Sony has finally pulled back the curtain on the successor to the PS3 and has given us a peek into the future. PlayStation 4, they say, will change the way we play games forever and if its first conference was any indication, they are on the right track.
Throughout this article I will take you, step by step, through the conference. I will give you facts and impressions and reflect on one of the most exciting nights in video game history.
Let's jump right in.
Funny note: They took a stab at that OTHER console manufacturer and said; "We didn't build a BOX. We built the most amazing place to play." Nice jab, Sony.
You can watch it here, and I highly recommend you do.
What we did get, however, were the specs and they are here for you all to see via IGN;
- 8-core AMD "Jaguar" x86-64 chip with integrated graphics APU
- "Next-generation" AMD Radeon graphics processor capable of driving 1.84 teraflops
- 8GB of dedicated GDDR5 memory
- Blu-ray drive included
- 80.211 b/g/n Wi-Fi
- Bluetooth 2.1
- HDMI, Analog-AV, and optical digital output
- USB 3.0 ports and AUX port
- Will ship with a "Mono Headset" for voice-chat
The PS4 will be shipping "Holiday 2013". No pricing was given.
An LED light graces the top of the thicker and more ergonomic-looking controller and will change colors depending on what player you are, if you take damage, etc. The LED light will also interact with a very Kinect looking dual-camera that undoubtedly replaces the PlayStation Eye and will offer better six-axis motion control in regards to 3D space and depth.
A speaker is placed under the touchpad which will, similar to Wii remotes, offer greater sound fidelity. A headset jack was added and an option button will preform the Start and Select functions of the previous controllers.
I am very happy with the route they took with this controller. They still kept the DualShock identity but evolved it and added very useful functions that, if used correctly, will really improve the way we play games.
Gaikai and Sharing
First of all, cloud-streaming is a way for servers anywhere in the world to process games for you and then stream the video-feed in real time. This makes it so you can play graphic-intensive games even if you don't have a powerful PC. This is important for the PS4 because it is built into the identity of the system and will make many aspects of gaming much more convenient.
For example, let's say you are looking through the PlayStation store and you see a game you like. Instead of downloading a demo, waiting for it to install, etc. you can just press X and jump right into the full game and try it out yourself. To take it even further, if you like that game and decide to purchase it digitally you can instantly start playing your game while the rest of it downloads. This will make for minimal downtime and keep you gaming more and waiting less.
One other feature they mentioned that I am really excited for is the ability to jump into another's game. I have an 8-year old brother named Jordan who LOVES video games and some would say he takes after his older brother =). We live two hours away and I could imagine watching and talking with him as he played Knack, for example. Let's say he gets to a tough boss or platforming section and all I have to do is press a button to control his character, beat that area for him, and then give him control right back. This is truly next-gen and another way to keep in touch with friends and family.
Lastly, Gaikai will allow for streaming of not only games from the PS1, PS2 and PS3 era, but the goal is to make every PS4 game playable on the Vita. They didn't reveal too much more but they are trying to push the idea that the Vita is the "Ultimate companion for the PS4" and, for their and our sakes, I hope they're right!
The animations were great and it looks like Knack could be a great addition to the PlayStation exclusive list and good for the younger demographic.
Watch the trailer here.
Killzone: Shadow Fall
People may say "OK, another FPS in a very saturated market. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah" These games sell and are great ways to showcase the system so until people stop buying these games, they will keep making them.
I didn't personally see anything that makes this feel truly next-gen besides the pretty visuals, but there is plenty of time for them to change that.
Watch the trailer here.
This one has the chance to truly revolutionize the racing genre and seriously, just watch the trailer here, and prepare to understand the true potential of the PS4.
inFAMOUS: Second Son
Knowing Sucker Punch and inFAMOUS, we are in for a serious treat when this one come out. I can't wait to get back in this world.
See the trailer here.
This whimsical title takes you to an open-world that seems like a marriage between Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker and Myst. The puzzles that are shown seem to involve mazes on squares but it's safe to assume that's not all this game will be.
This game will be exclusive for the PS4 "launch window", meaning it will most likely come to other consoles and platforms eventually. It's always nice to have the first crack at it though, good work Sony.
Also, if you haven't played Braid yet...please, please, please, go play it.
Watch the trailer here.
It ended with a nice little touch that showed off one of the new social features PS4 is capable of. We see a message, from Street Fighter favorite Blanka, asking for some help and items because he is "in over his head". This just shows the potential of interacting with your friends games and even helping them directly.
Watch the trailer here.
This game continues to impress and it was just announced it will be a launch title for the PlayStation 4. I have a feeling it will be such an empowering feeling walking through this open-world game and knowing you have an unlimited wealth of knowledge and abilities to control all around you. Keep you eyes on this one.
Watch the demo here.
This game is incredibly ambitious. Luckily, Bungie is behind it and if anyone could pull it off, it's them. PS4 seems to have some exclusive content but this game will be released on Microsoft's consoles as well. It is built on a brand new engine and looks stunning from the footage we have seen so far. Expect this one in early 2014.
Watch the trailer here.
- The PS4 will have a feature very similar to the Vita in which you will be able to suspend your gameplay and come back later and resume instantly. This is one of my favorite features of the under-appreciated Vita and it's great to see it being utilized here.
- David Cage of Quantic Dream (Heavy Rain, Beyond: Two Souls), came on stage and demoed an old man rendered with next-gen technology. He talked how subtle motions and more emotion will revolutionize gaming and storytelling. Looked cool, but I'll be more excited to see the game it's inevitably used in.
- Media Molecule, masterminds behind the LittleBigPlanet franchise, revealed a prototype game called The Tyranny of the Polygon in which you use the PlayStation Move (yes, it's still around) to sculpt items into existence. You will also be able to just create worlds of objects and control them with the move. In a quick demo, they showed actual players through the camera and they were controlling band members in a band and were jamming out. It was cute and I'll be interested to see what the final product turns out to be.
- Square Enix came out and showed footage using next-gen tech that will give a good indication of where their games are going. Also, Final Fantasy Brand Director Shinji Hashimoto came out and said the next Final Fantasy is coming and will be talked about at E3. Come on Square Enix, step it up. Don't waste our time, show us what you are actually working on.
- Diablo III is coming to Consoles! Blizzard took the stage and revealed that the ever popular Diablo III will be launching for current and next-gen consoles.
- PS3 retail and digital games will not be backwards-compatable. This will pave the way for Gaikai streaming, which will most likely mean you will have to purchase them again. =(
- PS4 will support 4K media but not games.
- PS4 supports PlayStation Move but not the DualShock 3.
- It appears PS4 doesn't block used games.
- There will be an app coming to iOS and Android that will allow phones and tablets to be second screens for the PS4. I'm sure it will evolve over time but for now it will allow players to "see maps on their second screen...purchase PS4 games while away from home and download it directly to the console at home, or remotely watch other gamers playing on their devices." Nifty!
- Games, Games, Games. Sony came out swinging and showed that the support for the system is in full swing.
- Gaikai integration. This could really separate the PS4 from the next Xbox in that the features Gaikai brings to the table are revolutionary. Being able to jump into a friends or family members game to help them through a tough spot, playing a game while it's downloading, and sharing gameplay live are incredible. The best part? It's only the beginning!
- The next-gen is here! I mean come on, I know it seems like an easy answer but this is one of the most exciting times to be a gamer.
- Sony didn't show the console or give pricing. I expected the pricing, but not even showing us the beautiful new Sony console? Come on peeps.
- The Vita! They claimed that the Vita will be Ultimate Companion for the PS4 but didn't go into too many details. I know this was a PS4 conference but we still don't know what is happening with this device and I don't want it to turn simply into a second screen. Even though that feature is AWESOME, I'm sure they have more up their sleeve that they are sitting on...right?
- I don't have a PlayStation 4 yet =(
Adam Bankhurst is one of the co-hosts of The Gamer's Advocate. Send him all your thoughts or questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow him @adambankhurst