Skip to content

PS4 Launch Title Reviews: Ouch. And My Rant About Next-Gen.

November 13, 2013

Off-Topic Edit: Games for Gold is coming to Xbox One. Details coming in 2014.

Reviews for the PS4 launch titles have been released.

Killzone: Shadow Fall currently has a 74, and Knack has a 59.

Those were the only titles I could find on Metacritic. Not too hot for a game that was getting praised to be a system seller.

Hit the jump for my long-winded rant about the upcoming generation of gaming. It’s a bit all over the place, so good luck to those that decide to read it, and may god have mercy on your soul.

So, the PS4 may be an incredible piece of hardware, but what about their software?

If you ask me personally, and I will try to keep the Xbox Fanboy mentality out of this, I really do think Microsoft has this next-gen in the bag. I know some of you share my thoughts on this, but Microsoft is not thinking in the now, they are thinking of the future. Especially with the past week, releasing Live demos of their Kinect functionality, TV utilization with Xbox Live, Snapping Apps, Skype, Game DVR, etc., you can really tell that they are focused more so on user’s mindset of using their Xbox for anything and everything they would need it for, at least in the living room environment.

Sony on the other hand, are stuck in last gen. They probably figured that since it’s a gaming console, that all it needs to do is well, play games. I think that’s the wrong mindset to go with leading into 2014+. Nowadays, there are so many different mobile devices that are practically mini-computers that do everything they can to make life more convenient for you. Sony isn’t focused on that (at least at this moment). They think that all people want to do is game. And while that is true for the most part, most people do other things as well – Let’s Plays growing in popularity, Streamlining entertainment, etc.

Sure, Sony will have Netflix and Hulu Plus. They even have their own camera that they are working on (not sure if it’s available at launch). But from what I’ve seen so far, the PS4 camera seems like some 3rd party accessory. Sony has stated that they would like it to work similar to the Kinect, but that just means they’re trying to catch up to MS in that regard. Same with their online service. Blank has mentioned before that MS has been in the service for 10+ years with Live, while Sony has never really made their online service a priority. Now that Sony is requiring a yearly fee for their service, means that they are still lacking in the experience that MS has built for themselves.

I think this whole smear campaign BS that Sony has been doing was just childish. MS may have been involved in their own, but I can’t think of any situation of that happening off of the top of my head. The whole “we cater to gamers” announcements they would do immediately after some sort of MS backlash was just dumb. Amazing PR from a business aspect, but in hindsight it’s just idiotic. But with Microsoft posting tons of videos and articles demoing off their new console, while Sony has only just shown off their UI a day or two ago when the console is coming out in a few days is just absurd. Microsoft gets all this flak because of their “180 policies” but Sony has been so tight lipped about important info regarding their console with little repercussions.

Within the past month or so, Sony has announced little to no information regarding their own Camera accessory, and UI. Only recently have they added to their TOS that you cannot resell disc based software, which leads the possibility that they may plan on bringing back their original DRM that they ‘never had in place’.

Getting back to my point regarding Sony playing catch up, since it seems as though they put their camera on the back burner, while Microsoft already has a solid camera with tons of features right out of the box, Sony is going to have their hands full trying to compete with the Kinect whenever they do plan on bringing it to the market. And since it’ll have to be purchased on it’s own, it’ll more than likely become the Kinect 1.0 where only a percentage of your user base decides to shell out the money for it. I’d almost tell Sony to quit while they’re ahead.

Back to the Gaming vs. Entertainment discussion, Microsoft deciding to make the One an ‘all-in-one’ entertainment system was probably their best decision for the upcoming generation in hindsight. While the hype has been building, more and more people have been thinking about everything they can do with their Xbox; Watch TV while receiving chatting with friends and even while you’re searching for a game in BF4, being able to suspend a game or app, do something else, and then return to that exact moment you left off at. Being able to use your Xbox as a personal trainer via the Kinect, and even making games out of it to initiate that extra bit of motivation to go just a bit harder on that exercise, Twitch and Game DVR functionality. I mean I’m just getting redundant at this point, but I hope my point still comes across as intended.

Bottom line is, we’re all gamers. We love games. We love hanging out with each other just shooting the shit. Everybody wins in this coming gen, no matter what side you’re on. These next 10 years are going to be insane. Btw, Xbox is better.

  1. November 13, 2013 5:35 pm

    Grymmie “You had me at hello”

    The more I learn about Xbox One , the more I like. That 13 minute demo video posted the other day, sold me. In spite of the many good points that Tyrus has brought up over the years, pc is dead to me. I bought a gaming pc for Seth this year. He plays it, and has fun, but for me, the very things Tyrus praises pc for, are the very thing I dislike. I like the Closed Garden. I don’t want to plow a hunderd acre Utopia. Too much effort, regardless of the grandure and personal satisfaction. I want a living room experience, with the serenity that come with “mastering” and “self improvement”, and the next gen Xbox one gives me that in spades. Tired after work? Just got done shopping for groceries on the way home, cooking for the family, the helping with homework, and getting a few chores done, then finally have time for myself, Gin Martini in hand full of olives, and now Want to chill and see who’s online, game a little, switch to see how The MSU bball game is going? It’s not on my pc.

    On the other hand, want to come home and haunch over my pc, fumble with Skype to chat with friends, can’t play a game cause I can’t figure out how to get the latest patch or mod? Buy a cheap game on Steam that I never end up playing more than once or twice? Then by all means, get a pc. Play with the 2 friends I have on my pc friends list? Then pc is just for ….. Upgrade hardware every couple years so I can play the new cutting edge software? Then pc is….. Expensive as hell. Want to have two gaming systems for $1000 bucks total, that will last for 5 to 8 years years? Then the choice between systems is clear.

    PC may be the Maserati, and Xbox maybe the Ford Fusion, but with a family of 5, I need two cars in the driveway. Not one supercharged overpriced car I keep in storage most of the time. No mater how freeing, creative, and Zen like it may be.

    My name is Kenai. Wrecking dudes with friends and family online since 2006.

    • November 13, 2013 6:35 pm

      I wish I could “Like” this comment! GREAT response and my feelings to a tee!

      Grymmie, I haven’t even read your rant yet. I am saving it for when I get home (in 90 minutes) so that I can read it slow, and take in every word. Love you! Judging by Kenai’s response, I think I will be compelled to “Like” it.

    • November 13, 2013 8:05 pm

      Thanks for the reply Kenai, and to you ahead of time Suns.

      This is pretty much just a summary (if you can call it that) of my thoughts on the whole Console War in general. Corporations suck, and trolls suck even more.

      Still super bummed that there isn’t a way to get the consoles to you and the boys, Suns 😦

    • November 16, 2013 2:23 pm

      @Kenai, the term closed garden refers to not having the options to customize your experience. Based on what you’ve written, what you like is convenience and accessibility, something PC is not, at least compared to the simplicity of consoles. You don’t want a closed garden. Imagine having access to mods, or being able to easily install a new operating system to increase performance on your console. You may not do all that, but I bet you’d love it. That’s the potential of a steam box (which really excites me), but frankly, I have no clue how that will do, especially if Valve doesn’t really do a heavy marketing campaign and have a reasonable price point on their device when it drops.
      think your analogies in regards to cars is spot on. The PC market is for enthusiasts, for the most part. I’m not sure people understand my move to PC, but it’s for the simple fact that when a part breaks, you can replace it. And my digital libraries transfer across hardware. However, I understand having kids, and the cost factor. In that sense, and based on your preference, I get you.

      I also think some here are disregarding the power of indies and mods, something that’s not too common in console titles. But imagine buying Battlefield 4 and having options to play new maps, modes, or even GAMES with the single click of a button. Payday 2, a favorite title here, is an indie title. It was developed by a 30 man team.And it fucking rocks. I want to see consoles get the frequent updates we enjoy on PC because it’s phenomenal. Especially when you see the transparency of games nowadays. Overkill has listened to their community and even taken DIRECT feedback from their fans on how to improve the game.

      In regards to some of the points Grimmie made, I agree on integration. That’s super cool. And it sounds like it’ll be on both consoles. Twitter at the moment is pretty rad as so many people are just HAPPY and GUSHING about their new toys. It’s like a glimmer of Christmas. I love it. eSports, Let’s Plays, and all that jazz aren’t going away. It’s part of the culture and free marketing for titles.

      For the console makers, there has been a huge loss of money, which could result in a complete change-up in the game-plan, something I mentioned long ago –

      There is MORE money in video, music, and the sale of digital goods and services versus a game. This is because games, particularly in the triple-A market, cost so much money to develop. I think more developers in that arena are going to go under in the upcoming years.

      Long and short, the difference between MS and Sony is that Microsoft has always aimed to make the Xbox part of the living room experience. It’s more lucrative. Even Sony has recognized this, though from a PR perspective, their focus is on “games.” Microsoft is certainly ahead of the curve in that aspect, but it’s been their sole aim from day one. I personally fear that they may abandon gamers altogether at some point, or, as is rumored, sell or spin off their Xbox division:

      Personally, I don’t think that will happen based on the data I saw on my included post. But it is a possibility as games alone, at least on the triple-A market, are a HUGE investment. Though the payoff can be great. Read about the costs and money made back on GTA V. Clearly, there’s a market. But it’s getting smaller and more competitive.

      Considering that, I find it baffling that MS shunned indies like they did, though they’ve since reversed that stance. In that arena, all they have to do is market a product. Something I imagine costs, little, if any, especially if they market it on Xbox Live.

      I don’t get the Kinect thing though, guys. I’ve heard some amazing things for it, but considering the market, and the fact that so many titles are MULTI-platform, I doubt we’ll see a real explosion in how the Kinect is utilized. Again, I think the Fantasia title from Harmonix will push it based on what I’ve read. However, we all agree that it seems like a small market (mainly because it doesn’t appeal to us). Point is, I just don’t see Kinect being a game-changer. Name a title other than The Gunstringer or the Sesame Street game from Doublefine that has really pushed the genre and utilized the device. And let’s be honest, the workout thing, though a good idea, is probably not going to be a huge selling point. Dance Central has saved Harmonix, and the Just Dance series has a huge market, but these titles don’t cater to the hardcore gamer demographic, which we are all a part of.

      Summing things up, I think it is a good time to be a gamer. I also think that we’re seeing a closing gap between consoles and PCs. Eventually, the two may be one and the same, which can be good or bad depending on how you look at it. Interestingly, I think we may see another contender on the console market, Valve in my opinion has the potential to really shake things up in favor of gamers. But I seriously doubt their success. There’s also been the long-rumored appearance of Apple on that market, and don’t forget Google.

      I think there’s a lot of change on the horizon. And for the most part, I think it will be good. Still trying to wrap my head around it all to be honest.

    • November 17, 2013 12:51 am

      @ty, did you see this? Personally, “all I want for Christmas” is BF4 and The Division. So, I am in a different space from that which CliffyB speaks, but I see his points (and thought of you).

  2. Blankman permalink*
    November 13, 2013 8:34 pm

    Spot on post, Grymmie. Just spot on. ‘Future proof’ pretty much sums up the difference between MS & Sony’s respective approaches. Sony seems to be operating in a microcosm while MS is looking at the bigger picture. The two companies definition of entertainment sit at two different ends of the spectrum.

    Not showing any footage of the PS4’s UI until the proverbial eleventh hour before launch should have Sony fanboys seriously worried. When you do something that drastic, you’re hiding something. Rewriting the Terms of Service (ToS) to include the inability to resell disc & digital games should also elicit some concern about Sony’s real take on DRM. I mean, they tout themselves as being the only console really concentrating on “games.” Somehow, those voices that lambast MS for actually listening to their base and try their darnedest to smear the XB1 at every turn, have yet to utter a peep about these latest revelations (cue crickets chirping). Truly baffling. If Sony keeps touting 1080p and their “games-centric” approach along with their fanboys shouting it from the rooftops, maybe they can convince enough people that their system is the way to go. Then again, maybe not. As they say, “There can only be One.”

  3. RoBBins permalink*
    November 13, 2013 9:04 pm

    I’m starting to think Sony knows that they’re already beat in this next-gen, so they’re riding on the whole “Well, our console will have native 1080p and yours doesn’t” excuse. I’d like to think I can speak for most, if not all gamers when I say i’ll take my 720p upscaled to 1080p with silky, baby’s ass smooth 60 FPS over your gimped 1080p with supposed 60FPS that studders uncontrollably. (Read reviews for both next gen versions of CoD: Ghosts if you haven’t already).

    Also, besides Killzone, which is already getting Average – Barely above average reviews, they don’t have anything going for their console. inFAMOUS isn’t until next year (as are most of their AAA exclusives), and not for nothing, but most gamers, with the exception of Suns, Blank, and Kenai, don’t have children, which is what Knack seems to be the targeted audience for. So until Sony finally announces & releases Uncharted 4, God of War 4, and possibly Last of Us 2, they do not have anything considerably intriguing in the game department.

    I love Killzone and all, but lets face it… graphics aren’t going to win over all of the knowledgeable gamers who know story, plot, game-play, and everything associated with it is much more important. Multiplayer in Killzone isn’t a long lasting experience either. I have to say I’m not surprised that Sony seems to be dropping the ball yet again with this next generation of gaming.

    P.S. Good post, Grymm.

  4. November 13, 2013 9:42 pm

    Good stuff! Allow me to talk freely about what I think will happen over the next 6 months to a year (and I may well be as wrong as Pachter, for all I know but…).

    Initially, I think Sony is going to push a lot more units than Microsoft. They have tremendous momentum amongst gamers, a brand name that is at least as big as Xbox, and a price $100 less. This means that at the start:

    a) there will be more hardcore gamers buying the PS4 because of
    1)MS’s E3 blunders/fallout,
    2) Sony’s FUD campaign and
    3) big console-agnostic sites like PAR giving glowing reviews for the PS4

    b) ignorant, gen-pop shoppers will go with the $100 less machine.

    Microsoft is going to have to overcome three challenges before they can go toe-to-toe with, or greatly surpass, Sony’s immediate-future market-share grab.

    1) They need to get some stellar reviews for their system.

    2) They need to make more NFL-Skype type ads, and pimp their system on every TV channel 24/7 to capture the imagination of Joe Potatoe.

    3) Ultimately, there is a critical number of systems that they need to sell because I think that, while hardcore gamers are impressed by the UI feature videos, a positive hands-on experience is needed to push a lot of fence sitters over to their side, and much more to convert Sony fanbois. I think that “word-of-mouth” and “tried-my-friend’s-and-it-was-AWESOME!” is going to be crucial to overcoming the $100 higher price and Kinect privacy fears.*

    4) Microsoft also needs to get the store employees on their side. It doesn’t take much from an idiot at Best Buy to convince a mother (or father) that the PS4 is basically the same thing only a hundred bucks cheaper, and doesn’t require a “huge” living room to use it in. Ignorance on the part of sales people has to be aggressively countered.

    As regards “trustworthiness”, I believe that Microsoft will make changes to their policies, some of which I won’t like, but I do not trust Sony at all, nor do I have anything but history against them to convince me otherwise. Nothing they say holds any weight with me.
    Ultimately, I think word of mouth and the friend’s house experience is going to play a huge role in MS catching up and possibly surpassing the initial lead that Sony will gain this Christmas season.

    I don’t say I hope I am wrong, because I don’t care. In fact, as long Microsoft owns Xbox, they have all the money in the world to make it a success and unlike as with the Zune or Surface, they are not last to the table playing catch up. Indeed, as Grymmie says, they are way ahead of the game. Were I in the U.S. or Canada, I would be very excited about the arrival of my new One, because I would be making use of many of the features, especially those involving Kinect. *The features are so exciting that it is really easy to forget the “principle of it” as regards all privacy fears.

    I cannot wait for your hands-on, reviews, Guys! Also, after the glowing reviews PAR gave the PS4, I am really interested to see what they have to say about the One once they have had a chance to adjust to the Kinect etc.

    EDIT: Yes @RoBBins fps vs Resolution. No doubt!

    EDIT 2:
    PAR gushes on PS4.

    Shacknews on PS4
    And while PS4 may be designed for gamers, Sony cannot forget that PlayStation is also an “all-in-one” entertainment destination for most. In terms of media capabilities, PS4 is a huge step backwards from PS3. Given the $400 entry fee, gamers should expect–nay, demand–better out of their next-gen console.

  5. Johann Nishiki permalink
    November 14, 2013 5:51 am

    Great post Grymm!

    Also, OT: Battlefield 4 MP is free to play on 360 this weekend! See you all on the battlefield.

    • November 14, 2013 12:38 pm

      Thanks, Johann!

      As for the BF4 news, I don’t think you can participate if you don’t own the game. Looks like Major Nelson worded it poorly, but I think you may need the game to access the MP. I assume it’s for Silver members who want to play online. Hopefully I am wrong, though.

    • Johann Nishiki permalink
      November 14, 2013 4:41 pm

      Oops. Gotcha. I guess I didn’t think much about it. Saying “open to everyone (Xbox Live Gold & Silver members)” is a bit misleading because Gold members who already own the game can already play it now. LOL

      Anyway, thanks for the heads-up!

  6. November 14, 2013 7:32 am

    Very interested to see how perception of the Xbone compares. Looking at the interface videos, I can’t say I am that impressed. It is definitely faster and more fluid, but it seems a bit limited.

    One thing I found funny, is that many reviewers have added “supports native 1080p” as a exclusive feature to the PS4, when this is not the case. There are many games that run 1080 natively on Xbone (some at 60FPS). In fact, I believe the majority of multiplatform games run with the same native resolution and frame rate on both consoles.

    In reality, this is such a minimal issue in comparison to the overall user experience. Having a fast (and intuitive) UI is much more of a selling point to me. If 360 and PS3 launched at the same time, i bet there would have been similar occurrences in game quality difference.

    Excited for the fanboy launch wars to be over, so the gaming press can find other things that will get them “clicks” on their site lol.

    • November 14, 2013 7:41 am

      PS:Interesting tidbit from regarding the 1080p native 30FPS multiplatform Need For Speed.

      Considering Forza 5 is 1080p and 60FPS on Xbox One, perhaps many gamers were expecting Need for Speed Rivals to hit the same benchmark as well. It isn’t going to happen unfortunately though, so we’ll have to wait and see if there is any backlash to this.

      What the developers have said though, is that it is far too early to state which platform out of Xbox One or PS4 is easier to develop with. In a recent interview with Eurogamer, Craig Sullivan who is the creative director for the game had this to say:

      “Right now, the console’s aren’t even out, and people are trying to say this about development and that about development. I don’t think you can say this one is better than that one, because I don’t think we know enough about them yet to be honest.”

  7. November 18, 2013 6:55 pm

    This is an interesting article on the Live steaming option for the PS4. I am sure that if Microsoft wants to embrace it, they will be able to implement something, but I am surprised at Ben Kuchera’s enthusiasm about streaming one’s gameplay.

    • November 18, 2013 7:12 pm

      If I remember correctly, I believe Microsoft has a partnership with, so streaming should be just as simple as a voice command, or snap-able app.

    • RoBBins permalink*
      November 19, 2013 10:13 am

      Doesn’t talk about the streaming part of Twitch, but for now you’ll at least be able to watch your favorite streams with the streaming capabilities coming sometime down the road.

  8. November 19, 2013 4:22 am

    Thanks, Grymmie!

    Hey Guys, check out the latest Bonus Rounds. Some excellent points and VERY interesting perspectives from Naughty Dog co-founder, Jason Ruben, Xbox Original Seamus Blackley, and Pachter. I agree 100% with Pachter – eat the cost of the Kinect! Anyway, just watch it!

  9. November 19, 2013 7:11 pm

    @Suns, I did not see that, but it makes me feel a bit validated hearing it from someone like Cliffy B. Say what you want about the man, but I think he has a good sense of the industry. And since he’s gone solo, his sentiments are more open and seem to reflect what he really feels or thinks.

    All of this has certainly inspired me to throw together some sort of post. There’s a lot of cool things consoles are doing that the PC has, most notably twitch and social media integration, which may be annoying, but is actually pretty cool and is going to be HUGE. More discussions and sharing of the hobby we love. WE ALL WIN.

    Also, Ryse: Son of Rome looks fucking AWESOME.

    • RoBBins permalink*
      November 19, 2013 7:39 pm

      Ryse is getting tons and tons of hate (although most of it is Sony fanboi’s) because of how heavily the combat focuses on QTE’s. Even though there are tons of games out there that have plenty of QTE’s, the most obvious/successful game being God of War, people are still shit talking this one. Personally, I agree with you, Ty. I think it looks fucking amazing. I really think this is a game people will have to play first before really putting their 2 cents into it. I think it’s going to prove a lot of gamers and their opinions wrong.

    • RoBBins permalink*
      November 19, 2013 7:40 pm

      Forgot to mention I’ve had it pre-ordered since September and I’m picking it up first thing Friday morning. Cant wait.

    • November 20, 2013 8:49 am

      A lot of people haven’t been doing their homework, as Ryse removed many, if not all the QTEs. The animations are what sells it for me.

    • RoBBins permalink*
      November 20, 2013 9:57 am

      Yeah I’ve heard from multiple people about the removal of QTEs, and apparently the option to keep them on if you want? Animations look very good, but again, lots of people are saying they’re “too jerky”. Cant please everyone I guess. I’m still getting it regardless.

  10. Johann Nishiki permalink
    November 20, 2013 12:12 am

    This is off-topic but I thought you guys might be interested in this.

    Also, I’m going on a trip for the next couple of days! Will be back Saturday. Looking forward to hearing from everyone about Xbox One!

    • November 20, 2013 8:07 am

      Saw that vid, looks great. There are several good BF4 Xbone vids up on youtube now, they all look fantastic.

      Also, it appears the Xbone reviews have been surprisingly positive. Interested to get my hands on it this Friday.

  11. November 20, 2013 2:56 pm

    This is a handy reference for comparison review scores. Looks like the Xbro is holding its own or winning!

    ANd I like PARs initial impressions:

    The system multi-tasks in a way that’s rare for anything except a full-fledged PC. You can pause any game, move it to the background, and watch a movie on Netflix, or watch any game clips your friends may have uploaded. You can make a Skype call, then return to the game at any point. The idea of the “quick save” may be a bit antiquated; you can stop the game and walk away at any time, and it’s kept there for you.

    Again, I think this system is going to sell a lot by word of mouth (and experience at a friends house).

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: