PlayStation 4 will be released this holiday season, Sony announced at a press event in New York on Wednesday. Seven years in the making, the last version of the PlayStation was released in 2006. The highly anticipated version is “Gamer Focused, Developer Inspired” according to the company.
“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.”
A press release reveals that the PlayStation 4 PC-like configuration will include:
- 8-Core 64-bit x86 “Jaguar” CPU built by AMD
- Radeon GPU comprised of 18 “compute units” capable of cranking out 1.84 TFLOPS for Graphics
- Blu-Ray Drive
- 8 GB of unified GDDR5 RAM capable of 176GB/sec of Bandwidth
- 802.11n WiFi, USB 3.0, Bluetooth 2.1, HDMI, Optical Audio, Analog AV
Updated DualShock 4 Controller
The console will have an updated DualShock controller, with a touch-pad, share button, and a headphone jack directly on the controller. A 3D camera on the console will track the controllers connected to the console.
Sony’s DualShock press release state “the light bar illuminates to match the color of characters in a game to offer a simpler, more friendly way to identify players, even when playing side by side. The light bar also changes patterns during game-play to provide useful information to gamers, such as when a character is critically low on health or has taken major damage.”
The classic Start and Select buttons are gone, replaced by an “options” button and the capabilities of the new touch screen.
To contend with current trends of gaming on smartphones and tablets, Sony purchased the cloud-based gaming service company, Gaikai in 2012 for $380 million. Gaikai has developed technologies for hosting games on the cloud and users can play them by streaming onto their device. This feature has been incorporated into the Sony Play station 4. It also allows users to play PS2 and PS3 games.
Gaikai founder Dave Perry said: “Your friends will be able to look over your shoulder and interact with you virtually” while you play – you can record your game-play by pressing a new “share” button on the controller. This unique feature on the controller lets your friends watch your game-play, comment on it and even help you through tight spots. Perry added that the PlayStation 4 will be able to stream games wirelessly to the PlayStation Vita handheld console from a TV, and Gaikai’s technology will allow games to start instantly from where they left off.
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. Games can also be played as they’re being downloaded.
A host of new games from third party developers will be present on the PS4. Some of the games announced are DriveClub, a racing game by Evolution Studios, Watch Dogs from UbiSoft, Deep Down from Capcom, Destiny by ActiVision, Diablo 3 from Blizzard, Infamous: Second Son by Sucker Punch and The Witness from Braid among many others.
Microsoft is releasing the next generation Xbox this summer. The Xbox with 67 million installed base leads Sony in numbers, but they’re well behind 100 million Nintendo’s Wii consoles sold.
PlayStation 4 will have an app on Android and Apple mobile devices that connects to console games and can act as a second screen, Jack Tretton, President and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment of America, said in an interview to Reuters. Tablets and smartphones built by rivals, Apple and Samsung, already account for around 10 percent of the $80 billion gaming market. Analysts predict that smartphones and tablets will, within a few years, be as powerful as the current slew of game-only consoles.
According to Kotaku gaming site, the console will ship in two different versions and cost $429 and $529, respectively. Sony has yet to confirm this.