Among high expectations, Sony announced its latest gaming console the PlayStation 4 at an event at New York. Its predecessor, the PS3, was launched over six years in November 2006. There are lots of new features and a lot of changes under the hood, which are going to power the next generation of video games.
Here are some key takeaways from the event.
Even though Sony had a three-hour event they did not actually unveil the console. They described it as a “supercharged PC” that would be powered by X86 processor, enhanced PC-style GPU, and 8GB of GDDR5 unified high-speed memory. This is similar to what is found in gaming desktop computers, which will probably make developing games for both the PC and PlayStation easier.
One piece of hardware that Sony did show off was the DualShock 4 controller. It will have a touchpad and a share button to make use social networking and sharing features. It also has a horizontal bar of light that makes it easy for a 3D camera, which is attached to the console, follow a players movement.
The PS4 will come with a completely revamped user interface. The console will let users suspend and resume play by just pressing the power button. The console will also contain a secondary chip that will manage downloads and uploads, even if the power is off. One can also start playing digital titles as they are being downloaded. Users will be able to watch games played by others and even play on a friends system.
There will also be companion apps for smartphones and tablets that will allow users to browse through content.
The DualShock 4’s Share button that will allow a player to record game play and share the video with friends. The PlayStation Network will allow players to stream their games and even seek assistance from friends.
Similar to what Razer and nVidia unveiled at CES, earlier this year, Remote Play on the PS4 will allow a user to start a game on the console and move to their Vita, where they can continue the game.
PS3 games won’t work on the new console
What came as a major dampener was that the PlayStation 4 will not be backwards-compatible with current PlayStation 3 titles, at launch. Sony says this could change in the future.
At the announcement of the PS4, various titles were unveiled which included Beyond: Two Souls, The Witness, Knack, Kill Zone Shadow Fall, Drive Club, Final Fantasy, Watch Dog, Street Fighter, Deep Down and Diablo III.
Sony said that the PS4 will be ready for sale at the end of the year, but did not announce an exact date or any pricing.
Sony did set the ball rolling by announcing the PlayStation 4 and keeps us dreaming to the day we can lay our hands on the DualShock 4 controller and experience the improved graphics. But it has taken only the first shot, as we expect Microsoft to unveil a new Xbox also this year.