Well, folks, the future is now. Just like everyone expected, Sony announced the PlayStation 4 at their event last night. The revelation was rather quick, but then they spent almost two hours discussing the console’s controller, video games, and assorted details. So, what exactly is different with this iteration of the PlayStation? What games are set to launch with it, and what’s up with the new controller? All these questions and more are answered just below.
First and foremost, the release date: Holiday 2013! That’s pretty soon, but it definitely explains a lot about how cagey Sony’s been about any kind of next-gen details up to this point. Let’s just jump right into it, shall we?
It mostly resembles the old DualShock PlayStation controllers, but now there’s a whole mess of doodads attached to it. It’s essentially an amalgamation of features from the DualShock 3, PlayStation Move, and even a touchpad from the PlayStation Vita.
The nod to the PlayStation Move comes in the form of a light bar on the front of the controller. This lights up to distinguish between players, and a new dual-camera peripheral can track it just like PlayStation Move. It also apparently can illuminate in different colors depending on what’s happening in the game, but who knows how that will actually be used in the future.
There’s also a built-in speaker for the controller, and a headset jack to boot. The former seems to be cribbed from the Wii, while the latter is cribbed from the Xbox 360. Also like the Xbox 360, a headset will be included in each PlayStation 4 bundle, so that’s a thing now.
Most of the buttons on the controller should be familiar to anyone that’s used a PlayStation 3, but two are very much new. There’s a Share button for social interactions, like streaming gameplay or posting images, and an Options button which combines the old Select and Start buttons into one multipurpose one.
Look, everything that was announced for the PlayStation 4 isn’t exactly news to blow you away, so we’re not going to focus too much on them. That said, here’s a nice list of games that are definitely coming to the platform:
- The Witness
- inFAMOUS: Second Son
- Killzone: Shadow Fall
- The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt
- Diablo III
- Deep Down
More are likely to come out as we continue to get further from the announcement, but you get the drift. A lot of stuff that’s already been announced will also be coming to the PlayStation 4, and a few things — like Killzone: Shadow Fall and inFAMOUS: Second Son — are purely for the PS4. While Killzone is definitely a launch title, it’s unclear where Second Son sits currently.
The Technical Specifications
According to Sony, the PlayStation 4′s GPU includes “a unified array of 18 compute units” for a total of 1.84 teraflops of processing power. The console’s 8 GB of memory will supposedly provide up to “176 GB/second of bandwidth” to developers, should they need that sort of thing.
During the event, and coverage since, there’s been a number of little tidbits released on the PlayStation 4 that don’t really fit under a traditional header. Even so, they’re worth mentioning, so here’s a short list of things we know.
- Sony’s moving away from the Cell architecture in order to make development easier and keep costs down.
- Gaikai, the streaming service Sony gobbled up, will be an instrumental part of the PS4.
- No backwards capability supported natively, but Gaikai might solve that problem eventually.
- The PS4 will be able to play used games.
- Sony’s pushing the Vita, and wants to make it a companion piece to the PS4.
- No image of the actual unit
- No pricing information yet, but expect it to be competitive.
Also, here’s this because it’s hilarious:
That about sums it up.
- Here’s the PlayStation 4 live stream, which is just a repeating loop of the event now
- The PlayStation 4 controller prototype looks pretty much identical to the real thing
- Also, we totally called it