Sony held its special event today and, as expected, the company revealed its newest console, PlayStation 4. In fact, the entire event was solely focused on the new technology and all of the features that will be available once the system is released.
Sony also confirmed a lot of information that gamers already knew. The specs and features of the PlayStation 4 that were leaked weeks ago are basically correct. This is good news to game developers that are finally given hardware that can handle the demands that many of their games will make.
The pictures of PlayStation 4 controller were also correct but with a few additional benefits. Sony redesigned the trigger buttons to be more responsive and closer in proximity to one another. Thankfully, all four triggers are still available. Also it is easier to identify which player has which controller via the light on the back of the controller. Also confirmed to be back is the rumble feature which will be even more responsive thanks to Sony working to eliminate any type of latency of between the controller and information communicated to and from the console.
The PlayStation 4 Eye that will be included with the PlayStation 4 will be able to replicate the 3D environment around the gamer. What this means is that the Eye will be able to accurately capture up to 85 degrees around the player to broaden the gaming experience. In addition, the Eye has four built-in microphones that can captures sounds more accurately. Another useful feature of the PlayStation 4 Eye will be the ability for gamers to logon using facial recognition.
PlayStation Vita was mentioned during the event but not in the way many think. Sony will be using the PlayStation Vita as a way to engage in remote play the way that the Wii U Game Pad allows gamers to play games while the TV is in use. That is where the similarity ends. Unlike the Game Pad which is severely limited by its proximity to the Wii U, the Vita will allow gamers to play their games anywhere anytime. Through its new purchase of cloud streaming company Gaikai, gamers can transfer the game directly from the PlayStation 4 directly to the Vita and retain the same graphical quality.
Gaikai also gave some further clarification about the cloud streaming service will be providing on PlayStation 4. The cloud service will be released in stages and will be used to stream PlayStation 1 - 3 games.
While Sony did reveal the Dual Shock 4 and PlayStation 4 Eye it did not reveal the actual console itself. Hopefully it will demonstrate the actual console at E3 2013.
After the technological presentation of the PlayStation 4 the event became all about games and tech demos. Word of note: All of the games and tech demos demonstrated on PlayStation 4 were in real time. None of the games displayed any CG footage.
First up was a tech demo of the Unreal 4 engine. The earlier screens of the Unreal 4 engine were impressive, but the live tech demo makes those screens pale in comparison.
PlayStation 4 System Architect Mark Cerni then demonstrated his first game, Knack. Once the game displayed the difference between current generation games and PlayStation 4 was apparent. The game actually looked reminiscent of blockbuster film, Up. The backgrounds were vivid and the characters were all intricately detailed.
After Knack was demoed a flurry of PlayStation 4 games followed. Below is a list of games that were demoed during the event:
- Killzone Shadow Fall
- Drive Club
- The Witness
- Infamous Second Son
- Deep Down (Tentative Title)
- Watch Dogs
The last two titles on the list, "Watch Dogs" and "Destiny" are also being released on the PlayStation 3.
In addition to the titles listed above Sony revealed that almost every major third party publisher and developer around the globe will be supporting PlayStation 4. One of those developers, Square Enix, redemoed Agni's Philosophy in front of the crowd. Square Enix demoed this before E3 2012 but did it again to confirm that it was being done on the PlayStation 4 hardware. Also, "Final Fantasy" director Shinji Hashimoto revealed that a new "Final Fantasy" game is coming to the next generation console.
Blizzard also announced that it was entering into an agreement with Sony to bring games to both PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4. The first game that is coming from Blizzard is also the one that is the most obvious, Diablo 4. The game was optimized to take advantage of the controls of both systems.
Quantic Dream President David Cage also demoed a real time presentation of a head. That may not sound important but it is in many respects because the head was so finely detailed. The pupils of the man's eyes were detailed as were the sockets they were in. A vein could be seen on his head. His long, thinning hair was almost single strands, the holy grail of video games. And his facial expressions were realistic. What is even more fascinating is that Mr. Cage said that this would be possible in the near future as developers learned and became more familiar with the capabilities of PlayStation 4.
The event was capped by Andrew House declaring that PlayStation 4 will be released for the holidays 2013. If Sony follows in Nintendo's footsteps then the system should be available sometime towards the end of November 2013.