It looks like the rumors and speculations were right on the money as Sony has announced the PlayStation 4 at their event today which was held in New York. The PlayStation 4 will feature a “supercharged” PC architecture, X86 CPU, 8GB of unified memory and a local storage HDD.
New DualShock 4 Controller
The PlayStation 4 will also come with the new DualShock 4 controller which is consistent with the leaks we saw the other day. The new DualShock 4 controller will feature improved latency, better rumble capabilities, a touchpad, and it seems that Sony has also combined the Move controller within the DualShock 4 as it features a 3D camera built in that can be tracked via a light bar. It will be interesting to see this feature introduced in games in the future.
Sony also revealed that the PlayStation 4 will be able to enter a low-power state, and that pausing and resuming the game will be a speedy and easy experience. All the gamer will have to do is hit the power button to start playing again. Thanks to a secondary custom chip, it seems that gamers will be able to download games in the background while they game – heck, it seems that gamers will also be able to play the game while it is being downloaded, although we expect that it will require the core files to be downloaded first in order for the game to be played.
Personalized User Experience
While the PlayStation 4 certainly sounds like a promising piece of hardware, Sony appears to be shifting the focus towards the experience more, rather than focusing purely on power. Gamers will be able to upload videos which can be shared among the community, watch games while they’re being played and chat with friends at the same time. Sony also talks about personalization, which according to Sony is the “key design principle of the PS4 interface”. It will be able to learn your likes and dislikes to the extent where the system will be able to predict your next purchase and download it in the background, so when you do decide to get it, there will be no wait time and you can launch it immediately. We’re not sure how Sony will implement that, but it is definitely an interesting concept nonetheless.
Gaming Network with enhanced Social Features and Streaming Technology
Today, social networks don’t know you gaming history, your tastes, scores etc… Sony wants to create the best social network for games.
Be assured that current anonymous accounts won’t be messed with. But when you use your real name, you can do more things, and connect easily with friends, additionally, mobile devices including Android, PS Vita and more will be part of the platform.
Gaikai is a game streaming company that Sony purchased last year, and we suspect that they will provide PS3 game streaming to make up for the lack of hardware backwards compatibility. “PS4 is an incredible platform, and it is critical that the PlayStation network delivers on the gamers demands” said Dave Perry, CEO of Gaikai. Sony claims this is supposed to be the fastest gaming network in the world, thanks to Gaikai’s streaming technology.
Thanks to Sony’s new platform, you will be able to TRY ANY GAME for free, thanks to the streaming feature. This is a really cool use of the streaming technology. And there’s nothing more satisfying to gamers: they only buy games that they KNOW are good. Players can also use Gaikai’s technology to broadcast their live game, so that friends can watch you play and share advices (or criticism :) ).
Your circle of PSN friends will become more important, says Sony. Developers can identify players and provide more buttons to game “experts”. UStream is going to partner with Sony to provide multi-casting capabilities.
PLayStation Network will also come with all the benefits from Sony’s movie and music business – no surprise there, and just like with the PS3, users can access to a ton of non-Sony services.
Focused on developers
This time, Sony made sure that developers won’t be given a machine built by hardware engineers with a “good luck” note — this is pretty awesome, and I think that most developers that we know will be quite satisfied.
Some of you guys might own the PS Vita and might be thinking that spending money on a PlayStation 4 could be an unnecessary expense, since both devices would seem mutually exclusive, but that isn’t the case. Sony is looking to integrate their devices across the board, and one of the ways they are doing that is with Remote Play. This is a new feature they will be introducing to the PS Vita which basically allows any PlayStation 4 game to be playable on the PS Vita. If this sounds familiar, it’s because this is the same feature that Nintendo envisioned with the Wii U, along with NVIDIA’s Project Shield whereby desktop games can actually be streamed onto the smaller device, allowing you to enjoy a full-fledged PC game on your mobile device.
This is thanks to the previously mentioned Gaikai technology in which the service is essentially a game server. It is unclear if this feature will be introduced to Sony’s range of Android tablets or smartphones, but for now it seems limited to the PS Vita.
Unfortunately Sony did not reveal the console itself nor did they share any detailed specs except for what we’ve mentioned above in terms of features. Pricing has also not been revealed, although given how much the PlayStation 3 cost when it first came out, we wouldn’t be surprised if Sony follows the same pattern. The good news however is that Sony did reveal that the PlayStation 4 will be released in the Holiday season of 2013, so if this is the console you’ve been waiting for, we guess it’s time to start saving!