The consencus seems to be a "meh".
Seriously though if they just showed the console itself the attitude would be totally different. People just want something tangible. Its symbolic and shows they have at least something final and ready.
Meh regarding the console or the presentation? I don't see meh regarding the console, which the next Microsoft console is likely going to be very close to also, and pretty much outclasses the Wii U. I see concerns over the price point on it, more than anything else. And they showed the controller. Exactly what does showing the device you put the disk into gain you? This is the announcement presentation, and laid down the basics. It is now stay tuned for the details.
Presentation I meant.
Rest, I quote kotaku:
"Not having the console at the event doesn't matter. When you get right down to it, the most important things are the games and the experiences the PS4 will offer. But yet, it does matter. It matters very much.
This is a console reveal. You need to show the console. It's a psychological thing: We need to see the box that will power the games and experiences the PS4 offers. Otherwise, the PS4 will feel incredibly abstract. It won't feel real.
Worse yet, it makes it feel like there was no payoff to the PS4 reveal. No, here's the new controller, here are the new cool games, and finally, here is the machine that will make it all happen. Bam, bam, bam. We're one bam too short, and that's unsatisfying. The entire evening never built to a climax. It just ended, sorely missing that one last bam."
In the end, it woudl have tied it all together, and the fans would have preferred to see it, you gotta admit.