After purchasing a PlayStation 4 camera and delving into the world of live streaming, content creation and maddening editing I’ve discovered that consoles are extremely limited in the grand scheme of things. After working out how much money I’ve spent on PlayStation I suddenly expect much more from them with regards to a feature that I think every current generation console should have especially in this day and age.
I remember when the PlayStation 4 was announced, they marketed it so that you would want the camera as well and if I remember correctly it was initially supposed to be bundled with the actual console. But in order to save costs apparently they removed the camera from the package deal so that you had the option. In hindsight, I guess they knew that this camera really wasn’t worth the extra cash even if you are using it for live streams.
I have always wanted to get the camera for myself but I found no reason to actually validate that want. I guess because it was a peripheral that would somehow complete the console in my mind but that’s the best reason I’ve got. Three years after purchasing the console Man, was that a great day I managed to obtain a second-hand camera, barely used for three times less the cost. I was super excited to just get home and play with this new device. It’s best to know that I wanted the camera specifically for being able to record myself as well as gameplay clips but regrettably I was sadly disappointed.
While the camera itself is pretty adequate in what it was designed for much is left to be desired on the functionality side and a huge missed opportunity for Sony. This camera only works with three things in mind. One is facial recognition to automatically log into your console. A cool gimmick I guess but unless you have no hands then it becomes kind of moot. There is live streaming which allows your ugly mug to be broadcasted to a bunch of gaming fanatics via Twitch, Daily Motion or YouTube and the third thing is for VR purposes which is the motion tracking which is it’s only real selling point then or at least in my opinion.
So, I wasn’t aware that when I purchased this camera that I wouldn’t be able to record myself. It’s my fault, I’m the first to admit that, I should have done some research on it but in the same breath, why should I have done research on that particular front? We are in a day and age where video games are looking more lifelike than ever and they run great most of the time. With the halfway iterations of Xbox X and PlayStation Pro that packs some serious hardware power for consoles, you would think that you would be able to record yourself with this overpriced camera. You can play your game, broadcast it and yourself via the camera with audio to the world simultaneously but you can’t record yourself playing games offline? The simple fact that its sole use is for a square box to sit snuggly in a corner of your monitor over your gameplay and only during a live stream is for lack of a better expression, pretty damn dumb.
I said earlier that this is a missed opportunity for Sony. Wouldn’t it make sense to allow the camera to record you? For me personally, it does. Casual gamers who buy and play more frequently on consoles tend to fork over more cash in the long run compared to casual PC gamers. The low-end casual console gamer will get the console and be happy with that and will usually only fork over money for new games or get second-hand games and maybe peripherals if they’ve heard good things about it. Leaning towards the more medium-end of casual gamers they will only get peripherals that will enhance their specific type of gameplay and what they want to be able to do. The high-end casual gamer will buy just about every peripheral no matter how gimmicky because they are super invested in the brand. I’m not judging anyone of the three tiers. Personally, I fall on the medium part of the scale.
So let’s math. A new console goes for between R5000 and R8000 depending on the model you are getting and bundle deals. The camera goes for between R1000 and R1300. I own an original PlayStation 4 and a Pro which I got two years later. At the time the original PlayStation 4 was R8000. The PlayStation 4 Pro that I bought two years later was R8000. So, I’ve spent R16000 on Sony’s consoles not including the games. Making it R17000 with the camera had I purchased it new. For that amount of money, I could have bought myself a pretty solid gaming PC with a decent webcam and probably a nice quality mic with regards to live-streaming and it would be more versatile for content creation. You see where I’m going with this?
For the amount of money that gets exchanged from within the console community, there should be much more functionality within the console, not just gaming and barebones streaming services. While it will be argued that consoles are there simply for the average gamer to play games, I personally don’t think that is the case anymore.
I’m trying to branch out with what I want to do and after giving so much of my money to Sony I would expect way more features especially in an industry that is raking in billions a year. An individual who is primarily a console player who might wish to create more content would be most appreciative if they could record their podcast from their consoles camera, save it directly to the console, import it into share factory or export it to their flash drive and edit it on their computer. Give us more options and freedom to create. I can’t be the only one who thinks this.
There is so much more I could say about what Sony should do but I will save that for another article. It might seem like I’m highly upset with Sony and I want to assure you that I’m actually not. I’m Just aware of how it doesn’t cater to another type of user that might want to make the jump into content creation.
‘Till next time…