A reader claims Sony hasn’t been inconsistent about making games on both PS4 and PS5 and argues their current approach makes perfect sense.
After what seems to have been a generally positive couple of weeks for the PlayStation 5 (huge supply and demand issues notwithstanding) I’ve noticed the positivity around the launch doesn’t seem to have done much to diffuse concerns about some future games continuing to release on the PlayStation 4.
I’m conscious, after talking about this for so long elsewhere, that it’s hard to convey my take as anything other than an excuse but my understanding is all this talk of Sony’s LIES and apparent U-turns on the decision to release some PlayStation 5 games on its predecessor came from this now-infamous Jim Ryan interview excerpt:
‘We have always said that we believe in generations. We believe that when you go to all the trouble of creating a next gen console, that it should include features and benefits that the previous generation does not include. And that, in our view, people should make games that can make the most of those features.
‘We do believe in generations, and whether it’s the DualSense controller, whether it’s the 3D audio, whether it’s the multiple ways that the SSD can be used… we are thinking that it is time to give the PlayStation community something new, something different, that can really only be enjoyed on PS5.’
First of all, I should point out I haven’t bought either next generation system yet. But isn’t Ryan’s statement of intent exactly what Sony are still aiming for with the PlayStation 5? In all the reviews I’ve encountered the main takeaway has been how its features and benefits make it feel like a next gen machine and this includes when playing cross-gen games like Spider-Man: Miles Morales.
I totally get why it would be regarded as disingenuous of Sony and any defenders to claim they never technically lied; that we always should’ve expected some future games to come to PlayStation 4 or that those of us ready to move on should be ecstatic that older tech is capable of running next gen games but I’m struggling to pinpoint where exactly the U-turns or lies occurred, outside of one specific (albeit understandable) interpretation of an old quote.
Did Sony stand by and let Microsoft take flak for not having any next gen exclusives? Well, they probably sat on news that they could’ve shared sooner, then still released that news months before anyone could do anything with it (and before you could pre-order either machine).
They might be regarded as hypocrites, then, because of the heat Microsoft took, but now the consoles are here and almost everything I’ve read about both machines suggests one is well placed to start delivering a next gen experience and one is already doing that.
Anyway, what would the benefit of lying be if you tell the truth before the lie has any impact? Surely a simpler explanation is that businesses like to control when information is made available. The very same day, Sony confirmed Demon’s Souls would be a PlayStation 5 launch title (among other announcements) and yet we don’t read much into how more positive news like that is managed. We certainly don’t assume that, until it was finally confirmed, Sony deliberately wanted us to think it would come out later.
I’m of the belief that Sony knew at least several months before they told us that some PlayStation 5 games would be coming to PlayStation 4 (so no knee-jerk change in approach) but I’m also of the belief that we can’t really draw any conclusions on whether those games will be compromised just because they’re capable of existing on machines that also delivered the likes of Red Dead Redemption 2 and The Last Of Us Part 2.
I don’t remember seeing much disappointment about the technical aspects of Rise Of The Tomb Raider, Titanfall, or Metal Gear Solid 5 when they came out, just a lot of praise for how the previous gen versions were pulled off. Similarly, if people knew when The Witcher 3, Divinity: Original Sin 2, XCOM 2, Doom, and more were originally released that they’d also exist on the Switch, a machine with home console tech comparable to what existed in 2005/6, would there have been more disappointment in the PlayStation 4/Xbox One versions of those (extremely well-received) games?
I appreciate we’re talking about a different generational leap now, and that the SSD tech in these new consoles is meant to be a game changer. I look forward to seeing that demonstrated but I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect an instant and universal shift in how games are made that means they can’t possibly run on older tech.
Far from any sort of climbdown, that just seems to be a promise that some gamers have made to themselves, similar to the expectation that state-of-the-art games on a £450 machine shouldn’t be hampered with the compromise of performance options and should simply deliver the maximum frame rate, resolution, and ray-tracing settings that you’d currently struggle to achieve with an additional two grand worth of tech.
The commercial incentive to deliver cross-gen where possible is obvious, so I won’t discuss it here, but I just figured the way things have actually unfolded so far would’ve given more insight into the apparently incomprehensible approach to date. After hearing all the positivity about the PlayStation 5 at launch, and how so many are happy with even the cross-gen games on it, I’m just a bit surprised all this ‘Sony blatantly lied and cross-gen is going to make new PlayStation 5 games worse’ line is still running so strong.
I think the mix between PlayStation 5 exclusives and cross-gen games currently looks like a sensible balance and still positions the PlayStation 5 for arguably the most appealing PlayStation launch year yet. I’m still open to the idea of 2021 cross-gen releases being a let-down because they don’t utilise the PlayStation 5’s capabilities enough but I’m also willing to bet if such games are flawed, the main issues won’t be down to technical shortcomings, as the biggest gameplay problems seldom are.
Overall, I think it’s hard to deny the messaging has been a bit botched, with too little explicitly spelled out up front. Even since before the PlayStation 5 launched, though, I’ve seen countless instances of bafflement over Sony diverging from a fact patter that I’m not sure ever really existed.
My hope had been once the console got to do the talking it would be clearer what Jim Ryan was talking about all those long paragraphs ago. Despite so many accounts suggesting precisely that the PlayStation 5 demonstrates a belief in generations from day one, though, I’m not sure the proof in the pudding will be enough for some gamers at all.
By reader Panda
The reader’s feature does not necessary represent the views of GameCentral or Metro.
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