Ok so you perhaps didn’t survive the mammoth PlayStation PS4 event and want a relatively fresh recap? Here goes with an immediate look at the critical details you’ll need to sound like you know what you’re talking about…
Sony’s LONG PlayStation event is now over with it a new PS4 console is confirmed. During the presentation we got very vague machine specs, didn’t see the console unit itself at all and in terms of release were only told it will be “coming holiday 2013.”
A new PlayStation 4 controller WAS shown physically on the New York stage and was seemingly used to control a real-time animation demo of Unreal Engine 4. The peripheral matched closely the leaked photos of last week and indeed featured a touchpad and crucially a Share button.
Ergonomically this new DualShock looked refined in shape and had markedly smaller shoulder R1/R2/L1/L2 trigger buttons.
It also has an integrated lightbar for Move compatibility and will use a new Kinect-like camera sensor bar to track user gestures.
The PlayStation 4 machine will carry 8 GB of unified high-speed memory rather than the rumoured 4 GB. It will have secondary processors for background downloading as well as dedicated video capture and processing.
“Sharing featured heavily across the event and Sony emphasised uShare and YouTube integration.”
This latter point again relates to that ‘Share’ button and a BIG emphasis on broadcasting gaming progress to your friends across social media. Sharing featured heavily across the event and Sony emphasised Ustream and YouTube integration, as well as increased PSN services for bringing gaming friends together.
The XrossMenuBar (XMB) OS will be ditched for PlayStation 4 for something “more adaptive” and you’ll be able quickly put the console into sleep mode to immediately resume games from where you leave them.
Sony-owned Gaikai are introducing cloud-based services for streaming an extensive library of old and current PlayStation games along with enabling remote play. They will partner with Everything Everywhere (EE) and 4G technology to create the most ambitious gaming network ever, but roll-out will be gradual.
Simplicity and elegance were big buzzwords during the event. Happily Sony has consulted developers to design platform that is easier for them to develop for and more open for indie studios. Apparently PlayStation 4 architecture ensures the easiest PC to console port process ever so should eradicate the difficulties that dogged the PS3.
Game demos shown included a cutesy bash ’em up called Knack, Killzone: Shadow Fall and inFamous (3) Second Son. Most visually exciting was a meticulous supercar racing simulator called Driveclub, while open world puzzler The Witness was confirmed as a PS4 exclusive.
Game engines however were given more focus than in-game footage. Capcom showed off its impressive Panta Rhei system running new gaming IP deep down (working title), while Square Enix disappointingly leaned on an old Luminous Studio tech demo.
As predicted the Final Fantasy creators ran public footage of Agni’s Philosophy and revealed that no additional news would materialise until E3. It did however encouragingly call PS4 a “developers dream” which bodes well.
Lastly, Blizzard made an appearance to confirm its strategic partnership with Sony to “take over the world” by releasing Diablo 3 for PS4 and indeed PS3.
We’ll have a much more in-depth reaction and analysis of the featured game demos over coming days…