PlayStation Scores its Fourth Goal!
If there is one exceptional device that brings the Nissan GT-R’s 500 horses to your command, lets you be ManU’s God-player or grips you onto San Andreas’ throne of power, it has to be the Sony PlayStation. For over 20 years and trumping some worthy competition, “PS” has been on the forefront as a major thrill factor in the lives of gamers world over, and quite a reason for envy.
Seven years since the PS3, Sony finally unveiled the PS4 at this year’s E3 Conference in Los Angeles and boy, is my living room now looking forward to host the 2014 FIFA World Cup?
Opening it up
That the PS4’s innards are drool-worthy is a no-brainer. Its heart is a single Accelerated Processing Unit, co-developed with AMD, that combines both the eight-core CPU and 1.8 teraflop GPU, along with other essential components. Additionally, it also incorporates secondary chips for seamless updates, downloads and social activity in tandem with regular gameplay. As in the PS3, the PS4 also reads from Sony’s Blu-ray optical media format. However, it has been speed-bumped to a significant 6x from the PS3’s humble 2x.
On the control front, the Emmy award-winning Bluetooth DualShock controller ups to version 4 armed with a capacitive touchpad, gyroscope and accelerometer. Further, the PS4 is also well optimised for motion gaming using the supplementary PS Camera (née PS Eye) and PS Move controllers, though they do not ship with the package. However, the PS4’s winning move over the competition is Sony’s “right attitude” policy of no online authentication requirements, no restrictions, no DRM and region-free. Gamers can thus legally trade, lend or re-sell their games.
Barring technical prowess, if one has to nitpick for flaws, then it’s the console industrial design. In a world where gadgets are getting more elegant, PS4’s boxy and ordinary looks, like a VCR off the 1990s, does nothing to spruce up that living room cabinet.
Patching up the lost glory
What started as a radio repair shop post World War-II in a bombed-out Tokyo building, Sony went on to become the poster-boy of technological innovation for a good part of the 20th century. Innovation in products and technologies such as the Walkman, Trinitron, Handycam, Compact Disc revolutionised industries. Adding to that, the motion picture, music and digital entertainment divisions made the company a major force to reckon with.
In the present times though, albeit a behemoth, Sony has faded to being “just another big company” with no major innovations apparent even in the pipeline. At this point, will the PS4, in addition to continuing its run as the gaming king, be a major facet in slowing down the rate of Sony's dwindling eminence and revenues? That’s something interesting to watch out for!