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United by division: World's critics react to PS4

Is this the most hotly argued console reveal yet? See why the world's disagreeing over PS4

They didn't show the box! PS4 doesn't need a box! It's too powerful! It's weaker than a PC! Sony changes everything! Sony changes nothing!

[PlayStation 4 - All the news | All the facts | Every video of all the games | Official pictures | PS4 Specs]

It seems like Sony has a prodigious ability to polarise opinion. Critics, analysts and gamers have spun the facts of Sony's presentation into a series of deftly written, vested-interest narratives - a mixture of the brilliant, intellectually flattering, and plain ignorant.

It was hard keeping track of all the contradictory arguments, as folk raced to express The One Real Opinion across a series of witty, occasionally well observed and frequently soul-sappingly-negative and snarky tweets, forum posts and blogs.

To save you the trouble, we've rounded up the most interesting of the positive, negative and mixed reactions below, so you can make up your own mind - or lampoon based on your already fixed, and quite intractable, views.

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Image: Polygon

The Good

"Words whizzed at us like futuristic bullets in a badly bollocksed space-age skymall, shiny, speedy, somehow all pretty much the same as one another. It all means that PlayStation will do some smart things, things that will make my gaming life less frustrating, more enjoyable. Behind the bland words were actual benefits. But yes, two hours of PlayStation 4 was a damned good return. A bunch of games. Some great ideas. Specs. Games. Services. Not just words, after all."
Colin Campbell, IGN

"What's really exciting is to think about when developers starting building whole game designs around some of this functionality. Functionality which, much like the many features of the PS4's Swiss Army controller, will be available to everyone, right out of the box, with no divisions or inconsistencies between the capabilities of titles, communities or individual players."
David Houghton, Gamesradar

"The messages were clear - PS4 is going to be an incredibly developer-friendly platform, with an architecture that's more familiar and easier to get up and running on than any console before it, and it's going to be an incredibly gamer-friendly platform, taking away barriers between the player and the game which had existed on PS3. It speaks to a company that's learned from its mistakes and corrected them in a dramatic fashion"
Rob Fahey, Gamesindustry.biz


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Image: Engadget

The Mixed


"(Sony) succeeded in reinventing itself - in many respects, perhaps even more so than cynics dared imagine - but New Sony's bold vision, and smart approach to connectivity and cross platform play, was very almost derailed by Old Sony's adherence to politics and muddled delivery."
Dan Dawkins, CVG

"Even if Sony is operating in a shrinking games console market, you could read between the lines last night and see that PlayStation is happy to jump on with a land grab to reassert control over whatever is left of the 'games console market'. Sony really did give us a glimpse into its future yesterday: and not showing a console at all was a hat-tip to a world without consoles, but where console games still rule. "
Michael French, MCV

"The innovations came in understated fashion, while the assembled called for Sony to show them the games. They came, but somewhat dispiritingly were perhaps the least interesting aspect of the meeting. Killzone Shadowfall was technically impressive but mildly tedious, shiny environments and ferocious explosions displaying the PS4's grunt, but housing the same shooting we've been experiencing for a long time now"
Tom Hoggins, The Telegraph


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THE BAD

"Am I jaded or is this boring? No. It's boring."
Twitter

"When am I going to look at the fibres in the chair I'm sitting on in my made up car in a computer game? Bloody hell. ‪#PS4"
Twitter

"Not a single woman has presented anything at ‪#PS4 launch. Games industry still a boys club I guess. Disappointing."
Twitter

"A cynic would say Sony had a chance to impress tonight and failed. So would a realist."
Twitter

(A round up of negative tweets can be found on The Guardian website)

"Later they brought out the Move controller. That's crazy, Sony. You're crazy if you think the Move controller will be saved by the PS4 when across the aisle is the Kinect with its hands-free, truly innovative full body movie tracking. If you think people will build 3D sculptures with a wand with a ball on the end you've absolutely lost your mind. What was missing from Sony was a discussion of anything that could've made it a more broadly appealing device."
Darrel Etherington, Techcrunch

"One after another, self-respecting game creators took the stage to shake their heads and lament the severe "limitations" they have been forced to endure prior to the advent of the PlayStation 4. If it's unseemly for representatives of a multi-billion-dollar mass media industry to whine about the constraints on their creativity, that didn't seem to bother any of the men (there were no women) who regurgitated Sony's pipe-dream... As production budgets balloon and the cost of entry shuts out independent voices, the worship of "more" is likely to be the ruination of console gaming as we know it."
John Teti, Gameological



And you?
What did you think of the PS4 unveiling? Let us know by voting in our scientific and inarguable poll. For all the negativity - and some of it is justified, for sure - we suspect Sony have time to save the ailing 17 hour-old PS4 in the eight months or so before its launch.

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