PlayStation Missed the Mark

By: Jay (GrimlockTheDino9)

Sony took the stage to show us the future of PlayStation 4, and they were about to set the new bar for current generation systems. At least that is what many of us thought...

Sony announced the PS4 PRO and to no one's surprise it will support both 4K and HDR. It will have a 1TB hard drive, and more than two times the GPU power. The CPU will also have a boosted clock rate. It comes out November 10th 2016 and will cost $399.99. We will see new Netflix and YouTube apps that will also support 4K and HDR. What we won't be getting is a 4K Blu Ray drive; Sony has confirmed the drive will only support Blu Ray and DVD playback. 

If you are in the market as a first time PlayStation buyer, the PS4 PRO is definitely worth the $100 price difference from the new PS4 Slim (which Sony also announced at the event). The all of 30 seconds they spent on the PS4 Slim was to say that yes it's real, it costs $299.99, and it will be the standard system moving forward.

The event was a joke. Nothing was prepared; it seemed like everyone was sort of winging everything. From presenters' mics not being turned on to every presenter's inability to pronounce the name of their new product (PS4 PRO does not really roll off the tongue well), the energy in the entire room was missing. This all happened because the message of the event was lost to many, both attending in person and watching virtually. 4K content was displayed on projectors that could not show the true image, as well as streamed over the Internet to everyone watching on non-4K devices; this is why Sony lost their audience during this event. Sony presenters would pause for applause and get the golf clap from the one person who claps for everything. This presentation would have done better as a prerecorded event that was accessible in true 4K resolution for us to download and watch on the best device we own. Sony fumbled this event and you do not have to look hard on the Internet to see that their new products are not being received well.

For the 40 million plus owners of a PS4 system, the cost to upgrade to a PS4 PRO is simply not worth it. Sony announced all PS4 systems will be getting HDR in the next week via firmware update. That is awesome but Sony spent the entire first half of the event telling us why the PS4 PRO is great (because of 4K and HDR), but wait now everyone gets HDR? So they took one of their main selling points of the PS4 PRO and gave it to everyone who owns a current PS4 for free? Again, as a current PS4 owner I am happy about this, but from a marketing stand point Sony just devalued their new product. Now what if I don't own a 4K TV?

See, where I am going with all this is that Sony muddied the water and confused a large part of their audience, leaving them wondering if it's worth upgrading. The main question you will find online is, "Will I even see a difference with my set up?" To add issues to this already lengthy list, developers from Naughty Dog told Polygon:

"PlayStation requires that all online multiplayer games deliver the same experience to players whether they're using the PlayStation 4 or the PlayStation 4 PRO." This means when it comes to frame-rate, controllers, lag, etc. all of it will be identical between PS4 and PS4 PRO. 

Before anyone wants to yell at me, yes I understand there are improvements even if you have a 1080p screen; they are minimal at best and come at a $400 upgrade cost. The only way it's worth the $400 is if I have a 4K HDR screen to run the PS4 PRO.

The PS4 PRO is an improvement and will give you better visuals and frame rates. The system is not the problem; the event and the way it was handled is the problem. Sony has done nothing but confuse their fan base. The next few months before launch Sony needs to market this new product and truly show us why we should upgrade.

Jason Parks