This thread is not exactly a comparison of TS4 to the other games but where TS4 players say it's only been four years, TS2 had ended by this point and one last SP released in Nov. TS3 news was everywhere since it was supposed to, IIRC, be released in Feb. the following year. (But delayed).
By this time TS2 had several main worlds, unlimited subhoods, vacant templates(not the same as an empty template without townies) to build your own custom hoods, and unlimited townie populations. (As long as your pc could handle it). And Aliens, Abductions and Male Pregnancy.
University came with a new world, Sims could travel back and forth to any world (YAs) anytime.
New Careers and New Aspirations, new wants and wishes. Instruments to perform in bands. Part time jobs. A new life state, new aspiration rewards in every EP.
Open For Business came with crafting tables that not only your Sims could build things and use them (Not decor) and they actually worked, but so could their employees. Not just standing around or sitting around getting paid for nothing. OFB brought Unlimited Subhoods to add theirs or yours. New Aspirations, wants/wishes. Roam freely among as many subhoods as you like.
Nightlife came with vampires, restaurants, automobiles and limos< (base for sneak out and honeymoon). A new world, and Unlimited Downtown custom worlds, you fill up yourself. New Careers, Aspirations, wants and wishes. Chemistry system. Turns offs and ons.
New objects such as Karaoke and hot tubs. Live downtown or in your own subhoods, travel freely.
Pets, pet trainers and pet jobs. Small animals. Adopt a stray or give away a pet to be adopted next. Pets stores. Run a pet store. New life state.
Seasons, a new world. Gardening, actual working green house roofs, and walls, fruit trees, new perks for juicing. A new life state.
Bon Voyage, Three new worlds, and unlimited build/add your own vacation worlds. Swimming in oceans, (but we could swim in our own lakes since base game by using terrian tools). Tanning, sunburns, spas, new aspirations, wants, fears, wishes, new rewards, new careers.
FreeTime, New world, New Careers, New Aspirations, New wants, and fears, New hobbies, new hidden lots for hobby cliques. New Aspirations (2nd system with more perks and points.)
Apartment Life, Apartments, build your own. Mix and match condos with duplexes whatever, build it your way. New World. etc. etc.
This doesn't reflect all the interactions added, objects or clothes, townies, NPCs, life states, new clocks that actually kept time with the game clock, or all the gameplay.
What some consider has been a short time for TS4, I consider has been long enough, and if four years is a short time then look at TS2 and what all it had in just four short years. TS4 can't even be compared since it's still so tiny a game.
My two cents, let's end it now, and get on with TS5 or whatever it is Maxis is working on.
ETA: And we had bodyshop and Home Crafter (thanks Maxis!) from day one. Does anyone think TS4 will ever catch up? I don't.
No lounging chairs. When is the last time we saw four or five new Aspirations and new rewards in an EP? (TS2 or TS3). Everyone says TS4 reminds them of TS2 and not TS3, yes, TS3 is an even bigger game, but considering what TS4 still doesn't have after four loooong years, TS2 looks like a monster of a game (and I didn't even scratch the surface) in it's four short years.
"Games Are Not The Place To Tell Stories, Games Are Meant To Let People Tell Their Own Stories"...Will Wright.
TS4 without Terrian Tools is like Windows 8 or 10 without the Start Menu.