The Future of Gaming: PS4

Looks like PlayStation has done it again with the PS4! They have raised the bar on gaming. This is the moment all us PlayStation fans have been waiting for! With its “Informed System Architecture” allowing larger user experience, and extremely advanced new specs, here is a first look into what PlayStation has in store for us with the PS4:

As far as the specs go, Sony triumphs at PC levels with the system’s supercharged architecture. They are boasting an x86 GPU graphics processor (most likely to be AMD), an enhanced PC GPU, 8 GB GDDR5 unified memory, and a local storage HDD. That’s a huge leap from the 512 combined memory on the PS3. This is great for developers! It allows them to create the games that require much more memory.

In addition to that it looks like PlayStation will be rocking a secondary custom chip for background processing as announced by Mark Cerny. This will manage uploads and downloads, and, as Cerny added, will make digital titles playable while they are being downloaded. The CPU and GPU will also be on the same chip. This makes processing much faster. The potential of GPU processing was shown using a simulation engine (Havok), powered by the GPU, that showed one million objects being dropped into the environment. They also announced 176 GB of bandwidth per second.

The DualShock 4 controller has some great features as well. The middle of the controller now has a touch screen, which allows players to look around during animation sequences. There is also a ‘share’ button that allows players to share clips of gaming footage. This is one of the features I am most looking forward to. Other controller features include a headphone jack, a light bar to identify players, and a stereoscopic camera that can sense where the controller is as well as the depth in front of it. The new controller also has built-in PlayStation Move capabilities. You can also immediately suspend or resume your game by simply pushing the power button.

Cerny also announced “Always On” video compression and decompression hardware. This allows uploading of gameplay as you continue to play, and also lets you browse live video of friends or spectate anyone anywhere. PlayStation will also add applications to smart phones that let you use your phone or tablet to browse game video or challenge friends.

The PS4 will also be catering to all of your likes and dislikes with its advanced personalization technology. Instead of seeing a bunch of games you don’t want to see in the PS Store, games by your favorite developers or genres will show up. The PS4’s personalization will only show you the kind of content that you are interested in! This “Informed System Architecture” gives “ease of access and control.”

The PS4 will be coming equipped with GaiKai software. This software is behind the “spectating experience,” and powers the “push of a button” broadcasting to friends. You can also interact with friends while they are playing games by either communicating with them or actually dropping into their game to help them out. Need some health or ammo? You and your friends can use this software for item sharing as well! GaiKai is also what allows you to “instantly experience anything you want.” It is this technology that is going to let you try any game before you buy it. That way, you will be buying “only the games you love!” The vision with GaiKai or “Cloud” technology is to eventually put PSX, PS2, PS3, and mobile games on any device. (Wouldn’t that be a dream come true?!)

So we know the PS4 will have cross-platforming with smart phones and tablets, but the “ultimate companion device” to the PS4 is the PS Vita. With the Vita, you can pick up right where you left off on whatever game you are currently playing on the PS4 anywhere you go. PlayStation says the goal is to make every game on PS4 playable on the PS Vita. GaiKai technology is used to make this transfer instantaneous. This is all part of PS4’s “integrated gaming experience” that gets us “out of the living room” and gaming anywhere!

In addition to all of this, the “backwards compatability” will also be available through streaming. With the advanced technology of the x86 chips, the new system is far too advanced to work with the architecture of the older PS3; streaming those older games solves this. So, for those not too happy with the fact that the system “ isn’t” backwards compatible, just remember that it still will be in a way, and that is a small price to pay for such an advanced system.

Some of the games announced with the PS4 include: Knack; PS4-exclusive Infamous: Second Son from SuckerPunch; Killzone: Shadow Fall from Guerilla Games; and DriveClub from Evolution Studios. Capcom announced their new IP Deep Down using their new Panta Rhei engine. The folks over at Media Molecule (Little Big Planet) made the Move controller a “precise tool for 3D creation” where you can model anything you want with 3D clay, and for those who want an easier time creating, there is an arsenal of things already created that you can use to assemble game level collages.

Developer Quantic Dream (Heavy Rain) showed off their “concept.” They definitely plan to use the PS4 for incredible visual things. Founder David Cage said he wants players to connect on a more highly emotional level with games. He plans to use the PS4’s technology to make games visually on par with films. He used an amazingly realistic model of an old man’s head to show off the detailed, subtle emotions that he would like the players to see.

Square Enix announced that a Final Fantasy game will be revealed for PS4 at E3 this year, and showed off some stunning footage of what they can do with the PS4. PlayStation also blew minds when Blizzard came onstage to announce that they have teamed up with PlayStation to bring games to console again. The first game they are releasing will be Diablo III, with more to be announced in the coming months. Last, but definitely not least, is Bungie coming to PlayStation with Destiny, which I am sure we will devote a whole article to in the coming months. Bungie also announced that Destiny will have “exclusive playable content just for the PlayStation community”.

I hope all of this news has you just as hyped as I am for the PS4. PlayStation really brought their A-game tonight, and brought a lot of gamers’ dreams into reality. Stay tuned for more news on the PS4 in the coming months! In the words of Mark Cerny: “For gamers around the world, PlayStation is the best place to play.”

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