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PS4 reviews: Yoshida disappointed by low scores, but remains confident

Thursday, 14th November 2013 08:33 GMT By Dave Cook

PlayStation 4′s first-party launch line-up was appraised by the critics yesterday. Knack was the notable inclusion, which saw a raft of low scores. Sony Worldwide Studios President Shuhei Yoshida has commented on the reviews so far. While disappointed by the low numbers, he’s confident that PS4 is going to explode.

To give you some context, you can catch up on the three big review round-ups here:

Now, speaking with Yoshida, GI.biz asked for his thoughts on the review scores so far. He replied, “Yeah, it’s disappointing to see some of the low scores. I haven’t spent enough time reading reviews, but I would characterize them as mixed. And with this launch there are lots of games coming out, so the media must be very busy going through the games quickly, and especially since the online functionality wasn’t ready until in the last couple days. So we have to look at how much time they spend on what aspect of the games and how that may be contributing to some of the lower scores.

“It’s disappointing but I don’t think it’s worrisome for the launch of the system. I’ve played through all of our games, Killzone, Knack and Resogun, and I totally enjoyed playing through these games. I’m now on my second run of Knack and Resogun at a higher difficulty – these games really grow on you when you play more. I’m very confident that once you purchase these games and play, you’ll be happy that you’ve done so.”

On Knack’s critical reaction in particular, the site asked Yoshida if perhaps project lead and PS4 architect Mark Cerny was perhaps spread too thin to give the game his full attention. He countered, “No, I don’t think that’s right. He spent maybe a quarter of his time during the development of Knack and in his position of giving creative direction and overseeing development, it was appropriate… He was in Japan every month for a week, working with the team, so the communication was very good.

“The game wasn’t designed [to meet specific] review scores – I was hoping Knack could score in the mid 70s and last I checked it’s around 59-60, so I’m hoping it goes up. The game uses only three buttons to play, so it’s not the type of game reviewers would score high for the launch of a next-gen system. The game was targeted as what we call a second purchase; you know, people may purchase PS4 for Call of Duty or Assassin’s Creed or Killzone, but if they also buy Knack, this is a game that you can play with your family or your significant other.

“It’s a message that as a platform we are not just trying to cater only to the hardcore, shooter audience – we are looking at all kinds of gamers – but Knack is a great game for core gamers as well because when you up the difficulty level it becomes a really tight, tense action brawler.

“But the goal was to design it to be played by anyone, even someone who’s never played before. So it wasn’t aimed at high review scores, even though higher would be appreciated! Killzone is different – it’s definitely targeted to the core gaming audience and we’re still waiting on more reviews because some sites are saying they played single player but not enough multiplayer. So I’ll wait with my personal judgment until I read more reviews.”

Elsewhere, Yoshida pinned the delay of Driveclub on complications with the game’s social features and suggested that because the idea was so new that the team had to push the game back to get it right. Regardless, Yoshida feels confident that PS4 marks the beginning of a “transitional generation,” one that will see new trends and technologies come to the fore.

He said, “The PS4 generation is going to be the transitional generation. In a sense, it’s the completion of the evolution of the strong 3D capable consoles, but at the same time it’s at the maturing phase of our network platform and the beginning of our new service phase, like our cloud gaming that we are preparing to launch next year. And the use of mobile devices is part of our ecosystem.

“So all that considered, and the difficulty we had at the launch of the PS3, and very strong competition especially in North America, that made us really revisit everything we’ve been doing and redefine the company, almost like we’re re-entering this industry. Even across our teams, I think you now get more consistent messages [about PlayStation] compared to past generations, because we talk a lot more and get a lot of input [from all the teams] on different decisions.”

What do you think? Is the PS4 launch line-up now looking a bit damp and squidgy, or is it as strong as ever? Should we be looking at the long term instead of short? Let us know what you think?

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43 Comments

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  1. monkeygourmet

    Of course it will. Games weren’t required with the system hype! :)

    The next hurdle is making sure the machines don’t melt and overheat / brick on system updates. It’s going to happen to some by law of averages, but that number needs to be kept nice and low.

    It does slightly terrify me they have built a machine in a relatively small box that includes the PSU and a large amount of GDR5 memory. It’s either genius or asking for trouble.

    #1 5 months ago
  2. Hunam

    I think having Fifa, AC, CoD and BF is a huge boon, even if you can get those games on current gen because it means you don’t have to divide your time between your PS3 and your PS4 if you want to play the big games this christmas. As far as a launch goes, it’s pretty good and Killzone gives the system some insane eye candy which is usually what people want day one.

    I am a little concerned that GT6 isn’t cross gen, which is a big mistake as it puts people in the same position God of War 2 did, which is to stop playing your PS3 and play on your PS2 for you exclusive fix.

    #2 5 months ago
  3. polygem

    ps4 will indeed explode (not to be taken literally). i will be getting one as well but i am saying this for a while now: sonys first party games really start to lack quality and i truly believe they have to fix that asap! ratchet, god of war, resistance, uncharted vita and so much more, all became very mediocore experiences in the last 2 years or so. sony needs to focus again in the software department. less is more. don’t let your fantastic ip’s turn into mediocore mainstream games.

    #3 5 months ago
  4. KAP

    Shuhei is awesome. Very humble and very honest.
    I must agree to a certain extent with Knack and say it’s not shocking that journalist gave low scores to that game. It’s clearly not designed for a late 20s early 30s gamer. I saw the IGN reviewer actually say the game is linear, two buttons and not deep in the gameplay department at all.

    Crash Banicoot or Jak and Daxter or even Sly must be the worst games of all time to him then.

    #4 5 months ago
  5. DuckNation

    Knack is really the only one getting low scores sure Killzone: Shadow Fall has a couple low scores but for the most part 70 and up

    #5 5 months ago
  6. monkeygourmet

    @4

    One still has to ask: ‘what was the point of the title though (knack)?’ Even for kids there are far better choices on PS4. It seems misjudged for a big exclusive.

    Why make a sub par kids game when kids could easily play sky landers / Lego avengers?

    That work could have gone into making another exclusive surely?

    #6 5 months ago
  7. Fin

    Yeah I still think this is the best launch lineup ever (both X1 and PS4)
    It might not excite, or bring new IP (Watch Dogs :’(), but there’s a lot (BF, CoD, AC, KZ, NFS, Forza) of solid established first/third-party games. Far more so than any launch previously.

    HYPE

    #7 5 months ago
  8. loveaya

    I don’t really care about the negative or positive reviews about the launch of PS4 and its current titles.

    I have been always waiting for about 2 years to buy a new-generation console.

    #8 5 months ago
  9. Ireland Michael

    Anyone who judges a console by its beginning is severely ignorant of the workings of the industry. All hardware takes time to build up momentum. When the real big hitters come out, that’s when hardware really starts to explode.

    The same will happen with the Xbox One.

    #9 5 months ago
  10. Kabby

    Exploding hardware is bad for business.

    #10 5 months ago
  11. Obernox

    Knack was butchered, but KZ and Resogun fared better, especially Resogun.
    He made seem like they all were butchered by critics, unless he was talking about the console itself, which also received mostly positive feedback. Biggest problem though is the lack of games.

    #11 5 months ago
  12. PS-FART

    so let’s play f2p and indie Guyz!:)wow I forgot that angry birds has finally came to PS4!:) hahaha

    #12 5 months ago
  13. Joe Musashi

    Yosp seems to be doing a good job of remaining accessible and engaging whilst banging the company drum. He was doing a Twitch stream last night too.

    JM

    #13 5 months ago
  14. Dave Cook

    @13 He’s good yeah. Not afraid criticism and doesn’t seem to stick to a memorised script. Pat’s had a few good interview experiences with him. A real human being, basically.

    #14 5 months ago
  15. VibraniumSpork

    Upon reflection, yesterday was really the first real hiccup Sony have experiencing leading up to launch. And it wasn’t really that bad. Knack does sound like a bit of a yawnfest but Killzone sounds like a solid FPS (to anyone but Polygon, apparently) with possibly the best visuals of any next-gen launch title.

    Toss in the pretty strong line-up of 3rd party titles and the well-received Indies and I doubt people will have much to reason to worry about having nothing to play come launch.

    #15 5 months ago
  16. polygem

    @15: no, that wasn’t what i was saying at all! i will pick up killzone nov 29. looks rocksolid to me. looking forward to it. i criticised that i think we’ve seen a drop in quality in some major sony franchises recently…and that i hope they will fix that. not because i want to bash sony but because i love some of their ip’s and want them to get back to greatness. the new ratchet game looks like it’ll be good. the killzone games have always been good but there have been several sony games that made me shake my head, like uncharted vita, some ratchet games, gow ascension, resistance vita (…!!!…no words for it) and more. not bad games – but a noticeable drop in quality. just saying, still picking up a ps 4 at launch.

    #16 5 months ago
  17. monkeygourmet

    @Poly

    Sensitive much?! :)

    Hey said Polygon not Polygem! lol

    I think he meant the website review.

    #17 5 months ago
  18. monkeygourmet

    @VSpork

    I would mildly argue that the launch titles were the most important thing to get right though.

    Exclusives matter at launch, especially as I can get multiplats on other systems cheaper and maybe better quality (PC).

    In that way I think Sony really dropped the ball. Now, I don’t think it will harm them in anyway (hype train is crazy for PS4), but if you step back… well… It’s a pertty poor show. The Downloadable titles beating out the AAA showcases in many aspects.

    Killzone is the best of the bunch, but that already goes up against COD / BF4. The 3 very similar FPS’s on launch.

    MS has a much more varied offering, but even that is a bit meh.

    #18 5 months ago
  19. polygem

    Olala…yea,sorry :)

    #19 5 months ago
  20. Dragon

    @JM,
    Agreed. While his job necessitates him to be a bit of a PR guy, but he is easily the best one in the industry right now imo.

    #20 5 months ago
  21. Joe Musashi

    Polygon’s 12 hour stream was a shambles. I’m not going to go into specifics, but if anyone wants to see damning evidence of the sorry state of ‘videogames journalism’ they need only watch 5 mins of it. Garbage.

    JM

    #21 5 months ago
  22. VibraniumSpork

    @Polygem – Hah, I honestly worried about you registering the Polygon reference as a dig when I was typing it ^_^ Worry not!

    @18 It’s a valid point, and I guess you’re right, the exclusives count for a lot. If there was no Killzone or Knack, would I be interested in next-gen? Yeah, I would, but others wouldn’t be. Remember though, although I know that BF4 and AC4 will look better/be cheaper on a PC of a certain spec….I don’t have a PC. For me, this is the chance to play an Assassin’s Creed game with a health dose of gloss and to finally – finally!!! – get to play a 64-player match of BF4. I’m buying Killzone just to get a glimpse of what PS4 can handle graphically if I’m honest, but I’m most excited about getting an upgrade over my current-gen experiences. I’ll admit that might sound a little weird, but there it is ^_^

    #22 5 months ago
  23. Gekidami

    @6
    Because its the type of game they wanted to make.

    #23 5 months ago
  24. Erthazus

    Yeah. Next Gen consoles have no games.
    If your small indie game scores higher then your AAA titles. You have problems in 1st parrty development teams.

    Killzone scores 74 on metacritic. The same thing as CoD:ghosts on Xbox 360 and next gen CoD:ghosts on (XO,PS4) scores 78.

    you have some major problems Here comrad if you can’t beat CoD.

    #24 5 months ago
  25. Gekidami

    Yeah, because on PC, indie games always score lower than big releases.

    #25 5 months ago
  26. monkeygourmet

    @Gek

    Sorry, but thats horse shit. No one sets out to make a poor game.

    They had access to the competition (previous Lego titles, previous Sky Landers titles), and they still managed to make a poor copy, even with Cerny practically building the PS4.

    It’s a poor show which ever way you look at it.

    #26 5 months ago
  27. Gekidami

    ^ That wasnt your original point. You asked why they made this kiddy game rather than another exclusive. The answer is that this is the game they wanted to make.
    -Why isnt it as good as other? : I dont know, time reasons maybe?
    -Why did they make this when there are other kid friendly games at launch? : Because they wanted to.
    -Why did they make a type of game that doesnt sell as well as shooters and the like? : Because they wanted to.

    They made what they wanted, might not have turned out how they wanted it to, still made the game they wanted to make.

    #27 5 months ago
  28. Super Girevik

    This is why I try not to buy a console at launch. I know in the future it will get better and the games will be there. That’s why I will wait and buy one in the future.

    #28 5 months ago
  29. DSB

    @28 This x1000.

    I think the only game I really enjoyed from the last launch was Crackdown. And even then Crackdown felt kind of like a tech demo for an open world game more than an actual open world game.

    PG3 was alright, but not as good as the first ones.

    The way it’s looking right now I’m thinking I’ll wait until the first pricedrop at least.

    #29 5 months ago
  30. monkeygourmet

    @27

    I also pondered that it seemed misjudged. The questions were retorical in that respect.

    The ‘answers’ you have given don’t really eleviate the fact that this seems poorly timed, rushed or misjudged for the intended market. None of those really wash when big money and ‘company face’ is involved.

    Cerny and his studios aren’t my kids. I don’t have to afford them the; ‘Well done, you tried your best and did what you wanted mentality’.

    The sheer fact Yoshida is commenting on this means things didn’t quite go to plan RE the lauch titles.

    This (Knack) was an important console launch title in a small posket of exclusives (The PS4 only has 2 retail exclusives to my knowledge). It needed to be better and the competition was freely available to check out.

    For the record, I feel the same RE the Xbone launch titles, but they have so far not been rated.

    #30 5 months ago
  31. Djoenz

    @28
    @29
    Finally some sensible people. Cheers!
    Join the crew: CyberMarco, Me, Michael Ireland! Respect.

    #31 5 months ago
  32. monkeygourmet

    @28,29

    I loved my launch:

    SNES (Mario World & F Zero),

    N64 (You know what!),

    Xbox (Halo),

    PS1 (Ridge Racer – got just after launch though, but still before the best stuff came out)

    Wii U (Zombi U was a perfect launch title for me)

    So, there is something to be said for getting launch systems, but it’s an individual thing really. As of yet, there is nothing that makes me want to get a Xbone or PS4 though.

    #32 5 months ago
  33. fihar

    Launch period is just an early skirmish though.
    If the PS4 hits the same state the Vita is in after a year, then you could say they messed up.

    There haven’t been a proper console launch for a while now and the 3DS has shown that bouncing back from a subpar beginning is indeed possible.
    It’s nice to be one of the first to dip their toes into the new generation, but I’ve fortunately grown immune to those feelings of novelties.

    #33 5 months ago
  34. Kuwabara

    Most of those reviewers are stupid and judged the game to only their level of audience. And they didn’t bother playing it on the higher difficulty which changes the game completely. But launch could have been alot better , for ps4 and xbone. Atleast launch 1 or 2 games that show the uniqueness of next gen, something that is rarely seen on current consoles, or possible.

    #34 5 months ago
  35. bradk825

    If you recall, PS3 was a long-term success despite a pretty weak library at launch.

    #35 5 months ago
  36. gamereck36

    After plating my PS4 thanks to Taco Bell 5 hrs straight I typically don’t get into the console wars but MS has some worrying to do. Everything I did over 5 hrs worked smooth from voice chat, share video clips, download 5 games simultaneously while playing Knack, sent voice text, and also synced my sony iPhone app with my PS4 you guys are going to love this. I feel that PS3 owners will appreciate the attention Sony has given to their product.

    #36 5 months ago
  37. Ryu2388

    @3 what you said makes no sense bc the last two years (almost) have been really good for Sony. A few of the games you picked were churned back to back and/or were experimental (tower defense Ratchet; more adventurous Uncharted). Part of me would rather see a branching out experimental company rather than the “let us do what is tried and true over and over again” mentality of this last generation. Even if they fail at time, things more than likely will get better.

    #37 5 months ago
  38. Ryu2388

    I realize that what I said is kind of contradicting at one point. I am typing on my phone and meant that yea some games are churned out for money, but a few of them were noteworthy attempts.

    #38 5 months ago
  39. polygem

    ok, fully hyped now. just ordered bf4, nfs and killzone with the amazon 2+1 deal…a bit shooterheavy but that’s ok, i haven’t played a shooter in a while. bring it on!
    the trade off: link between worlds and mario 3 d really have to wait for late dec or even jan now. i will survive that, somehow.
    :)

    #39 5 months ago
  40. SplatteredHouse

    I watched the Rev3Games review for Knack. I was just interested to see what the game was like, having earlier seen Sessler’s thoughts on Killzone. Cerny’s game surprised me, and I would choose it as part of a launch bundle. It has minor shortcomings, but it seems to me to be a good game. Sony’s “fun for all” offering. Have any of the VG247 writers had the opportunity to play it?

    #40 5 months ago
  41. Francis O

    Yoshida with that damage control

    #41 5 months ago
  42. Muramasa-jz

    I read the reviews for Knack , but i bought it anyways because my 5 year old likes to watch me play videogames occasionally. I really like Knack, its challenging , looks great and my daughter likes to watch me play. It’s not revolutionary or anything , but I end up playing it more than anything else except AC4.I havent had any bugs or graphic slowdown at all, and i have died a lot , but I keep coming back for more . Very surprised , but I was expecting a game that is for younger crowd and read bad reviews so maybe I wasn’t expecting much and got more than I read about.

    #42 5 months ago
  43. Phoenixblight

    @42
    Same here. I enjoyed the game a lot more than I suspected and I found quite a few reviews talking about how the game has PS2 era graphics which they need to get their eyes checked because the game is using a lot of next gen tech like skin shading for the humans and orcs not to mention the amount of detail that is in the environment alone.

    Yeah granted its not revolutionary nor is any game releasing as a launch title. Killzone is getting high reviews yet gameplay is that of what we seen from Crysis and other similar titles? Killzone looks pretty but it doesn’t do anything new and yet it gets high reviews and Knack gets much lower scores because it looks less like that game?

    #43 5 months ago