Sources Say to Look for “Killzone 4″ at the Playstation 4′s Launch…But is it Enough?
If so called anonymous sources are to be believed, you can expect “Killzone 4” to be releasing alongside the Playsation 4 later this year. Those same source goes on to say the unveiling of the game could coincide with the assumed Playstation 4 reveal that Sony has planned for February 20th.
Sony has no official response to the claim.
Though the development of the “Killzone” franchise is handled by Guerilla Games, and is nearly their sole project, the “Killzone” franchise was originally intended as Sony’s sponsored “Halo killer,” in a time when all other companies were looking for such a thing. The original installment was generally well received, though no one was confusing it with Microsoft’s flagship shooter, and the reaction was almost universally more of a whimper.
It was “Killzone 2” and it’s “is it live or Memorex?” trailer that brought the series into real prominence and, since that installment, the franchise has both evolved into a much superior shooter, and is often referred to as one of the premier Playstation exclusives, along with a title that, much like “Mario,” is often associated with the launch of new Sony hardware (though the PS3 had to settle for “Resistance”).
For all of its improvements though, the franchise is still not a world stopping launch title.
“Killzone” is a fun game to be sure, but it never managed to reach the heights of the “Halo” series, or truly separate itself in the over-saturated FPS market (despite a rabid fanbase). This puts Sony in an awkward position, as a lot of other big name franchises they have available either have a game most likely still releasing on the Playstation 3 (“God of War,” Quantic Dream’s “Beyond Two Souls,” “Demon’s Souls”) or have no assumed plans for a new installment (“Little Big Planet,” “Uncharted,” a true new “Metal Gear Solid”)
It looks like “Killzone 4” is set to be the premier launch game for the PS4 then and, unless Sony has some serious hardware lined up, or a real surprise title in store, all parties concerned should be taking that position very seriously as the franchise is going to have to be the one thing it never was before for this to work, and that is a true killer app.
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As Details Emerge About the Next Playstation, I say Goodbye to the DualShock Controller
There has been a recent flood of information leaking the technical aspects of the new Playstation (and Xbox), that suddenly has everyone realizing that the official unveiling of Sony’s new system is indeed imminent. While we’ve learned a lot more about that new Playstation in the last week thanks to those leaks, there is still a great deal of the unknown as gamers eagerly await to see what Sony’s next gen system will bring them.
One thing that is becoming clear though is that the classic DualShock controller will not be part of that unveiling, as several sites, citing internal sources, are now reporting that Sony will be ditching their tried and true DualShock controller design and coming up with a fresh model. While it is unknown if the new Playstation controller will maintain basic elements of that old controller, already there are rumors of new features like a built-in touch LCD screen, and biometric sensors in the controller that would allow for readings of player’s certain physical properties such as sweat and nerves that could affect things like the character’s aim.
Obviously with Nintendo going bonkers with the Wii U remote (and redefining what a controller meant to a system with the Wii) every other company was going to have to step up their designs, and so this announcement is a bittersweet one, due in large part to the DualShock controller being the greatest video game controller of all time.
Even if you ignore the most basic features of the controller like it’s smart layout and curvy features that just naturally felt right in your hands, it’s the dual analog sticks and vibration ability that secures that lofty title for the DualShock. It’s easy to forget that the re-design from the original Playststion was a response to the analog stick on the N64, as it became quickly evident that the traditional four direction D Pad was not going to be enough to properly handle a new generation of 3D gaming. Humorously though, with the original dual analog controller re-design (minus the rumble feature) Sony still included a little button that would turn the analog feature on and off so gamers wouldn’t feel overwhelmed or burdened by the new technology. They in fact wouldn’t make a game that fully required its use until the brilliant “Ape Escape” which made considerable beneficiary use of the new design.
Slowly though, the gainful advantages of the dual stick design became immediately evident as it allowed for an unimpeded 360 degree movement system that was still as precise as any single direction direct input. Just imagine trying to play a modern FPS on a console without the dual stick layout, or a third person action or platform game without the freedom of movement and camera control at the same time. As for the built in rumble feature, you just need to recall “Metal Gear Solid“, and that moment where “Psycho Mantis” moves your controller by activating the rumble at a high capacity. It was an all time classic moment in video games that wouldn’t have been possible without the feature, and is just an example of the new level of interaction that the device was capable of providing.
It all came together to form the perfect gaming controller. When you look back at certain controllers, they’re often too simple, too cluttered, or too specifically remembered for their value in certain titles (the N64 and “Goldeneye” or the original Xbox controller and “Halo” for instance). Games always found a way to smartly use just about every button on the DualShock, and it worked for every style of game, not making itself noteworthy for one title above any other. It’s why Sony felt there was no need to change the design for the Playstation 2 or Playstation 3 (slight modifications and wireless functionality aside), and truthfully if they wanted to, it could still hold up for the next generation some 15 + years after the original design’s retail release.
It’s hard to fault Sony for reconsidering the controller for their next system, but even if they don’t maintain the design of the DualShock, we can only hope they remember the spirit of it, and engineer a controller that doesn’t strive to change gaming, but instead accounts for the natural evolution of the medium and inadvertently does so in the process.
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