Sony president blames overworked journalists for low PS4 game scores

I never thought I’d miss the days whencompanies would address weak launch lineups by promising that great games were on the way. Waiting is no fun, but it beats listening to excuses like the ones Sony president Shuhei Yoshida made in this Gamesindustry article.

ps4

While addressing the low review scores that have dogged PS4 launch titles, Yoshida insisted that part of the reason behind the disappointing grades is an overworked gaming media:

“[W]ith this launch there are lots of games coming out, so the media must be very busy going through the games quickly, and especially since the online functionality wasn’t ready until in the last couple days. So we have to look at how much time they spend on what aspect of the games and how that may be contributing to some of the lower scores.”

Translation: We wanted to release the PS4 before the holiday season, but we didn’t prepare any killer aps for the system’s launch. Instead of admitting to another disappointing launch lineup, we’ll just blame the gaming media for having opinions.

It gets better. After throwing the gaming media under the bus, Yoshida said:

“I totally enjoyed playing through [KillzoneKnack and Resogun]. I’m now on my second run of Knack and Resogun at a higher difficulty – these games really grow on you when you play more.”

Translation: We can’t offer any standout games at this time. Please play through these launch titles repeatedly until then. Maybe you’ll enjoy these games once you’ve coped with the disappointment.

Now, obviously Yoshida is a company guy, and he’s going to make statements to support his company. That’s fine, but his claims sound thin, and not just because Japan tends to dislike shooters like Killzone. I can’t prove whether or not he enjoyed the aforementioned games as much as he claims, but at the same time I can’t buy the idea of a company president having the time to play through three games, two if them twice. Shouldn’t he be more concerned with… oh, I dunno, the business aspects surrounding the launch of his company’s new landmark product?

The bottom line here is Yoshida making excuses. There’s no need to get defensive of a weak launch lineup–people are going to buy the new next-gen systems regardless of the quality of the launch lineup. What Yoshida should be doing is addressing the issue with a forward-thinking attitude. Emphasize a exciting upcoming title or two. Remind us that we’ll want a PS4 now so we’re prepared to play Metal Gear and Infamous when they release.

But don’t go after reviewers for telling it like it is. C’mon now.

Advertisements

PS4 launch titles misfiring till 2014

The theme for next-gen news over the past few days has been “next-year.” On Tuesday Ubisoft announced that their stealth-action game Watch Dogs wouldn’t reach gamers till Spring 2014–a huge letdown considering it was among the most hyped PS4 launch titles. Today, the PS4-exclusive racer Driveclub saw its own release pushed back to February.

wds

Amazon and GameStop had to provide alternatives for those who pre-ordered the PS4 Watch Dogs bundle.

For most, the loss of Watch Dogs is the tragic news, but the biggest losers are the PS4 and Xbox One. Let’s be honest: system launch days have been embarrassing in recent years. Aside from Halo back in 2001, can you name any other launch game that set the world afire? Zelda: Twilight Princess was technically a Gamecube title, so don’t get cute, Wii fans. That leaves you with Perfect Dark Zero for 360, Resistance for PS3, and all of last year’s ports for Wii U. If you want to go portable, take your pick from 3DS’s opening day hodgepodge or Uncharted: Golden Abyss on Vita. Have a favorite yet? Yeah, me neither.

Launch day has become misfire day ever since the glory years when you could pick up Super Mario World or Super Mario 64 on day one. The problem–at least in my view–is that focus has shifted from software to hardware. Gone are the days when you bought a Nintendo system to play the new Mario. Instead, consumers and media members can’t stop talking about PS4 and XBONE–the systems themselves. E3 2013 generated more headlines about used-game policies and online capabilities than anything else. Whether gamers were defending or urinating on Microsoft, their opinions targeted XBONE, not its games. To be fair, homogenized 3rd-party lineups have diminished exclusive software as a selling point, but still–why don’t we care about the games anymore?

m64

N64 released with only two games, but no one cared since Super Mario 64 was one of them.

No one could blame Sony and Microsoft for releasing their next-gen consoles right before the holidays, but their launch lineups are a bit undignified. I suppose if you crave Killzone or Battlefield, there’s a case for purchasing a PS4, but with all the hot PS3 and 360 titles on the way, waiting is the wise man’s move. That is, if you’re wise enough to value software over hardware.