Sony’s The Road to PS5 event: The average consumer’s perspective
Today Sony hosted “The Road to PS5” live stream event. While the entire gaming world knows that the next generation of consoles will be coming before the year’s end, confirmed details on the PlayStation 5 have been sparse. For that reason many gamers were very interested in learning details on the console straight from the source. Until this point the only confirmed news that Sony had given on the PS5 were some hardware specs shared in an interview with Wired magazine and the reveal of the logo during CES last year. Once the presentation was announced fans became excited at the possibility of learning about the consoles release window, pricing and games that would be available. Instead what was shared felt more like watching a pitch presentation to potential developers that you snuck into.
There was none of the pageantry and production that has come to be expected from these types of live stream events. No stage, no bright lighting set up, no sizzle reel video packages or anything of the sort. Just a podium, TV display monitor and Playstation architect Mark Cerny. Viewers initial thoughts may have been that given the current state of things Sony was doing a smaller scale presentation. Once things got started though it was clear pretty quickly that this was not the “Deep Dive” most people were hoping for. Cerny began clicking through Powerpoint slides while using technical terms to break down the hardware that will power the PS5. While developers and PC gamers that build their own rigs understood the information being shared, the basic consumer or console gamer was probably lost once the comparison of CU sizes on PS4 and PS5 was brought up. Teraflops, solid state drives, ray tracing and new geometry engines are an essential part of what will power the next generation of consoles but why publicize a presentation that discusses them without demonstrating that power and speed?
Amidst all of the technical talk surrounding hardware and internal design there were still some bits of information that even the most basic of consumers could get excited for. Backwards compatibility with PS4 games was confirmed although with some strings attached. Simply put the PS5’s ability to pretty much erase load times and the current consoles’ integration of them into gameplay mechanics actually breaks some games. Mark Cerny said that using a sampling of the 100 most popular PS4 games most of them run without issue but not all of them. While full backwards compatibility is the goal it won’t be completed by the new console’s release. The breakdown of 3D sound and how the PS5 will integrate it was interesting and provided fans something to look forward to. Being able to have a true surround sound feeling the level that you can pinpoint exactly where a sound is coming from whether you are using the basic speakers of your tv, an external speaker set up or personal headphones sounds like a dope although not essential feature that’s exclusive to the PS5. Other than those bits of information the hour long presentation offered little else that felt directed at consumers.
Once Mark Cerny said thank you for watching and the screen faded to black the real question was why had this been shared with the public? So much of the information was beyond general consumer knowledge and little was actually done to make someone feel like there was an actual product to purchase. At its best points the PS5 Deep Dive confirmed and explained some features that will make for nice perks but at its worst it was a lecture presentation filled with technical jargon, very few attention grabbers and some slightly above average slide transitions. Aside from not fully understanding the information shared there’s the legit question of does the average consumer even care? Do we really need to be told about the unique function of every fold and ripple of my ear to appreciate the new sound features or know about the process the engineers used to best optimize the energy use and heat outputs of the PS5? Most likely not. At this point Sony’s continued mishandling of the PlayStation 5’s reveal is becoming a problem. Sony needs to start sharing some real information that the average gamer and consumer can actually use. Continued mistakes like this will start to cause problems sooner than later.
Did you watch a broadcast of the event, what were your thoughts? Make sure to let us know in the comment sections