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PS4 - What we want (and what we don't want)


With Sony PlayStation’s huge upcoming February 20th press conference looking more and more likely to be the official announcement of the PS4, we here at Good Game ANZ have put together a list of what we want and don't want to see in the next generation of PlayStation, along with some questions we would like answered by Sony at the big event.

What we want to see:

1) That all games will run at 60fps in 1080p: This is very much a given from the numerous rumours many of us will have heard so far about the PS4’s hardware specifications. In addition to just generally better visuals and gameplay for us gamers, higher definition and frame rate capabilities would also help developers who no longer need to sacrifice video fidelity and find alternate ways (such as upscaling) to ensure their games run decently, which has became quite apparent lately on the PlayStation 3. Don’t let what has happened this generation late in its life cycle happen to the next generation and have both gamers and developers constantly asking when the next generation of consoles is going to arrive.

2) Improve the speed of the PlayStation XrossMediaBar (XMB): Regardless of whether Sony choose to keep the XMB or choose to replace it with an alternative home screen interface, they will need to increase its speed and performance, as at times it can be painfully slow. Giving the PS4 a much greater amount of RAM should help alleviate this problem, enhancing its multi-processing capabilities.

3) Backwards compatibility: This is almost guaranteed not to be included in the new hardware due to how much more costly it would be to incorporate (unless Sony uses the streaming capabilities acquired from their new partnership with Gaikai, in which case backwards compatibility would seem relatively simple to implement for those with good enough internet connections). Either way, we are sure that backwards compatibility would still be a selling point for some gamers who may hold off otherwise.

4) The future of PlayStation Plus: With the chances of backwards compatibility incorporated into the new PlayStation hardware being slim, it is worth wondering whether or not the PlayStation Plus “Instant Game Collection (IGC)” will still exist, or at least seem as valuable at launch. The introduction of probably the most popular and generous feature of PlayStation Plus spiked Plus subscriptions by offering exceptional value for money in the form of access to free full games on both the PlayStation 3 and Vita. Removing the IGC would almost certainly see a drop in re-subscriptions, but it will clearly be difficulty to have a large IGC on a new console at launch. So will Sony remove the Instant Game Collection for Plus on the new PlayStation? Will they eventually ditch Plus all together? Or will the IGC come back when the PS4 catalog is more mature?

5) What will happen to our current digital titles? Most likely these will not be compatible, at least immediately, with the new PlayStation console at launch if there is no backwards compatibility feature. However, if Sony approaches this like it has done to make many digital PS2 classic titles compatible with the PlayStation 3, would all of the digital PS3 games and content that we already own work on the PlayStation 4 as well?

6) Free online: The free access to the PlayStation Network and online features has definitely been one of the greatest selling points for the PlayStation 3. For many gamers, a continuation of this free and quality online service would be extremely welcomed and appreciated, especially for casual online players who most likely will not see much worth in paying for a subscription service just to have brief forays into the online world.

7) A Global PSN store: This is unlikely to happen but we are sure that many gamers would like Sony to at least try and reach Steam’s level of parity when it comes to selling the same digital copy of games to different countries and regions. While some game titles and content offered on Steam still have some pricing and catalog differences, these are minimal compared to the discrepancy between regions and even neighbouring countries on the PSN stores.

8) Improved communications: Make it easier for gaming communities getting together for clan wars, gaming nights or just to run amok in public lobbies to create parties and meeting up more easily. This includes keeping and improving the text chat options, and adding the oft-requested cross-game voice chat. We’d be particularly impressed if Sony can get cross-platform chat working with Vita parties, and it would be great if the PS4 still had a video chat option.

9) Be able to delete trophies: This is definitely a highly requested feature in the trophy hunting communities. Getting rid of that low percentage game they didn’t enjoy or one that a sibling accidentally installed onto their list (or the Hannah Montana plat that so sounded like a good idea at the time....) would make the trophy collections look much neater and easier to scroll through, especially for gamers striving for that platinum perfection.

10) A solid launch line-up, but also a good pacing of titles for the system: A good varied launch line-up to grab the attention of fans across a range of genres is the best way to go, while also have a large number of games (as shown with the Vita). Games are the most likely reason a games console is purchased so the less titles available, the less the perceived worth of the console might be to a potential next-generation gamer. Also, while every year has its lull periods for releases where nothing much of great hype and marketing is generally released, ensure that there is a stream of releases after launch. Landing several big hitters at launch while trickling several others during the upcoming months means that you don’t have all of your launch-window titles competing with each other at once, and have new games to keep gamers excited over the first six months.

11) Worldwide Launch: With the amount of people and logistics these days, it is understandable that launching the next generation console all around the world at the exact same time will most likely not happen. However, let’s try to cut down on the difference between official launches for different regions and not have some countries waiting months while others wait years just to see the new console finally arrive in their own country.

12) Make the console aesthetically pleasing/build quality: This may sound pointless and will differ to person to person but let’s face it, most of us like things to look good and represent what they are. The latest version of the PS3 slim is a great example of this, with it not feeling or the looking like the quality that we are used seeing from Sony - in other words, please ditch the flimsy corrugated plastic.

13) Bigger Friends list: As online gaming grows ever more expansive, chances are that some gamers will find their friends list filling up extremely quickly as they meet and play with more and more people online. Although the simplest solution would obviously be to delete “unnecessary” players on the friend’s lists to make space, sometimes this is difficult in a growing or expanding gaming group/community, like in a clan, and so increasing the maximum friends limit could be an ideal solution.

14) Price parity: This is more of an issue for publishers more broadly (of which Sony is an important one), but even taking into consideration the logistics, currency and market size, games in certain countries (particularly Australia and New Zealand) still cost more than they should, sometimes nearly double the price in other territories based on exchange rates - even for digital releases. This should end, with differences between regions for digital titles based on exchange rates and any relevant local taxes, and differences between regions for retail copies only adding in the cost of distribution or local production.

We do not want to see:

1) Always online requirement: Make it an option by all means, but even in this modern, hi-tech day and age an internet connection is not always available or needed (like for watching a movie). It is no fun playing a game only the next second to be greeted with an ‘no connection’ message and have lost progress, or not be able to game at all because a storm’s knocked out the internet connection.

2) Used games blocked: It is widely known that publishers (and developers) do not make money and profits from second-hand sales so it is understandable that they will be pushing for this. However, pre-owned games still have their market, especially for older titles which go out of print and become impossible to find new, as well as for people looking for newer titles on the cheap.

3) PlayStation Move and other gimmicks packed in with every system: Most people would not like the added cost even with the little that this addition would bring with it. Don’t try and force it on people - it will just guarantee its failure.

4) Social media everywhere: With more and more games adding some form of social media integration, we understand it’s important to many, but not everyone wants to be connected all the time. It is important to keep the Facebook, Twitter and other social outlets strictly optional.

5) Security lapses: Let’s not have another repeat of the PS3 where certain features were removed throughout its lifecycle. It’s not always easy to pick where something will be hacked, but designing it with this in mind should keep Sony from having to do things like removing the option for using Linux on the PS3.

6) Half-implanted features: For example, the less-than-impressive internet browser accessible on the PlayStation 3 system. Early in the PS3’s life Sony attempted to keep the browser updated, but it was only ever clunky at best, and these days barely or non-functional for many sites. Remote play is another example of a feature that got a lot of press time early, but in practice was only useful in fairly limited circumstances.

It's not long now...

What do you want to see or not want to see in the next console from Sony? It’s exciting times, and in less than a week we’ll have a much better idea of where how we’ll be gaming next-gen. Stay tuned to Good Game ANZ as we bring you all the news on the next Playstation as it happens!

Contributors: spectre51, GasClown, GraphicX, I_live_4_fun, OC-138, Outlaw213, Axe99




23 Comments

Great article Spectre B).  Am a big fan of all those wants and not wants (particularly don't want an always-online requirement, and want good technical performance from the thing, and wouldn't mind backwards compatibility).  Not long to go now until we know at least something about what's coming up, anticipation levels rising :D.
Nice work.Most ideas seem quite simple, it is amazing how game companies seem to make so many avoidable mistakes.
Keep it simple, great system, great price, free online.
if we don't get cross game chat again it'll just reinforce the view that Sony don't support 'communities' compared to Microsoft.

View PostGraphicX, on 16 February 2013 - 03:48 AM, said:

if we don't get cross game chat again it'll just reinforce the view that Sony don't support 'communities' compared to Microsoft.

I wouldn't say that - Microsoft doesn't support communities, it fleeces them - I can't even join a party on XBLA unless I have a gold membership.  At least on PS3 everyone can be in a chat together, even if it's just text or video (out of game).  Still, given that they've got cross-game chat in the Vita, I think we're on fairly safe ground for the PS4 B).

View PostAxe99, on 16 February 2013 - 07:26 AM, said:

I wouldn't say that - Microsoft doesn't support communities, it fleeces them - I can't even join a party on XBLA unless I have a gold membership.  At least on PS3 everyone can be in a chat together, even if it's just text or video (out of game).  Still, given that they've got cross-game chat in the Vita, I think we're on fairly safe ground for the PS4 B).

Yeah exactly - you are limited to what you can do if you don't have a Gold account on Xbox. I think MS would be stupid to charge for playing online next gen. I haven't had my Gold account for a couple of years now because I can play the games online for free on PS3.

View PostGasClown, on 16 February 2013 - 01:18 PM, said:

Yeah exactly - you are limited to what you can do if you don't have a Gold account on Xbox. I think MS would be stupid to charge for playing online next gen. I haven't had my Gold account for a couple of years now because I can play the games online for free on PS3.

Aye - and absolutely unfairly limited.  You can jump in a quick video-chat outside of a game on PS3 easy as you like, but you can't even have a voice chat with someone on 360 unless you've got Gold.  Great way to get gamers coming to 360 from _any_ other platform to get a bad impression of the thing.
Yeah paying to play online is stupid - we already pay too much for games and dlc.
I have to agree with those point. There is points there i didnt think of and also ones that i did.

One of the reasons i didnt go to xbox was cause of the paying for online gaming factor.

Cross game chat could be fun as i would like to catch up with people that are plainf other games
Cross game chat is annoying....unless you are all playing the same game or just about to play the same game eg then it means an end to confusion and texting when someone drops out or can't connect. This is where xchat reigns supreme. Oh, and also where in game chat is poorly implemented by the devs.

Otherwise, who wants to be playing silent hill while listening to three other people moan every five seconds as they are lag killed in cod?

View PostBatty, on 18 February 2013 - 01:37 AM, said:

Cross game chat is annoying....unless you are all playing the same game or just about to play the same game eg then it means an end to confusion and texting when someone drops out or can't connect. This is where xchat reigns supreme. Oh, and also where in game chat is poorly implemented by the devs.

Otherwise, who wants to be playing silent hill while listening to three other people moan every five seconds as they are lag killed in cod?

Yeah it'll be optional ofcourse. I know i wouldn't be using Cross-Game chat if i'm trying to play a story driven game like God of War / Uncharted etc. But having the option of cross-game chat is important imo, has many advantages including those you mentioned.
You'll be lucky if you get two of the points you mentioned.

View PostAromaci, on 18 February 2013 - 06:29 AM, said:

You'll be lucky if you get two of the points you mentioned.

I know some of then are super long shots(global store/price/Launch) and the move thing has been debunked with that prototype appearing  but games should run at 1080p 60fps with the advantage that specific hardware brings and given the step from last generation more RAM will increase the XMB speed and responsiveness and it would be a big move from Sony to remove free online gaming. There are several others that are possibilities and we will get answers one way or another on Plus/digital questions.
Agreed - like any good wishlist, there's a balance between sensible hopes and more 'out there' ones (standard B/C is, unfortunately, not likely) - but things like free online, improved communications and not blocking used games are hopefully fairly likely, or there'll be more than a few unhappy campers.
We all pay to play online, its just hidden away in your 'online pass'.  The cost is factored into the sale prices, and they have been saving money by sacking story writers and just making things open-world, or just using crazy drug-induced scenes to confuse you that there might have been a story line.

Gearbox had to sack the visual effects unit for ACM to pay for the BL2 story writers.    :rock:

trollololllool :)

View PostJykel, on 19 February 2013 - 02:34 AM, said:

We all pay to play online, its just hidden away in your 'online pass'.  The cost is factored into the sale prices, and they have been saving money by sacking story writers and just making things open-world, or just using crazy drug-induced scenes to confuse you that there might have been a story line.

Gearbox had to sack the visual effects unit for ACM to pay for the BL2 story writers. :rock:

trollololllool :)

lol - well trolled :P  I do think it's better placed in the price of individual games, rather than a one-charge-fits-all thing - if I got an XBL Gold for the three hours of online play I'm likely to put into it, I'm subsidising the CoD and Halo fans putting in hundreds of hours.  The most appropriate way of charging for it would be hourly, based on the marginal cost of providing the servers and support, with the initial cost of setting everything up built into the initial cost of the game, but it's not really practical to implement it that way.
With ya there Axe.  I would happily pay to play, if they founded & provided dedicated servers and maintained them until the player base drops below say 5~10% of peak.   Pay to play with Peer-2-Peer, or providing limited servers with player bases over 30% of peak just aint my cup of tea.

View PostJykel, on 19 February 2013 - 06:28 AM, said:

With ya there Axe.  I would happily pay to play, if they founded & provided dedicated servers and maintained them until the player base drops below say 5~10% of peak.   Pay to play with Peer-2-Peer, or providing limited servers with player bases over 30% of peak just aint my cup of tea.

Aye, totally agree - the actual marginal cost/player wouldn't be that much, and as long as publishers made clear what people were paying for, then it'd work out well - and on console with the integrated stores and payment options, it's quick and easy to do without leaving the game.  Better than the rough-as-guts method they have for recovering cost on online play at the moment, which almost always relies on exploiting one type of customer to cover for others.
I don't play online enough to justify a cost that on top of what we already play for the game itself. With publishers being the way they are they wouldn't drop the base price so I would just skip multiplayer and get games a year or so after release.
Recap:
1) That all games will run at 60fps in 1080p: Looks like they will hit this.
2) Improve the speed of the PlayStation XrossMediaBar (XMB): Should hit this as well with 8GB, plus a mention about it.
3) Backwards compatibility: Hit this in a way. Not conventional compatibly but theoretically possible to run PS1/2/3 games on Sony devices.
4) The future of PlayStation Plus: Didn't get answers :(
5) What will happen to our current digital titles? See above
6) Free online: Again see above
7) A Global PSN store: Again see above, but we know won't happen.
8) Improved communications: Looks like they have put an emphasis on this.
9) Be able to delete trophies: A pipe dream for some, mostly likely won't happen.
10) A solid launch line-up, but also a good pacing of titles for the system: Don't know what is a launch title but a good variety of games shown including new IP's and old favourites.
11) Worldwide Launch: Not mentioned but unlikely.
12) Make the console aesthetically pleasing/build quality: A no show.
13) Bigger Friends list: Possible with the focus on friends/social media.
14) Price parity: We all wish but we all know won't happen.

1) Always online requirement: No mention as it is conscrewed as a negative thing will be mentioned in some press realease quietly if true iif not maybe at E3.
2) Used games blocked: See above
3) PlayStation Move and other gimmicks packed in with every system: Kinda with it being in the controller. No real info on how similar it is to an actual Move.
4) Social media everywhere:They outdone themselves in this regard with real names and friends.
5) Security lapses: Plenty of features for someone to try and break and then get removed.
6) Half-implanted features: They certainly have a lot of features that could make this a reality.
Aye, I think they did fairly well in what they did show, and didn't rule out, but there's still plenty of questions (which is fair enough at this point - most console reveals only tell half the story at best).
5) What will happen to our current digital titles? Confirmation they won't work.
1) Always online requirement: Not required to be connected, you can go offline.
2) Used games blocked: Pre-owned games will not be blocked
6) Free online
In the playstation 2013 event they had logos of confirmed services with the playstation plus symbol on it.
You would think if they still had plus that would be crazy to charge for plus and online psn access. Well at least I hope that is the case.