Last night Sony unveiled the PS4, well in saying that they told us what the PS4 would run, showed us the new Dualshock controller, a few games and then got up and left. We can only guess what the actual console itself looks like but enough of that – here are the bare assed facts.
So for all you geeky types out there who salivate over overclocked CPU’s and the newest cooling unit here are the Specs. For everyone else who doesn’t know their CPU’s from their GPU’s just scroll to the next bit.
Single-chip custom processor
CPU: x86-64 AMD “Jaguar”, 8 cores
GPU: 1.84 TFLOPS, AMD next-generation Radeon based graphics engine
Hard Disk Drive
Optical Drive (read only)
Super-Speed USB (USB 3.0), AUX
Ethernet (10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T)
IEEE 802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth 2.1 (EDR)
Digital Output (optical)
*thank you to www.computerandvideogames.com for that full spec list.
For anyone not in the know this looks like the spec of a PC, it looks like both the PS4 and the new Xbox will have very similar spec if the internet rumours are true.
There was also talk last night of a second CPU that will run background threads E.G. pausing a game and watching Netflix then coming back to the game.
There was also talk of a low level power down mode which means your console could boot up in seconds and at the point in the game you were playing, instead of today’s minutes that it takes to boot up then load the game.
With the size of the processor too and the fact it has 8 cores, if these could be used efficiently it means loading times in games could be a thing of the past, which is an interesting concept.
You can also throw PS4 games over to your PS Vita which is an awesome idea (and might put sales up for the Vita). For instance if you are ready to go out and just come across the big boss, move it over to the Vita and continue the fight.
It seems like the PS4 will still be running and probably streaming to the Vita itself, a cool idea if it works properly.
The pictures had been roaming the net for weeks but it was confirmed last night that the Dualshock is pretty much the one we thought it would be.
This is where some of the interesting features come in. Now the overall design isn’t too dissimilar to the Dualshock 3 for the PS3, the main differences are the L2 and R2 buttons now have more of a curve (trigger) feel to them, the analogue sticks are no longer domed and are made out of a better material, they are also apparently more precise, there is a touchscreen at the top of the controller and at the side a share button. The motion control is also going to be more precise and a hell of lot better than the last incarnation.
The share button allows you to instantly share gameplay with friends… more on that in the social interactions section below.
The Dualshock looked big in dev pictures but I think it will be about the size of an Xbox controller, not really dainty hands helpful but at least a meatier controller than the Dualshock’s of yesteryear.
Half of the presentation seemed to be about social interactions, they are really pushing the social thing, they do not want you sitting at home feeling alone chatting over a headset anymore, they want it to be more immersive and they are making it so.
You will be connected to other PlayStation 4 users in more ways than you can count, one of the cool things (and possibly stalkerish things) is being able to see what a friend is playing live and helping them from your own couch.
Imagine this, you are at a boss on a hardcore difficulty, you just can’t seem to get past him and nothing is working. What you would normally do is turn the game off in frustration and return another day, sometimes you may never return, never finding out what the end result of the game was. Now with the PS4 you can do a call to action, ask your friends for not only virtual tips and tricks but asking them to virtually take the controller from you and surpass that boss they spent forever and a day trying to kill.
This makes me all misty eyed, I remember sitting on my friends couch and passing the controller back and forth in order to complete levels. Sony have the right idea, enabling us to stay miles away from our friends but able to sit beside them on the couch at the same time.
Then there is the Share button, the ability to record your gameplay and share it has been for too long in the hands of those who could afford the tech, and the time to use it. Not anymore, now you can share instantly your gameplay for all your friends and the world to see. Sony will be using the site UStream for this, there was no mention of YouTube or Twitch but we can assume they will either be Microsoft exclusive or in talks.
Imagine getting to level 99 and no one believing you, now you can record it and gloat.
We broke the news months ago that Sony had purchased Gakai the cloud streaming site and there was rumours of back catalogue titles for the PS4.
Well last night they spoke about how the cloud will have a plethora of games on it, which you can “try for free”. The PlayStation has such a rich history of games and every so often we all want to revisit golden oldies without having to dig out a console and buy all the stuff to connect it up to our sparkling new TV’s.
Well the cloud is the answer, every PS title in one convenient place? I’m there.
If I’m able to try it out before I even think of buying… well I’m there again. No sense in buying a memory only to find it’s not quite the one you wanted.
The Guest Speakers:
Several of the speakers last night were top game developers. They spoke about how the technology in the PS4 is changing how they develop games and what they can do.
David Cage of Quantic Dream, a man I have great respect for showed us a cell shaded head of an old man last night, there was emotion in the eyes and the face, every wrinkle is visible.
From the company who made Indigo Prophecy and Heavy Rain you know what things they could do with an engine like this.
Other developers such as Capcom and Square Enix showed off their new engines too. All I know is this is an exciting and heavily realistic looking time in gaming.
So Diablo III will be coming to the PS4. That was a shocker, a bone fide PC game coming to the PS4.
The game Destiny by Bungie (creators of the Halo series) is also coming to PS4, that’s a bummer to all those who loved Halo being an exclusive on Xbox all those years.
Instead of telling you about the games… I’ll show you.
Killzone Shadow Fall:
Infamous Second Son:
My absolute favourite was Watch Dogs, just imagine the things you could do in that world, it looks so real, so open to possibilities. Killzone Shadow Fall looked like a PC game and Destiny looks like it could finally be the thing that kills Call of Duty.
Every one of these games look brilliant and I can’t wait to see more.
So we got told everything about the console itself but it seems Sony are keeping its looks under wraps, probably until E3 which is only weeks away.
The spec and the presentation made this sound like a must have console, but the fact remains that Microsoft could be hiding a Royal Flush close to their chest, just ready to unveil at any time. We will just need to wait and see.
The console should arrive for the Holidays of 2013 (Christmas) and the talk on the web is a price around $450 so probably around the same in pounds as technology never goes with exchange rates. So better get saving folks.
One thing is for sure, the PlayStation conference last night was a shot across the bow of Microsoft’s ship and the first action in the official start of the console wars, let the games begin.