As expected Sony has taken some of the wraps off of their long-awaited next generation PlayStation, the PlayStation 4. While Sony showed off the PS4’s new controller and its great graphics capabilities, a lot remains a mystery to be solved at a later date. We still don’t know what the actual console will look like or how much it will cost.
However while we wait for that later day to arrive, let’s get you caught up on what we do know so far.
Sony didn’t actually announce all the specs during the event, but rather through a press release afterwords. Anyways, as we all expected the PS4 is a specs beast. The PS4 packs an eight core AMD processor and next-gen AMD Radeon GPU (meaning this is capable of unbelievable graphics much better than the PS3’s), 8 GB of RAM (making it 32x more than the PS3 which has just 256 MB. This is a huge jump), and Blu-ray drive, WiFi, Bluetooth, and HDMI and USB 3.0 ports built-in. The PS4 will also have a hard drive, but as of yet we don’t know how much storage it will have. So that’s the PS4 console, now let’s get to the controller.
The PS4 controller is exactly like the leak from last week. It looks a lot like the PS3’s Dual Shock controller, but with a few added features. The first of these new additions is the touchpad on the front. Sony didn’t show off any games that take advantage of this feature, but we imagine that there are plenty of developers making use of it right now creating all new gaming experiences.
In addition to the touchpad, Sony also gave the PS4’s controller a Share button (which we’ll get to more in a moment) as well as a “light bar” (the blue light you see at the below on the back of the controller), which allows the controller to be tracked using an updated PlayStation Eye accessory. The PS4 also supports the PlayStation Move controllers, though we don’t know if you’ll need new ones or if your older Move controllers will be compatible with the PS4.
Again, we still don’t know what the PS4 will actually look like, but at least after this event we have a solid amount of info as to just how powerful it will be.
Sony kept the details on the PS4’s software equally light, though they did detail some interesting new online features.
First off, sharing. We mentioned the Share button on the new PS4 controller before and it actually provides some really interesting features that we haven’t seen on a game console before. With the press of the share button, you can instantly share video of your game online to Facebook. But that’s not all– the PS4 also allows you to do things like stream you’re game live online through Ustream, where friends can comment on it in real-time. And if you’re playing a game and are stuck on a level you can even have your friends join the game and help you out.
Sharing isn’t the only big software feature on the PS4. Next up is instant start-up. In fact there are no more shut downs for the system, just putting it into sleep mode and waking it up (both can be done by pressing the power button). The PS4 also lets you do things like open a web browser while you’re playing a game, but even that isn’t the best multitasking feature of the PS4– which is the ability to play a game while it’s downloading. While the PS4 will have a Blu-ray drive, you also will be able to download games right from the PlayStation Store. On the PS3 (and even Xbox 360), when you’re downloading a game you are stuck waiting for it to download before you could play it. Thanks to all the power in the PS4 this is a problem of the past and you can now begin playing the game while it’s downloading in the background.
The PS4 has one other really cool feature that Sony showed off at their event, the ability to take any PS4 game on the go thanks to Remote Play and the PS Vita. With Remote Play you can be in the middle of a game on the PS4, pause it, and resume it on the Vita once you leave the room. This has the potential to be a huge feature for the Vita as well as for the PS4, and Sony said tonight that their goal is to get all PS4 games to support Remote Play. Sony also will be making apps for the iPhone, iPad and Android allowing you to use those devices as a second screen for PS4 games (similar to what Microsoft has done with their SmartGlass app for the Xbox 360).
And like the PS3, the PS4 will have access to other apps like Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video etc.
Now let’s get to the biggest part of the PS4– the games. Sony said that pretty much every major third-party developer is supporting the PS4, including Activision, Bungie (the guys who used to make Halo exclusively for the Xbox), Blizzard, EA, 2K Games, Capcom, and Ubisoft. Sony also took the time to show off some of the PS4’s amazing graphics capabilities, and we’ll say this much, it looks incredible. Here’s a YouTube video showing off some of the new games Sony demoed.
So there you have it, the PS4 from what we know so far. Sony said we can expect the PS4 to be available in stores in time for the holidays of this year, with more info promised over the coming months. From what we’ve seen tonight though we’re impressed, though we wish that after a two-hour press conference Sony would have shown off what the PS4 actually will look like.
What about you– do you like what you see are already saving up for to get the PS4 once it becomes available or are you waiting to see what Microsoft has planned for their next Xbox before you decide on your next console? Let us know in the comments.