Monday, 25 February 2013


Last Wednesday Sony announced the imminent arrival of the Playstation 4 and I was geared up to do a write up about it.
Then I read 'The Digital Man' over on Gary Dobbs 'The Tainted Archive' and my sort of enthusiastic piece did a flyer out of the window.

So, the PS4 - a games console that is user friendly and links to your mobile and tablet. It enhances social networking to the point that your friends can drop by and watch you play your games. Also, it encompases your blu-ray dvd player, iPlayer, You Tube, Netflix - you name it your new console (whether Sony or Microsoft) will put just about everything in one place.
So far, the PS4 will allow you to try games before you buy - but is that a download buy or a disc. Like seeing the prototype console there was no information about that. However, there is a dual control that comes with a touchpad - bond with it and it becomes yours (like Bond's Walther PPK which only he can use).

So there you have it - a couple of hours of presentation reduced to a couple of paragraphs - but then I've not detailed all the technical stuff that I don't really understand.

There was a time when things were so much simpler.

We went to school and made friends with whom we played - pirates, cowboys, spacemen - whatever was popular at the time. TV was black and white and didn't become popular until the Queen's Coronation. Electric windows were for the well off or on American cars. And Paul Temple, Jeff Arnold in Riders Of The Range and Journey Into Space were the staple diet on the radio.
Comics like the Beano and The Dandy; Eagle and Girl; and, later, the prose comics like Adventure, Hotspur, Wizard and Rover were our weekly must read.

By my teens the prose comics disappeared - the stories like 'V For Vengeance' that fired the imagination were replaced bt comic strips. Television had evolved from  a single station (BBC) to three with BBC 2 and ATV (later ITV).  The old 78s had been replaced by vinyl records and the birth of the Long Player.

As time progressed, the TV became the centre of everything. Broadcast lengthened to the twenty four hour service we get today. There seems to be one in every room these days and far from becoming obsolete it has become a 'must have' necessity.
Even the flat screen in front of me as I type is a TV screen. Via my computer I can watch TV.
The TV was needed for the Atari; the Sinclair Spectrum; Commodore 64; Sega and Ninendo consoles; PS 1, 2 and 3 (and 4); GameCube; DreamCast; XBox and the subsequent generations together with the XBox 720.
And the dvd/blu-ray player also needs a screen - but then again the PS3 and 4 and the XBox 720 will make that redundant.

The telephone too has evolved. From that black phone with a silver dial that stayed put in the hall to the one we carry around with us. That original mobile brick has become small and slim; not only can you phone home but text message; send e-mails; watch movies; interact with the internet and read a book. And, of course, the likes of Samsung are about to compete with their version of the next generation of smartphones.

So my home may seem like a museum piece - it has bookcases filled with books, dvds and cds.
 As I look at movies and cds these days I see the words digitally re-mastered and wonder what it means - but then the Beatles 'Abbey Road' cover is digitally re-mastered as Paul McCartney loses his cigarette or the poster of Winston Churchill minus a cigar. Or a copy of 'This Sporting Life' by David Storey that omits one word from the description of a doll. Then there is the call sign for the breaking of the Moehne Dam, digitally re-mastered so as not to offend. I am waiting for the Blue Meanies to become the Purple Ogres in case any Conservatives should be offended. However, joking aside it does make me wonder what else The Digital Man has re-mastered.
This political correctness thing had to be part of the reason that 'The Dandy' went the way it did.

So, the new generations of mobiles, consoles and computers are all linked to the gentle art of social networking. One look at my Facebook page and I seem to have a lot of friends - but I have never met any of them socially. I guess that answers Gary Numan's question: "Are Friends Electric?"

Evolution, according to Motorhead, is a mystery. It is because it creeps up on us in such a way that no one can grasp it. Anyone against is just so out of touch - just accept or rather surrender to the inevitable.
With more and more people working from home Digital Man is becoming isolated. Shops online; downloads a lifestyle in books, movies and music; eats ready meals from a microwave and drinks whatever is the flavour of the month and chats with electric friends.

If not now then the future.

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