Believe it or not, at least 5 of our PlayStation 4 demands aren’t completely stupid!
If gamers are consistent in anything, it’s their ability to be eternally unhappy with whatever it is the gaming industry is doing. After Sony’s PlayStation 4 announcement last Wednesday, thousands of Dorito-stained fingers brushed the keys of computers around the world to deride, complain, and generally be unhappy about the next-gen console. But that’s not to say there aren’t plenty of features (some nostalgic, some practical, and some we made up while drinking gasoline) we’d all like to see in Sony’s next machine…
Photo by Lisa Gagne/ Vetta
1. A Console That Ships With a Game
There’s nothing like unboxing a new system, right? Stripping off the plastic, plugging cords into virgin outlets, feeling those first vibrations of a rumbling controller…it’s almost a sexual experience (for some, sadly, literally). But the first thing you realize, after cleaning yourself up, is that you’ve got no games. While Sony is promising drop-in-and-play demos streaming direct from their store (how exactly this will work, no one knows), having an actual physical disk you could slowly and erotically slip into a drive would be a lot nicer than sitting in your underwear with a Dualshock stuffed down your pants. Of the last generation of systems, only the Wii came with a game (Wii Sports), and while there are special edition and package deals of Sony and Microsoft systems that come with games, they’re often expensive or include titles or accessories you want nothing to do with (hello, Cooking Mama Frying Pan Controller!)
2. A Console That Ships With Two Controllers
Playing against a friend on the couch will always be better than playing against strangers (or even the same friend) online. Online multiplayer and the money it generates with subscription fees and microtransactions is clearly a developer, publisher, and console creator priority, but the roots of gaming in arcades and living rooms are playing with a tangible partner or opponent. Consoles that ship with one controller from the bat are insinuating a solitary and isolating experience that’s counter to the heart of the joy of gaming. Also, it’s fun to give your friend the controller with melted Oreo cream in the d-pad and two broken shoulder buttons and watching them yell, “I did a haduken! Why aren’t my combos working! I hate you.” Fun times.
3. Easy Hardware Modding
The PlayStation 3 famously shipped with an easily-replaceable hard drive. While the Slim made it a little more difficult to perform hardware operations, Sony stuck with stock components that you could find anywhere. Sony’s spec details on the PS4 don’t include info on the nature of the hard drive just yet, but hopefully they’re not changing to a proprietary format that would make it many times harder to add our massive pornography library (or save games; whatever...) to the console.
4. Offline Mode
Some game publishers have taken PC digital rights management to the extreme, forcing users to have persistent online connections to play their titles. With an expanded store, the “share” button, and their well-publicized hatred of the used-game market, it’s not out of the question that Sony might try the same thing. An inability to play games offline (or without any Internet connection at all) would be a serious blow to consoles as dedicated game machines and not just weird looking PCs you stuff under a TV. If the one thing a system is specifically engineered to do is inaccessible without a persistent Internet connection, you’ve just invited every software pirate in the world to take a crack at your console.
5. Advertising Controls
It’s no secret that a major source of future (and current) income is advertising. Whether it’s product placement in games or dashboard ads plastered on your online homepage, gamers have to get used to the idea of Mountain Dew shilling to them wherever and whatever they play. But as Sony is advertising its “share” button on the PS4’s controller, it’s likely that social media and networks are going to be integrated into the new playing experience. Will Sony then pass on playing, posting, and other personal marketing details to advertisers? If they can connect your offline persona to your gaming ID and social media accounts, Sony has just built a marketing data engine that can rival Facebook. If there aren’t careful controls of your personal data, get ready to get a whole lot of, “Hey, XxxJerkNugget33Xxx, we saw you searching for PENIS ENLARGEMENT. May we recommend MEGADONG FORMULA 23?” messages in your inbox.
And as long as we’re making demands of a multi-billion dollar conglomerate that could have us silently killed while taking a shamefully loose dump in our studio apartment, here are the less reasonable but still awesome functions we’d really like to see.
6. Violet Ray
You don’t remember your color wheel, do you? Well, after blue comes violet. What comes after Blu-Ray? Violet Ray! As PS4’s new media format, it should be able to store 37 terabytes and come on a purple disc shaped like a pizza (also, it should be edible).
7. Backward Compatibility to Atari
We want PS4 to play every game ever made for every system that ever came before it. Lynx? You got it. Neo Geo? Better believe it. Weird Soviet Russian game system whose one game was a wheat-harvesting simulator? Oh yeah.
8. All Loading Screens Are Games
Loading screens, if there are any, should all be persistent old-school games. So between bouts of Street Fighter XVII, you could be playing…bouts of Street Fighter II!
It should be able to make pancakes. Do not question this.
10. A Clean Source of Renewable Fusion Power
Look, nuclear energy is just not a long-term solution to the world’s energy crisis. And while nobody disagrees that fossil fuels are here to stay for the immediate future, it’s past time to consider the trade implications of sourcing power from dictatorships while exploiting a non-repairable environment here at home. With that in mind, is it really too much to ask for our game consoles to produce cold fusion?
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