It seems like forever ago since Sony unveiled its plans for the PS4 at E3 2013. It was a monumental and historical moment for the video game industry. People embraced the vision that Sony had set for its next-gen console, and since its launch on November 15, 2013, we can’t get enough of the PS4. And there’s a good reason for that. Whether it’s the games, its social features, or the grand horizon of plans for the PS4, we can confidently say that console gaming is not dead - at least, not while the PS4 is here.
Sony has, through its 1st party developers and its exceptional relationships with 3rd party devs, given PS4 owners a robust catalogue of a broad variety of games. There really seems to be a title for everyone - from Madden to Infamous: Second Son to Child of Light. Furthermore, there is a plethora of great indie titles like Resogun, Don’t Starve, and Velocity. Whether it’s AAA developers or a studio of a handful of people, seemingly everyone is represented on the PS4. In fact, Sony was keen on giving a developers a say in how the hardware would be built and it seems to have paid off, one year into the PS4’s life. At this moment in time, the PS4 appears to be the more powerful console when compared to its main rival, the Xbox One. And if it isn’t, it was certainly built in a way that helps developers get the most out of it. While its exclusives haven’t necessarily wowed us quite yet, it seems that nearly every 3rd party title looks better on the PS4. Now, playing games at 1080p resolution and 60 frames-per-second are not necessarily make-or-break qualities of a game, but this is NEXT GEN! And Sony has definitely given us a look at where next-gen graphics can go. Exclusive games like Bloodborne and The Order: 1886 have PS4 owners and hopeful owners foaming at the mouth in anticipation of what seem to be a slew of fantastic next-gen titles.
Gaming Goes Social
The Dualshock 4 is by far the best iteration of the PlayStation controller, but when we first saw it there was this strange “share” button that has, funny enough, changed how many people are playing games. With this button, we can upload snapshots and clips of the games we’re playing to Twitter and Facebook, showing our friends how awesome we are (or how big of a failure we might have been). Twitch streaming is no longer limited to tech savvy folk, but made a simple and easy-to-use streaming app. In reality, this small button is changing more than how we played games in 2014. It has also changed how gamers and the industry itself is viewed. Where people who play video games have often been viewed as “anti-social”, one can argue that they are some of the most social and networked people around. These new share features are great for everybody in the industry, from the gamers to the developers to companies like Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft, who build the machines that play these games. But there is no doubt, Sony was ahead of the curve when it came to setting up an infrastructure that facilitates the sharing of various gaming content.
A Bright Future
It’s fair to say that the best has yet to come for Sony. For instance, the streaming service, PlayStation Now, which allows us to play PS3 games on the PS4 and Vita, will help ensure that there is a timeline to the past for those who haven’t experienced it or want to again. And speaking of the Vita, as we’ve come deeper into PS4’s first year, it seems that developers are getting a better grip on how to implement the Remote Play functionality. A good example of that is Destiny, which is probably the best remote-play experience to date. Earlier this year, Sony unveiled Project Morpheus, it’s attempt at providing gamers with a virtual reality experience. It’s hard to say when we’ll see all of these will come into full fruition, but it is, indeed, an exciting future that Sony is building.
Greatness Is Here
When the PS4 launched its slogan was, “Greatness Awaits.” That “greatness” is here. And perhaps that is the best part of being a PS4 owner. The experiences are already phenomenal, and yet, there is still more to come. Sure, it’s early on, and there is still much more to play out. But at this pace, the PS4, with over 11 million units sold worldwide, has a chance to be a force in this industry that sets records and changes that landscape of the industry for years to come.