Sony Explains Why it Revealed The PS4 First (And Why it Didn't Show The Box)

Sony Explains Why it Revealed The PS4 First (And Why it Didn't Show The Box)

PlayStation 4

Sony says that last generation's decision to launch later than its competitor was what prompted it to reveal first this time.

While the Xbox 360 came out quite a bit earlier than the PlayStation 3, this time around, both consoles came out at relatively the same time, and Sony actually went ahead and revealed its own next-gen system a little while before Microsoft. Now, at the Develop Conference in Brighton, SCEI president Andrew House has revealed why Sony went first, and, why it elected to not actually show us the box at its reveal event.

"I think we were probably earlier in the announce than we have been previously, and that was very deliberate," House stated. "I wanted to be out there first with the first announcement for this generation so you've got an opportunity to stake the ground and hopefully take something of a leadership position. Again, we'd had the experience of launching later than our competitor and that played very heavily to many of the thought processes and decisions made about PlayStation 4."

As for why we didn't see the actual machine, "This is one where I think honestly we were a little caught off guard and wrong-footed," he admitted. "If you look back at our history of previous reveals, we generally always went with explaining what the concept would be, articulating what package the overall consumer experience was going to be and then later revealing the hardware. So this felt very natural and normal to us."

Ultimately, it boils down to House's indecisiveness on the console's design. The original design for the PS4 didn't quite fit with his hopes, so he had to offer feedback to design chiefs and send them back to the drawing board. Following this, five sketches were brought forward, all of which House thought could have worked.

Source: IGN

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"First announcement for this generation..."

... Pretty sure the WiiU was already on shelves by then, wasn't it?

Them not showing the console never really bothered me. What it can do is far more interesting than what it looks like. And I say that as someone who probably isn't even going to buy into this generation...

Sony revealed their console first because not only was last gen starting to drag out too long, Sony(not just their video game division) especially was in dire need of a revenue boost a new generation could offer. They just decided to break the ice since MS was still dancing in it's years of monopoly money waiting for the competitor to make its move.(Too bad for MS, they didn't actually take advantage of now knowing what they were up against and decided TV, TV and TV were better talking points for their reveal than video games and streaming said games.)

Wow this is a shock. Not the news itself, but someone from one of the high level gaming publishers, devs etc, speaking in normal sentences that don't sound coated in slime and PR speak. He sounds... normal.

Kind of a shock after the weeks of stupidity we've been facing.

Edit: Then again, this is really the only gaming site I visit, so maybe only the click-bait and rage inducing stuff gets posted.

The first announcement?

The Wii has sold roughly 20 million more consoles than the PlayStation 3. Clearly the Wii U could not be a competitor, right?

I know nothing in the past sales indicates what future sales will be, the Wii U and PlayStation 4 are proof of that, but the way he speaks he certainly sounds like he believes it does.

The_Darkness:
"First announcement for this generation..."

... Pretty sure the WiiU was already on shelves by then, wasn't it?

Damn, Ninja'd

OT: I guess I didn't really have a major problem with the PS4 not being shown. But I can understand WHY the PS4's lack of a physical appearance at first caused some alarm. We've had plenty of games previously doing the bait-n-switch on us shortly before this (Colonial Marines)and it makes sense that by Sony NOT showing something that we'd be wondering what it is they're not showing/telling us. What is it they're hiding? And, another way to look at it is that we could have speculated they didn't have faith in their design or their console, which means it may not deliver on all their promises. But we were so focused on what wasn't being shown that we probably overlooked their lack of confidence in a single design or idea.

My question is this... why is Sony coming out a lot lately and explaining multiple random decisions behind the PS4 (their prioritizing launch momentum or this bit of news)? Not suspicious or anything. Just curious why so much all at once.

The_Darkness:
"First announcement for this generation..."

... Pretty sure the WiiU was already on shelves by then, wasn't it?

It doesn't help that most people thought the "WiiU was an add-on to the Wii though, and the pretty much the thing is "Microsoft v/s Sony, also there's Nintendo"

The_Darkness:
"First announcement for this generation..."

... Pretty sure the WiiU was already on shelves by then, wasn't it?

Maybe if Nintendo had presented next gen quality hardware they'd have been considered an 8th generation console by Sony. Instead they made a console that is the most powerful 7th gen machine with an 8th gen label on it.

So this is how Sony, Microsoft, and those of us that aren't ardent Nintendo fans see it. To be fair though, I am a Nintendo fan and I still see Nintendo's hardware entry as laughable when compared with the generation.

Seriously though, there's more than one way to interpret "next generation". There's a basic entry by a major company in a time period and then there's the technological milemarker. Unfortunately for the WiiU, they have the (almost) exact same CPU as a 7th generation console with just a little more RAM (only 512MBs) available for gaming than the 360. It's basically a minor upgrade to the 360. There is no way you could consider the WiiU technologically there. Even the touchscreen isn't multi-touch like phones are today. It is an 8th generation machine by time alone. In the same way as if I went out today and built a graphic calculator that can play games on a TV then I would have created an "8th generation" console. Sure, it's produced after the 7th generation, but beyond that...?

At least the Wii had been a substantial step up from the 6th generation even if it didn't match Sony's and Microsoft's splurge on hardware. But a tricore processor with only 1GB of RAM available for games? I can't even buy a new computer that's that weak in today's market. Let alone pay over $300 for it. Nintendo made a machine thinking ONLY about what their first party games had to have, forsaking any graphically demanding 3rd party titles entirely.

Good on Sony for recognizing who their competition really was. Hopefully the next generation will see a legitimate entry from Nintendo again.

So they didn't show the box because it wasn't done yet... wow... totally unexpected. Never would have guessed.

On a slightly more serious note I like the way you can tell that he doesn't consider Nintendo a direct competitor like Microsoft. Nintendo have always stood apart and had a much smaller overlap of their customer base with Sony as Sony does with Microsoft. Fans of Mario or Zelda etc. don't ask themselves which console their getting, it's a question of if they're going to bite the bullet and get one of the other two as well.

Alexander Kirby:

On a slightly more serious note I like the way you can tell that he doesn't consider Nintendo a direct competitor like Microsoft.

Well you know, Nintendo doesn't consider themselves in competition with Microsoft or Sony, and said that they weren't competing with them when the DS and the Wii were launching. So, in a sense it's right for Sony and Microsoft to acknowledge that they aren't directly competing with Nintendo, because Nintendo themselves said they aren't.

Lightknight:

So this is how Sony, Microsoft, and those of us that aren't ardent Nintendo fans see it. To be fair though, I am a Nintendo fan and I still see Nintendo's hardware entry as laughable when compared with the generation.

Also, to be fair, the definition of "generation" has been kind of fuzzy.

Lightknight:

The_Darkness:
"First announcement for this generation..."

... Pretty sure the WiiU was already on shelves by then, wasn't it?

Maybe if Nintendo had presented next gen quality hardware they'd have been considered an 8th generation console by Sony. Instead they made a console that is the most powerful 7th gen machine with an 8th gen label on it.

So this is how Sony, Microsoft, and those of us that aren't ardent Nintendo fans see it.

This.

It's hilarious to me that Nintendo fanboys will defend to the death that the Wii U is an equivalent next gen console equal to the One and PS4. Newsflash. It is not. You can argue all you want about how "gen" refers to time frames and not console specs but it's a dumb argument. Even Sony and Microsoft don't acknowledge Nintendo as a next gen competitor (such as this article).

it's also hilarious that the strategy of ignoring nintendo is actually working because we're a bunch of immature idiots that expect to be treated with respect when we keep paying for stupid shit

weirdee:
it's also hilarious that the strategy of ignoring nintendo is actually working because we're a bunch of immature idiots that expect to be treated with respect when we keep paying for stupid shit

The what with the who now?

Ontopic; wish they'd release the other design drawings, kinda curious.

Its nice to see an exec finally sit down and talk normally after so many "omg they cant be this stupid" articles we saw lately. I also agree with him on the Box part - the way this piece of plastic looks is irrelevant your going to be looking at the game, not at the console. the only part where looks matters is your TV/monitor, because your looking at it when using it. the rest is about efficiency (in this case the case should be designed for maximum cooling above all else) and comfort (control scheme).

CpT_x_Killsteal:
Wow this is a shock. Not the news itself, but someone from one of the high level gaming publishers, devs etc, speaking in normal sentences that don't sound coated in slime and PR speak. He sounds... normal.

very much this. it is quite... strange to see somone up there not talking nonesense.

The_Darkness:
"First announcement for this generation..."

... Pretty sure the WiiU was already on shelves by then, wasn't it?

while WIiU is technically next gen, its running previuos gen hardware.

weirdee:
it's also hilarious that the strategy of ignoring nintendo is actually working because we're a bunch of immature idiots that expect to be treated with respect when we keep paying for stupid shit

How does Nintendo treat us with respect? They still region lock their games, which is one of the most anti consumer things a console can do other than pull an Xbone. Atleast I can import my PS3/4 360 games if publishers charge too much.

WiiU is not a part of the generation then? Pretending a member of the competition doesn't exist doesn't make it so.

Neronium:

Alexander Kirby:

On a slightly more serious note I like the way you can tell that he doesn't consider Nintendo a direct competitor like Microsoft.

Well you know, Nintendo doesn't consider themselves in competition with Microsoft or Sony, and said that they weren't competing with them when the DS and the Wii were launching. So, in a sense it's right for Sony and Microsoft to acknowledge that they aren't directly competing with Nintendo, because Nintendo themselves said they aren't.

You can't deny that they are competing for those 'one console families' where the choice is clearly between 3 different machines for the parent who doesn't know gaming culture. Nintendo may not be trying to compete for the same gaming audience that Sony and Microsoft are but all are competing to be the machine Grandma decides to buy to entertain the kids when they're over for the summer.
Sure, Grandma is more likely to know gaming culture now than she did ten years ago but the approach hasn't been updated for that new reality yet.

Zachary Amaranth:

Lightknight:

So this is how Sony, Microsoft, and those of us that aren't ardent Nintendo fans see it. To be fair though, I am a Nintendo fan and I still see Nintendo's hardware entry as laughable when compared with the generation.

Also, to be fair, the definition of "generation" has been kind of fuzzy.

I can think of a better example of fuzzy generations: the PC.

The PC is a long evolution from the 16-bit 8086 through the 32-bit 80386 and the 64-bit Athlon 64, through to today's Core and FX machines. People's computer upgrades tend to have some overlap, with some of the old hardware being kept for years after other parts have been replaced. Replacing dud pieces of hardware adds to the organic nature of the PC, too.

PC vs Console could be considered analogous to Evolution vs Creation.

Zachary Amaranth:

Lightknight:

So this is how Sony, Microsoft, and those of us that aren't ardent Nintendo fans see it. To be fair though, I am a Nintendo fan and I still see Nintendo's hardware entry as laughable when compared with the generation.

Also, to be fair, the definition of "generation" has been kind of fuzzy.

The very next sentence of my post started with: "Seriously though, there's more than one way to interpret "next generation"." So I was already being fair.

I went on to explain that generations are defined by blocks of time/iterations or technology. As far as blocks of time/iterations of consoles, the WiiU is an 8th generation console in the same way that if I developed a graphic calculator that could play games on my TV that I tried to sell globally would be a console that was made during the 8th generation and ergo is an 8th generation console. That shouldn't mean shit to anyone but it apparently does. I'll point out that the console markets also don't actually get to define when these blocks of time start. Most likely, history will see the WiiU as an 8th generation console but it could just as easily see it as the last entry of the 7th generation if they wanted to be dicks about it.

But the technological definition, we all know where that stands. It's a stones throw away from the 360 technologically. It's closer to the 360 than the original Wii was. We can systematically deny that the WiiU is 8th generation technology. Hell, the touchscreen on the gamepad isn't even as advanced as the touchscreens on most cell phones. It fits right in with the 7th gen consoles here.

Roxor:

Zachary Amaranth:

Lightknight:

So this is how Sony, Microsoft, and those of us that aren't ardent Nintendo fans see it. To be fair though, I am a Nintendo fan and I still see Nintendo's hardware entry as laughable when compared with the generation.

Also, to be fair, the definition of "generation" has been kind of fuzzy.

I can think of a better example of fuzzy generations: the PC.

The PC is a long evolution from the 16-bit 8086 through the 32-bit 80386 and the 64-bit Athlon 64, through to today's Core and FX machines. People's computer upgrades tend to have some overlap, with some of the old hardware being kept for years after other parts have been replaced. Replacing dud pieces of hardware adds to the organic nature of the PC, too.

PC vs Console could be considered analogous to Evolution vs Creation.

The PC doesn't have generations. Individual pieces of hardware have iterations and such but the only way we ever generally define PCs is when major changes crop up or in relation to the console generations. But 16 bit and 32 bit aren't different generations.

Lightknight:
So I was already being fair.

I didn't particularly take that as broad enough, I sought to do exactly that.

I mean, at best you could accuse me of pedantry, but I'm not sure it could even go that far.

Zachary Amaranth:

Lightknight:
So I was already being fair.

I didn't particularly take that as broad enough, I sought to do exactly that.

I mean, at best you could accuse me of pedantry, but I'm not sure it could even go that far.

Saying that it's "fuzzy" is more broad? Sounds like it's just less correct.

What's an additional way it can be defined aside from the ones I specifically mentioned in that post? There's the advancement of technology and then there's time frame/iteration. There's not really anything else. I only specify iteration because we have had overlap of generations in the past so iteration can be if someone says, "Well, this is the successor to our 7th generation machine therefore it is 8th gen" even if it isn't technologically there. But time, iteration, and technology are all things included in my original post without edit.

Roxor:

PC vs Console could be considered analogous to Evolution vs Creation.

No, it couldn't. Console is still an example of evolution. While it might be considered a slightly less accuracte characterisation (evolution isn't a series of sharp lines but a series of fine, blurry ones), it's still evolution.

There is nothing creationist about consoles, save for the possibility that you consider both to be "bad."

Zachary Amaranth:

Roxor:

PC vs Console could be considered analogous to Evolution vs Creation.

No, it couldn't. Console is still an example of evolution. While it might be considered a slightly less accuracte characterisation (evolution isn't a series of sharp lines but a series of fine, blurry ones), it's still evolution.

There is nothing creationist about consoles, save for the possibility that you consider both to be "bad."

Where did I say it was bad? You're putting words in my mouth.

I don't think consoles fit the model of evolution. The Playstation consoles, for example, use at least three different architectures (MIPS, Power, and x86_64, if I recall correctly). They're not modified versions of their ancestors. They're independently created.

Contrast with the desktop PC which has consistently used x86 throughout its lifetime of more than 30 years and a dozen or so generations of processors. Each new one being a modified version of what came before, and each new one capable of running what was written for its predecessor, much like how neighbouring generations of a biological species can interbreed.

Redlin5:
WiiU is not a part of the generation then? Pretending a member of the competition doesn't exist doesn't make it so.

I dunno, the proof in practice has been pretty convincing thus far, given the WiiU's nonexistent library leading to its Dreamcast-esque sales performance.

Roxor:

Where did I say it was bad? You're putting words in my mouth.

Actually, no. You just did exactly what you accused me of. I said except for the possibility you thought both were bad. That's actually about as close as you can get to the opposite of putting words in your mouth.

I don't think consoles fit the model of evolution. The Playstation consoles, for example, use at least three different architectures (MIPS, Power, and x86_64, if I recall correctly). They're not modified versions of their ancestors. They're independently created.

That's extremely pedantic. No console was designed in a vacuum.

Contrast with the desktop PC which has consistently used x86 throughout its lifetime of more than 30 years and a dozen or so generations of processors. Each new one being a modified version of what came before, and each new one capable of running what was written for its predecessor, much like how neighbouring generations of a biological species can interbreed.

Someone should tell GoG this. They're addressing a problem that apparently hadn't been a problem for years and years.

In all senses except realistically, of course.

Zachary Amaranth:

Roxor:

Where did I say it was bad? You're putting words in my mouth.

Actually, no. You just did exactly what you accused me of. I said except for the possibility you thought both were bad. That's actually about as close as you can get to the opposite of putting words in your mouth.

Oh, sorry. I must have missed that.

I don't think consoles fit the model of evolution. The Playstation consoles, for example, use at least three different architectures (MIPS, Power, and x86_64, if I recall correctly). They're not modified versions of their ancestors. They're independently created.

That's extremely pedantic. No console was designed in a vacuum.

Who said anything about being designed in a vacuum? I mean that the designers didn't take what was in the previous machine and make better versions of it for the new one. The internals are completely different, hence my calling them independently created.

Contrast with the desktop PC which has consistently used x86 throughout its lifetime of more than 30 years and a dozen or so generations of processors. Each new one being a modified version of what came before, and each new one capable of running what was written for its predecessor, much like how neighbouring generations of a biological species can interbreed.

Someone should tell GoG this. They're addressing a problem that apparently hadn't been a problem for years and years.

In all senses except realistically, of course.

The problems running Win9x software on modern versions of Windows you mean? It's really focussing on the evolution of the software, rather than that of the hardware, but it's analogous to a sufficiently distant descendant not being able to breed with a sufficiently remote ancestor.

Note my use of "neighbouring generations". For the most part, a new version of Windows will run software which was written for one or two versions immediately before it, much like how an individual can breed with its ancestors going back a couple of generations. Go down the line a few versions, and chances are pretty good that the OS will have had enough tweaks to break certain features older software relied upon, much like accumulated genetic drift in living things rendering an ancestor and descendant no longer inter-fertile.

Now, if you look at the hardware side of things, you can still boot MS-DOS from a floppy on a modern Core i7 machine. Lots of new features have been added over the decades, but there's still that little 16-bit core in there. It still works and it hasn't been removed, much like how nature keeps what works in biological systems.

 

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