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Play Life, Live Games column: Sony poorly releases details on PS5

Dusty Ricketts
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Plaquemine Post South

Well, that could have gone better.

On Wednesday, Sony released a nearly hour-long video giving their first deep dive of information on the upcoming PlayStation 5. Even as a huge gamer and someone who has been a fan of the PlayStation brand since basically day 1, the video was an underwhelming snooze.

For 52 minutes and 45 seconds, Mark Cerny, lead architect of the PS5, stood at a podium in front of a green screen with occasional graphics behind him and talked in detail about the design of the upcoming console.

“PS5′s ultra-high-speed SSD and integrated custom I/O system were developed with the goal of removing barriers to play - specifically loading screens,” according to PlayStation blog released alongside the video. “Developers are able to stream assets into PS5 games at an incredibly fast rate, so PS5 play experiences can be seamless and dynamic, with near-instantaneous fast travel through large game worlds. This enhanced speed will enable game developers to create larger, richer worlds without traditional limitations, such as load times, and also allows gamers to spend more time gaming than waiting.”

One of the highlights of the presentation was when Cerny was talking about the PS5′s proprietary SSD storage, which will allow for incredibly fast load times. As an example, Cerny said it takes the PS4 about 20 seconds to load in 1 GB of data. The PS5 will be able to load 2 GB of data in about a quarter of a second.

Jason Schreier, news editor for the gaming website Kotaku, was one of the harshest critics of the presentation.

“Seems like a bad marketing move to release a technical spec sheet that looks significantly worse than your biggest competitor’s, then put out an incomprehensible hour-long lecture video rather than showing actual game footage to demonstrate what makes your console unique but hey,” Schreier tweeted. “I shouldn’t have to be the one saying this, but the PS5′s SSD is a *huge deal* and could actually change the way games are designed. Meanwhile, gamers will just look at the side-by-side specs and believe the Xbox is superior - Sony’s marketing couldn’t have handled this any worse.”

Wednesday’s presentation should have been more like the reveal of the PlayStation 4 back in 2013. Cerny, who was also lead architect of that system, gave a keynote address on hardware, but the presentation included footage of upcoming games that took advantage of PS4 hardware. We got our first look at games like “Knack,” “Killzone: Shadow Fall” and “InFamous: Second Son.”

Wednesday, we didn’t get anything like that and the reveal was disappointing for it. The presentation did not show what the final PS5 hardware is going to look like, the new controller and what it will be called or the price and release date of the system.

There’s still a lot of time for Sony to correct course, but Microsoft’s early marketing on Xbox Series X, and how powerful it looks on paper compared to the PS5 specs, are definitely giving it an advantage in the next-gen console race.

Dusty Ricketts is the editor of The Destin Log and The Walton Sun newspapers and can be reached at dricketts@thedestinlog.com.