It’s official. The Playstation 4 is coming. When? Holiday season 2013, Sony says. While tonight’s press conference wasn’t exactly revealing when it comes to future titles and hardware specifications, here’s what we know.
The PS4 will feature a “Supercharged PC Architecture,” X86 CPU, “Enhanced PC GPU,” 8GB of unified memory (maybe Bethesda games will finally work on Sony’s console!), and local HDD. So there’s the hardware foundation for the PS4. No specifics were given as to price of the console or speeds of hardware components within, but expect more details to follow in the coming months with big gaming conventions on the horizon. We do, however, already know that the PS4 will be more powerful than the next gen Microsoft system, based on information from developers with devkits in-hand. Also, the PS4 will not be backwards compatible.
Also revealed was the DualShock 4 controller. The final controller actually looks very similar to the “leaked” design we saw plastered all over the internet last week. It features a more rounded exterior design, a touchpad on top, a “share” button for sharing video and pictures directly from your game (I definitely see this coming in handy for video reviews on DCM), a headphone jack, and a colored “light-bar” to identify different players. The controller is also paired with a second peripheral: a 3D camera/sensor bar.
Lag time between consumers and content is meant to be reduced on the PS4. The system can suspend/resume at the press of the power button, and also has super-quick startup time. The PS4 also has a secondary custom chip for background processing, allowing background download. What this means is that, yes, “game streaming” is indeed on the menu. I’m not so sure about this feature, but we’ll see how well it’s actually implemented.
Dave Perry from Gaikai said that remote play is built into PS4. He says that the PS Vita is “the ultimate companion device for PS4,” so hopefully this means more games for the Vita. I also really love the idea of remote play… I will absolutely consider picking up a Vita if remote play is a huge focus of the PS4 and not just an afterthought.
As far as actual game announcements go, well… It wasn’t exactly overwhelming. That being said, expect more to be announced throughout the year via gaming conventions and expos such as PAX and E3. There was confirmation of the following games: Killzone Shadow Fall, which looked absolutely amazing. Evolution Studios’ DriveClub was also previewed. Chris Metzen from Blizzard also made an appearance to announce a cross-gen PS3 and PS4 release of Diablo III. (I had hoped the rumors of Diablo 3 moving to console were just rumors and nothing more.) Also shown was Destiny, the new title from Bungie, along with Capcom’s new medieval-themed title called Deep Down (Deep Down essentially looks like a Dark Souls knockoff.) Infamous: Second Son was also shown, along with a beautiful-as-always Square Enix technical demo, which ended with their announcement that a new Final Fantasy game is in the works for the PS4. Oh yeah, and an amazing new demonstration of Watchdogs was shown, and it still looks as beautiful as it did at E3 last year. There was also a handful of indie games including the pretentious maker of Braid, Jonathan Blow.
So in closing, there was no price reveal, no reveal of what the console will look like, and there was a showcase of quite a few games that the the PS4 will have. Some were impressive, some… not so much. The game selection was underwhelming to some I’m sure, but I think this conference was just to establish that the PS4 is indeed coming. We’ll know more in the future, and from what I’ve seen from the PS4’s potential, the future looks bright.