliver - everyone is expecting more tech wizardry from Sony. But what if we don't get it? What if the new PlayStation goes in a slightly different direction? Even if this makes the new machine decidedly cheaper than anticipated, won't gamers be disappointed?
After this generation, PlayStation fans are sort of accustomed to knowing their hardware of choice is king in the console world, at least in terms of raw power (as evidenced by a number of exclusives). Many have even said they're willing to pay extra for that status. Would they be willing to shell out for a PS4 that falls short of power expectations, especially if those gamers still believe there's plenty of life left in the PS3? Sales could be abysmal. Maybe the next PlayStation actually needs to outstrip everything in terms of power and capability, if only to keep the excitement high.
It's an interesting situation and it's tough to settle on any given answer.
5/28/2012 9:06:47 PM Ben Dutka