Can some hashtags really make a difference? Maybe, maybe not, but it couldn't hurt to try.
Off the heels of the Xbox One people are nervous; it's understandable given what we know about the system and the things that it enforces, such as the stance on used games and the DRM in the form of a mandatory once-a-day connection. Although we already know what the WiiU is all about, since it has been out for a couple of months by this point, the Playstation 4 remains somewhat of an unknown quantity at the moment.
Sony has teased us with the Playstation 4; we know some of what it can do, but we have a far from complete picture. There are still things to be concerned about, for example if Sony does ultimately have the same ideas for used gaming and DRM that Microsoft does, and simply hasn't shared them yet. Many people have been quick to speculate that after the reveal of the Xbox One that it's now actually Sony's game to lose when it comes down to the fight that will be waged between the two companies whose machines will likely be out at around the same point and time and may share a price point as well.
It may be that everything, good or bad, is already set in stone and we're merely waiting for the news to come down from on high. If that isn't the case though, then perhaps it is up to us, the gamers, to make sure that our voices are heard. To that end, enter NeoGAF.
If the companies out there are listening, then now may just be the pivotal time to make our voices heard. Because of that user famousmortimer has suggested that we tell Sony and even Microsoft, Ubisoft, EA, and other companies exactly what we want out of this next generation: no DRM and the ability to play used (or even simply borrowed) games. He's composed a list of a great deal many people and has been encouraging everyone to tweet their accounts asking for confirmation of no DRM and used game friendly service for the PS4. He is telling people to be civil about this, which will make a difference, but the level of response so far has been quite something.
People are taking notice, like Scott Rohde, who is the US head for Playstation Software Product Development. Now, whether or not this will ultimately mean anything is out of the hands of the gamers, but at least we can say that we rallied for what we believed the next generation should be.
Voice in gaming like Jim Sterling and TotalBiscuit are providing coverage where they can as well. TotalBiscuit does raise some points about whether or not this campaign is actually having an affect or not, but I would like to think at least that people are noticing.
How things shape from here is still up in the air, it could be that a lot of things remain to be decided, or as I said it could have been decided already. I think that people should also be taking things to the next level and writing about it and saying more about it. Getting more involved can't really hurt, and having rational discussions about it can only help.
Even though so far this next generation hasn't inspired a lot of confidence in me, perhaps it can be made better. In the end I think it may depend both on how much we're willing to talk, and how much the people providing the experience are willing to listen. And hell, if it comes down to it, vote with your wallet or lack thereof. The only way companies are going to immediately pay attention is if they release something they expected to sell like gangbusters and instead it just sits on the shelves collecting dust. That might be a dark and unfortunately necessary day, but I still hold it's better than the alternatives.