I thinks this is what it will all come down to. If they keep listening to their users, it will definitely become a magnificent device!
It already is a magnificent device. The problem is that the info that most have on it right now is limited and is leading to incorrect conclusions. For example, you mentioned that clip parameters didn’t appear to be accessible, but they are. You also mentioned that entering melodies via the step-sequencer wasn’t possible, but it is (a single sample/sound can easily be assigned across the keyrange in a Drum Rack).
At the moment, the only way to really learn about Push is to read the section on it in Live 9’s manual and, of course, have a good understanding of how Live itself works. As an example of what I mean on that last point, Live’s Session View is essentially a sampler with all sorts of neat tricks (follow actions, realtime quantization, envelopes per clip, etc). Contrary to what many are saying in this thread, you can easily record audio into a clip, duplicate it a bunch of times, adjust the start/end times of the duplicates and jam away…all without touching a mouse from Push.
If they treat it like the APC 40 and leave it in the hand of the 3rd parties and max patchers only, it will probably still stay around and be bought for a long time(like the APC40), but a great opportunity will be wasted.
First of all, the APC40 benefits from improvements/additions to Live. For example, the newly added ability to record automation in clips greatly benefits the APC40. Secondly, the fact that the APC40 (and any other controller for that matter) can be extended via hooks that Ableton put in place specifically for that purpose is a great thing…a really great thing. In fact, Maschine itself has benefited from that since day one. One of the first Maschine-related videos NI posted was showing it controlling Live via a MIDI Remote Script. That certainly helped push some Maschines out the door and a newer example of that is primarily why this thread was posted in the first place.
Using MIDI Remote Scripts and/or M4L to extend the capabilities of a controller like Push or Maschine or the APC40 is not a workaround or hack like many have suggested. These are parts of Live intended to be used for this exact purpose.
Personally, I don’t see Push/Live being very comparable at all to Maschine. Although you might have to do a few things with a mouse or use your ears, there is really nothing that Maschine can do that Live can’t. There is a very long laundry list of things that Live can do that Maschine can’t. Push merely offers a new means of controlling Live. It’s certainly not the only option or even a good option. It all depends on you and your needs and Live caters to a much wider range of needs than Maschine does.