The next gen console wars are off to a very boring start – Reader’s Feature
A reader is frustrated that the PlayStation 5 was first teased almost a year ago and yet Sony still hasn’t showed it or its games in public.
I know I’m not the only one that was bored to tears by the PlayStation 5 reveal this week, because social media has been complaining about it endlessly. And while that quickly got out of hand, as it always does, the truth is it was a very odd way to introduce people to your exciting new console: a man with the most irritating voice ever talking very slowly about technobabble, with not so much as a screenshot to show what he was going on about.
I know that this was originally a talk intended for an audience of developers but that means nothing when it was promoted and hosted on the main PlayStation websites as a first step on the ‘Road to PS5’. It was slow, boring, and didn’t tell ordinary people anything they wanted to know. The only interesting thing I found out was after the fact, when everyone was comparing the specs and it turned out Xbox Series X was much more powerful.
Microsoft has been a lot more active than Sony so far but have mostly revealed only the same kind of information: tech specs and descriptions of how the Xbox Series X will work but not what any of it will actually look like in terms of games. Sensibly, they’ve kept all this to blogs so far, so there’s no way you can be disappointed by it or have to sit through an hour-long lecture. But it’s still not interesting.
Everyone’s excited about the prospect of the next gen in general but all we’re actually getting is people describing things like fast loading times and 3D audio. That’s almost funny it’s so boring. Imagine if instead of those emotion engine Final Fantasy demos for PlayStation 2 or the Killzone demo for PlayStation 3 we had a 20 minute lecture about loading, with a guy telling us it would change the way games are designed but never once showing how via an actual game.
Show, don’t tell, is such a simple, well known concept that it’s almost unbelievable that both companies are carrying on like this. That five seconds of Hellblade 2 that Microsoft showed off last December was so much more interesting and exciting than anything else that’s happened in the last 12 months. And it has almost been 12 months.
Sony’s article in Wired, in which they wouldn’t even say it was called the PlayStation 5, was last April, which is the point at which the next gen console wars technically began, I’d say. And it’s been the world’s most boring roller coaster ever since.
Those mind-blowing demos will, presumably, come at some point but it’s been almost a year! The very simple solution to this is to just saying nothing until you’ve got something to show. What has Sony gained by announcing so early? Nothing but put people buying off a new PlayStation 4 and getting others mildly annoyed that they’re dragging it all out so long.
And it may be dragged out even further now that physical unveil events are impossible and production of the consoles themselves may have been so affected by the coronavirus that it gets delayed till next year. That’s not Sony or Microsoft’s fault but announcing them too early, with no plan to show anything of importance for over a year is. When you have nothing to say, you should say nothing.
By reader Badgerman
The reader’s feature does not necessary represent the views of GameCentral or Metro.
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