On announcing the PlayStation 4.
It is interesting to watch the above video - and this one focused on the Blu-Ray drive - and compare that to what we witnessed today at the Sony announcement. In many ways the PlayStation 3 hype-machine was not all that different than the PlayStation 4 hype-machine. But now it’s faster, and better, and there is a share button so people can watch you do stuff - and you can stalk famous people as they play games. Wee.
Remember when Big Brother (the tv show) was such a dramatic invasion of privacy? It’s amazing how far technology has pushed society since.
But, this is about PlayStation 4. It’s the next big thing. Right now. Or well, soon. Stay tuned. Because there was a surprisingly high number of people who went on stage with nothing to show. Except for carefully crafted sequences of words, all conveying the same message: that we should be excited. For things to come. Soon.
I am not as smart as the people on stage today, so this is just me rambling out loud.. But I think they would have been better off showing an edited trailer, even with just a hint of gameplay footage. Because it’s really hard to be excited about stuff you can’t see, hear or feel. Especially since, and let’s be honest here, as people who enjoy digital interactive entertainment (read: games, I am trying to sound smart) we have been disappointed. A lot of times. Our skin has grown thick.
Today was a lot of super talented people on stage or camera, who are undoubtedly really super good at what they for a living, trying to sound like “gamers”. You know, that bucket of attributes most really smart business people put us in, because at the end of the day they see us as a specific type of consumer. One they need to label in headlines to really understand and attack the most efficient way. One example would be how two of them casually mentioned quality, brightness and specific size of OLED display on the Vita. Because that device isn’t selling, so something has to be done. And they said epic, because you know, that’s what gamers say. It felt somewhat epic to me.
I obviously don’t know if PlayStation 4 will be a success or not. To me personally, some of the features does sound interesting, some of them not so much. But I can’t believe that they don’t even release one single image of the console.
Think about this.. Every tech, gaming, even life style magazine on the planet, would feature that image. That is great PR. At least if the thing is pretty and/or shiny. That is building momentum, for something that seems to be just 9 months away from release. Add a sustained communication flow, as news and information about console and games is released to the public, and that gives them 9 months to build hype. I guess they are waiting for that explosion of PR coverage till E3. But i think that’s a big mistake. They could just announce the price at E3 (and a few great games, maybe some the stuff we didn’t see today) and the same magazines would cover it again. They lost a round of “free” PR. Now many of those magazines won’t cover them, or they will do so with a silly screenshot that won’t look better than what we can play today.
Add to that all the people that went on stage with nothing to show. My spider-sense is tingling.