February 20 Sony revealed details about their next generation console the PlayStation 4 and for the most part all the rumors we've heard are true and more. The flashy presentation gave fans a look at the new PlayStation controller, the Dual Shock 4 and input from a slew of game developers.
Indeed the Dual Shock 4 will have a touch motion sensor that will allow players to control the camera. In the demo the controller was able to move the camera direction during a cut scene. There’s also a motion sensor built right in. What else it will be able to do is unsure but it does have the same tried and true design we’re used to.
As far as the specs go there are eight-core x86 AMD CPU , an AMD-based graphics processor capable of 1.84 TFLOPS, and a 8GB of GDDR5 system memory. Sony seems pretty excited about their upgraded hardware and of course there is an improvement to the graphics. Consoles are getting closer to rivaling PC’s as gaming platforms with the PS4.
Reports about cloud gaming seem to be accurate as well, Gaikai has been fully integrated into the PlayStation development team and has plans to roll out the cloud gaming system in stages. This will allow for players to utilize remote play which much like the Wii U will allow you to play games on a mobile device. Although instead of buying a whole new controller that looks like a PS Vita, you can just use your PS Vita.
There’s a new feature for the PS4 which will allow you to pause your game and have the system transition into a power saving mode until you come back. You will be able to seamlessly start up the game from where you left off. Sony representatives also mentioned the ability to carry games over to mobile devices like not only the PS Vita but tablets and smartphones as well. So far however the only aspect of that feature seems to be linked with the new ‘share button’ .
The ‘share button’ seems to be what most fans are excited about with the PS4. With the press of a button this feature will allow you to share live videos of your game play. Sony has also stressed the social aspect of their new console. There will be links to Facebook and other social media but the most innovative addition is the ability to communicate with fellow players like never before.
Chat with friends between different games from your console, share videos, spectate and even take control of someone else’s controller, with their permission of course. Aside from the huge possibility for trolling this feature will allow a friend to help you get past that excruciating platforming sequence, help you find a hidden passageway, or even just try out a game without even leaving their house.
There were quite a few things that weren't mentioned at the Sony meeting. It’s pretty clear that the PS4 will not be back compatible with the PS3. However they are working to make all PlayStation games from PS1 forward available to play on the new console, probably via an online download. We also have no idea what the console is going to look like. It would be nice if it was at least smaller than the PS3 whose hulking size was a turnoff for some gamers. Its price has been estimated by some to be upwards of $400-$500 and while Sony didn't give us a price point we can count on it not being cheap.
Sony did however show us some of the games we can look forward to being able to play on the new console. There’s a family friendly looking game called “Knack” developed by Sony that should appeal to those that enjoyed the Ratchet and Clank games. There’s a generic sci-fi shooter “KillZone Shadows Fall”, a shiny first person racing game called “Drive Club” which will allow you to play as a team, and an exclusive Title from SuckerPunch called “Second Son” with a realistic twist on superpowers.
The PS4 is also going to be open source allowing indie developers to make games for the console like never before. Perhaps chipping into the OUYA’s niche market there’s already some indie developers on board with Sony. Jonathan Blow, creator of Braid, is reinventing “Myst” with his new open world, island, puzzle solver, “Witness”.
We will most likely need to wait until E3 this summer to get a glimpse of the actual PS4 but for now we know what we’re holding out for. Hopefully it won’t be too loud or too big. This just may finally be a console worth buying. It's set for release by the 2013 holidays.