The hype surrounding the upcoming next-gen console; PlayStation 4 has caught second wind, as Sony announced slew of new details in its PlayStation 4 presentation at Games Developer Conference (GDC) in San Fransisco.
Following is the round-up of all that was shared by Sony:
The PlayStation 4 is being targeted as a “central device in living room” with core gamers as its “primary audience” and will allow user to “debug your PS4 code as you would your PC code” and will feature the following specifications:
- 64-bit x84 arch
- Low power consumption
- Low heat
- 8 cores, HW threads
- 2MiB L2-cache per 4 core group, 32kib I1 I/D-cache
- PlayStation Shader Language
- Similar to HLSL
- Allows featured BEYOND DirectX 11 and OpenGL 4.0
- Tessellation, adding geometric detail to smooth edges or create more organic shapes
- 8GB 256 bit GDDR5
- Unspecified, but will have “a very large hard drive in every console.” 1TB, anyone?
- Windows 7-bit
- Tools are fully integrated into Visual Studio 2010 and 2012
After the use of XMB for PS3 and PSP and LiveArea interface for PSVtia, Sony is launching a brand new user interface for PlayStation 4.
The new user interface is based on five core principles of “Simple, Immediate, Social, Integrated, and Personalized.” It is meant to allow users to glance at information without loading a games, as well as view new add-on content and friends’ comments.
With its new DualShock 4 controller, Sony is reverting the PlayStation 4 controller buttons; X, Circle, Triangle and Square, back to digital over the current analog ones because no one used them on PlayStation 3.
The L2 and R2 buttons on the DualShock 4 have been given a curved bottom to avoid accidental button press, and the Start and Select buttons on the DualShock 4 have been replaced with a single “Options” button.
The new Share button enables Spectator mode which allows users to send comments while they’re spectating on a game and a long press on the Share button will enable them to take a screenshot there and then. Since PlayStation 4′s streaming and sharing features are built into the PS4 hardware, they require no additional work from developers. So developers don’t need to code it for every game, the hardware will handle it automatically.
Additionally, the Touchpad on the DualShock4 controller will have a resolution of 1920×900, and can be clicked like a button when pushed down.
Moreover, the light bar on the back of the controller can act as indicators for different players. Player 1 would be blue, two red, three green, and 4 pink, just like the colours representing PlayStation symbols X, Circles, Triangle and Square. The light can also be utilized as to indicate in-game things; like low player health.
Unlike the current system afforded by DualShock 3 and the PlayStation 3, the players will be able to charge the PlayStation 4 controller even when the PlayStation system is turned off.
PlayStation 4 Eye
Sony also revealed some details on the use of new PS Eye.
The PlayStation 4 Eye camera will “enhance the PS4 user experience” with high-sensitivity dual color cameras at 1280×800 resolution, 12 bits per pixel, and 60Hz. The camera is able to identify each player’s controller, and move split-screens according to each person’s location in the room and can also be used for walkthrough videos, taunting in kill cam, speech recognition, login, etc.
PlayStation 4 will have a dedicated port for the camera, which would be a Sony-developed proprietary connector and not a USB one.
Moreover it was revealed that every PlayStation Network user on PlayStation 4 will be able to have two identities; one based on their real name and picture, and they other their PlayStation Network ID and avatar.
The player can choose whether others can see their real name or their PSN ID. These accounts will be tied to the player instead of the system and can even be used to import user real name and details directly through Facebook, and that too can be modified as per user’s preferences.
The PlayStation customers will also be able to purchase PlayStation App on iOS and Android; that will allow them to acquire a game on PSN and begin downloading to the PS4 immediately. Due to the already-announced ability for users to play a partially downloaded game, players can start playing whatever has been downloaded soon after.
Additionally, PlayStation 4 users will also be able to move past the currently maintained 100 friend barrier to enjoy an increased friends capacity.
With remote play, players will be able to play PlayStation 4 games on their PS Vita screen. The screens are mirrored on both systems at the same time. As with streaming and sharing, this is something handled by the hardware, not the developers, and can be booted at any time with no special mode required.
In an effort to show flexibility and willingness to accommodate indie titles, Sony America’s VP of publisher and developer relations Adam Boyes, said in an interview that the company would “absolutely support” buy-in alphas on the PS4, so long as they don’t “have any bugs that are completely destroying the world.”
He also added that the functionality may not just be limited to PlayStation 4 but could also be incorporated for PS3, Vita and PS Mobile.
Comprehensive List of Announcements:
Following is the comprehensive list of PlayStation 4 announcements shared in GDC 2013:
- Targeted to be the “central device in the living room”
- “Core gamers are our primary audience
- PS4 build around them, salable to the outsiders
- 5 core PS4 principles: Simple, Immediate, Social, Integrated, Personalized
- PS4 CPU: 64-bit x86 arch, low power consumption, low heat, 8 cores, 8 HW threads, 2MiB L2 cache per 4 core group, 32kib l1 I/D-cache
- PlayStation Shader Language, very similar to HLSL, allows featured BEYOND Direct X 11 and OpenGL 4.0
- “GPU – Tessellation – adding geometric detail to smooth edges or create more organic shapes”
- PS4 RAM – 8GB 256 bit GDDR5 (GDDR5 is very high-end graphics memory only found on PC graphics cards)
- Will come with “very large hard drive in every console”
- PS4 Dev Environment – Windows 7 64-bit, tools are fully integrated into Visual Studio 2010 and 2012
- “Debug your PS4 code as you would your PC code”
- PS4 Controller: Start/Select buttons are now “Options.” New System button is “Share.”
- Speaker, headset jack and “extension port” on the PS4 controller
- PS4 controller buttons are going back to digital over analog because no one used it on PS3
- PS4 controller L2/R2 – Curved design to get rid of the accidental netflix fast forwarding
- PS4 controller: 1920×900 resolution on the analog touchpad
- PS4 controller colors are the Player Numbers: 1-Blue, 2-Red, 3-Green, 4-Pink (Like the buttons)
- PS4 will charge controllers when it’s off. Unlike the PS3.
- PS4 controller light bar can be used for muzzle flashes, health bars, etc
- “The PS4 Eye will enhance the PS4 user experience.” High sensitivity dual color cameras
- 1280×800, 12 bits/pixel, 60Hz
- Dedicated port for the #PS4 camera, exclusive SCE Connector. Means it won’t use a USB port on the console, but won’t plug into your PC.
- Cam suggested uses: walkthrough vids, taunting in killcam, login, speech recognition, etc; possible PS4 Camera Magic – Sees the controller, you guys move, splitscreen moves to be on the right side
- The above is what devs could do (not mandatory)
- Video example shown of PS4 combining the camera and the controller. “AR Menu”
- Zoom into the controller, tilt to shake little dudes inside, push into our world like EyePet
- 2004: XMB, 2011: LiveArea, 2013: New #PS4 one based on the five principles from earlier
- UI is meant to give you at a glance info without loading the game. See what new DLC is out and whatnot. What friends are saying.
- Have to enable people seeing your real name on the #PS4. Auto-enabled if you import from another social network. (Can be turned off)
- PSN friend limit raised
- PS4 Mock-up: Heavy Rain choice with the number of your friends that chose each option.
- All the PS4 streaming and sharing: that’s on the hardware. Devs don’t have to do anything special to their game.
- PS4 Remote Play: Screens are mirrored on PS4/Vita (Both on at same time). Hardware does it/not on devs. Start at any time; no special mode.
- Talking about the PlayStation App. Login, buy game, PS4 starts downloading at home, you get home and start playing the part that’s DWLD.
- Sony has sent their newly updated multiplatform game engine PhyreEngine 3.5 to developers with PS4 support
Although none of the details can be labeled as earth shattering, however while Microsoft has remained mum on the subject, Sony was able to further wet the appetites of gamers anticipating next generation of consoles and was able to provide a suitable glimpse into what Sony customers can expect from the PlayStation brand in the coming future.