Sony’s live conference has come to a close and if you happened to miss it, or felt too guilty having your Xbox stare into your soul as you attempted to watch the stream, kindly allow me to spill the beans. Focusing on immediacy of use in playing and downloading games while also trying to destroy technical limitations between developer and machine, Sony officially announced their next-gen beast tonight: the PlayStation 4. And it’s coming this Holiday.
Over the next few months leading up until E3, where we’ll see way more of the system and the games racing to its launch window, you’re going to hear a shitload about the PS4. You’ll hear so much about it, even the system’s logo is likely to give you a migraine. Or send you into fits of animalistic rage which only warm blood can calm. Happens every goddamn time they announce new hardware (just relax; gamers are given, like, three grace kills before the law takes notice).
So I’ll keep this quick and sweet, folks. Hit the jump for a full lowdown.
Here’s the most important facts we know so far about the PS4:
- The PS4 runs on “supercharged” PC architecture. We’re talking an X86 CPU paired with an advanced PC GPU. The package is sweetened by a local hard drive and 8 GB of unified memory (making it a monster of a multi-tasker).
- It contains APU technology and GDDR5 memory; specs normally reserved for high-end graphics cards.
- The DualShock 4 was shown off; talking points: concave sticks, trigger-like shoulder buttons, a touchpad on the controller’s face, a user-detecting sensor on the back, and the “Share” button.
- What’s the “Share” button? Well, among other functions, it lets you record live gameplay and share it socially, console-native and beyond.
- You can download games as you play them. Eventually, Sony wants to queue entire titles it thinks you may enjoy before you even think to pay for them.
- Pausing is the past. You can suspend games and resume them from the exact same point at your leisure.
- Social networking infects every inch of the interface: you can watch others’ play sessions or even remotely take over friends’ games. Gamer profiles resemble your Facebook pages.
- There is no backwards compatibility. Former systems’ titles are to be streamed through the PS4 (how extensive these libraries will be is up in the air). This an all too familiar pain, like jamming your elbow or having a testicle struck.
- Remote-play via the PS Vita transmits your PS4 titles to the handheld. End goal is to have this feature available to all PS4 games.
What we don’t know: pricing and what the hell the thing looks like. Nintendo made a similar play with the Wii U, not wanting to share how much the console cost all the way up until it was ready to ship. I would love it if Sony were a little more forthcoming than their competitor, but the first order of business is simply showing us the damn thing (I’m guessing an E3 reveal is in the cards).
Sony’s increased attention to streamlining the console’s usability – smooth interface, lightning downloads, immediate play – colors me all sorts of impressed. “Instant” being our spoiled generation’s mantra, it’s nice to see PlayStation, and my video games, try to keep speed. Motion technology made a peep tonight, but thankfully it was a barely heard sound. Rather, I find myself more excited at the prospect of quickly taking and sharing videos; especially if I can throw my nonsense past the threshold of the PS4 and onto venues like this one.
I’m glad Sony had the presence of mind to know all the bells and whistles in the world don’t count for shit next to what’s truly important: the games, and there was a muchly appreciated focus on our virtual playgrounds at the conference (we’ll get to talkin’ about those very soon). Forward thinking technology, easy social integration, video games taking the spotlight over hardware…I’ll brace this by saying there’s still a long, treacherous road for Sony to fuck up and lose its footing (especially with Xbox’s Next Big Thing waiting in the darkness), but if tonight was any indication…the future of PlayStation is bright.
Sony, don’t make me regret uttering something so remarkably cheesy.