The Sony Conference event, started off light, and on time, with an cavalcade of the history of PlayStation brand through the years; from the PlayStation to the current generation, PlayStation 3. Everything was intermingled with the Dual Shock controller, being focused at some point and other PlayStation item as well. But within the first few seconds after the MC or main presenter, Andrew House began, he announced that Sony is indeed bringing the PlayStation 4, with the release window of Fall of this year. As he continued to speak, he talked about how the developer as well as the consumer is the focal point of the PS4. He additionally wanted it to be known, that the PS4 would be an central hub for all entertainment purposes for next generation.
The specs of the PS4 have definitely come back down to earth, from the cell processors and its raw power to a more easily programmable, but still power X86 CPU and an Advanced GPU, which easily allows 1st & 3rd party developers to get the most out of it. Sony is additionally giving, what all developers wanted, 8GB of unified memory and a supercharged architecture, again, which is catering to the developers, since Sony learned from previous PS3 development, and the grips most developers, that weren’t 1st party had to deal with. And from the out of the gate, a larger internal storage, which will come in handy with what will be explained next.
Sony has completed an massive infrastructure of involving mobile devices and primarily the Vita as the on the go version of the PS4, with turning your PS4 into a server of sorts. With the mention of the Vita, the games from your PS4 with the of Gaikai Cloud computing, which was acquired by Sony last year, is allowing for your catalogue to be on the go with you, mainly with the Vita but with other devices as well. With the Vita on the go, being more integral than before, it was shown by transferring, a new game for the PS4, called Knack, to the Vita as it was played, without missing a beat or any downgrade of graphics to the Vita’s clearly smaller screen. Also, Knack, slightly reminds me of the 360 launch game called Kameo, but that may just be me.
Next, is the new PS4 controller, which is simply called Dual Shock 4, its almost the same design as before, but with a touchpad where the Sony logo and Start & Select buttons were on the Dual 3. This gives the controller, a look of being a bit heavier, but it’s one of those things, people were saying the Dual 3 was too small, and cumbersome. With the touchpad comes, the integrated share button, right on the controller. It looks to be out of the way from accidental sharing, but convenient. Also, the light on the front of the controller, is continuously sending information to an almost Kinect like device, which is a stereo camera, which will track the controller as your playing.
The Share button takes me into the complete social integration as well other steps Sony is taking to further advance the PS4, with 5 words, each explaining the functionality of the PS4. First was Simple. Allowing for developers, be it, big companies or Indies to develop more easily for the PS4, and for the consumer to simply share and gain games for their PS4, more easily than ever before. Second, was Immediate. This was explained in the way of, a second chip, specifically, for background downloads, updates while playing a game either online or offline. Also, allowing for almost immediate, see what I did there, pick up and play from a suspended state of the game, even when its turned off. Third was Social. This is the heavy integration of the Share button.
The PS4 will be partnered with Facebook and Ustream, to allow for a better PSN profile, almost Facebook like, but Sony tailored. Also, with the Ustream and Gaikai, you can stream gameplay or upload screenshots or bits of gameplay directly to Facebook and other social media, and allow for immediate access by your friends on the media site as well as, your PSN friends, all the while retaining your anonymity, if you want. With the ability to stream, you or your friends can sit in on one another, if the person allows it, to watch them play, or even “pass the controls onto them” for help if need be. Also you can leave comments while they’re playing, be it helpful or even trash talk. Fourth was Integrate, allowing for the consumer to continuously, regardless of location or device do almost anything with the PS4. Finally was Personalization. This feature, is like smart shopping where, over time collected data from your purchases, from the PlayStation Store, or actual disk, and give you games and content, already fully downloaded to your PS4, and you’ll have to do is hit the buy button.
Moving back to Gaikai, Dave Perry, mentioned that, over time, the PS4 will have the catalogues of the PS1, 2, and 3, able to play digitally on the PS4, with the use of its technology. Also, with the service, they are adding, the Free to Try ability, giving the consumer, the ability to play actual full games, not a shortened version or a downgraded version, and buy at any point and time during that trial, and all without hassle.
After the beginning, they began to show games, videos, and live demos, from both 1st party and 3rd party. First up was Guerilla Games, with live gameplay of Killzone: Shadow Fall. The game is brighter than previous versions, and looks amazing. Next was Evolution Games, game Drive Club, a team based driving game about challenging the World as a team or Club, with a heavy integration in mobile devices for the challenges. Next, was Sucker Punch, bringing us back to the world of Infamous, the game calling Infamous: Second Son, and I was giddy with joy over this announcement, and I can’t wait. After which, Braid developers, Jonathan Blow, with the next game for the PS4 at launch, with The Witness, this has 25hrs of unique puzzles, and the music amazing with a Celtic feel.
Quantic Dream, creators of amazing Heavy Rain, showcased its pushing of the PS4 with a live demo of rendering facial and eye design and emotions with amazing lighting and textures, and small nuances. Media Molecule, the creators of Little Big Planet, shows full use of the Move with an sculpting and allowing your dreams to be created. This gave way to a recorded live performance of a show featuring “puppeteers” of a musical performance. With that, House mentioned that it had full support from, almost, if not, every major 3rd party developer for the PS4.
Capcom, with Yoshinori Ono, showing a gaming engine code named Panta Rhel, built specifically for the PS4 and a game being developed in conjunction with Panta, called, Deep Down (Working Title), showing beautiful lighting, character models, and amazing action, that seemed to be what real time action will be. Square Enix, showed the tech demo running the Luminous Engine by Hashimoto Yoshihisa, and the other Hashimoto, Shinji saying a new Final Fantasy title is in opening stages of development and more information released at E3. Ubisoft Montreal, showing an live demo of Watch Dogs running on the PS4. And the game looks amazing, and can’t wait till I get my hands on it. Blizzard, with Chris Metzen, announced that Diablo 3 will be coming to both the PS3 & PS4. And finally, the last announcement was from Activision’s Eric Hershberg, bringing Bungie’s new IP Destiny, to the PS4 as well as, the PS3, with exclusive content to the Sony family. All gameplay trailers, demos and videos will be on our site as well.
Sony came out hard hitting in this press conference. Showcasing that they have learned from their previous mistakes in the current generation, and looking forward to showing why Sony’s PlayStation was always a bright star, and not a waning one, as they were saying Sony was. Sony, came out saying, contest us now Microsoft, we will see you on the field of battle come this console launch. And Sony certainly means business, this generation.