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PS4: Give Me 5 Reasons, Sony

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By Nelson Schneider - 07/26/15 at 03:40 PM CT

Another week in July, another week of nothing interesting, game-wise. I’ve been putting in some good backlog-clearing hours, but whenever I go online to see what’s what in the community, most of what I see is rabid Sony fanboys flagellating themselves into a frothing frenzy over the market dominance of the PlayStation 4. A couple weeks ago, I asked MJ’s readers who are backing the PS4 for some of their reasons. I received well-written responses… with inadequate reasons.

Of course, every Sony console has been a tough sell for me, despite the fact that I loved the original PlayStation almost as much as I loved the SNES that came before it. But even that first outing by Sony took a while to get through my armor. My first PS1 experience was a demo of “King’s Field,” which made me question why ANYONE would spend money to play THAT when they could keep replaying their SNES games over, and over… and over. The PS1’s library ultimately fleshed out with a large number of excellent games in a wide variety of genres.

When the PlayStation 2 finally came along, I was well entrenched in the PS1 ecosystem and couldn’t understand why ANYONE would want to spend money to play DVDs in their game console. My views on the early life of the PS2 lined up perfectly with the parodic storyline of the Flash movie, “Sega Fantasy 6,” which reflected the PS2 as the villainous Emperor Gestahl of “Final Fantasy 6,” while the PSP was the even eviler Kefka. Trojan Horsing DVD players into every living room with shoddy hardware and a horrible launch lineup rubbed me the wrong way. But ultimately, I ended up grudgingly accepting the PS2, as it’s library of third-party exclusives finally started to ramp up just as the GameCube’s and Dreamcast's libraries of exclusives started to wane. Still, I do not look back at the PS2 with much fondness, as the decline and fall of Eastern RPG development was already in motion as early as the 6th Generation.

The PlayStation 3, of course, did everything wrong thanks to Sony’s hubris over the mainstream success of the PS2. It was hilariously overpriced, it tried the Trojan Horse trick again with the Blu-Ray format, it added online nonsense and a hard drive to keep feature parity with Microsoft’s PC-inspired consoles, and it never managed to accumulate a decent library. Sure, mainstream fans of cinematic shooters, competitive shooters, or… other shooters loved the thing. But it wasn’t really that different from a Microsoft console or a gaming PC. The only real differences that made the PS3 stand out were the fact that it was constantly shedding features (including Backward Compatibility) and the fact that it was the home to every horrible loli-filled RPG Gust, Idea Factory, Compile Heart, and NIS could produce. I snapped up a used PS3 before I was really interested in the platform simply because I wanted a single Sony box that could play all my PlayStation games, and Sony forced my hand with the removal of PlayStation 2 compatibility. ‘LittleBigPlanet’ and ‘Ratchet & Clank’ ended up as the sole exclusive games on the PS3 that I can remember with any fondness.

And now we have the PlayStation 4 – a console that seems, for all intents and purposes, to be repeating the mistakes of its immediate predecessor. It is devoid of interesting features, but most importantly, it is devoid of interesting exclusives. Jonzor, dbarry_22, and Chris have all declared exclusives as one of the main reasons to adopt a new platform, and they are absolutely correct. Yet they have had difficulty putting concrete names on exclusive titles for the PS4 that would get them to buy. I’m going to put some of my concrete titles out here, since I know exactly what Sony needs to do to get me on board after their disastrous 7th Gen showing.

5. 3D Games
Having recently come into possession of a Sony Bravia 3DTV, I am mightily impressed with how far 3D at home has come… despite the fact that 3D in the consumer space seems to be a fad that is already dead. The thing that bothers me the most about having a 3DTV hooked up to my Steambox is that there simply aren’t any (good) 3D games to play on it! As the company that makes Bravia TVs, PlayStation 4s, and 3D Blu-Ray discs, I think Sony really needs to force more 3D content with the PS4 (and Sony hasn’t been shy about forcing content before). Hell, the hardware is probably powerful enough to do a good enough job with virtual 3D that an OS level option to make every game 3D should be do-able.

4. “Dragon Quest Builders,” Exclusive
I never saw the appeal of “Minecraft,” and “Terraria” quickly lost its luster for me. However, the recent reveal of a game that combines the building mechanics of “Minecraft” with the classic monster designs and story-directed narrative of ‘Dragon Quest’ really perked up my ears. This upcoming title is supposedly a remake (this IS the PS4, after all) of the original “Dragon Quest,” with new ‘digging game’ mechanics tacked on. If this stays exclusive to PS4 (and doesn’t get a cross-gen release on PS3 or a PC port), it will provide a solid 1 PS4 game I would really like to play.

3. Project Setsuna, Exclusive
At E3 this year, Square Enix announced the creation of a new studio, Tokyo RPG Factory, whose inaugural game is being developed under the codename “Project Setsuna.” The early screenshots make it look like a return to form for Square Enix, which is all I’ve really wanted since the start of the 7th Generation. If Square Enix is going to start making great games again, and if they are only going to release them on the PS4, then I will have a reason to own a PS4. Of course, anything involving the modern Square Enix is a massive if.

2. “Dragon Quest 11,” Exclusive
This Square Enix project has me a bit more worried, since it is all but guaranteed to hit the PS3 as well. If there is something about the PS4 version that is demonstrably ‘better,’ I might be able to wait until the other things on this list occur before playing it. But I’m starved for a great RPG right now, so I might not be able to restrain myself that long, which would remove one of the 5 points on this list… with no comparable replacement in sight.

1. Move 2.0 and Morpheus
Chris and Jonzor both talked about the Morpheus VR helmet in their reasons for owning a PS4. However, neither of them is into motion controllers like I am. I have used the PS Move controller, and it is not good. It would especially suck trying to recalibrate the Move while wearing a vision-obscuring headset! Morpheus sounds great and all, with its killer feature of local co-op, but if interacting with virtual reality games on the PS4 remains as terrible as playing a Move game on the PS3, it will never be particularly fun. Sony just needs to admit that their current motion controller technology is inadequate. It’s based on the Wiimote, after all, which was a first-generation attempt at motion controls. Sony needs to come up with a Move 2.0 that employs the same magnetic field technology as PC motion controllers like the Razer Hydra and Sixense STEM. Sony simply won’t be able to compete on equal footing with the Oculus Rift without an equally good controller.

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Wrote on07/29/15 at 02:11 PM CT

Sorry our reasons were deemed inadequate for you. But as it turns out, they WERE adequate for us though!

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