Playstation 4 Unveiled

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At Playstation Meeting 2013 Sony revealed their newest entry into the video game console market, the Playstation 4.  Rumors had been swirling for months about its features, including leaked images of Dualshock 4’s mockup, and the contentious idea that used games may be locked out by internal DRM.  How does it stack up to the expectations?  Let’s find out.

First the controller.  The Dualshock 4 does indeed have the center touch surface that emerged from rumors and leaks about the controllers design.  It also includes a local microphone jack like the Xbox 360’s design, and a light surface to aid in identifying which user is which player.  It’s also no surprise that the PSVita will have Remote Play controlles found between the Playstation 3 and the PSP with some of the touch functionality added in that emulates some the Wii U’s controller functions.   On top of this, the buttons on the Dualshock 4 have been slightly retooled for a more ergonomic experience.

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More importantly, however, is the inclusion of a share button.  A key focus of the Playstation 4 is the incorporation of social networking into every aspect of the system’s design.  Straight from the device you can stream video from whatever game you are playing, and friends can watch you as you play and even interact by helping the player out (including taking control of the game, if so desired).  Cloud services are also a big ticket item, though not all was revealed as to what that will offer.

On the hardware end, the Playstation 4 will house what can be compared to a high end gaming PC.  It’ll be equipped with a more conventional eight core CPU, as opposed to the “Cell” processor that was difficult to develop for.  The GPU has gone unnamed, but it’s said to be “highly enhanced” with 8 gigs of unified RAM.  Judging by how gorgeous the newest Killzone and Driveclub  looked, it’ll surely be the new watermark for graphical power.

PS4 Image

Release dates and initial pricing are all a mystery, though a few games were demonstrated at the conference.  These included the aforementioned Killzone and Driveclub which made a big splash, but the biggest news was the announcement for Diablo 3 on the platform.  WATCH_DOGS, which was a huge hit at the last E3 had a new daytime trailer set the heart of Chicago, and Final Fantasy Agni’s Philosophy was shown by Square-Enix. The Panta Rhei engine was debuted by Capcom, as was Suckerpunch’s new entry into the Infamous line, Second Son was also on hand.  Braid’s creator Jonathan Blow showed The Witness, and Activision-Blizzard finally gave us a glimpse at gameplay footage from Destiny.