In a live press conference today, Sony announced the upcoming release of the PlayStation 4 this holiday season! Some big moments were made during the live event, starting it off with a bang full of fireworks, amazing videos and a showcase of what was to come.
The PlayStation 4 is looking to push the boundaries of the gaming world in a multitude of ways. Boasting incredibly hardware, including an x86 processor, a custom PC GPU, and 8GB of memory. The new console is pushing the technical boundaries beyond what many thought would be seen.
A common theme throughout the entire event was the inter-connectivity of gaming, be it cross-platform or through increased social capabilities. Cloud technology is at the center of this new breed of gaming, featuring such things as streaming downloads (playing while downloading), partnerships with Facebook and Ustream for social integration, and on-demand play now demos. The new home screen shows some of these new features.
The Dual Shock controller has seen some changes, most notably a “Share” button. Activating this button allows the player to instantly share across the PlayStation Network and even to live-stream to Ustream. Friends can now jump in and spectate your gameplay, and even jump in to take control for the player if they’re stuck at a difficult spot.
Another highly touted feature is the inter-connectivity of devices. Whether on your PlayStation console, playing remotely via a PlayStation Vita, or on your smart phone or tablet device, you are always on in the new PlayStation world. Your gaming and your network is everywhere you are. One example of this was explained like this; you’re deep into your gaming session and the kids crash the living room, pick up your Vita and enjoy the server-client relationship, where the console serves game content directly to your Vita allowing you to walk away and continue to play. Very impressive step forward for mobile gaming. The long term goal is to make all PS4 titles playable on the Vita.
A number of games were announced by various studios for the launch window and beyond. Knack was showcased as were a number of other titles. The biggest announcements by far were Blizzard announcing Diablo 3 for the PS4 and Bungie announcing that it’s new IP, Destiny, would not only be available for PS4 but would have exclusive PS4 content. Other notable title announcements were Killzone Shadowfall from Guerrilla Studios, Driveclub, a socially integrated Club based racing game, a new IP from Capcom with the working title Deep Down, and Watchdogs from Ubisoft. To top it all off, a new Final Fantasy title was announced from Square Enix with a release this year. Below are some screenshots from the aforementioned titles.
It is quite clear that the main focus of the PS4 is to deliver the players an incredibly customized and thus far unseen level of social interaction in gaming. The console will even learn what you like and dislike and even go so far as to pre-load games it thinks the player will enjoy. In addition to this customization and social interaction, the PS4 is promising to offer everything, everywhere.
A long term goal of the cloud integration is to make all titles from PS1 forward to the PS3 available for play on all devices via digital downloads from the PlayStation Store. The PlayStation 4, however, will not be backwards compatible with your PlayStation 3 titles. Although they didn’t reveal much in the form of specific’s they did say that PS3 titles are expected to be available shortly after the launch of the PS4. The ultimate goal being that ALL PlayStation titles will have a place on your PlayStation4, PS Vita, and more. That is quite the game catalog to enjoy.
All in all, the PS4 looks poised to make serious steps up from what the PS3 offers. Clearly Sony has decided to look into the future, envision it, then go beyond what could be expected. They started with a core focus on what they wanted to bring to their next generation console and based on what was shown, they look ready to deliver in more ways than one. The PS4 is certainly about to set the bar for console gaming and they are setting that bar high.