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Sony reveals the "Future of play" with PS4

4:27 PM, Feb 20, 2013   |    comments
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  • Sony's PlayStation 4 is expected to release during the holidays of 2013.
    

During their global press conference Wednesday, Sony announces the "future of play", stating that "The demands for a new platform were clear."

"Today marks a moment of truth and a bold step forward for PlayStation as a company," said Andrew House, CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment.

Along with this comes the official unveiling of PlayStation 4, due out in late 2013.  Sony states it is a platform designed to bring new innovations to gamers.  The platform is being touted as a powerful and accessible system that will define the evolution of gaming itself.

"PlayStation 4 had ignited [developer's] creativity to create new experiences that up until now they can only dream of," commented Michael Denny at Sony's Worldwide Studios.

Taking cues from the PC world, it's eight-core CPU runs on the X86 architecture with a highly-enhanced PC GPU using GDDR5 memory capable of producing more than one-million movable objects as shown in a live-demo during the press conference.  It will also be able to create models with more than 30,000 polygons as shown by David Cage of Beyond: Two Souls developer Quantic Dream.  As for system memory, the PS4 is being equipped with 8GB of high-capacity memory backed by a local solid-state hard drive.

"The PlayStation 4 is a much functional gaming platform its CPU and GPU processing power are extremely high," said Yoshihisa Hashimoto of Square-Enix.  "Players will be enthralled by the evolution of gameplay that will be on the PS4."

Here are the PlayStation 4's official specifications as provided by Sony:

Main Processor

Single-chip custom processor

CPU : x86-64 AMD "Jaguar", 8 cores

GPU : 1.84 TFLOPS, AMD next-generation Radeon™ based graphics engine

Memory

GDDR5 8GB

Hard Disk Drive

Built-in

Optical Drive

(read only)

BD 6xCAV

DVD 8xCAV

I/O

Super-Speed USB (USB 3.0) ?AUX

Communication

Ethernet (10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T)

IEEE 802.11 b/g/n

Bluetooth® 2.1 (EDR)

AV output

HDMI

Analog-AV out

Digital Output (optical)

*Specifications are subject to change without notice.

As for its new controller, the Dual Shock four looks very much like the prototype that had been leaked not too long ago.  It includes a touchpad, a headphone jack, and a light bar to identify players.  It can also be paired with a 3D camera for motion controls.  They system also appears to have support for the current motion control scheme, PlayStation Move.

Other new features include the ability to suspend a play session at the press of a button, allowing gamers to pick back up where they left off.  It also has a secondary chip to manage uploads and downloads, even with the main power off.  Furthermore, downloadable titles on PlayStation 4 will be playable while its download is in progress.  Gamers can also seamlessly upload gameplay video to the internet via the PS4's one-touch sharing feature or provide a spectating experience by live-steaming and can even provide real-time feedback and assistance in return.

On the social side of things, PlayStation 4 is focused around interacting with real-life friends through not only the system's user interface, but also on other parts of the overall PlayStation family of systems and other third-party platforms such as smartphones and tablets.  Personalization is also a key thing about the PlayStation 4.  The system will learn its users' likes and dislikes and will eventually cater to them.

Cloud gaming is also a bit part of PlayStation 4 via PlayStation Network.  With the Gaikai-branded cloud gaming technology, gamers can check out streaming demo versions of games right from the PlayStation Store to allow gamers to immediately experience the game before they buy it.  Furthermore, PS4 users can share the games they try out and/or buy via social networks such as Facebook.

"What we're creating is the fastest, most powerful network for gaming in the world," stated David Perry, CEO of cloud gaming company Gaikai.  "Our vision is to create the first gaming social network with meaning."

Sony has confirmed the support of most every major third-party game developer and publisher as well as collaboration plans with a variety of smaller independent game studios.

One of those third-party publishers/developers, Capcom, unveiled Panta Rhei.  It's a new gaming engine designed specifically for the high-end graphics and processes of which the PlayStation 4 is capable.  Another another of the third-party developers, Square Enix, will be using its high-end Luminous Studio engine to create its PS4 titles.

Activision has also announced its support for the newly-revealed platform.  The company plans on supporting the PS4 with a number of titles from its various developers within the console's launch window.  This list of Activision-owned developers includes Bungie, which will be making its return to PlayStation as a platform in more than a decade.

Another partnered developer announced for PlayStation 4 is PC game developer/publisher Blizzard.  This will mark the first time a Blizzard title will ever be made for console.

"Blizzard and Sony have entered into a strategic partnership with which we will take over the world," joked Blizzard co-founder Allen Adham.  "We know that in our partnership with Sony that we have our [first console] game."

The title which Adham announced: Diablo III.  More details on this title will be revealed during PAX East in late March.

Other announced titles for the PlayStation 4 include:

  • Knack, a quirky and charming-looking title featuring a small robot.
  • Killzone: Shadow Fall, a first-person shooter game that takes place in a dystopian future where all heck breaks loose.
  • Driveclub, the next racing game from Evolution Studios where players drive as part of a team against user-controlled in-game driving clubs from all over the world.
  • iNFamous Second Son, a game from developer Sucker Punch that features an underground of superhumans fighting to bring the social liberties and freedoms that have been (as some might say) compromised in Western society.
  • The Witness, a colorful open-world puzzle-based game from indie developer Jonathan Blow.
  • Beyond: Two Souls, the previously-announced title from developer Quantic Dream starring Katie Holmes.
  • Deep Dawn, a new title running on Capcom's new engine designed specifically for PlayStation 4.
  • A new Final Fantasy title to be made on Square-Enix's Luminous Engine that the company will debut at the 2013 E3 Expo in June.
  • Watch Dogs, an open world action-adventure game from Ubisoft.
  • The previously-mentioned Diablo III for PS3 and PS4.  This will be the first time developer/publisher Blizzard would have ever released a game onto a video game console.
  • Destiny, a recently-announced FPS title from Halo developer Bungie.  This game will be available as both a PS3 and PS4 title.

In addition to the PS4-named titles, Perry mentioned the possibility of providing past PlayStation titles dating back to the original PlayStation One as live-streamed, playable games.  That stated, no word was given as to the PlayStation 4's backwards compatibility capabilities.

Along with the announcement of PlayStation 4 is Sony's announcement of expanding its handheld gaming platform, PlayStation Vita, into the living room -- a domain dominated by traditional home consoles.  This includes the expansion of remote play, allowing PS4 owners to transfer gameplay from the television to the PlayStation Vita a-la the Wii U does to the Wii U Gamepad.  Remote play capabilities will extend beyond games to include services like Netflix and Sony's own Music Unlimited and Music Unlimited via an always-on video compression/decompression process.  While no further details were supplied about this topic, House revealed that the company will provide more details on the future of the Vita later this year.

"The arrival of PS4 is a critical initiative that presents an enormous opportunity to dramatically evolve the game play experience into something far grander than ever imagined," House said, as he concluded the event. "From enhanced social capabilities to intensified power to realizing bigger, better, and more immersive game play, to the evolution of our ecosystem to meet the requirements for a simpler, more adaptive interface, we believe PS4 proves we have more to offer than ever before."

The PlayStation 4 is expected to release in the Holiday season of 2013.  An official pricing structure has yet to be revealed.

News10/KXTV

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