Sony’s next-gen games console will indeed be called the PlayStation 4 (PS4).
The high-power games console will come with a redesigned Dual Shock 4 controller, stream PS4 games to the PS Vita (remote play) via Gaikai technology, and places an improved emphasis on social network integration by allowing games to share clips of their gameplay – with a touch of a button.
Dual Shock 4
The design on the Dual Shock 4 controller has changed drastically from its predecessors.
For starters, each Dual Shock 4 will have a two-point touchpad and a light-emitting – whose colour denotes player designation (Player 1, 2, 3, or 4). The light emitted from the Dual Shock 4 will also be used to track the controller’s position in 3D space, which the PS4 will detect using a sensor bar with two depth-sensing cameras.
Sony also wanted to provide a more solid feel with when it comes to the new Dual Shock’s shoulder buttons (L1, L2, R1 and R2), and thus have made adjustments to them as well as the analog sticks.
On top of the regular PlayStation buttons that fans grew up with, there will also now be a new “Share” button that activates a one-touch video clip recording function that will allow gamers to share gameplay clips with their friends without the need of purchasing expensive video-capture hardware.
Finally, a headphone jack is also found on each Dual Shock 4 controller.
PlayStation 4 Specs
Unlike the Wii U, it’s not just the new controller that defines Sony’s PS4; the console’s specs are no slouch either.
The PS4’s “supercharged architecture” packs an X86 CPU – picked because game developers said they found the architecture easy to develop for – an enhanced GPU chip, and 8GB of unified DDRAM5 for both the CPU and GPU to share.
In a typical PC or laptop, computer makers typically use the high-speed DDRAM5 memory for graphics chips, and use a lower speed, less costly form of memory for the CPU.
There will also be a hard disk drive on which gamers will be able to store their content on, but Sony did not reveal the specs of the PS4’s HDD today.
Prior to the PS4’s unveiling, many analysts and industry watchers speculated that Sony was likely planning on using Gaikai’s streaming technology to provide instantaneous, no-install-necessary, HD quality gaming experiences – brand new PS4 titles, or older PS3, PS2 and PS1 games as a means to provide backwards compatibility – to consumers.
The games would be streamed from Sony’s servers to the consumers’ PS4, they had thought.
When Dave Perry, CEO of Gaikai, took the stage to show off what his company will be doing for the PS4, he revealed that Sony’s strategy was actually less traditional: its technology will be used to turn each gamer’s PS4 into a personal server that can stream full-fledged PS4 titles onto the PS Vita, so that consumers may play even when a family member wants to use the TV for other purposes – a move to close the gap in terms of features between the PS4 and Nintendo’s Wii U console.
Not every PS4 title will be playable through this feature – remote play – on the PS Vita at launch. But Perry says that their “longterm goal is to make every PS4 game playable on the PS Vita using local Wi-fi.” The team will work on reducing transmission time from PS4 to Vita, so that gamers won’t feel any lag when using the feature.
Other features on the PS4 include a built-in social network-esque service that will – like the Wii U’s MiiVerse – allow fellow PS4 gamers to interact, ask for game tips, and share their sagely advice on games they’ve played.
But what about the games? And how much will I have to pay?
Price and release details for the PlayStation 4 were not shared today.
However, Sony brought out an entire slew of game developer and publishing partners to show off some of the games they’ve been working on, that will come to the PS4.
Here are their respective trailers:
inFAMOUS: Second Son
Killzone Shadow Fall
No trailer available: Diablo III