Whenever a new console is announced gamers world-wide should be filled with giddy anticipation. With Sony’s recent bungles however, gamers are finding it rather difficult to get hyped for the PlayStation 4 Pro, and for the future of the PlayStation in general.
September 7th, 2016 should have been a time of much jubilation for console gamers. Sony unveiled two new iterations of the PlayStation 4 console. The Slim model and the Pro model. We cover those here. Amid the buzz words and shiny 4k HDR displays however, one big issue, like a pulsating zit on your nose on prom night, hung out in the open for all to see. The new PlayStation 4 Pro would not be able to play Ultra 4k Blu-rays.
PlayStation 4 Pro’s inability to play the Ultra 4k format is puzzling to say the least. Not only were Sony strong proponents of the original Blu-ray format, eventually beating out the HD-DVD format as the next way to consume our media. But Microsoft had already incorporated the drives necessary to run Ultra 4k Blu-rays on their latest Xbox One model, the One S. Just when we thought the lines between home consoles—Nintendo being the obvious exception—had begun to blur, Microsoft 1-upped Sony and now the “console wars” are back in full swing. Our time of peace has ended.
Many gamers were going to let it slide. Ultra 4k Blu-rays weren’t important to Sony. They were claiming their focus was on enhancing our gaming experience. Fair enough. At least it would have been if not for the news we received on September 9th, 2016.
On the morning of the 9th Bethesda released a statement that pointed all fingers at Sony for the reason we will not be seeing Fallout 4 or Skyrim mods on any PlayStation 4 console. Sony has yet to respond to these claims to anyone and the implication here is that no mods will ever be available for Sony’s systems. This news does nothing to enhance the gaming experience. If anything it proves the opposite.
For many gamers the prospect of mods for games like Fallout 4, and especially the soon to be released ultimate edition of Skyrim was a big selling point. Many were repurchasing Skyrim specifically for the mod support, and now they may be canceling their pre-orders. I know I’m questioning whether or not I want to re-buy Skyrim for the PS4 when I, and countless others, have already sunk hundreds of hours into the original and there won’t be anything new to do.
This one-two hit of bad news regarding the PlayStation family of consoles could spell the decline of PlayStation 4 sales and the adoption of the Pro this holiday season. In fact I am confident it will. Sure, the more casual market will easily look over these issues and probably purchase the system as gifts for their kids, family, or whatever. But us gamers, the ones that follow the news and know what terms like “HDR” and “4k up-scaling” really mean won’t have the wool pulled over our eyes. While the casual market penetration is integral to any company, it is the “hardcore” that needs the most coaxing.
We have learned to see past the hype, we’ve been burned one too many times. Burned by games like Watch_Dogs and No Man’s Sky which promised one thing and delivered an experience that didn’t live up to expectations and promises. So chances are a lot of gamers will pass by the PlayStation 4 Pro this holiday opting instead to get an Xbox One S or just wait for the Scorpio when it release in 2017. After all, the Scorpio and One S can play Ultra 4k Blu-rays and offer mod support for two of the most massive and popular games of this generation.
Sony has a bit of damage control to do, and it’d probably be best if they got to it sooner rather than later. Waiting too long to address these issues could turn a lot of gamers away this holiday. It could hurt the future of the PlayStation brand. What started out as a clearly superior console, on paper anyhow, is turning into a questionable purchase. With so many options for gamers who want to have the best of the best, it’s looking like Sony is falling behind.
What do you geeks think about this issue? Has Sony essentially shot themselves in the foot here? If you don’t already have an Xbox One (any version) will you be getting one now? I know I’m starting to consider it. Let us know what you think about all this in the comments.