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The head of PlayStation UK has expressed his opinion over the backlash Sony received following its decision not to show PlayStation 4 hardware during its reveal last week, telling VideoGamer.com that "it's much more important to see what the damn thing does" than showing "the shiniest piece of black, green or purple plastic".

Talking to us the day after PlayStation 4's reveal, SCE UK MD Fergal Gara acknowledged that Sony had received a "bit of cynicism" over its decision not to show the hardware, but claimed that revealing the console's design was "not the most important thing".

"[There was a] bit of cynicism over 'we didn’t see the box' and that kind of stuff, 'we don't know quite what date and quite what price'," Gara told us. "I understand that frustration but frankly, a box is a box. Is that really the most important thing?

"So right, it wasn't available to show last night, it wasn't considered appropriate to show it last night. So what? It's much more important to see what the damn thing does. The shiniest piece of black, green or purple plastic ever, you know, whatever, so what? It's not the most important thing."

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Fans expecting to see the console took to social networks to express their disappointment over Sony's decision not to show the hardware, with a BBC headline later labelling PlayStation 4 as the "'invisible' console".

And Sony's SVP of Worldwide Studios Michael Denny appeared to share their disappointment, telling VideoGamer.com in a separate interview that he "was a bit disappointed by [the absence of hardware] as well, but it will be here later in the year".

So why didn't Sony show the hardware last week, and does it regret its decision?

"Well, people are going to expect more news at E3 as one example," Gara continued. "So we've got to think about two things. One, gradually building the story, and secondly, when we need to make decisions. It isn't appropriate to make all of the decisions this far out.

"A great example would be a precise release date. We're working through all sorts of production schedules and all that kind of stuff, so we just couldn’t - unless we decided it was a year and a half away: you could probably commit to any date you like if you go that far away - but we want to get it out to market quickly and pricing those various commercial variables to be fully weighed up that we're not fully worked through.

"So it is what it is. But what's great is that we were able to show a rich catalogue of games, we were able to show a rich feature-set of new things that's going to allow creators to create what gamers want which is something new, exciting and just reinvigorates their whole interest in the category.

"In some markets in the UK I think we're seeing that flag a little bit right now, so it needs a boost, and I think we went a long way down that road last night in whetting the appetite."

PlayStation 4 releases this holiday season. The hardware is expected to be revealed at E3.

Source: VideoGamer.com interview at PlayStation 4 media event held in New York. Flights and accommodation provided by SCEE.

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DancingRhino's Avatar

DancingRhino

Sorry for expecting to see the product at the product announcement event Sony. My bad.

Seriously, couldn't they have said in the first ten minutes, this evening in terms of hardware we will be revealing the controller? Thus letting people know where they are? It's not that big a deal, but visual impact can sell something better than half an hour of waffle.
Posted 11:53 on 26 February 2013
FantasyMeister's Avatar

FantasyMeister@ CheekyLee

Well... not exactly Diablo III per se, but the fact that Blizzard are now working with a Sony console. Which is a big leap for any platform. Plus they've got Project Titan in the works, so if they confirm that for PS4 and Microsoft don't then deciding which console to get next gen will be pretty much a no-brainer for me.
Posted 11:09 on 26 February 2013
CheekyLee's Avatar

CheekyLee@ FantasyMeister

Really? Diablo III, a game you already have a couple of hundred hours in on PC, AND will be available to you on the much cheaper PS3, was the game that tipped you over the edge to PS4?

You know, I should probably get Diablo III at some point...
Posted 11:04 on 26 February 2013
PARTYBOY_1091's Avatar

PARTYBOY_1091@ FantasyMeister

here's confirmed info - KZ, Watchdogs, The Witness, and Media Molecule's new game are confirmed launch titles. Watchdogs was running on a pc with similar specs to the dev-kits used for all the other games. The games showed of were running in real-time. Release date is holiday 2013 for US and JP. no backwards compatibility for PS3, PS2, PS1, or PSN games though it was stated that there are plans for streaming via cloud, it has a blu-ray player and 8gb of ram and a l.8 teraflops quad-qore. ok now the unconfirmed rumors - the dev-kits used were apparently running 1.6gb of ram. The rumored price is $400-$500. Oh and they spent 10mins talking about and showing the new menu/interface. Did you even watch it or did you just feel the need to spout nonsense.
Posted 08:35 on 26 February 2013
clangod's Avatar

clangod

So let's announce a console that everybody knew was coming but mysteriously called Orbis until you call it the PS4 anyway. It has a share button where you can share everything with every one at any time and WOW facebook integration touch pad. It also plays games.

I'm of the opinion it doesn't matter whether they had revealed the console or not, but I think the response is a bit childish.

Do you reveal a product focusing on social connectivity as an integral feature then whine about social media being cynical towards a product they've heard so much about but haven't actually seen? Pre-order this poster now. Buy the upgrade before we announce it. Limited Edition.

It could be a frying pan with a bluray drive for all I care. Main thing is what it can do in terms of games. That I agree with.

Edit: Ninja.
Posted 14:45 on 25 February 2013
EverTheOptimist's Avatar

EverTheOptimist

I dunno, I can see both sides really. My Xbox or PS3 could be a beige shoe with a couple of inputs and outputs, I really don't give a sh*t if they complement my home entertainment set-up (read: a TV and an Asda surround sound system) and I don't look at them once they've been switched on or off. Unless they're making loud or weird noises, then I'll scowl at them until they pack it in.

On the other hand, no-one likes a pr*ck tease do they? It'd be nice to see this box, as FM says, running something to prove it is just that. After that Killzone footage back in the day, I think a few skeptics (rightfully) remain dubious.

I lean more towards the former opinion though - there's way too much focus these days on how a product looks rather than its function. Don't get me wrong, I love the look of the glass and aluminium on the iPhone, but it certainly didn't become part of my choice when I was thinking about what to get. I opted for an S3, with it's dull plastic, because I preferred how it worked and what it had. Fair play to Sony for focusing on that too.
Posted 14:25 on 25 February 2013
MJTH's Avatar

MJTH

I don't think anyone truly thought it was a terrible thing that they didn't show the consoles design at the conference. In the end it doesn't really matter what it looks like, as long as someone with common sense designs it. It really only needs to be a black or grey box with a slot for disks, a power button, an assortment of random cable ports and the letter "PS4" on written on it some where. But, if this thing is coming out this year, Sony should have had the PS4 on the production line by now, so they obviously have an image of the final design somewhere.

Now this may sound mad to some people, it's just that if you are going to have a 2 hour long event, flying journalists from all over the world just to see you announce a product, then not showing said product is a bit anticlimactic. It's a weird decision. It was weird when the Nintendo did it with the Wii U, and it's still weird now.
Posted 14:05 on 25 February 2013
FantasyMeister's Avatar

FantasyMeister

Oh, and Diablo III :) That was the seller for me.
Posted 13:58 on 25 February 2013
FantasyMeister's Avatar

FantasyMeister@ pblive

We've been talking about the PS4 for half a decade, but I'll concede that at least we now have something more concrete (8GB Ram and extra hardware to bring downloads on par with another current gen console).
Posted 13:53 on 25 February 2013
pblive's Avatar

pblive@ FantasyMeister

But you could argue that even with the box, it doesn't mean that game you see on the screen is coming from retail PS4 hardware.

The main thing is to get people talking and to get some information out there, then E3 will be the main reveal. I think that's a clever thing to do and Microsoft are planning something similar, no doubt, in April.
Posted 13:40 on 25 February 2013
FantasyMeister's Avatar

FantasyMeister

I'm not with them on this. Because we didn't actually see a PS4 running we could just as well have been looking at projected target gameplay running on a high end PC (probably were), so in reality we still have no idea what the PS4 is capable of yet despite it being announced. It's more like a pre-announcement for the main announcement, surprised they didn't prefix it all with a countdown clock on a website somewhere.

Storage? Backwards compatibility? New menu interface? Are those tracking things on top of your TV compulsory? Warranty? Cost? Bundles? Release date? Launch lineup? That would be an announcement.
Posted 13:35 on 25 February 2013
Endless's Avatar

Endless

I'm with them on this. Couldn't give a rats ass what the box looks like, what they showed about it's interior and the supporting services and architecture was much more important and impressive than any shiny shiny they could come up with.

Generation of Apple-shiny mopers if you ask me :P
Posted 13:18 on 25 February 2013
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