Sony unveils the PlayStation 4, sort of

Sony unveils the PlayStation 4, sort of

Chase Cannon

Yesterday in New York City, Sony, to no one’s surprise, unveiled the PlayStation 4. To everyone’s surprise, they didn’t unveil what the gaming system actually looked like, but they did show off plenty of other things.

As far as specifications go, they claim it will include an eight-core X86 AMD Jaguar CPU and a 1.84-teraflop AMD Radeon graphics engine, as well as 8GB of fast GDDR5 memory. They went with a standard HDD, but didn’t say how much the hard drive would have as far as memory goes. They claim very fast background downloading, and even said you can play the games while the downloading is still going on. There is definitely a push towards downloading and streaming games, but there will be a disc drive that will play Blu-ray disks as well.

As far as being able to play PS3 games, they claimed not only will owners be able to play those on the PS4, but will be able to play PS2 and PS1 games on it, but they didn’t specify how that would be done, whether by inserting discs into the system, or doing something like they do with on the PS3 now with PlayStation Classics.

Although they didn’t show the console itself, they showed off another important piece of hardware, the DualShock 4 controller. The new controller still looks like the original, but with a tech upgrade, including a touch pad in the middle, a new “share” button, a cool new light bar on the top, a headphone jack that reminds you of what is on the current Xbox controller, and what looks like an upgrade on the feel of the joysticks. They also showed off what seems like a new PlayStation Eye, which looks like a bar, much like the Kinect for Xbox.

A big thing that Sony stressed was sharing. They talked a lot about how you will be able to hit the share button on the controller and instantly share the last couple of minutes of footage from whatever game you are playing. They also partnered with U-Stream and will allow you to stream your games on the Internet and for other friends and people on PlayStation  With streaming online play as well as solo play becoming increasingly popular, this is definitely a cool new feature, and no doubt will be used constantly by pro gamers and amateurs alike.

They also talked a lot about new cloud-based gaming, mostly upswing technology from Sony’s recently bought cloud technology company Gaikai. A big thing they talked about was the ability to stream games from the cloud that you are thinking about playing, in a sort of trial type way. All of the streaming of your games to others will be powered by Gaikai as well.

The talk of using other screens such as your phone or tablet to enhance the game-play was a topic of conversation as well. They also talked about remote play on the PlayStation Vita, as well as being able to transfer your games to it and being able to pick up any of your saves quickly and easy on the vita, which would make any non vita owner that will buy a PS4 want to purchase one of those as well.

A couple of new games were shown off as well. Highlights were a new Killzone game, a new game called Drive Club, which is what seems to be a racing game focused on playing as a team, as well as paying the most attention to detail possible, as well as another trailer for Watchdogs, a new game from Ubisoft that looks promising. There was also a new Infamous game, but it looks mostly like a spin-off from the original. Big announcements were from companies like Bungie and Blizzard. Bungie announced that their new game Destiny, a first person shooter that hopes to change games in the same way as Halo did, is going to be on the PS4, and Blizzard announced that their popular game for PC, Diablo 3, will be on the new console soon.

Other announcements were for games and engines made from the likes of Capcom, maker of the popular Street Fighter games, Square Enix, who makes the Final Fantasy games, and a scary-real looking engine from Quantic Dream, maker of the highly acclaimed Heavy Rain game.

No announcements have come about the release date or prices, other than the announcement of a Holiday 2013 release date. Expect more to come soon, specifically from E3 in the Summer.