a new generation of shiny black boxes
At Gamasutra, Leigh Alexander talks about the importance of the mainstream console business:
Here is a hypothesis: right now, if I wondered about the precise depth of the HDMI ports on a PlayStation 4, there would be multiple outlets where that information exists. How stable is the optional living room stand accessory? Someone has reported on it. Here is a new console generation: We have exhausted our analysis of the hardware. We have fetishistically lavished attention on whatever details are available, because consumers want to know.
How many kinds of numbers do you need to know to be able to provide every possible detail about an Xbox One? Specifications: Resolution, USB, API, CPU, GPU, DDR3, esRAM. You have to learn to speak a second language. Teardowns, unboxing, hyper-attention to the guts of these brand-new machines, and fan-made detective work about what it must or mustn’t be like to develop for. Someone is an authority on the message board. Someone else has derived unverified but viable previously-unseen details from a foreign language report.
I said I was going to get a PS3 when it came out and I never did. I’m saying it now with the PS4.
Maybe—as much as I may enjoy a new shiny PS4—I just don’t care enough.