Thursday, February 21, 2013

Sony (kind of) Unveils PS4

Sony has just unveiled their new PS4, which will arrive by the end of the year in time for the holidays. But this was a very strange unveiling... as we didn't get to actually see the new PS4, nor get to know an exact release date, let alone its expected price. But in any case, we got to know what the PS4 will bring us, and it certainly won't let gamers down.

  • Single-chip custom processor, with eight x86-64 AMD Jaguar CPU cores and 1.84 TFLOPS next-gen AMD Radeon based graphics engine
  • 8GB GDDR5 memory
  • Built-in hard drive
  • 6x Blu-Ray and 8x DVD drive
  • USB 3.0 and auxiliary ports
  • Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 2.1
  • HDMI, analog AV-out, and optical S/PDIF audio output
  • DualShock 4 controller, with two-point capacitive touchpad, three-axis gyroscope, three-axis accelerometer, vibration, light bar with three color LEDs, mono speaker, micro USB port, stereo headset port, extension port, 1000mAh battery
  • PlayStation 4 Eye camera, with two 1280 x 800 cameras, f/2.0 fixed focus lenses, 85-degree field of view, 30cm minimum focusing distance, four-channel microphone array

Yes, we're having a octa-core CPU and 8GB of RAM, that should be more than enough to bring the PS4 up to par against a pretty decent high-end PC. Sony has finally decided to let go of the Cell architecture and use "PC-like" components, something that developers will certainly appreciate, as developing games for the PC, Xbox and PS4 will now be practically identical (is this the first step to a unified gaming platform in the future? One can always dream...)

This also means that you can forget about backwards compatibility with current PS3 titles - something that may happen via the Gaikai video streaming in the future.

PS4 also gets a "kinect-like" 3D camera, with higher resolution than the current Kinect (but the next gen kinect is also about to popup any day now).

With all this extra hardware power, Sony says gamers will no longer have to wait for the console to boot up, for games to start up, or for downloads to complete. You'll be able to press the power button and start playing, and turn off at any moment and return later to exactly where you were.

The new DualShock also has a dedicated share button, and you can now select clips of your video play and share it with friends - and even broadcast your games to the internet via Ustream. There's also an interesting option where you can watch what your friends are playing and even lend them a hand should it be required.

Remote play and second screen gaming are also contemplated, with the PS Vita and generic smartphone/tablets being put to use for playing actual PS4 games or showing extra game content in sync with the game.

Then we had a lot of game demos to show the graphic power of the new PS4, with impressive footage being rendered in real time:

Killzone Shadow Fall

Driveclub - Sadly Gran Turismo was a no show at this event.

Quantic Dreams showed how we're reaching a level that allows digital character to convey emotions.

We also got to see Agni’s Philosophy Luminous Engine demoWatch DogsDestiny and several others:

Now it's up to Microsoft to show what their new Xbox will bring to the battle. Will they dare up the ante and go crazy with somthing "overboard" just to say it's better than the PS4? :)

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