Sony announced the Playstation 4 last wednesday. And as far as game console announcements go, this was one of the best presentations I’ve ever watched. We’ve now got info on the hardware, the controller, the games and the developers working on software.
These “hardcore” game consoles are presumably getting a lot of competition in the near future. And as much as I’ve always liked Nintendo, I believe Sony’s direction is the way to go.
That’s why it’s strange to read a comment like this on Daring Fireball by John Gruber:
“What was the bigger shitshow: Sony holding a long press event for a device they didn’t show and wouldn’t give a shipping date or price for? Or the gadget blogs that devoted hours of coverage to this?”
I guess the bigger shitshow is the gadget blogs devoting all the hours, because Sony gave out more information on the hardware than even Apple usually does with their iPhones, iPods and iPads. The first time Nintendo showed anything about the Wii, it was just the box. Not the controller, specs or any screenshots.
In gaming, the design of the console is getting less and less important. I recently purchased Ni No Kuni. It was the first game in half a year that I needed to touch my console for, since it came on a disc. All the other games where downloaded from the Playstation network.
The console box itself is just a shell for the hardware. The only thing that’s important is the size. You rarely touch the box, you rarely look at it.
They did show all the components of the system that you actually do interact with. Such as the controller and camera. They also showed what services we can expect on the console. And most importantly: they showed games.
A game console is as much about the hardware enclosure as your iPhone is about the servers powering iCloud.