Twice bitten, twice shy: The ongoing LIE of Remote Play. I truly want to be positive about the PS4, but frankly, I find myself shoulder to shoulder with Mr. Christian Spicer in my skepticism. Let's face it, Sony has a very bad track record when it comes to fulfilling their pie-in-the-sky promises, case in point, Remote Play. Christian was right on target here. Remote Play was a feature that the original PSP had, and all it ever allowed you to do was stream a video or play some music remotely from your PS3. Apparently you could play PSOne games as well, but I never saw this feature in action and the poor visual quality of PSOne games combined with the poor visual quality of Remote Play streaming made this proposition next to useless. Fool me once, shame on you, Sony.
I bought a PS Vita at launch in part on Sony's vague promises of improving Remote Play with the PS3, but in the end those promises went absolutely nowhere (despite the Vita prominently featuring a remote play app, as well as countless videos of hacked PS Vitas remotely running PS3 titles that were circulating on YouTube before the handheld's launch). More than a year later I still can't stream a PS3 game on my Vita, nor can I even connect to my PS3 through the internet and stream a basic video or song. I can only do the latter though my private network, and the amount of time it takes to do so I can simply walk up to my PS3, turn it on, play the desired song or video directly on my TV and make a sandwich. Fool me twice, shame on me.
Now Sony wants me to believe that THIS time, they will finally get it right IF and only IF I buy another expensive piece of hardware, the PS4. And as I said, I WANT to believe them. But right now, all the past evidence tells me this is just another example of Sony talking out of their ass once again, just now with David Perry and Mark Cerny adding to the stink. Then there's also the fact that the PS3 has a whole library of games RIGHT NOW that I would love to play using the feature, while the PS4 has absolutely nothing I want to play (yet). So not only is it hard for me to believe in the promise of Remote Play, it's also hard for me to get excited about.
Now let me briefly tell you about the exact opposite experience. Microsoft and the Xbox 360. Microsoft made so many promises at launch and over the years about how the 360 would revolutionize the Xbox and Xbox Live experience, and while I loved the original Xbox, I was highly skeptical. But look at their track record. Cross-game chat regardless of what game or experience you were in? "No way!" I scoffed. But they delivered. Custom Soundtracks in any game (via the dashboard)? "You're kidding me!" Done. Background downloading (even when the system has been turned off)? "Seriously?" Yeah, seriously. Backward Compatability of "most major titles" through emulation? "Hmm...not perfect, but they did a pretty good job overall. Pass". Queuing a purchase via Xbox.com and then having the download start as soon as I turn my console on at home? "Hmm...maybe Microsoft actually knows what they are doing."
This isn't to say that Microsoft is perfect, as they have made more than their share of pie-in-the-sky promises that they failed to deliver on, Velocity Girl & microtransactions being among the first offences and the Natal/Kinect being the worst. But overall, if you look at Microsoft's track record, you'll see that when they make a promise about what the Xbox 360 can or will be able to do, 9 times out of 10, it actually happens. So while I'm not really excited at all for the reveal of the Durango/Xbox 720 (largely because I fear it will be more about services and only incremental improvements on what the Xbox 360 is already doing, rather than something mindblowing), at least I know that when Microsoft announces a new feature for their next console, I can be relatively confident that Microsoft will execute it and the feature will more or less work as advertised.
With Sony, I really don't know what to "make.believe".