On February 20, Sony officially announced their next-generation video game console, the PlayStation 4 (PS4), to the world. The announcement was teased in a YouTube video published a couple of weeks ago by Sony which, although the internet has been anticipating the PS4 and sharing rumors about its capabilities and speculations all year, left many eagerly awaiting its unveiling. There was a widespread feeling of relief as Sony rolled out press releases. Finally, the gaming community has something tangible to grasp onto and can stop relying on pure speculation. To make the news even more exciting, the PS4 is scheduled for a Holiday 2013 release.
One of Sony’s biggest aspirations was to more thoroughly integrate social capabilities. The PS4 obviously has access to the PlayStation Network (PSN), but the company is taking networking to a whole new level. By pressing the “SHARE” button on the newly designed controller, a player may create and tag clips from the past few minutes of gameplay to be uploaded to social networking sites, such as Facebook. Uploads occur in the background, meaning the player may resume the game while a video is being shared.
Hoping for something even more immediate? By integrating with internet streaming sites, such as Ustream, players may easily broadcast their gameplay in real-time. Friends not only have the capability to make comments or offer advice, but they may share helpful in-game items. Low on health? Maybe a friend has a spare health potion. Weapons inefficient? Borrow a friend’s. These are just some of the ways Sony hopes to change the way we play video games with friends.
Similar to Nintendo’s Wii U controller and Microsoft’s Smart Glass app for Xbox 360, Sony offers a second-screen experience via the PlayStation App. The app allows smartphone and tablet owners to interact with their favorite game in a different way. One advantage Sony has in this aspect are the “Remote Play” features of the PlayStation Vita. Sony is hoping to make most PS4 games open to Remote Play on the PS Vita moving forward in an effort to encourage gamers to “play anywhere” and possibly to breathe new life into the struggling handheld device.
The PS4 addresses an issue that many people probably did not realize they took issue with. Sony claims the startup time for today’s consoles is painfully slow. Their solution is to compress and save the session to put the console into a low-power, suspended state. While Nintendo has been utilizing a hibernate feature for years with the Wii, the suspend mode on the PS4 works while in-game, too. Players can literally pick back up the controller, turn on the console, and have their game waiting for them where they left off in seconds. Downloads and uploads are also permitted to occur while in stand-by, and while downloading a (digital) game, players can begin playing uninterrupted as the download continues in the background.
In another effort to eliminate wait-time, Sony hopes that the PS4 will eventually become smart enough to predict a player’s gaming preferences and load games before even being purchased so that it is instantaneously available for play.
PlayStation’s controller has finally gotten a notable design overhaul. The DualShock 4 still shares the basic shape and feels much like previous generations, but it’s packed with a number of new innovative features. Sony has taken the Nintendo approach and integrated a built-in speaker, as well as, a standard stereo headphone jack on the bottom. Replacing the standardized “START” and “SELECT” buttons are the “SHARE” and “OPTIONS” buttons positioned on either side of the touchpad and Sony hopes that gamers appreciate the improved feel of the tighter trigger buttons behind the controller.
Internally, it supports a new “highly sensitive” six-axis motion sensor, but perhaps the most obvious of these changes is the touchpad placed front and center on the controller, echoing what Sony has done with the PS Vita’s rear panel. Behind this sits a multipurpose, three-LED light bar. Instead of the traditional “Player 1, 2, 3, 4,” the light bar changes color to match a character’s primary color on the screen to better identify which player is controlling each character. It also flashes to alert a player of important information such as low health or damage taken.
Mirroring Kinect for Xbox 360, the PS4 Eye is a slim black bar situated on top of ones television set and is used to capture both voice and movement. It can differentiate the different colors of the DualShock 4’s light bar to distinguish multiple players and their positions, and allow users to log in to the console via face recognition. In addition to interpreting players’ physical movements, the Eye more precisely tracks the PlayStation Move controller.
While the console is capable of displaying photos and videos in high-resolution format 4K, games will need to remain in 1080p for now. Sony is also not focusing on 3D stereoscopic gaming, however, he internals of the PS4 are still a huge leap from its predecessor.
- CPU : 8-core x86-64 AMD “Jaguar”
- GPU : 1.84 TFLOPS, AMD next-generation Radeon-based graphics engine
- GDDR5 8GB
Hard Disk Drive
Optical Drive (read only)
- BD 6xCAV
- DVD 8xCAV
- Super-Speed USB (USB 3.0), AUX
- Ethernet (10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T)
- IEEE 802.11 b/g/n
- Bluetooth 2.1 (EDR)
- Analog-AV out
- Digital Output (optical)
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