PlayStation fans, your wait is almost over. Sony officially announced the PlayStation 4 at a press event Wednesday, the next generation of its popular console.
Nine years in the making, the PlayStation 3, the current PlayStation in the market, was released seven years ago in November of 2006.
“The living room is no longer the center of the PlayStation universe, the gamer is,” Andrew House, CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment said at the event. “We believe that PlayStation 4 represents a shift from thinking of a box or console.”
PlayStation 4’s lead system architect Mark Cerny said that Sony started working on the console shortly after the release of the PlayStation 3, ultimately creating a console “for developers, by developers.” The console sports a completely updated UI, and a number of new features ranging from an updated controller to social features you won’t find on any other console.
The fourth-generation console has an X86 processor, enhanced PC GPU, and 8GB high-speed unified memory. The console will also have an updated DualShock controller, with a touchpad, share button, and a headphone jack directly on the controller. A light bar on the back of the controller identifies players, and a 3D camera on the console will track the controllers connected to the console.
Games you play on the PlayStation 4 can be suspended by just pressing the power button, and then started again by tapping the power button again –- right where you left off.
Digital titles can be downloaded in the background, and games can be played as they’re being downloaded, so you don’t have to wait.
One unique PlayStation 4 feature: a share button direction on the controller that lets you share gameplay with friends and even allows friends to help you get through tough spots in games.
Share Like Never Before
The console has dedicated, always-on video compression, making it easy to share video clips of your gameplay on-the-fly with friends.
Can’t get through a particular level? You can ask a friend on the web to virtually take over your controller and get you through. Friends can also watch you playing a game, virtually “over your shoulder,” and comment on your screen — if you allow them — while you play using the share button and the console’s “broadcast live” functionality.
A Remote Play function allows you to take your PlayStation 4 game from your television to your PlayStation Vita. Similarly to how the Wii U works, the Remote Play functionality can allow your kids to watch a movie on your TV while you’re playing a game on the Vita.
Kids go to bed? you can bring the game back to your television and keep playing right where you left off. PlayStation ultimately hopes to make all games playable on the PlayStation Vita.
Not Backwards Compatible
PlayStation 3 titles will not natively be supported, however, Sony says that it is exploring “advanced technologies” to bring backwards compatibility to the console in the future. All existing PlayStation titles will be playable via the PlayStation cloud service.
The PlayStation 2, which originally launched in March 2000, is currently still Sony’s most successful console. The company has sold more than 150 million of the consoles in the past 13 years, and more than 1.5 billion games have been sold for the console. In contrast, in January of this year, Sony had only sold 70 million PlayStation 3s in the 7 years since that console’s launch.
Games on the Way
Several developers showed off games that are already in the works for the PlayStation 4 at Wednesday’s event. Upcoming titles include DriveClub, a new team-based racing game by Evolution Studios, as well as Infamous: Second Son, an exclusive game by Sucker Punch.
Jonathan Blow from independent video game creator Braid also showed off his new game, The Witness. On stage he described the game as a puzzle game, where each puzzle has a core idea that the player has to figure out.
A substantial amount of third-party developers have already signed on to support PlayStation 4, so many in fact that there was barely enough space to put all their name on the slide Sony showed during the event.
Capcom showed off a game called Deep Down (working title), and Square Enix also showed a title it is working on for the console. Ubisoft showed off Watch Dogs, a game about smart cities. A live demo, the game was played by someone on stage using one of the PlayStation 4’s new controllers.
Watch Dogs was also shown off during E3 last year.
Blizzard announced it will be bringing Diablo 3 to the PlayStation 4 as well as the PS3, and Bungie, a developer that hasn’t been on PlayStation in over a decade, announced it will bring a new game called Destiny to the console. Destiny will also be coming to the PlayStation 3, and the studio will be creating exclusive content just for the PlayStation community.