Last week at Sony’s PlayStation Meeting in New York, the Japaneses company officially announced the PlayStation 4. No longer ruled by just speculation, we received plenty of details about the next generation of gaming from Sony. While there are many questions still left unanswered, many rumors were validated or debunked. Here’s the rundown from the press event. Welcome to the next generation of video games!
Sony asked developers what they wanted in a new system and the results reflect the design of the PS4. It features 8GB of RAM and massive processing power. As it should be, it’s the most “powerful” console we’ve seen.
Months earlier Sony purchased online cloud streaming company Gaikai, and they used this acquisition in the development of the PS4. Though not everything will be available at launch, it would seem through Gaikai Sony will be able to stream content instantly to your console. The system will background download games and demos, analyze your tastes and pre-download games for you, and allow you to start a game while it’s still downloading.
It was all about simplicity with the PS4, so Sony has optimized the system to turn on and be ready to go within seconds. Little to no wait time from pressing the on button to jumping in a game was a feature they were happy to talk about.
Not to be left out, Sony’s portable PlayStation VITA made an appearance at the event, and in a great fashion! Again, it’s a future goal to have this work for every game, but the PS4 and VITA will link together to allow remote play of your PS4 games on the VITA. Think of how the Wii U has remote play with some games, but imagine it with any (and possibly all?) items the PS4 has to offer!
The PlayStation Network and Gaikai are working in tandem to bring a selection of past PlayStation titles to download and stream. It was unclear whether or not these games would be free and which games would be available, but it seemed as though Sony was going to make all PS1/PS2/PS3 games available through the PS4 and its streaming capabilities. Sony would later go on to state the PS4 would not be backwards compatible with any previous PlayStation system.
The DualShock 4 is the PS4’s controller, as if there would be anything else. It’s an enhancement over the PS3’s DualShock 3. Better grips on the shoulder buttons and the analog sticks, an enhanced rumble feature, a light bar on the back on the controller for Move functions, a touchpad on the front similar to the VITA’s, and a “Share” button that you can press to instantly upload your gameplay videos to an online server (Ustream) where your friends can watch.
Taking a note from Nintendo’s Miiverse, Sony is working on a more social approach to online gaming and friends. The PS4 will allow you to upload videos of gameplay as mentioned above, and you can view your friend’s gameplay, comment in real time, and even take over and help them overcome a difficult part of the game.
If all of that didn’t get you hyped up enough, there’s still going to be support for the Move and PlayStation Eye camera. Yeah, that’s still a thing apparently.
A handful of games were shown off at the event, including Killzone: Shadow Fall, Infamous: Second Son, Diablo III (!), and new IPs Knack, The Witness, and Deep Down.
The technical capabilities of the PS4 are truly remarkable. A demonstration of the system’s potential was given in the form of a render of an elder gentleman with fine details in facial motion as well as lighting. Though just a tech demo, I was impressed by the quality and realism (sans the hair) of the rendering.
While all the previous points were great to know, there were some notable exclusions from the event. Most of all, the PS4 system itself was not revealed. Also not given was information about an exact release date (it’s slated for a holiday 2013 release), the price for the system, the price for PlayStation Plus and/or PlayStation Network access, as well as which games announced (if any) would be announced. Even so, for an event that was supposed to announce the system and build hype, I must say I’m hyped.
**Sources for the news from the Sony Press Conference, which you can watch in its entirety here**