The internet has been the past few days with rumors of a PS “Neo”. This updated PS4 will supposedly raise the FPS and graphics of the current PS4 either by going a good 60fps 1080 or even 4K. Everyone who has a current generation has an opinion on these rumors with some excited at these rumors and others mollified.
I belong in the latter group and in a huge way. Gaming has always been a part of my life, and I have owned most of the consoles and handhelds, way back from the NES to the current Xbox One and PS4. I will always buy the latest gaming consoles whenever they come out. Except this round if indeed it does come to fruition.
My reason for hating the supposedly upgraded new systems is simple: it’s a slippery hill from here to new consoles annually or biannually. The biggest argument by the pro-PS4 Neo supporters is that Smartphones and most technology get released annually and consoles deserve the same treatment. Pretty good argument, if you were comparing oranges to oranges.
Consoles are not just a $400 (or +$500 depending on when you bought it) investment. Buying a console more often than not means +$60 AAA games, numerous indie games and DLC bought during its lifetime. The resale value of games and consoles is brutal. It would even get worse with the advent of a new generation of consoles. Buying a console is literally throwing money down a hole. A hole that will never spit back any of that money back. It’s not an investment of any sorts.
Backward compatibility you say? The only true backwards compatibility we’ll ever get is on PCs. Buy a new PC or build a new rig and you’re pretty much guaranteed your old games will work just as fine. If history is anything to go by, Sony and Microsoft will drop support for backwards compatibility as soon as they can. They can (and will say) that they will support older generation games as we go forward, but it’s never a profitable means for them.
Having backward and forward compatibility would hugely hamper on development of newer consoles as they would have to have similar architecture to predecessors in order to maintain near perfect emulation. The choice would either then be to make slightly better consoles or drop support for older generation games. While I understand that games are for entertainment and that has a huge decline factor, it doesn’t sit comfortable by me that I would have to keep two or three consoles at home or have expensive coasters.
Graphics and Stuff
Graphics and FPS has been another reason for the purported upgrade. While this writer does enjoy eye candy as much as the next gamer, I have to justify throwing more money at Sony for it. The current generation consoles may be pretty underpowered when compared to PCs, but that has always and will always be this way. No amount of new console upgrades will ever help catch up with the PC race.
It is something that console gamers should understand and accept. For the price we pay, there is no way we’ll ever have the same luxuries as the PC race. The difference also shouldn’t be something that console gamers should complain about. Sprites and textures do not make a game more enjoyable. 60 FPS while really smooth on the eye does not make a game. The best games made in this world are made so because developers poured their hearts and souls into them.
I would love to play 4K games every day. As it is, my aging gaming rig cannot handle newer AAA games at such high resolutions. It however does not make me enjoy games or the less that cannot hit such glorious textures. When a game fully consumes you, details become less important. While jarring frame rate drops does break the immersion, a good game will never be about how gorgeous it looks. When not looking at graphic differences on YouTube or digital foundry, it’s very hard to feel the difference when I game at home
We’ve all seen the “leaked” details that say Sony will enforce an equal playing field between the new and old PS4. With all due respect, I call bull on this. Setting aside nefarious reasons by Sony in the future like pushing certain PS4 sales forward, there is no way they can make all games play equally on both consoles.
Differences and bugs will arise differently on both machines. Game developers will either have to double their workforces or prioritize on which bugs they want to squash. Support by both manufactures on both software and hardware has always been shaky at best, are we to believe that it’ll get better with different consoles and peripherals for them to handle. What happens if controller X does not play well with the new or old console? Will they push updates for them out at the same time?
Different consoles will mean just that. Different user bases, different problems. Game developers and console makers are popular for their slaggy services. Things promised to consumers would take a backseat in the chase for new sales.
I feel, and very strongly at that, that we don’t need a new iteration of consoles. The current generation of consoles might be underpowered and weak, but throwing a new generation at us is not only a spit in the eye for early adopters, but also a slippery hill that’ll send me and many others back to PC gaming.