The Monday Blog: PS4 Pro Finally Worth a Look, Switch/Zelda Thoughts

Horizon launches in just a few hours, as of this writing. Sony’s big, graphically intense, single player game is the sort of thing that’s not made as often these days as it was a few years ago.

It offers great visuals on a regular PS4, and even better graphics on the PS4 Pro. The Pro is a big step up in graphics power from the base system…but without any hard sales numbers, we have no way of knowing how much of the massive player base there has actually embraced the new technology.

When the PS4 Pro was first announced, I really wanted to care about it. For year, I’ve chased the dream of better technology. But then, Sony said “Oh, it’s going to require developers to individually patch each game.”

Blast!

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The Pro is a slightly thicker Rhombus than the original PS4. I really like the look of it, but some people loathe the new styling. To each their own!

Now, however, with the launch of Horizon, Sony finally has a graphical showpiece to go along with their 4k gaming hardware. Also, the next firmware update brings the Boost Mode, a special toggle that allows you to force all PS4 games to use the increase power at your own risk.

That last point is what finally got me to invest in the system. That was the feature I wanted from the very beginning. There’s no sense in giving consumers the choice of a more powerful console without letting them use that power.

I can’t wait to play through Horizon with a stupidly high rendering resolution.

Switch is almost here!

Speaking of new consoles, the Switch is out at the end of the week. I haven’t pre-ordered one, and I don’t plan on buying one at launch.

Now, if I’m wandering in a store one day in the next few months and I see one…I’ll probably buy it. I’m a sucker for new stuff that way. But I’ll vacillate for a while. Why?

Because the only game worth playing in the launch lineup is Zelda.

That’s not really meant to be a slight against those other games…but Zelda is the obvious star. And what an interesting thing it is! Clearly, it’s a Zelda game made by a Nintendo that saw the popularity of Skyrim and said “We could do that.” I’m pretty excited to play it. Zelda has needed a shakeup for years, and I’ve always thought the non-traditional Zeldas were the more interesting entries in the series. That’s not a dig against the classics like Ocarina and LTTP, but there’s only so many times we can play that exact game, right?

It’s also fascinating that it’s coming out right on the heels of Horizon, which is Sony’s “Totally-Not-Skyrim.” Comparison’s between the two games will be inevitable, and probably throw Switch’s older internal technology under the bus. I think Nvidia Tegra tech is pretty impressive…but from the looks of things, Nintendo is opting for the already-existing older chip instead of a new implementation.

Then there’s this whole JoyCon debacle. The wireless performance shown in several videos now is rather unsettling. It seems like people are going to have trouble playing Zelda on their televisions unless they shell out for Pro controllers. Surely Nintendo discovered this wireless deficiency in testing…and then decided it didn’t matter.

I really really want to be excited for the Switch, but it’s hard to muster right now. By the end of the year, when it has Splatoon, Mario Kart, and a new Mario platformer, I will most certainly have to own one. But I fear it’s going to be a rocky start for die hard fans.

Those fans deserve better, Nintendo. They’re what keeps you going.

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I do radio voice work by day, and write by day and night. I studied film and production. I love audio, design, and music. Also video games.

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