It’s a console that has been at the forefront of every major gaming platform, and which has been heavily subsidized by the gaming community at large. A console that has largely defined the terms of play and service for almost every major platform in the video game industry. And one that has largely been absent from the popular consciousness of the gaming public. But now, that we have the PS4 and Xbox One, the Xbox 360 has been conspicuously absent from the gaming public conscious. And so the idea that the upcoming console from Sony will be a game console is being kicked around with such a kick-ass name that it will be forgotten, just as the PS3 was so long ago. But the fact that we’re all here for the consoles, and that this is the next generation of consoles in the world, shouldn’t be discounted. Because of the importance of the industry to Sony and Microsoft, and the size of Sony’s and Microsoft’s audiences, it’s an action that’s at least worthy of celebration. We’re all here for these consoles, and we want them to be successful. We want to be excited about these things, and excited about what they can be in the future. So let’s take a look at why this is so. What can we expect from these new consoles? And where they could really stand up? Let’s start with what’s happened in the last six months of the console’s life. In the first half of the PS4’s life, the console was simply a different platform with more options, more power, more freedom and more choice. The other half was spent in a kind of content lockdown that Sony has been trying to manage since the PS3’s funeral in 2011. The PS4 has been heavily subsidized by Sony’s online services, and Sony has targeted its console’s ‘expanded’ features to make the most important features of the machine ‘available’ to players at the expense of (at least) its most important ones. It was a time when the PS4 was so boldly ahead of the pack, it was so forward-looking, and so truly exciting that the console people forgot about it for almost a year. So what happened in the last six months? Before the PS4? Well, there’s the PS4 Slim. Sony’s been talking about the PS4 Slim for years now, and what we’ve seen since the reveal of the PS4 Pro, it’s not really a new console. What we’ve seen has been a new console, but not really a new machine with better games, like the PS4 Pro. It’s more a new box with a new interface, some features, and new accessories. The most obvious change is the PlayStation 4’s new operating system, which allows for much more complex games, and the fact that it’s a game console, rather than a streaming media hub. The PS4’s interface has been tweaked to make it more palatable to the hardcore audience, and the system itself has been enhanced with all sorts of new controls, options and options, so it feels like the console is evolving instead of being a totally new thing. On top of that, Sony’s cloud service, called ‘Seed’, has been a good fit for the consoles’ functionality. The idea is that you’ll be able to download your games through a server farm instead of from your actual hard drive. Then there’s the PlayStation Now price. What’s really interesting about this is that Sony’s been very specific about what that will be, not telling you what it is. And that’s true of what’s coming in the future as well. When Sony started talking about PS4, it didn’t just announce the price or release date. It started talking about PS4 Pro. What we’ve seen so far of that so far? It’s $400 / £280. We’ve seen the launch price cut, now that it’s $399 / £299. So we’re not saying that the PS4 price is going to be cheap by any means. We’re saying that what you’re going to be getting is probably $100 / £100. So it’s $400 / £280, which is a little higher than the price of the PS4 Pro, but it’s also a little less than the price of a new game.