With Sony’s announcement of the PS4, and the resulting fervor that has accompanied the announcement, we are left to question, do we really care? Well, Sony has revealed some tantalizing details about the hardware specs, along with some amazing software features that the new console will have. For all the hype surrounding the launch, there is still a shroud of mystery around the PS4. We STILL don’t know what it looks like, but we we do know it’s coming out in time for Christmas, we know about the DualShock 4 controller and we’ve seen the new interface and a lot of the features it delivers.
PS4: Hardware specs
No surprise here, the PS4 will be controlled by AMD. Sony revealed the system runs on a single-chip custom processor and utilizes eight x86-64 AMD Jaguar CPU cores, with a next-gen AMD Radeon based graphics engine powering the way.
This makes it a PC-based system then, which is great news for developers who will find it much easier to code games for the next gen consoles and for PCs. The biggest complaint developers had about the Ps3 was that coding was a bitch. However, this particualr CPU is hardly next-gen. Maybe it’s been modified for this system but the AMD Jaguar platform is by no means the fastest of its kind – Intel’s processors are much faster by orders of magnitude. Consoles have fewer redundancies than a PC so the PS4 will certainly be able to make use of bit of power at it’s disposal.
The “highly enhanced PC GPU” is another story. It’s another AMD part – something along the lines of a Radeon 7850 card – and packs 18 GCN units. That may sound a like a lot of mumbo jumbo but what it essentially means is that the GPU packs 18 processing clusters, each packing up to 64 cores. That provides a lot of parallel processing power, and will thus handle the majority of the PS4′s grunt work. It has 1.84 Teraflops of processing juju. This is a far more powerful component than the Jaguar CPU and is rumored to have the edge on the GPU inside the Xbox 720.
The PS4 will ship packing 8GB of GDDR5 memory. That should enable lightning fast performance.
PS4 Instant On
The PS4 will be one nippy device if Sony is to be believed. It will have an instant on/off feature allowing your to shut down during a game and then boot up from scratch in seconds and resume where you left off. The days of waiting 60 seconds as your console loads up are about to end.
My kids will be happy to learn that Sony has revealed you will be able to power down the PS4 mid-game, then switch it on later, (in seconds) and pick up right where you left off. That’s the sort of loading power that this memory enables.
PlayStation 4 Eye
What’s really grabbing though is the development of the PlayStation 4 Eye, a newly developed camera system that utilizes two high-sensitivity camera equipped with wide-angle lenses and 85-degree diagonal angle views. We feel that this is Sony playing catch up to Xbox, but doing a damn good job of it.
Sony said the cameras can cut out the image of a player from the background or differentiate between players in the background and foreground, enhancing game play handily. There’s also mention of logging in using facial recognition and using voice and body movements to play games “more intuitively.”
PS4 controller: DualShock 4
The PS4 controller comes in the form of the DualShock 4 pad. Very much a classic design, the DualShock 4 nevertheless offers upgraded vibrations, enhanced motion sensors and a touchpad on the front.
This is MCM’s main complaint about the PS4, and the PS4′s greatest weakness. The PS4 will definitely not offer native support for PS3 games. They say they will release downloadable versions of older games “at a later date,” but the PS3 people are SOL.
PS4 release date
The PS4 release date is “Holiday 2013″. That’s the only detail Sony revealed at the launch and it’s unclear which territories it applies to. Certainly the U.S., almost certainly Japan. We have a feeling the U.K. and Europe may have to wait a little longer, maybe even until early 2014.
This is what happened with Sony’s previous consoles – the PS3 came out in the EU in March – and is backed up by various leaks and rumors. At least you’ll have plenty of time to save up if you live outside of Japan or the USA.
Sony has confirmed that PlayStation Move will play a big part in the PS4 ecosystem. However, it has not yet been revealed whether the PS4 will launch alongside a new PS Eye camera and new Move controllers or whether the peripherals are staying the same with all the enhancements made console-side.
Synergy with PlayStation Vita
Sony has revealed that the PS4 will launch with the ability to stream games directly to your PS Vita. In exactly the same way as the Wii U allows you to switch off your TV and continue playing on the tablet controller, the PS4 will wirelessly send your games to the Vita.
There will be similar synergy between “all Sony devices” which means Xperia handsets and tablets, Bravia TVs and BD players.
Sony hinted that there will be more announcements in this area, too. We think the obvious next reveal in this area is the ability to play PS4 games on your Vita from any location using a wireless connection.
PS4 price: how much will it cost?
No pricing details were revealed at the unveiling, so all we’ve got to go on are various rumors from before the launch – but it might be that Sony has a price point of around $400 in mind for the US release.
PS4 launch titles
A number of games have been revealed for the PS4. They Are: Deep Down(Capcom), Destiny (Bungie), Diablo III (Blizzard), Driveclub (Evolution Studios), Final Fantasy (Square Enix), Infamous: Second Son (Sucker Punch), Killzone: Shadow Fall (Guerilla Games), Knack (Sony), The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (CD Projekt RED), Watch Dogs (Ubisoft).
Second-hand games on the way out?
Sony has yet to discuss this area of the PS4, but you’d think it would dispel the rumors if they’re not true.
The rumors suggest that Sony is going in the same direction as Microsoft in that it wants to kill off the second-hand games market. Current industry wisdom suggests that future PS4 games might be tied to your Sony Entertainment Network account and will thus have no resale value. That’s a similar approach as used by PC developers using Steam so we reckon this is a likely development. Doesn’t mean we have to be happy about it, though.
Yes, we really care about the PS4, but we will reserve judgement until we hear more about the XBOX 720.