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PlayStation 4 Announced

February 22, 2013

On Wednesday the 20th of February 2013, all gamers’ eyes were fixed on New York where the next contender of the new generation consoles made tentative, somewhat questionable steps out into the limelight. Yes, Sony’s PlayStation 4 has arrived.

Although the console was announced, the waiting world only got a glimpse of the controller: the Dual-Shock 4. But as no single image of the console itself was seen, it has already been dubbed as the “invisible” or “phantom” console.

The Dual Shock 4 has moved away from the tried and true layout of the classic PlayStation Controller. I personally don’t like the design and I’m not sure many PlayStation fans will. However, due to the functions of the new pad I doubt we will see a redesign back to the classic formula, like we did when the first Dual-Shock 3 design was shown.

Dual Shock 4:

  • The main differences between this and the Dual Shock 3 are the shape, due to the touchscreen embedded in the middle of the pad; a new SHARE button and joysticks with concave surfaces similar to the Xbox 360 controller.
  • There is now no START or SELECT button, but a shared single OPTIONS button.
  • There is a light-bar on the pad which will indicate certain critical information to the player, such as which number player you are or if your in-game health is too low.
  • Pressing the SHARE button allows the player to cycle through the last several minutes of gameplay to select a clip appropriate for sharing. Video can be uploaded directly from the console, either to websites, or another PlayStation Network user.
  • Gamers can live stream their games via certain services and friends can comment and help out.
  • The PlayStation 4 home screen will include personalized content from friends.

I kinda like it….but I kinda don’t

PlayStation 4 Specifications

Although the console was absent, the specifications were not, and there was a big promotion for the console as being like a “supercharged PC” with strong processing and rendering power. Now I’m no specifications nerd so I personally can’t compare a supercharged PC to the PS4 specs, but I can tell you the one big change that will really promote the game amongst developers: the way the PS4 codes will now be more streamlined and more similar to encoding for PC and Xbox 360 games. Console ports and even first party software has been a real task for developers in the past, so this feature will hopefully be a welcome change.

Tech specs:

  • A custom-designed single chip processor with an 8 core, 64-bit x86 CPU developed by AMD, lovingly code-named “Jaguar”
  • The GPU (Graphic Processing Unit) will be based on next-gen AMD Radeon graphics
  • Dedicated Graphics Technology for seamless compression and decompression of video media
  • 8GB of GDDR5 system memory
  • All RAM is shared between processing and graphics capabilities

This is the real nitty-gritty stuff and I realise not what everyone will be interested in. I will, however, cover the new focus on “touch gaming”, social media functionality, video-game streaming, software and various other titles that were shown during the release announcement in a follow up article coming soon. So keep your eyes peeled!

One thing I will leave you with though, and the one fact I can’t get over: again, no backward compatibility on launch. Sony, do your homework!

Image Link: Wikipedia – PlayStation 4, BBC News – PS4 Absent from Launch Event

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