New consoles are an exciting time in the game industry. New and faster components enable developers to increase the fidelity of their games, be it through graphics or processing other functions of the game. New features enable fresh potential ways to play and interact with your console, and subsequently, your games, friends, and the world. Above all else, a new console represents a time for new beginnings, a chance for companies to right the wrongs of the past and start anew. It is a joyous time to be a gamer when a new console is announced, and I have sadly felt none of that with the PlayStation 5’s announcement.
I want to be excited, I want to be dazzled, but what Sony is currently doing—which I can only assume is an attempt to build hype—has left me void of any feelings of elation. Instead, I have been treated to words, plain text on a website attempting to describe what potentially might be with adjectives that hold little meaning to me currently. I have read that it will supposedly have nicer visuals; great! But I need to see them to be wowed or else it just loses all effect. The controller has been said to support some form of haptic feedback and adaptive triggers; fantastic! But again, I need something to show me why those things matter. Remember when Nintendo announced the Switch, and with it, HD rumble? Sure specifications leaked beforehand hinting at something, but that wasn’t Nintendo’s master plan to get us all hyped for their upcoming console, it was just that, technical specifications. Eventually, when the Nintendo Switch was announced, we quickly learned about the benefits of HD rumble through a fun video.
Do I care about HD rumble now? Not at all. I can’t even think of any games outside of the two most obvious games that based their gameplay around the feature, 1 2 Switch and Senran Kagura Reflextions, but at the time, I was interested. I was intrigued about how games may take advantage of these function and make use of it, my mind raced with the possibilities that this feature could bring to some of my favorite franchises. Looking back now, it’s obvious not much of this panned out, but that’s not the point. At that moment it got me and others looking at the Nintendo Switch and considering it by colorfully explaining what HD Rumble meant.
Sony could learn a lesson here.
I already am anticipating wanting the PlayStation 5, but I still need to shown what makes it more than just an upgraded PlayStation 4 to fully buy-in, and to do that, I need to see why these new features matter in a way I can visualize. By providing only the most drab of explanations for what these new features could mean does—what will likely be—a disservice to what the PlayStation 5 ends up being. If Sony isn’t ready to show the console in a state that could explain these features in a meaningful way, then don’t tell us. Having a protracted period of information can cause myself, and fans alike, to lose interest in the console itself. Without having enough information, it gives us a chance to theorize and discuss, but without a full sense of what it means, leaving us vulnerable to become disappointed and disinterested.
And it’s the second part here that is important, becoming disinterested. We have already seen what protracted marketing campaigns do for games and consoles alike, just take a look at many of the games Square Enix has announced for the Final Fantasy or Kingdom Hearts series. Here are two franchises that have had some of the longest times between announcements and release, and fans became jaded while waiting. Each new piece of information was followed by responses asking for when the release would actually happen, and it made following these games a chore for everyone but the most die-hard fans. Now thankfully, those franchises typically sell well, but they don’t have the same level of competition that Sony will be facing. Microsoft will also be announcing and promoting its new console too, and if you haven’t seen Microsoft’s marketing game lately, well, they will be giving Sony a run for their money.
So to you Sony, I say, give us something meaningful or just wait. There is a year and a half before the console is released, so why not wait a little bit. We are enjoying our PlayStation 4’s just fine for now, and when you got something meaningful to show, show us, I and others will be ready. But what you are doing right now, it’s just not making me interested when I want to be. Don’t make me read through paragraphs of text just for a few words of something meaningful that I can’t visualize at the moment.
Get back to me when you have something more to show than just unfulfilled promises, I will be more than happy to get excited then.