Before I begin, let me make something perfectly clear-
Whenever someone wants to poke fun at Sony, developers, or journalists for using the term "hidden power" in reference to past PlayStation consoles, I get annoyed. They use the term in a sarcastic or mocking manner when in truth, there was nothing more apt. Think about it:
There was indeed a lot of hidden power in the PS2 and PS3 (and in the original PlayStation, to some extent). And when we say "hidden," we of course mean that due to the complex nature of the architecture, it took some time for developers to fully tap into the system's true power and overall capability. Multiple designers have made this very clear time and time again, so I'm not sure why "hidden power" has always gotten so much flak. Just use your eyes. Did the launch titles on the PS2 look anything like Final Fantasy XII , God of War II , and Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater , which came out later in the generation? Hell, making the comparisons, you could be looking at two completely different machines. It's a fairly drastic leap.
And it has been a similar road for the PS3, as we're seeing graphics presentations from The Last Of Us , Beyond: Two Souls , and God of War: Ascension that are leaps and bounds ahead of launch titles like Ridge Racer 7 , Call of Duty 3 , Untold Legends: Dark Kingdom , and Genji: Days of the Blade . However, given the fact that Sony is taking a more accessible route this next generation, now it appears that we won't be allowed to use the "hidden power" phrase anymore. This accessibility has its downside, in that we probably won't be seeing ever-increasing technical quality throughout the generation. Then again, that's nothing new for Microsoft fans; as far as anyone could tell, devs knew the Xbox and Xbox 360 inside and out when those systems first hit the market.
So maybe this is the right way to go. And besides, let's not forget that multiplatform titles have been iffy for the PS3 this generation, although that issue has almost died out. Let's not have that issue at all next time around, and let's not wait three or four years before seeing the best of what this system can produce. It's not that I'm impatient but after several generations of seeing the same sort of path taken by PlayStation, it's nice to see something different. …and yes, "hidden power" probably won't be a subject of conversation. Not with that architecture, apparently.