Some gamers are just the glass-half-empty type…
Well, how does it feel? Here we sit, the Monday after the launch of the first next-gen console in years. The PlayStation 4 finally hit the market after months (if not years) of hype and hyperbole. On its heels, comes the release of the Xbox One. Now, I’ve been a strong proponent of the fact that not everyone needs a next-gen console right now. Frankly, the current-gen broke so much new ground and continues to evolve that I have no problem saying that it’s a pretty damn fine alternative. However, I do believe in giving the devil his due, and the launch of the PlayStation 4 is not a milestone that should go uncelebrated.
Unfortunately, it would seem that some are unable to see past the imperfections of the launch to actually do that.
Sony has officially shipped over one million PS4 units. However, as with the launch of ANYTHING, not everything is going to go smoothly (at least not for everyone). We’ve already seen reports begin to surface of hiccups ranging from hardware problems to network connectively issues (that can prevent the much needed day-one update). Those who purchased an early model 360 will remember the infamous Red Ring of Death. PS4 users have experienced a similar issue (obviously dubbed the Blue Light of Death, what else?), which has resulted in some systems being sent back to Sony. Also, a small percentage of consoles apparently have a connection problem with part of the HDMI port not being flush, thus causing signal disconnects or users being unable to plug in the cable at all. Couple that with the fact that the launch library at the moment is not the best. There is a notable lack of must-play releases right now, especially with many of the marquee titles like Battlefield 4 or Call of Duty: Ghosts being available on systems people already own. Even Sony President Shuhei Yoshida admits that the overall scores on the software side of things are lower than the company had hoped, but he feels the scores won’t affect the console launch adversely.
OK, now time to accentuate the positives.
Here is where I think we need to rein in the hysteria a bit and gain a little perspective. All the things you just read are legitimate problems with the PS4. In addition, if you’re one of the very small minority of gamers who face one of these issues, I’m certain that your frustration and anxiety are very real. My concern comes from those painting the entire launch with such a broad brush, as seen in many online articles and forums. It has been determined that of the one million consoles sold, only about 4,000 are experiencing some type of hardware problem. Sony estimates that comes out to around .4%. We’re not even talking half a percentage point here, people. That’s not bad. As for the games library, be patient, and it’ll grow. Just give it some time. Need I point to the N64’s launch library?
Now, I know this may sound like I’m here to just carry water for Sony (as I’m sure many folks in the comments section will accuse), but that’s just not the case. I think it’s important to take a step back and see the big picture. Overall, this has been a HUGE success for gaming culture (not just Sony). Microsoft and Sony (and others) are plowing the road that continues to push our hobby forward, allowing us to continue to escape into our own fun little worlds (at times when the real one gets to be a bit much).
Plus, I believe Sony has learned a valuable lesson from the weeks and months of bad PR that it and Microsoft have had to endure. With the constant stream of misinformation and retractions they’ve had to contend with, they know to jump on these problems early and often. When Microsoft’s consoles began to crash and burn during the early days of the 360, the company’s response was less than spectacular. Now, with social media, word spreads fast (like wild fire in fact), especially when the news is negative. I think it’s important that we allow for the inevitable growing pains at first, and give Sony and Microsoft a bit of a honeymoon period before we really start picking things apart. Only then will we get more of an accurate representation of what the two companies are bringing to the table in the next-gen.
In regards to all the so called PS4 fallout, a friend recently told me he felt people should “just calm the f*ck down.”
Good advice. But will they take it?