It has been one month since Sony revealed the PlayStation 4, and everyone is hungry for more info. Today, Sony has given an in-depth, technical preview of the next generation of gaming. These details were given at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, courtesy of SCE America’s Senior Staff Engineer Chris Norden.
When the PS4 boots up, it opens to a “digest” screen where you can see information like what your friends are playing, or what DLC has just been released. You will have the option to use your friends’ real names instead of their PSN IDs. You will also see your real name in certain games — say, for example, you might see your friend’s name on a billboard in Grand Theft Auto. In addition, Sony will increase the number of friends you can have, in case the 100-friend limit isn’t enough.
As Sony showed last month, the new Share button lets players upload videos of their game while they’re playing. By pressing the Share button, you can open a video clip editor with the last few minutes of gameplay, and you can pick which section to upload. You can also take a screenshot by holding down the Share button, and you can leave comments on other people’s videos like on YouTube.
The biggest new addition to the DualShock controller is the touchpad, which can detect two fingers at once, clicks when it is pressed, and has a 1920×900 resolution.
There is also a light bar that changes color when playing local multiplayer — blue for player 1, red for player 2, green for player 3, and pink for player 4, similar to the PlayStation Move controller.
The face buttons and L1/R1 buttons will be digital instead of analog and pressure-sensitive like the previous DualShock controllers, which will improve response time.
The controller has a built-in speaker, but players can also plug in a headset.
Lastly, the controller can be charged while connected to the PS4, if the console is on standby.
The PS4 Eye has two cameras that are capable of 1280×800 resolution, compared to the PS3 Eye’s and Kinect’s 640×400 resolution. You can choose to decrease the resolution in order to increase the response rate. The Eye also has a wider field of view and a four-microphine setup that allows directional listening.
At GDC, Norden also gave details on the PS4’s hardware specs and developer tools. They sound a bit too complex for those of us who aren’t tech savvy, but in short, the PS4 is more powerful than any game console currently on the market, it will be energy efficient, and developers will have an easier time making games for the system compared to the PS3.
Finally, Sony also announced a PlayStation App for Apple and Android smartphones. The app will let you browse and buy games on the PlayStation Store even when you leave your house.
With all that said, there’s still a lot we don’t know about the PS4, such as what the console looks like, how much it will cost, and when it will be released. It will probably be a while until we get a chance to play it ourselves, but it seems like Sony’s next-generation console will be a powerhouse.