It’s here, yet another generation for gamers to distract and entertain themselves with the newest and most expensive hardware available. And right now, for at least a little while, the PlayStation 4 is just that piece of hardware.
I’m as old school a gamer as gamers can get. The last console I purchased for myself was a Wii back in 2006 and most days I can be found playing Gameboy Advanced and PlayStation 1 games. So getting the PS4 on launch day was as rare an experience as I’ve had in my life.
Console launches are an odd thing; bittersweet, actually. While it’s great to be one of the first people to partake in state-of-the-art entertainment, and the forthcoming bragging rights on Facebook will surely acquire you many “Likes”, it’s quite the underwhelming experience. After all was said and done with the PlayStation 4, I felt like a man who had paid for an expensive prostitute: satisfied but only in the most basic and primal of ways.
Don’t get me wrong, the PlayStation 4 is a beast of a machine. It’s super cool, super slick and slightly intimidating. The buzz surrounding it has been sky-high and many are calling it the “next-coming” of the Sony brand as the indisputable king of gaming. Given the amount of effort Sony has put into making the console 3rd-Party friendly and the sizeable price gap between it and the Xbox One, I’d be incline to agree.
Like all console launches, the most fun aspect of it all is the blissful, almost holy ceremony of opening and installing the system. A gallery of just that experience can be found here: http://imgur.com/a/cLpeb
I was amazed at the ease of hooking the PS4 up to my television. It was as plug-and-play as it gets, requiring me to only connect the power adapter and the HDMI cables before turning the monster of a console on. There is a nice blue light, which appears on top of the console, stretching from the front all the way to the back. When I first saw it, I had a real “oooooh” moment, something I hadn’t felt since the N64 era. It’s a cool touch and a testament to the incredible designing chops that went into creating the PS4.
The set-up before you can play is equally as straightforward. The PS4 has one of the very best interfaces I’ve ever seen, utilizing some old and some new elements in order to create a seamless, intuitive experience navigating the menus. Downloading the patch was a snap and took less than 5 minutes, which is much faster than I was expecting. Soon, I had access to the PlayStation Store, Netflix and all the social-media bells and whistles that don’t actually matter when it comes to gaming.
I would akin console launches to the release of a new cell phone or new operating system, where being an “early adopter” means having to deal with bugs of all shapes and sizes. The PS4 continues that trend with awkward error messages that pop up at every turn. I was kicked out of basically everything having to do with the PSN and was warned multiple times for infractions I didn’t even know I had committed. It was a frustrating and limiting experience, to say the least.
My pre-order came with Battlefield 4, one of the big-rig titles to launch with the PS4. I’ve never been a Battlefield player, so going into the game I had a sort of childish thrill of anticipation. Immediately, the graphics slap you across the face. Like the aforementioned expensive prostitute, I was enthralled with visual lust of the highest pixel count currently available on a home console. However, as I began the single-player campaign, it became depressingly clear that while this looked like a “Next-Gen” video game, it was in fact a last-gen game in design. I ran, I shot bad guys, I took cover and threw grenades, all in glorious, bed-wetting graphical splendor, but not much more. It was the same kind of gameplay I had experienced countless time in the past with other shooters. Even though I’d never been acquainted with the Battlefield series, it was abundantly clear that this was just going to be a derivative experience, despite how pretty it all looked.
This was all sort of like a microcosm of what the PS4 was all about. The power and immediate implications of the console itself are impressive, but that is where the fascination ends. Because I’m more of an old-school guy, all the social media and graphics didn’t really add up to much. It’s about the games. Right now, the potential is there, no doubt, but nothing more. In two years, the PS4 is going to be a goliath of a gaming machine worthy of its name. Until then, it’s bragging rights in a box.
The Mega Men Podcast was created by childhood buddies Christopher and Matt in September, 2012. Though this is their first official podcast program, the two have worked extensively with one another on the now debunked The Geek Jock Podcast (2011). The show emphasizes silliness, pop-culture and a general love for combative arguing over the idiosyncrasies of existence. An average episode runs between 20-40 minutes. Christopher and Matt are both college graduates of Arizona State University where they studied Film. Between them, they have produced, written and directed over 20 film shorts, many of which have gone on to film festivals. They both moved to Los Angeles in hopes of breaking into the cinema industry they love so much. The Mega Man Podcast is an appropriate and dedicated piece of their career puzzles.
If you'd like to CONTACT either Christopher or Matt, send an e-mail to: [email protected]