Last night Sony made their big announcement that gamers around the world were waiting for with baited breath. Their big announcement was the reveal of… a controller.
Sony have not yet given a look at the next console but they have stated it will be called the PlayStation 4 and they unveiled some of the specifications for it. Their new console has 8GB of unified memory so the PS4 can do a lot more at once. The CPU behind that is the x86 which should be more than powerful enough to keep that 8GB of unified memory running nicely.
There was no mention of a disc drive in the machine. This may mean that their isn’t one and it will be all digital but what Sony did confirm is that it WON’T be backwards compatible but it WILL play second hand games. This could be proof there is actually a disk drive.
Older games may eventually reach the Cloud. Despite that, while browsing the store, Sony said that with the hit of the “X” button, you’ll be able to play games before you purchase them. The way they insinuated the concept, it sounds similar to going to the library and reading the books right there in the building. Any cloud services that they are talking about will be rolled out in phases, so it doesn’t sound like this will be fully functional at launch.
Sony did reveal they have a vision for an online world. It is very ambitious and staying connected with friends is a priority. As they demonstrated during an animation in one of their videos, they want you walking the streets staring into your smartphone and tablet keeping up with whatever’s happening with your friends on PSN. Those friends can don their real names and faces, too. The ability to keep your reverent online alias is still a possibility. This is a rather funny choice from Sony, considering they had the worst breach of online security in recent memory and are probably still paying for it.
In addition to this Sony have also added a “Share” button to the new controller they revealed. This will work in the same way as Facebook’s share button to share any video clips of your games if you are particularly proud of something. When you hit the Share button it will take you to a mini video editor letting you clip your video to what you want before displaying it on Facebook and Twitter. You’ll also be able to stream yourself live through Ustream and people can interact with you and your game to the point you’ll be able to let players take over your game and play for you. It’s remote access on your console.
There is also an option called Remote Play that will be available. It’s similar to the PS3 and Vita’s cross-play except that it acts more like the Wii U’s Gamepad functionality. As marketed, the compatibility can take a game from the PS4 and put it on the Vita with “full” functionality – meaning full graphic capability. The game they demo was a more cartoony game than something heavy like Crysis or Watch Dogs and it’s probably not going to work with every game, nor did they say it would. It’d be highly unlikely that a future Crysis game would fair well at the same graphical capability on the Vita but Sony may suprise us yet.
Finally let’s get to the new controller they unveiled. The controller will keep its inventive and memorable name, just like the console: DualShock 4. The changes in its design are immediately apparent, but not terribly ugly. It might take getting used to for some. The edges aren’t as rounded and it certainly looks curvier. One of the biggest change is the touch pad in the middle which I can imagine will be used in games in the same way the Vita utilises it. Flanking the pad at the top of the controller is also the “Share” button I mentioned earlier and an “Options” button. There is also an addition of a headphone jack. The size of the jack has not yet been confirmed however.
There is also a light bar that sits on the back portion of the controller that gives a “simpler, more friendly way to identify players.” The controller also acts as the old Sixaxis should have except that the DualShock 4 can read depth in front of the controller and the light bar helps read its position in space in conjunction with a stereo camera.
There was absolutely no sign of the console and no mention of a price during the event but Sony did announce that the PlayStation 4 will be available for Christmas this year.
If you would like to watch the two hour announcement, you can do so by going to http://www.ustream.tv/channel/playstation-live—english-2