Sony PlayStation4 Reveal: Event Summary

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We all knew it was happening but it’s now official. Sony last night revealed the PlayStation 4 to the world and we’ve got the important information right here.

We started off learning about some vague system specs. The console will use an enhanced PC GPU, run on a “Supercharged PC Architecture”, with an X86 CPU and 8GB of unified high speed memory (RAM). The console also has 8 CPU cores, uses an AMD processor and features 176GB of console bandwidth.

We then got to see the system’s primary controller, the DualShock 4. If you saw the leaked images floating around the Internet over the last couple of weeks then you’ll have a good idea what to expect as what we were shown was a more polished version of that same controller. It has a touchpad in the centre (not a screen, but comparable to the back touch on the Vita), a speaker and headphone jack (the console is confirmed to ship with a headset packed in), a PlayStation Move style coloured light at the top and analogue sticks that are concave rather than convex. The console doesn’t feature a start or select button, but does feature a new Share button.

We then started getting into some of the console’s new features. With a single button press you can suspend and resume your gameplay, allowing you to come back to your game where you left off. The console also has a secondary chip designed to manage updates, uploads and downloads so that they can happen in the background without affecting your use of the console. The console will at all times be recording the last 15 minutes of your gameplay. With the new Share button on the controller this will allow you to easily upload your gameplay to the Internet. It was shown working live during the conference when one of the live demo’s was uploaded to Facebook mid conference. YouTube support has not been confirmed but seems likely.

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They also announced some fascinating information about how digital download games will work. Apparently PS4 games are being designed in a way that will allow users to play a small part of a game’s opening levels while the rest of it seamlessly downloads, meaning you don’t have to download the whole game to start playing. You can also seamlessly upload your gameplay at the same time without disrupting that process.

While very little info was given, Sony said that rather than large downloads or incomplete demos, you’ll be able to instantly start playing anything you see in the PS Store and “only buy what you love”. This would seem to suggest that you’ll be able to start playing the full version of any PS4 game for free and commit to the purchase at some point during your time playing the game. This could have interesting implications for multiplayer games on the console.

You can also take control of a friend’s gameplay if they get stuck, similar to the remote control functions available on Windows PC’s. Sony also said that PS4 users will interact with each other using real names and profile pictures, suggesting that you may connect using existing social media accounts.

Being able to stream your current gameplay to Ustream with a single button press will likely be a huge selling point for the current vastly growing market of people streaming their gameplay. It’s unclear if you’ll be able to use a headset and talk over your live-streamed or recorded gameplay.

In news that could potentially be a nail in the Wii U’s coffin, the Vita will be able to stream your PS4 games if the TV is in use. It’s unclear how the Vita will handle the fact it has two less triggers for PS4 gameplay.

It was also confirmed that the PS4 will not play PS3 discs. Sony is planning to roll out a digital service to access all PS1, PS2 and PS3 games, but this doesn’t seem to be a launch feature and it’s unclear how these games will function on the PS4.

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Lastly there were a huge slew of game reveals for the PS4. We were shown a trailer for a children’s platformer called Knack, a live gameplay demo of Killzone: Shadow Fall and trailers for a new racer called Driveclub. Infamous: Second Son and indie game The Witness also saw trailers. We then saw a tech demo from Quantic Dream showing off the facial realism of their upcoming PS4 project (while unnamed, this is likely going to be titled Singularity, based on the recent registration on SingularityPS4.com).

Media Molecule showed off a new PlayStation Move game about creation and performance, Capcom showed a trailer for a new game with the working title Deep Down (which appears to be a cross between Dark Souls and Monster Hunter) and Square Enix showed off last year’s Angi’s Philosophy tech demo running on the PS4 before announcing that they’ll be showing a PS4 Final Fantasy game at E3. Ubisoft showed off a new Watch_Dogs demo, however, it was running on PC rather than PS4. Blizzard announced that Diablo 3 is coming to both PS3 and PS4 and will have a new local co-op mode, and lastly Bungie showed off some in game shots from Destiny.

What do you think? Are you impressed by what you’ve seen of the PS4? What do you think Sony has left to announce at E3? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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