The long-awaited PlayStation 4 Neo (now PlayStation 4 Pro) has finally been revealed. It’s a supped-up version of the current console, boasting 4K gaming, a 1TB hard drive and improved performance all round. Reactions to the news, however, have been split.
The PS4 Pro does everything we all expected it to do – there were no big surprises, and thus, the response from gamers has been underwhelming. Nintendo’s NX promises to be a very different sort of console, especially if the numerous rumours that are floating about are to be believed.
Do the reactions to the PS4 Pro indicate that gamers are bored of chasing high-spec consoles? And does that mean the NX has a unique opportunity to capture gamers’ attention?
Who cares about 4K yet, anyway?
There’s no denying that 4K is the future, but at the moment, few consumers have chosen to upgrade from their 1080p TV. There are several reasons for this: firstly, 4K TVs have only just started to become affordable, and secondly, there isn’t much you can watch in 4K. You need a 4K Blu-ray player to watch ultra HD discs (which are currently pretty pricey), or a fair bit of hard drive space if you’re choosing to download. Even streaming services like Netflix only have a small selection of 4K titles at the moment.
When it comes to gaming, only developers that want to take advantage of the PS4 Pro’s new capabilities will. There’s no guarantee that every PS4 game that’s released from here on out will be in 4K.
Consumers are also aware that tech companies are already developing 8K screens, which may be dissuading many to invest in 4K. After all, no one wants to spend £800 on a TV only to discover it’s already out of date in just a year’s time.
There’s no denying that we all love a gorgeous-looking game, but the introduction of 4K or HDR isn’t the only way to push games to their limits. Take a look at the footage from the new Legend of Zelda – it’s not in 4K and looks incredible. There’s much more developers can do to impress us than simply up their graphics game.
Graphics aren’t everything
The comeback of the 8-bit video game is proof that gamers don’t just care about graphics. Now more than ever, there’s a greater focus on story and gameplay. Games like Undertale are simple, yet quirky, and the focus on character and story is exactly why it has a huge fandom.
In recent years, Nintendo has abandoned the rat race towards a more powerful console, and has instead focused on the things that make gamers happy – loveable characters, fascinating worlds and innovative gameplay. Of course, Nintendo has also managed to do something that Xbox and PlayStation (largely) haven’t been able to do: hold onto its first-party titles.
The Xbox One and PS4 are very similar consoles; there are only a few differentiators. This gives the NX an opportunity to grab people’s attention. Nintendo didn’t have much success with the Wii U, but as we’ve previously discussed, this may be partly down to poor timing.
The Wii U was released before the Xbox One and PS4, but Nintendo’s next console will hit the shelves halfway through the life-cycles of Sony’s and Microsoft’s consoles. If gamers aren’t bothered about upgrading to a higher-spec version of the same console, they will be more receptive to purchasing one which offers something different.
We don’t know how powerful the NX is going to be, and while power may not be everything, Nintendo does need to offer an advancement of some kind. It must be a sizable leap from the Wii U, and going off the footage from Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, it will be.
We’ll have to wait until October to see what Nintendo has in store for its next generation of home console.