PlayStation Meeting 2016

PlayStation Meeting 2016

I just watched a recording of this year’s PlayStation Meeting. For me I had a rollercoaster of emotions with this show. From extremely excited to finally hitting the bottom of the hill with no tracks left. Let me share with you my thoughts, ideas and where I think Sony and PlayStation really missed the mark on this one.

 

PS4 Slim

Let’s start with the one console that everyone knew was coming back in 2013 when the original PS4 was released, the slim model.

I’m really liking the textured matte black finish to it. The shiny HDD cover on the original PS4 was pretty when you took it out of the box. If you look at it the wrong way you got your first micro scratch on it. The new casing should be a lot more durable and help make the console look like “new” even longer. Plus you’ll be able to dust it without getting scratches all over it.

But I do have some questions with the new PS4 Slim:

How come Sony didn’t compare its size to the original PS4?

How is the length, width, height compared to the original PS4?

If it has the same internals then how is the fan designed?

If it is slim then what is the weight on it?

Those may seem like small minor details to some people but they are indeed very important details that should be given out to the general public. Convince me Sony as to why I should replace my day one console with the new slim version. It was more like a blimp on the radar during this conference. Sony was acting like “Look, here is the new slim model. Now let’s move on.” Very poorly done in my eyes.

Granted, this model will be replacing the current version model. With a new skin, fresh makeup and smaller foot print, I would think that Sony would have promoted it a little more to show off its slimmer, smaller, sleeker size.

 

PS4 Pro

We all know this console was coming for a while too. With the original code name of PS4 Neo, we also know that wasn’t going to be the final name of this “new” console that Sony has been trying to hide from us. Since this was the majority of the conference let’s go over it a little.

Before I get into the Pro, I have to say that Mark Cerny has quite the smooth, relaxing, radio type voice. It literally calms you down. In my eyes that actually worked against Sony here. It seemed to mellow out the crowd. Which wasn’t all that vocal or excited to begin with.

At the start, I was getting hyped up and excited to hear about the updated PS4. One of the first things that was touched on was the GPU, more than double the power. I was like “holy shit I like what I’m hearing here, give me more!!”

Then it started to fall from there.

The next thing was the Pro will have a boosted clock rate CPU. I can understand not going with a new CPU for programming reasons. Game engines have been built around the AMD that is in the original PS4, game basic have been built around the AMD architecture. So it makes sense to me not to change it. If developers have to change the way they create games about mid cycle through a consoles life, that would be a great way to have Indie developers to stop or shy away from your brand.

This announcement really throw me off track. The Pro will include a 1TB HDD inside it. A 1TB. You can already get that in the PS4. My launch console has had a 1TB in it for over a year now. This is mind boggling as to why it isn’t bigger. Especially with 4k content. That 1TB will be eaten up, very quickly. Hopefully Sony sees this and will have the Pro, like the previous PS consoles, come equipped so their customer base will be able to upgrade the internal HDD for even more storage capabilities. An option for external storage would be a great option. Sony, you listening!

The one announcement that I literally laughed at was the term “Forward Compatibility”. If this isn’t a marketing ploy then I have never heard of one. The basis here was that the game titles we already own will be patched to play on the Pro. Again, this goes back to the space issue the Pro will very quickly run into. We are not talking about a few 100MB updates here. These will take gigs of data to download and store on the system. Some updates may even well be a full game download which can run into the 40GB range. Add a few of those and your storage is already maxed out.

I still even have a few questions concerning this “upgraded” system:

If the GPU power has been doubled, is the memory size still the same? Has the bandwidth been upgraded as well? How is the cooling going to work? More power, means more electric, which in turns mean more heat? How is the Pro going to compensate for that?

CPU boosted clock rate. Is the chip being overclocked? Is this just a bump in the native clocking? Same on this as the GPU, cooling, a faster processor means more electric, which again, means more heat. How is the cooling on this chip done? Has the bandwidth on the motherboard been increased to accommodate the higher clock speeds? Will games be bottlenecked from low bandwidth lanes?

 

Conclusion

I’ll admit it, I’m a Sony fanboy. I have been for years. All the way back to my school days when I used to beat the crap out of a cassette player. I had a rubber band holding the door close. No matter how many times, or how hard I threw it into my locker, it would still play a cassette at the end of the day.

Today’s conference has showed me that Sony, and PlayStation, has lost sight of what their customer based needs, not wants, but needs. With November 10th being two months away I don’t see any of this hardware changing at all.

That could be Game Over for the PS4 Pro.

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