PS4 Logo

The fabled Playstation 4 Press Conference has come and gone; what have we learned? The better question to start off — in an effort to keep you from giving your hopes up — is what wasn’t discussed? Pricing and what the system actually looks like were left off the table; E3 is assumed to be the point of the full announcement. These are highly important topics; ones that I’m sure everyone is highly disappointed in Sony for not discussing. But before I digress, allow me to share what we do know of the system.

 

The Controller

PS4 Controller
The new DualShock 4 for the Playstation 4 honestly looks like a sexy beast. The curved controls, blended over the pre-existing DualShock design has me intrigued. Personally I’m still not the biggest fan of lined up thumbsticks, but hey that’s fine.

The new features of the controller are the share button and “light bar”. The share button is exactly what it sounds like; with the new social-oriented features of the PS4 — more on that in a moment — the system is in need of a quick way to take screenshots or video of what you do in-game. This may be the best feature to come out of today’s announcement, if you’re someone like me that thinks that Halo 4’s Theater Mode should be in every single game. Imagine the Let’s Play stuff we could potentially do with that.

In regards to the “light bar”, well this seems like a bastard lovechild of the Wii sensor bar, Kinect, and the Move. It tracks your movement through the room using color-coded lights on said light bar. All-in-all there’s not enough information to really make an informed prognosis of the use of this feature, but I will say that it does sexy up the controller a bit.

 

Specs

PS4 ArchitectureSpeculation has been going on for some time, but to the right you’ll find the specs for the Playstation 4 as we know them now. Honestly the system is nothing compared to most PCs, but it is a huge step up from the current Playstation 3. The 8GB of Unified Memory is the most intriguing to me, but hey, that’s just a bitchin’ number.
Update Sony has provided more detailed specs for those who are interested:
PS4 Specs

Streaming and the new Dashboard

PS4 Interface
I can spend the rest of the week discussing this, so check out the GNN Gaming Podcast this weekend for more detailed insight on this. In an effort to be as concise as possible, here is a list of things to be part of the Playstation 4’s new social/streaming/quick styled interface:

  • Streaming – Through a partnership with USTREAM the Playstation 4 will allow you to stream gameplay for your friends or followers to watch. This is something many of us already do with our current consoles, but the built-in functionality is sure to please many less “tech-savy” gamers.
  • Connectivity via Facebook – The stream buggered out for me during this presentation, but from what I’ve gathered they’ve made it that the Playstation Network will be less “handle” oriented and instead focus more on the real names of people. Creepy, but in a world of social networking it is to be expected.
  • Personalization (Or SkyNet) – The dashboard will personalize to your tastes and likes in and effort to better bring you what you like, quickly. This means that if it notices you like a specific game it might download similar stuff, in an effort to shorten your time not playing games.

Overall some interesting features, most of which we need to see in practice more before truly weighing in on them.

 

PS4 Developers
A sampling of developers working on something for the PS4.

The Games

Much like before there is just far too much for me to go into here. Queue another list:

  • Knack – This appears to be this generations Kameo, which is not necessarily a bad thing. The game’s cutesy design and accessibility of remote-play makes the game come across as intriguing. Much like the rest of the PS4 catalog there wasn’t much seen of actual gameplay, so we’ll have to see what this shapes up to be.
  • Killzone: Shadow Fall: Personally I’ve never been fond of the Killzone games, but this may mostly be due to a dislike of the PS3 controller. The game is visually stunning, with the sexiest grates I’ve ever seen.
  • Driveclub – The first rule of Driveclub is that you don’t repeat decade old jokes. The second rule is that team-racing is king. The game looks interesting, and the speaker from Evolution Games spoke with such love and reverence; how can you not be enthused about this title at least a little bit?
  • The Witness – Jonathan Blow, he of Braid fame has brought forth his beautiful Myst-like puzzle game, with gorgeous folk-chanting music. That comment on the music isn’t sarcasm; I honestly think that plus the visuals will be the selling point of this game for me.
  • Infamous: Second Son – This game probably had the best lead in of any game, at any conference to date. Seriously, look for a posting of the speech and tell me I’m wrong! I love the Infamous series, despite not playing 2. Consider this my system-seller as it is PS4 exclusive.
  • Final Fantasy – Not really shown, but Square Enix wasted our time by showing an nearly one year old tech trailer and then stating that Final Fantasy will have news at E3. Thanks a lot guys!
  • Watch Dogs – Here is system seller number two, though not exclusive to the PS4. Watch Dogs is the game we’ve all been salivating over since last year, and the concept and visuals are looking better than ever. This game cannot release soon enough!
  • Diablo III – What the f***?! Chris Metzen of f****** Blizzard took the stage at a console unveiling?! My jaw hit my chest at this point, and even though he “only” announced Diablo III for PS4 & PS3 don’t take this lightly. Blizzard, arguably one of the deities of PC gamers the world over is making games for the Playstation. I feel a disturbance in the force — and in my pants.
  • Destiny – In a move that surprised nobody, Bungie took the stage to assist Sony in raising a middle finger to Microsoft. That and to show of more of the recently announced Destiny, the epic next-gen first person shooter they have been developing. The game will release for PS4 with exclusive content, though we have no idea what that is at this time.

 

That about covers the event. We will be going into more details this weekend on the GNN Gaming Podcast. Stay tuned for that.

The Playstation 4 has a release date of Holiday 2013. We’ll bring you more details as we hear them.

 

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