The rumor mill has been having quite the time in regards to the next PlayStation. We’ve heard rumors of it being more powerful than the Xbox 360, rumors of its controller and other rumors revolving around its improvements with social media.
We’ve been waiting for today’s announcement for weeks now, and the time has finally arrived where we are now learning what Sony has been planning for February 20. So, without further ado, let’s get down to the nitty gritty.
Finally! The PlayStation 4!
Video game industry veteran Mark Cerny took to the stage and is the lead architect of the PlayStation 4. The PlayStation 4 will incorporate a supercharged PC architecture as it will have an X86 CPU, an enhanced PC GPU, 8GB of Unified RAM and a local storage HDD.
What’s a PlayStation console without a new controller? The PlayStation 4 will come with a new DualShock controller called the DualShock 4. We’ve seen previous leaks of the DualShock 4, and Sony has confirmed it will come equipped with a touchpad, a share button, headphone jack, and a light bar at the front of the device to help distinguish players. The light bar will also be used in addition to a stereo camera that can track the 3D position of each controller.
The PlayStation 4 will be able to suspend and resume your game, so completely turning off your game will be something of the past. A secondary custom chip will be built into the PS4 that will allow for background processing. The background processing will make it possible for players to perform a number of things, like being able to playback their game to be able to share their experience online.
Social will play a very important role for the PlayStation 4 as you’ll be able to share your videos, build a completely new personalized profile on the PlayStation Network and be able to interact with your PlayStation Network while you’re on the go through a smartphone, tablet, web portal or by using the PS Vita. It will also be possible for your friends to interact with you and your game by spectating as you play to deliver messages and even take over the game to virtually assist you if you’re having trouble with a specific part in a game.
The more you interact with the PlayStation 4, the more it’ll learn your likes and dislikes as games will can be downloaded on the fly so you’ll have something to play the next time you turn your console on.
The PlayStation 4 adopts the power of Gaikai
Gaikai’s co-founder and CEO Dave Perry took to the stage to reveal just how exactly the PlayStation 4 will incorporate Gaikai’s legendary services. Gaikai started their segment by saying they’ll help provide the “fastest gaming network in the world.” Gaikai will make it possible for games to try games instantly, making “trial versions” of games obsolete. It will also be possible to try a game as it’s being downloaded, instead of the user having to wait for the game to be completely downloaded and installed.
Remote play is already available on the PS Vita, but it’s only available to play certain PlayStation 3 games. With the PlayStation 4, it will now be possible to play any game instantly on your PS Vita by using Gaikai technology to allow for the PS4 to act as a host and the PS Vita a client. Perry also hinted at a future where it’s possible to play PS1, PS2, PS3 and PlayStation Mobile games on the PlayStation 4.
Perry ended his segment mentioning the PlayStation Cloud, but no information as to what it is exactly was released. Just be happy that Sony in fact acknowledged it at this time.
Games, games, games
As much as the PlayStation 4 will be capable of, playing video games on it is probably one of the main reasons as to why you’ll probably be picking one up. A number of developers made their way to the main stage to show off their games, a number of them having a high amount of graphical detail.
Killzone Shadowfall was announced for the PlayStation 4 and the amount of detail that was shown was jaw dropping. The city, soldiers and aircrafts that were featured during the live demo all looked amazing and made me wish I had more time to view the game in order really take everything in. As the soldier being controlled makes his way through a number of checkpoints through various points in the city, an explosion rocks the once peaceful city.
Once the debris settles a bit, a soldier holding a woman can be seen. Another soldier walks up to them, and shoots them both in the head. He then turns to the player and removes his disguise to reveal he is a Helghast soldier. The player struggles with the Helghast, but ultimately kills him and a serious firefight commences.The fight takes the player through various parts of the city where fire and debris are littered all over the place. The end of the demo featured a fight taking place on a rope hanging from an aircraft, which involved some cool one-handed pistol wielding.
Driveclub was the next game to take the stage and it promised a game that is capable of team-based racing, both through asynchronous play and real-time multiplayer modes. Players will be able to create their own driver club made up of their friends to then take on other driver clubs. Driveclub will also add an additional layer of interactivity in racing games as you’ll be able to open driver door, get into the car and strap yourself in.
It’s undeniable Sucker Punch’s Infamous games have offered a memorable experience as well as equally memorable cast. As is expected, the developers are creating a brand-new Infamous game where the premise seems to be normal people gain superhuman powers, similar to Cole. The government seems to be aware of these superhumans and has set out to capture them as best they can. What looks to be the main character ends the quick video demo by saying “You are not in control.”
Even more games from third-party publishers
In addition to the first-party publisher support, third-party publishers also came out to show their support for the PlayStation 4. Capcom and Square-Enix showed some new concepts for their games, with Capcom introducing a new IP called Deep Down which felt like a next-generation Skyrim. Towards the end of the demo for Deep Down, Capcom hinted at the ability to send your friends in-game items if they require your help by having Blanka sending the presenter a message requesting assistance.
Ubisoft was also present at the PlayStation 4 event to further show their new IP, Watch Dogs. During the demo, we see the main character able to learn about anyone by simply using his phone. We learn a person’s occupation, their salary and additional information. At one point, the main character targets a businessman who makes over $100,000 a year, to which he hacks into the person’s bank account and steals some of their funds.
The main character moves along to find a woman who has a low victim probability, but it’s rising, meaning she will most likely be a victim of a crime soon. The character follows her, and stumbles onto her would-be assaulter as his crime probability is rising as well. You’ll be able to stop crimes before they happen, which was a really neat feature in Watch Dogs.
One of the most surprising third-party publishers to show their support has to be Blizzard Entertainment, who originally started out as a console game developer. They have announced they’re coming back to console gaming with not only the PlayStation 4, but also the PlayStation 3 with its Diablo III. Blizzard Entertainment’s Chris Metzen shared some small fragments of information regarding Diablo III, one of which is a four-player same-screen co-op where you and three friends could play the game from the comfort of your own couch.
The last third-party publisher to present at the PlayStation 4 event was Activision. No – they weren’t showing a next-generation Call of Duty game. Instead, they let Bungie take the stage to showcase their newly announced game, Destiny. Bungie is calling Destiny a first shared-world shooter as the player will be playing in a persistent online world and is also being considered to be “turning the first-person shooter on it’s head again.”
The PlayStation 4 coming to you holiday 2013
One of the last surprises Sony had in regards to the PlayStation 4 was it’s release date. At the end of the show, Sony announced the PlayStation 4 will be available Holiday 2013, although no price was revealed at this time. Another thing we didn’t get to catch a glimpse of is the actual PlayStation 4, as early PlayStation 3 owners know the size of the console was quite staggering when it was revealed.
We’re hoping by E3 2013 we’ll hear more about the PlayStation 4, specifically it’s price and what it’ll actually look like as a retail product.