A Eulogy for the PS4, the Greatest of Gaming Consoles

A reading from John 10:27-29:

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.”

Friends, family, and Esquire readers: I want to thank you for being here today, the day that the PlayStation 4 is overshadowed by its successor. As I look at all of you, seeing just as many smiles as I do tears, I’d like to think the PlayStation 4 is shining down on us right now. Many of you know me, but if not: My name is Brady Langmann. I owned a PlayStation 4. Or, as I came to call it, my child. And it is my great honor to share my memories of the PS4 with you here today.

The PlayStation 4 was born on November 15, 2013. It was the youngest of four children—soon to be five. It’s funny, actually. When the PlayStation 4 came into this world, the PlayStation 3 was a little bit jealous. The PS4 was faster, smarter, even more attractive than its older siblings, charming gamers of all shapes and sizes, launching with everything from Just Dance 2014 to Angry Birds Star Wars, from Battlefield 4 to NBA 2K14, running with a beautiful, sweet hum, taking every disc with nary a complaint, showing off that heaven-sent processing unit, peaking at 1.84 teraflops, goddamnit! Forgive me. I’m just getting emotional.

We had some great times together, didn’t we? The day, in college, when my best friend brought his PlayStation 4 and a whole-ass TV over to my apartment—two TVs, two PS4s—and we played Rocket League back-to-back for hours. The nights we spent alone: Welling up at the end of The Last of Us together. Staying up until 3, 4 a.m. playing NBA 2K, passing years and years in franchise mode, 10-peating with the Utah Jazz, real life slipping away with every trade, several lifetimes lived in the prism of a virtual, fictional NBA franchise. But it was real to me. It all was.

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PlayStation 4: You’ve seen me at my worst, too. Back in the days of PlayStation Vue, you watched me watch two full seasons—32 games—of New York Giants football on you. Every Daniel Jones interception. Every crack in the offensive line. We wept for Saquon. We’ll both take this pain to our graves. All the times I bullied Rocket League opponents who I’m pretty sure were 10-year-old children. Or, I hesitate to recall in the Lord’s house, the Friday night Call of Duty zombies run in 2018, maybe 2019, when I was so gin-drunk that my co-op partner had to shout at me every 30 seconds so I wouldn’t fall asleep. I pulled the plug on you more times than I’m willing to admit. You said if I didn’t properly shut you down that you would lose your memory. I ignored you every time. I wish I could take it all back.

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Your legacy will live on. I know the Xbox One and Nintendo Switch are here today, but you meant more to me than the rest. You gave us some of the greatest sequels in gaming history: Red Dead Redemption 2, The Last of Us Part 2, God of War. Introduced us to some new friends in Horizon Zero Dawn, Spider-Man, and yes, even Fortnite. I know you were upset when I bought my quarantine Switch. But if I’m being honest, the left stick was busted, and Mario Odyssey was a two-week fling. I didn’t even try Breath of the Wild, because I was having too much fun playing Broforce and Overcooked with you.

On Thursday, we welcome a baby into this cruel, uncertain world: The PlayStation 5. I’m told that, as you were once to the PlayStation 3, it will be better than you in every way. Near-nonexistent download times. A photorealistic NBA 2K. Ray-tracing, whatever that is. I’m not sure if I believe any of it. Because, you see? I love you too much. As you soar into the great beyond, floating through data streams and loading screens and digital dreams, running free like you were always meant to, know that I will never forget you, my sweet console. Goodbye, my child, the PlayStation 4.

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