During tonight’s PlayStation meeting, the future of gaming was immediately the topic of choice, and the announcement of the PS4 was not far behind.
Sony has turned the console on it’s head, making sure that nothing comes between the platform and the game, making sure that players are sucked into the worlds they are playing in. This console runs on a supercharged pc architecture, an x86 cpu, and an enhanced pc gpu with 8gb of memory. Basically, this thing is a beast. Sony even showed off the improved Graphics processors (which are normally saved for the most high end graphics cards) and their ability to display over 1,000,000 items at once.
The new Dual Shock 4 controllers have an enhanced rumble, new touch pad which allows the player to look around during cut scenes, a brand new share button, and a light bar that uses the move sensor to track the controller and better identify individual players. New Features to the console include a secondary chip to process background downloads, the ability to instantly play games as you download them and a low power state mode.Let’s say you’re in the middle of a quest and all of the sudden you need to go do something else in the real world. Instead of taking the time to save your progress, turn off your console and then boot up your console again when you return; just press the power button when you leave and again when you return and your console will instantly resume playing the game from the point you left.
Also, remember that share button on the controller? The PS4 automatically records some of your most recent game play so that you can cut clips and seamlessly share the video with your friends over Facebook, Twitter and other sites. Not only that, but thanks to Gaikai you can watch live gaming from your friends, broadcast your game play to your friends, you can even schedule a time when you’re going to play and let your friends know you’ll be broadcasting. To make this a more social experience, your friends will be able to communicate with you by posting comments to your screen, talking to you, and if you allow them to, they can even take control of your game to help you through a tough spot. In some games your friends can even manipulate the levels to drop you health or weapons. The social aspect of the PS4 doesn’t end there either, as you will be alerted when your friends buy new games.
The PS4 will also have new applications for tablets, smartphones and the PlayStation Vita. The most interesting of these is the ability to transfer any PS4 game to the Vita and play it on the go via Remote Play. Sony wants this to be the fastest gaming network ever, which includes being able to stream play any game for free for a short period of time rather than having to download a demo. They also have plans to make PS3 games available via streaming on any device, hopefully followed by classic PlayStation and PS2 games. In addition, your entire gaming experience will be completely personal. The PS4 will learn what games you like, what genres you’re interested in and suggest them to you. You won’t even have to think about what games you want to pre-order anymore, this console will do that for you.
At this point in the night the stream dropped on both Twitch and PlayStation’s website, hopefully this is not a sign of things to come for the fastest gaming network ever.
When I was able to come back to the broadcast, I was treated to a multitude of new game trailers. First up was a game called Knack. This game looks like you control a sentient orb that can take on newer and larger forms using the items around it. Overall, for being the first one up, I’d say the bar was set relatively high. Next was Killzone Shadow Fall, and this beauty was incredible to watch even after all the residual lag from the stream dropping. The overall game play premier involved shooting enemies, jumping onto a helicopter and then something else I’ll leave for you guys to see on your own here.
Next up was Drive Club, a team based racing game. While the graphics on this were absolutely incredible, some of the movements don’t seem as fluid as current games. Perhaps too much effort put into tiny details about the game on this one. Sucker Punch revealed a new game as well titled inFAMOUS Second Son. The final PS4 exclusive game to be announced was The Witness, an open world puzzle game. With this one we were promised no buffer game play while still getting a 25 hour story.
From here the presentation went on to what new games will be able to do on the PS4. For one, games are finally able to display convincing emotion and while displaying over 30,000 polygons to show more depth in the characters. The ability to use PlayStation Move controllers to make sculptures and even entire worlds was also displayed, making for one really impressive video clip.
Capcom then took the stage to show off their ability to come up with code names. Also, they had a new game enging to show off which they’ve code named Panta Rhei, and a new game with the working title of Deep Down. This game appears to be a medieval fantasy mix with modern technology thrown in there somehow. These guys brought us Devil May Cry and Megaman, I’ve learned better than to question them.
Then our friends at Square Enix came out to show off a demo of what the PS4 is capable of. This didn’t seem to be for a game, and if it was the title wasn’t mentioned. However, you were really able to see things down to the tiniest levels, even going down to seeing individual hairs move. This was one of the most impressive ways of showing off the graphic abilities of the PS4 all night. Finally, a new Final Fantasy was announced to be in the works. While no video or anything else was revealed for the new game, they have to save something for E3, right?
When Ubisoft walked onto the stage, I instantly remembered WATCH_DOGS from last year’s E3, and was really excited to see something new from this game. The new live demo that was shown gave us a view at some more features in the game, such as the ability to hack bank accounts, create electrical diversions, and chase the baddies assassin’s creed style. The demo even went as far as to show you controlling electrical parts of cars and trains to create an escape route for yourself.
One of the biggest surprises of the night was when Blizzard Entertainment went in front of the crowd and announced they would be returning to their console roots and will be releasing a game for the PS4. Then, as all the PC gamers in the world started sobbing in their corners, it was revealed that the game would only be Diablo 3. Don’t get me wrong, it’s completely awesome that the PS4 will be able to run games meant for some of the most hardcore PC gamers, but at an event like this I guess I was just expecting something new. Before leaving the stage Blizzard said they would most likely have a demo available to show off at Pax East.
Finally, Activision took center stage and announced that they would have a plethora of games from multiple developers coming out during the launch window. The one they really wanted to show off came from a developer that PlayStation has not heard from in over 10 years. Destiny, the recently revealed game from Bungie. Other than having exclusive content for the PS4, nothing new was shown for the game. If, however, you haven’t read all about what was already shown off for the title, you can read our article right here.
As the event wrapped up we were shown that the PS4 would be out during the holiday 2013 season. We weren’t shown what it looks like, we weren’t told what the price would be, we weren’t even told how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop. I guess the world will never know, at least not until E3.