Sony revealed the Playstation 4 at their event last week with cell phones and games as the centerpiece. Microsoft and Nintendo have been pushing the mobile aspect of gaming lately, Microsoft more than Nintendo. With Nintendo’s WiiU using their tablet controller to play your full games anywhere in the house, and the Xbox’s Microsoft Smartglass enabling you to control the system on your cell phone, the key word here is integration. Sony, of course, didn’t ignore this ongoing trend and are pushing their own version of integration, but does it go far enough and what does it really mean for a consumer?
For the first time in a while a console company showed more games and gameplay than they showed “how this will change your livingroom” preview videos, at least when it comes to Sony and Microsoft. The first quarter of the show was Sony showing off the Playstation 4‘s hardware specs, the most impressive being the 8GB of Ram. This is impressive because most consoles never have that much, and it’s put there so you can pause a game, and actually do other things on the console at the same time, then just jump back into the game as if you never left it. Sort of cool and something PC’s have been able to do for a while now. So what do they really bring to the table to make you go “yeah, I am totally buying that!”.
One interesting aspect to the system is the way they want the Playstation 4 to integrate with mobile devices. They touted the ability to continually play, or at least the social aspect of play, on your cell phone or tablet while away from home. A cool concept, though they failed to show any game that actually uses this part of the console. What they did show was how the PS Vita integration worked, by playing certain parts of games that use it as an option, or a full blown game screen. Much like the the Nintendo WiiU, the PS Vita will allow you to continue gaming while others use the TV, the only problem with that is you’ll need to buy a PS Vita…
Whether the PS Vita is worth the buy for you or not is up to the games you may be into. Unfortunately this year doesn’t look like a super strong year, but they may have many new and better titles around and after Playstation 4′s launch. The thing Microsoft has above Sony is that you can use any Android, iOS or Windows phone with the system, as long as Smartglass works for that version of the OS. From used to refurbished cell phones, any phone can work, yet Sony was rather silent with how phones will work with the Playstation 4, at least in practice. There are still a lot of unanswered questions on how integrated the Playstation 4 will be in our livingrooms. But at least we got to see some awesome gameplay, which is a refreshing change of pace from past console reveals.