The Newest PS4 Rumors: Why I Wouldn’t Be Surprised If They Were True (…And Why I Wouldn’t Care)
On July 5th (I guess they had to wait an extra day for all of us to sober up and pay attention), the usual mysterious network of informants released a new “leak” about the inevitable PS4. These sources (as always, dubious at best) reported that the PS4 will be released next year (!), and that the system will feature built-in full body motion control technology, a la Kinect.
Normally, I’d dismiss these rumors as nothing more than the usual internet speculation and poppycock. This time, however, I think there’s a chance they might be true. Hit the jump to see why.
Past PS4 “leak” rumors jumped the gun a little bit. A memorable one from 2010 featured a video, supposedly made by Sony, with a gamer product testing the PS4 in an Altered States-like environment.
See it here:
According to the story, Sony was going to show this video at its 2010 E3 presentation, and release the new console that year. Neither of those things happened. I don’t think anyone would have believed that Sony would really release a new console just four years after the (infamously botched) release of the PS3.
Fast forward to this year. This latest speculation has the PS4 coming out in 2012. This rumor no longer jumps the gun. Yes, I understand all this talk about the PlayStation “ten year life cycle”, but if you look at it, you see that these PlayStation life cycles are meant to overlap each other. If you look at PS2’s life cycle, it was launched in 2000, so its ten year life cycle overlapped with PS3’s by four years.
PS3 was launched six years after the PS2’s launch, so it’s certainly not improbable that the PS4’s launch would occur six years after the PS3’s launch. PS3 was released in 2006, which would suggest a PS4 launch for…2012. Boom! Rock-solid proof that that part of the rumor may be true.
Now for the motion control bit. Sadly, this generation Sony has found itself playing “follow the leader”. PS3 was second out of the gate (after Xbox 360) to try to capture the next-gen hardcore gamer market. Once the 360 found enormous success online with its Xbox Live platform, Sony tried to emulate it (with diminishing returns) with its own PlayStation Network. Finally, after the left-field runaway success of Nintendo’s Wii motion control system, Sony countered- a staggering four years later (too late?)- with its own PlayStation Move motion control system (with a glowing, colored squishy bulb on every wand- take that, Nintendo!!).
So it would not at all come as a surprise if Sony’s next brilliant idea was to copy Microsoft Kinect and bake it in to all of its next-next gen consoles.
Now to the more important question: if these rumors were to come true, would I care?
The answer is a resounding “NO”.
In the great “casual” vs. “hardcore” debate, I feel like all three consoles are actively trying to move towards the center, like rival politicians who are having some sort of identity crisis. I feel like the casual vs. hardcore divide is a thing of beauty: Nintendo is on one side, Microsoft and Sony are on the other, and everyone is happy. In a perfect world, no console tries to curry favor with the mythical “centrist gamer” (who I believe does not exist, or at least not in great quantities).
If/when I get a PS4, it will be to play “hardcore” games, like BioShock or Call of Duty. I DO NOT WANT TO PLAY CALL OF DUTY WITH MY BODY!!! Therefore, having a knock-off Kinect cooked into the PS4 would not be relevant to me. Maybe I might want to play Mario Kart with my body. That’s something that Nintendo and Nintendo alone (and perhaps my therapist) should be concerned with.
Secondly, if PS4 comes out in 2012, I will not buy it in 2012. Pretty much every single game released on PS3 blew balls until at very earliest 2008, so in my mind in 2012 the PS3 will only be four years old, not six. Since there was nothing to play on it (and hence I did not play it) until relatively recently, the console is still new to me. I feel like I still have plenty of bang to get out of it for the $399 I spent for it ($437 with tax).
If/when the PS4 comes out in 2012, with whatever hyped-up bells and whistles it has, I think I can safely assume after my PS3 experience that every game released for it will suck until at least 2014.
So, little PS3, you have my love for at least another three years.
And as for the PS4 rumor mill, I will keep following you with great interest, now that you’re starting to come of age. But I will react to you with cool, detached indifference.
That is…until you show me something worth getting excited about…Please, please Sony, you great abuser, please show me something actually new and cool with PS4 that I can get excited about…please…your long-suffering true believers are waiting with open arms…(death gasp!)…please…
(Sincerely, a Sony Fan)