Think the PS4 reviews are bullshit? Not so fast…
So how controlled was the environment at the Sony meeting over the weekend? I’ve seen a good amount of snarky tweets and misunderstandings about how the whole thing went down, how much time we’ve had with the system, and the viability of the reviews that are hitting today. So I wanted to clear things up a bit.
Hell, I was skeptical myself. The event began with a hands-off demonstration of the hardware running the final firmware, and we were told that the final firmware wouldn’t be released until launch. Those damned gaming press, reviewing hardware after fifteen minutes! MONEY HATS FOR EVERYONE!
Not so fast. It’s becoming increasingly common for different people to give you different information during these console events, and it turns out that the final firmware for the PlayStation 4 was released yesterday, giving the press most of the evening and all night to play with the system in their own offices or homes.
There still hasn’t been much time to really dig into what the system can do, as the firmware has been available for less than 12 hours, but we are playing on final hardware and what seems to be final software in an environment of our choosing, and many outlets have multiple systems being tested by multiple people. If they split up features I have no doubt a three person team could hit damned near everything.
Not only that, but the PlayStation 4 systems and stacks of games were given to the reviewers at the event, and you were free to excuse yourself from the rest of the festivities in order to play the games in the privacy of your own room. That means that we were able to play the games for two days, on a display we controlled, without the presence of a PR person. It also proves that, out of the box, with no updates, games and basic functionality are all present.
So this isn’t ideal, and we’ll get a more complete picture of the system in the coming days and weeks, but people are basing their reviews on final hardware running day one firmware. Don’t listen to the conspiracy theories. If you have any other questions about the event, just ask.