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Playstation 4 Is Here. Why Am I Not More Excited?

I watched the liveblogs of the Sony Playstation 4 event. Interesting that the hardware specs are essentially a moderately beefy PC (8 core AMD processor, Radeon GPU, 8GB RAM).

The games they demoed looked ok, but nothing groundbreaking. I’m really looking forward to Witness and Destiny, but more because they look like great games from developers I admire than because they’re on a next gen console.

I can’t shake the feeling that PS4 is going to be underwhelming (so will the next Xbox), but I can’t articulate why. I don’t know what I expect a next gen console to be capable of. It feels like we’ve hit a wall with regard to how “advanced” graphics (and other horsepower-driven factors) can be.

No doubt there will be pockets of amazing creativity and art, just like always. And I’ll continue to gravitate toward those. But maybe after 32+ years as a gamer, I’ve “seen it all”. That makes me kind of sad. I want to be amazed.

I want to be amazed. But nothing shown at the event amazed me. I spent an hour this evening watching high quality videos of the games shown today, on the same TV I play my PS3 on. Not perfect, but close enough. And nothing amazed me.

Sure, there are a few games I really want now (Witness, Drive Club, Destiny). But if developers had something capable of amazement, they didn’t show it. And I guess that’s what worries me.

Maybe it’s early days still. But the closer to reality games become (I like the analogy that games are becoming more like a movie, with fewer constraints), the harder it is to actually create something amazing. Maybe it will just take time. Maybe it will take indie developers getting in there and doing something different. But I’m not seeing it yet.

I wonder if this is the last generation of “big” gaming consoles we’ll see? Mobile gaming has already had seismic effects. The length of a “generation” for consoles has gotten longer and longer. We can’t predict what gaming on our personal devices will look like in 6-7 years, but by then, will the “big” consoles still be viable? I’m now sowing doom and gloom – I love gaming in all its forms – but I could totally see this being the end for consoles as we know them. The landscape could very easily shatter.

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