Sony PS4 launch: nice graphics but what about the console?
'Smoke and mirrors' presentation in New York fails to reveal what PS4 will look like
SONY last night unveiled its long-overdue new gaming system PlayStation 4, but perplexed reviewers by refusing to show the console or reveal the price, saying only that it would be in stores by Christmas 2013.
The company showed off the impressive graphics that PS4 games will be able to offer and gave the world a glimpse of the new handset. It also outlined the console's specifications, which include 8GB of memory - but kept it hidden from view.
Instead, Sony, which has not made a profit in four years and has lost ground to competitors like Microsoft and Nintendo, used the two-hour event in New York to outline its vision for the future of gaming and repeat the PS4 mantra: "Simple; immediate; social; integrated; personalisation”.
Edge-Online called the PS4 slogan "less than snappy" while Wired was deeply unimpressed. "Talk is the cheapest thing there is,” the website said. "And that's basically what Sony did: it espoused a philosophy, said the names of a lot of popular games, but didn't give us any real concrete information in an age where it’s more important than ever." The launch, it said, appeared to "be all smoke and mirrors".
Gizmodo was equally put out. "We heard about lofty ideas behind the development of the new console, but as the hours of demos and introductions dragged on, it became increasingly obvious that we weren't actually going to see the PlayStation 4," it said.
The event was "really depressing" Gizmodo moaned. "Sony either isn't ready for primetime, or Sony thinks the best way to get us interested is to play hard to get."
The decision not to announce the price or shipping date will give Sony "room to manoeuvre should it need to respond to any gaming announcements from Microsoft", said The Verge, which predicted further announcements through the year.
The Independent was more forgiving. "It was enough for now," said the paper. "Sony deserves to feel relieved this morning."