As product launches go, Sony’s highly anticipated announcement this week for its next generation gaming console was highly unusual mostly for what we did not learn about it.
The Playstation 4, we were told, would be arriving for holidays but no one got to see the actual hardware. There are a few noteworthy observations about this, but foremost in my mind is the wisdom of announcing new technology without actually, you know, showing it.
So at the 2 hour ‘launch’ event Sony featured speakers and videos of games. Here is what we did learn:
- The Playstation 4 will be arriving in stores in time for the holidays this year
- It will feature a whole new technology architecture with an X86 processor, enhanced PC GPU, and 8GB memory
- The new DualShock controller has a touchscreen and headphone jack built in
- The operating system has Facebook integration (is this a ‘bone’ to average consumers or are gamers really on Facebook that much?)
- Reminiscent of Microsoft’s Xbox Kinect technology, Sony said the PS4 will feature 3D camera technology although it did not show or mention any games using this feature
- It is also supposed to transfer games seamlessly to and from the handheld Vita
- In a sign of extreme confidence in their fan base, the new games will NOT be backward compatible – so not only will you need the new console to play the new games (many of the ones presented are existing franchises) but you will also not be able to play your Playstation 3 or earlier games on your new Playstation 4.
That’s right. You will need to get everything new and by the way, there was no mention of price so you can conclude that if price is not mentioned in the launch event then it’s not considered a sales advantage.
It is not uncommon in the world of technology for new products to be delayed and Sony may be planning to unveil it all at E3 later this Spring, but you have to wonder about the decision to be confusing and vague at a your own product announcement with the worldwide press in attendance.
Monica Vila is “Chief Technology Mom,” born and raised in Mexico and co-founder of The Online Mom, the market leader in providing online and off-line tools to make parents of kids K-12 smarter and more comfortable with the technology that touches their family. The Online Mom is a website, an online newsletter, a forum for discussion, a network of certified experts and a social community devoted to promoting a healthy understanding and appreciation for the positive role technology can play in a family’s life.