The PS4 is out tomorrow!
If you're American, that is. We've got to wait another fortnight, leaving us UK hacks up the criticism creek without a paddle. However, many of our transatlantic counterparts have published reviews of PS4 launch software, and the scores are all over the shop. With Killzone: Shadow Fall meeting a reasonable if mixed reception and Knack universally panned, Sony boss Shuhei Yoshida has weighed in on the situation, suggesting that they'll "grow on you."
But, perhaps, these two extra weeks do give us time to think. Is the PS4 somewhat outgunned in the launch title department? Does it matter?
"Yeah, it's disappointing to see some of the low scores," Yoshida confided to Gamesindustry, suggesting that critics may have been too "busy" to fully appreciate the launch lineup. "I haven't spent enough time reading reviews, but I would characterize them as mixed. And with this launch there are lots of games coming out, so the media must be very busy going through the games quickly, and especially since the online functionality wasn't ready until in the last couple days. So we have to look at how much time they spend on what aspect of the games and how that may be contributing to some of the lower scores."
There's no doubt that many outlets probably had to utterly crush some of these games to publish to deadline (I'm aware of the deadline schedule all too well), though we'll of course have the luxury of time when the 29th rolls around. After all, the early reviews are out already, so there's no hurry on our end now. But as a hack myself, this attitude really gets my back up. If a straightforward action game like Knack doesn't show its appeal after completing the campaign, playing it for another 20 hours isn't going to help any. It's all too easy play the man rather than the ball, ain't it Sony?
The lack of a universally-hailed killer app may be disappointing for some pre-order customers, but is it worrisome for the launch of the system?
"It's disappointing but I don't think it's worrisome for the launch of the system," Yoshida continued. Well, that's good then. "I've played through all of our games, Killzone, Knack and Resogun, and I totally enjoyed playing through these games. I'm now on my second run of Knack and Resogun at a higher difficulty - these games really grow on you when you play more. I'm very confident that once you purchase these games and play, you'll be happy that you've done so."
Speaking of Resogun, reviews for the gorgeous shooter are overwhelmingly positive. We want it madly.
So, dear reader, this presents us with an interesting avenue for discussion. There's no doubt in my mind that the PS4 is a truly excellent machine at an attractive price point, and a fantastic foundation for several great gaming years. Its indie and F2P infrastructure is in place to offer true breadth of gaming experience, while Sony's first party studios are doubtlessly gearing up for numerous next-gen projects and sequels. We may find out more about them tonight.
But does it deliver at launch? Without DriveClub or inFamous: Second Son, the PS4 relies solely on Killzone, an arcade shooter and Contrast (which is short and sweet by all accounts) - alongside multiplatform ports that will also be available on current-gen consoles and PC. We feel that the PS4 will be a grower, not a shower, but we may have to wait until Spring for Sony's console to start showing us its true colours.
As always it's your opinion that ultimately matters, not mine. Are you buying a PS4 at launch? Liking the look of the PS4's release slate? Dubious of the early launch reviews? Waiting until next year before taking the plunge? We've got two weeks to talk this over, folks, so let's get started.