By now, you’ve probably already read the technical specifications for the PlayStation 4 and heard about some games in production like InFamous: Second Son and Killzone 4, which look absolutely stunning. With new games for the PS4 come new ways for players to interact with their world, including a new controller, called the DualShock 4, which incorporates a touch bar. With the PlayStation 4 announcement nearing an end, it soon became apparent that we would not being seeing the PlayStation 4 in person, despite games like Killzone 4 running in real time on the hardware. This of course has some gamers annoyed and up in arms, but why?
We should first take into consideration that there are plenty of opportunities left for the PS4 before it launches in holiday 2013, indicating a November release. Those include PAX East, E3, and TGS. If Sony had laid all of their cards on the table, there wouldn’t be much content left other shows, outside of just games which is certainly what E3 will be all about. But even if there were no more major press events left and we’d only get to see the PS4 once it was nearing launch, the reality is that it doesn’t matter. What a system like the PS3 or PS4 is about is what it offers, be it hardware or software. Unlike the PlayStation Vita where aesthetics matter so much, the PS4 is all about the combination of powerful new hardware and interesting social software that you will experience via your television. The truth is that the design of the box does not matter.
In fact, it could be square, it could be round, it could be a big, white noisy box like the Xbox 360 and it doesn’t matter, as long as what it offers is compelling to consumers. While things like the controller design matter, a console design itself should never matter in the long run. Especially not 9 months before its launch. This isn’t to say that beautiful design isn’t appreciated and if Sony is known for one thing, it’s for bringing forward compelling hardware. Instead, take the announcement for what it was: a booster shot from Sony to the game industry and a shot across the bow of Microsoft.
Does it really matter to you that Sony didn’t show off the PS4?