PS4 Is Future Proof, Plain And Simple
When Sony officially revealed PlayStation 4 in February, 2013, many detractors pointed to a lack of innovation as one of PS4‘s weaknesses. The decision to focus on the gamer was one met with utter jubilation from the core gaming community, and low-level disdain from those searching for more than just a decidedly more powerful game console.
Sure, PS4 offered a considerable improvement in the spec department, but some felt the social aspects, online network infrastructure, and media capabilities of the device were still behind the times. When in all reality, PS4 had the lead on certain social aspects right out of the gate. PS4 offers unmatched accessibility in the Twitch broadcasting department. A feature that helps define the console as a truly next-gen gaming experience. It sounds like the Xbox One Twitch app will ultimately offer a more robust experience, but based on the muddled Xbox One UI, I’d wager to say PS4’s Twitch experience will remain the less accessible of the two.
Sony had a very specific vision of who their audience was going to be, and so far, PS4 has been a worldwide phenomenon. Early adoption of the console is happening at a faster rate than it has in the history of the video game industry. Based on the numbers, I’d say Sony marketed their product masterfully.
Sure, if one was to compare the PS4 revealed in 2013 to Xbox One based on media capabilities alone, Microsoft would have taken the crown. But that was then, and this is now.
E3 2013 continued PlayStation’s focus on the gamer, so the Sony TV Service was only briefly mentioned. The TV service is internet-based. Which allows for a much wider adoption rate, and is reportedly coming to “70 million devices” in the future. At this point, little is known about the range of specific devices that will support the app. It seems that the vaguely detailed television service was merely the tip of the iceberg, and may rival Xbox One’s capabilities in the future.
PS4 has been in the wild for nearly 60 days, and Sony thought it appropriate to announce another new service that would greatly add to the appeal of the PlayStation brand. Yesterday at CES, Andrew House officially revealed the cloud-based streaming service, PlayStation Now.
Sony acquired the dedicated streaming service GaiKai in July 2013 to lay the foundation for PlayStation cloud-based gaming. They also brought in cloud computing experts Rackspace to solidify the server infrastructure. Early impressions of the PlayStation Now service have been overwhelmingly positive. Hopefully after a lengthy open Beta beginning at the end of January, the service will be ready for the public in the summer of 2014; a launch window outlined by Sony. PS4’s future proofing doesn’t end there.
Sony is also pioneering ultra high-definition visuals with their 4K displays and programming. As such, PS4 was built with 4K definition in mind. Considering that broadcast television is only now catching up to 1080p programming, it will be some time before consumers widely adopt 4K. Xbox One was also built ready to support 4K as it becomes a more conventional standard. With Sony pushing 4K innovation so hard, I’d bet my bottom dollar that the OS update with 4K support will be ready as soon as demand for the format pans out.
With new entertainment features like Sony’s briefly mentioned TV service, expanded game delivery options via PlayStation Now, and even preparations for the next big image fidelity jump all in the pipeline; it’s hard to argue that PlayStation 4 isn’t one hell of a future proof platform.
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