What's up Reddit? We're Jeff Bakalar (@jeffbakalar) and Scott Stein (@jetscott) from CNET. Jeff hosts The 404 Show (http://cnet.com/the404) and covers games for the site and Scott covers a wide variety of beats for CNET as well. We were both at the Sony PS4 Wednesday night here in NYC and are here to answer any questions about what we saw, where the industry is headed and what it smelled like inside.

For more shenanigans check out our massive PS4 event wrap up with Polygon's Russ Frushtick on Thursday's episode of The 404 Show (http://www.cnet.com/8301-13952_1-57570595-81/the-404-1212-where-theres-a-ps4...in-the-controller-podcast/)

And finally, here's pretty much everything we know about the PS4: http://cnet.com/ps4

and the proof: https://twitter.com/jeffbakalar/status/305015331926204416

UPDATE: 3:00p ET. That's gonna do it for us! Thanks everyone for participating and feel free to keep the conversation going on Twitter, etc. Hope to do this again soon!

Comments: 148 • Responses: 43  • Date: 

roastedbagel75 karma

Hey Jeff/Scott - I don't mean to blast on in with the hard hitting questions, however is whoever the department responsible for the CNET Download utility aware that its been getting shadier and shadier in what it and the "trusted programs" offered for download on the site are becoming? I downloaded something and it wrecked havoc on my computer. I was disappointed and rather annoyed.

Aside from that, I think the organization as a whole is superb and have been following it as one of my primary tech news drop-in since the late 90s. Thanks in advance.

jeff_bakalar38 karma

So download.com is managed by a totally different division at CBSi. In fact they're not even in our NY office

xsfire25 karma

Is there anyway you could voice our concern to that department? Thanks!

jeff_bakalar43 karma

We'll make sure we send this thread to the Director of Download.com TODAY.

JohnWad23 karma

How was it weird?

jeff_bakalar59 karma

It was like a huge concert with a bunch of opening acts and the headliner never showing up.

Also, there was a guy speaking Italian into an iPad Mini next to us for 2 hours. That was odd.

zomgrei18 karma

What was your reaction when the conference ended and they hadn't actually revealed the system itself?

jeff_bakalar55 karma

We were definitely surprised. We understand that of course it's just going to be "another box," but to be able to claim that you were "first" to debut should also mean you show us a product. Even if it was a hollow plastic box I think people would be happier. Also, a lot of people from around the world flew in to attend this and for all that hassle, a box, or better yet a price, would have made it worth the trip.

Also, there were 2 rows of Sony execs in front of us all shaking hands congratulating each other. When they turned around and looked at the attending audience they stopped doing that.

notcaffeinefree8 karma

Was it a "you've got to be f'n kidding me" surprised or just a "well that kinda sucks" surprised?

jeff_bakalar12 karma

The vibe I got in that room was more of the former.

speekeazy14 karma

  1. How is Wilson doing since his success of Gangnam Style ?
  2. How has the office vibe changed since HopperGate 2013 ?
  3. California Burrito vs NY Pizza who wins in a death match.

Thanks for all the work you guys do and remember pimps up hoes down.

jeff_bakalar20 karma

  1. that shit's racist
  2. yeah, none of us are allowed to DVR anything anymore :P But seriously that whole situation SUCKED and we're all moving on.
  3. I've had both and I'll put the worst slice of NYC pizza up against the best Cali burrito any day of the week, twice on Sunday.

jparker_CNET17 karma

Hey Jeff and Scott, sorry to crash this party, but as a member of the SF office, a SF (Mission) or Oakland (International Blvd) burrito would have the NY pizza tapping out before the end of the first round.

Carry on. :)

jeff_bakalar29 karma


scott_stein8 karma

no way. NY Pizza is Rocky. It comes back and wins (in the sequel).

speekeazy1 karma

Awww man i made the Wilson comment based solely on a post that was made in the 404 sub reddit when the song first came out.

jeff_bakalar7 karma

Of course I know that

jeff_bakalar0 karma

Answered something similar below, but:

We're human beings just like you and we take pride in our content. Judge us based on the stuff we write and make your own decisions. We're disclosing conflicts where we need to.

SomeYunGui11 karma

What were you guys originally thinking when you started the 404? Were you going into this and thinking about making it serious, or still about the comedy? I know the show Tech News Today is strictly tech and completely serious. I think the comedy element helps you guys out a lot. Were you guys ever thinking about going that route or? I will always be one of your devoted fans. I watch when I can.

jeff_bakalar7 karma

The show that we "pitched" was a lighthearted take at tech and basically poking fun at it. When we were greenlit all that stuff was encouraged and we're very grateful for that. 1200+ eps later we're having a blast and our listenership has never been better.

I think TNT does a great job going with the angle they do and I try and get on there as much as I can.

unmined9 karma

Love the 404; thanks for all the laughs. As far as the PS4, I don't think Sony can say it was an event. We got to see a controller. Everything else was behind the curtain. Was anyone privy to the actual hardware, and put under NDA?

jeff_bakalar7 karma

Thanks man!

We can only speak for ourselves and can definitively tell you that there absolutely nothing like that. We were also at a limited invitation area afterwards and there was none of that there either.

pinkerbelle9 karma

Did the lawyers at CBS approve the information you've presented online about the PS4, or will there be changes to your online content at some point in the future to reflect the interests of CBS?

jeff_bakalar7 karma


playsgolfhigh7 karma

Sooo any idea when we will see the actual console?

jeff_bakalar7 karma

E3 seems to be the general consensus.

rederic7 karma

How can you assure us that your opinions aren't influenced by CBS?

jeff_bakalar12 karma

We're human beings just like you and we take pride in our content. Judge us based on the stuff we write and make your own decisions. We're disclosing conflicts where we need to.

And the only one looking over my shoulder right now is the person giving me a massage.

SuperDan13487 karma

What do you think the price for the PS4 will be?

scott_stein12 karma

Rumors have been saying $429. I certainly can't be the $599 launch price of the PS3, which was disastrous. The Wii U was in the $300 range. The $400-$499 zone seems like the best bet.

JohnnyFootballHero6 karma

I've never been so underwhelmed by a console launch before. Made me realize I don't want a PS4, I want my PS3 to allow me to access more media. It's disappointing that Sony chose to focus on the "gaming" part of their console and completely overlook the fact that we now use these systems as living room media centres, from everything from streaming live TV online via the Internet browser to listening to music to watching Netflix.

scott_stein4 karma

Me too. The Xbox 360 is spectacular at being a streaming box. Matt Moskovciak and I were wondering how the PS4 would answer back, and all they showed were streaming apps that already exist on the PS3. It took a huge backseat at the event.

forcedfx5 karma

Did you know what to do with your hands?

scott_stein2 karma

You've got to get more specific, man.

dsiet215 karma

Hi Jeff, as a video game expert, a tech enthusiast, and a die-hard Devils fan, how would you recommend I keep my BM's regular. Some people swear by Align, some like Activia yogurt, or diet and exercise. Thoughts?

jeff_bakalar5 karma

Whatever works man. I find just staring out the window does wonders for me. That and playing ice hockey.

dsiet216 karma

Ok, well I was just staring out the window and crapped my pants, thanks a lot buddy

scott_stein6 karma

For some reason, going to the library always works for me. Or an old bookstore.

canesfan20014 karma

I'm sure most redditors are a bit jealous of your awesome jobs, how can someone turn their love and knowledge of tech into a paying gig (or at least, how did you)?

scott_stein5 karma

I did freelance for years before, and kept bugging people I knew who were editors. And that was before blogs where I could show off clips. Keep on writing, and get people to read it, build up your clips!

jcarter134 karma

  1. Traditional office chair or yoga ball?
  2. How do you manage eye strain in the office?

scott_stein7 karma

  1. I use a horrible office chair, but a fellow editor has a standing desk.
  2. I have 20/800 vision and stare a million screens all day. I try to outside and see real things that aren't made of pixels, but end up staring at my iPhone instead.

jeff_bakalar5 karma

  1. I tried out that ball thing. Not for me.
  2. Let's put it this way. I didn't need glasses until I started working at CNET.

donutdude2464 karma

What do you think is going to be the most frequent post launch technical difficulty PS4 owners will have? (Like X360 red ring, overheating, etc)

jeff_bakalar7 karma

I think getting all of those ambitious Gaikai-related streaming features working out of the box will be a challenge.

And from what we saw Wednesday, a solid launch line-up is now a concern.

beatsforthemind3 karma

How many of the streaming features (Gaikai or otherwise) do you think will be included in the release of the system?

The ability to stream to Ustream, other user's consoles, the PS Vita, as well as the ability to stream games directly from Sony sounds like a tall order. If they can pull this off the in the bandwidth climate of the Unites States I will be very impressed.

scott_stein1 karma

I think Sony's going to aim to get many of them up and running. As far as how they'll work: I think that's why they picked up Gaikai. I played OnLive and it definitely works, but quality varies a lot based on bandwidth. As far as Vita remote play--it already works with the PS3 a little, and the Wii U handles the same idea on the GamePad really well. Will be interesting to see if they can pull that off as impressively.

soulaura3 karma

What do you think the reason is behind not unveling what the actual console will look like?

scott_stein4 karma

I have no idea. Maybe they were trying to be like Nintendo when they showed the Wii U GamePad but didn't really discuss the console itself...but at that E3 event there were playable Wii Us outside right afterwards. Not just what the box looks like, but how do these hardware services actually work? We need to be shown. E3...

einkurogane3 karma

1 - What's your opinion about the great companies adopt the Online Pass to avoid the circulation of used games in the market? Do you think it will increase in the future? 2 - What do you think about the industry of games is approach more and more into the social medias, making features to share something in the Facebook, stream a online video on Youtube, etc?

jeff_bakalar4 karma

  1. Yeah clearly Online/Season pass stuff is designed to keep gamers holding onto their games for longer, so until everything is totally digital, this will be sticking around.

  2. Maybe it's just me, but I'm not totally into the whole social initiative that seems to be taking over. I like leaderboards and I like playing online with friends, but that's about it. But there seems to be sizable portion of gamers now that enjoy that, so more power to 'em I guess.

For me, I don't want to watch someone else playing games. Only rarely do I even watch killcams on CoD.

reinfected3 karma

Do you think the streaming features Sony has to offer will be a bust because of the very poor internet speeds in the US?

Also, I love your reviews. Keep it up. You guys are like the first I go to when I need to buy a new phone or a new gadget.

scott_stein2 karma

It could make those features really annoying. Local remote play on the Vita won't be affected, but yeah, there's a reason why I never thought OnLive would replace a PC. My home FiOS ranges from good to horrible any given hour.

Polite_Werewolf3 karma

The video game industry seems to be getting a little stagnant. Why do you think that is, and how do you think they can fix it?

Also, if there was a zombie outbreak, what would be your zombie plan?

scott_stein6 karma

Well, look an indie games, all the exciting stuff: that's generally on the web, Steam, or on apps in places like iOS/Android. Consoles are slow to push out non-studio games, and that's where some of the best stuff is happening. Sony/Microsoft/Nintendo need to make the floodgates open up without letting in tons of crap. Also, like movie studios, big game franchises repeat themselves for fear of losing money. And my zombie plan is to become a zombie.

alexthefilmer3 karma

Do you think the gap between PC gaming and console gaming is closing with the advancement of all the next-gen consoles, or is the disparity between two growing?

Also, how do i work for CNET. I'm awesome, like to drink, and play a lot of video games.

scott_stein7 karma

It definitely looks like the PS4 is gunning to be like a PC, and the specs really are basically a PC. Blizzard coming aboard cements that feeling. But the PS4 being a PC plays right into the hands of PC gaming, Microsoft, and even Apple--I think if they all feel like advanced PC gaming in the home, Sony loses. Microsoft's much more savvy about PC-style gaming comparatively speaking. Also, with stuff like the Steambox and Razer Edge taking PC gaming in console-style directions, it's going to get interesting.

schneidz1 karma

my guess is that the hardware will be stuffed into sony vaio's that have yet to be sold.

scott_stein7 karma

The PS4 is a Vaio (awkward E3 2013 reveal)

flyby082 karma

Given the fact that this maybe the last generation of dedicated gaming consoles, do you feel that Sony has the idea that they can slowly release information to the media and they will cover it in a positive light because you have no other choice? Love the 404 by the way

jeff_bakalar4 karma

Thanks flyby08.

Not sure about all that. Sony has to think about how we'll cover things like this beforehand. So they too understand that journalists will get frustrated when events like this create more questions than answers. I'm sure they get optimistic about the media's reception but they also adjust accordingly for next time based on our reactions.

usfbull192 karma

Hey guys. Is there enough here to make people upgrade from a PS3? Are we really dying to have a next gen system or is it similar to a vhs to dvd to blu ray jump? Everyone jumped to dvd. Lots of people stayed there.

scott_stein3 karma

Not that I can see yet...but if you like the idea of a system that's a lot faster, has much better online features, and graphics improvements, it'll be worthwhile...except it doesn't seem to be backwards-compatible... (sad trombone)

Mchawkeye2 karma

'Fess up...Do you have a PS3 or a 360? Or does working for CNET mean you are almost legally required to own both?

scott_stein3 karma

Jeff and I have both. I also have a Wii, Wii U, 3DS, Vita, and I bought a PSP Go that sits in my sock drawer.

SuperDan13482 karma

What's up with Sony not wanting backwards compatibility on Playstation?

scott_stein5 karma

I don't know, but I hate it. Not just because of the disc PS3 games, but what about all those downloaded titles? The way Nintendo handled Wii downloads on the Wii U is really annoying, but at least they'll play after a transfer. Sounds like Sony wants it all in the cloud in some sort of digital virtual console. We'll see.

Spacelysprockets_2 karma

Just tell me they are releasing a ToeJam And Earl for the PS4

scott_stein4 karma

December 2035. (I owned both those games)

sd41 karma

Do you think the PS4 has a chance of overtaking the Xbox as the gamers' games console of choice in the US?

scott_stein3 karma

Not really.

KobeLovesMoney1 karma

Why not?

scott_stein5 karma

I just feel like Xbox has a better handle on gaming online, and absent of actually trying out the PS4 for myself, I think the next Xbox will feel more comfortable, and will be a far more media-streaming-focused piece of hardware.

gamelord120 karma

What was weird about it?

scott_stein2 karma

See above.

schneidz-1 karma

blu-ray will make the system monsterously slow; what happened to the sd-card rumors ?

jeff_bakalar2 karma

I just hope this doesn't bring back the dreaded PS3 game install the first time you boot up, but based on this info I can't see that going away.

scott_stein2 karma

Games on 32-64GB SD cards...interesting idea...actually, in a year or two, not unreasonable at all.

scott_stein2 karma

Also, the PS4 Blu-ray drive is faster.

French87-8 karma

Hard-drive storage (not SSD)

Will not buy.

I cannot fucking believe this. I've been trying to find a way to mod my xbox 360 to use a solid state, SSD's have the BIGGEST impact on load times.

If the price of the ps4 ends up being over $400, and it is still using extremely outdated spinning disks, I will not be getting on board. It just means it will already be outdated technology when it launches.

Id MUCH RATHER pay $600 and have a sizable SSD in my console. Or at least have it as an option. SSD would not affect core performance, just load times and speed. So having an SSD/non-SSD version would not impact the games themselves.

Hopefully microsoft is smarter.

Edit: Clearly i've offended the playstation fanboys. Bring on the downvotes retards and enjoy your outdated PS4's that aren't even out yet but pales in comparison to a moderately good PC. Don't even TRY to compare it against a top of the line PC.

scott_stein3 karma

Hopefully the PS4 has an easily swappable hard drive like the PS3, then you can add your own SSD. It doesn't surprise me that the decision was made to go with HDD: it saves money and prevents the cost of the system from ballooning.