February 20, 2013 by Paul Curtin
As expected, Sony officially announced what everyone (except Xbox fanboys) wanted to hear today: PlayStation 4 is happening. After years of speculation on what Sony’s next big move would be, current President and Group CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment, Andrew House, took the stage in New York City’s Hammerstein Ballroom and laid all rumors to rest regarding all the new features and upcoming titles of the company’s next-gen system.
Sony explained that with the PS4 they wanted to ensure nothing comes between the gamer and the game, spoke to developers, and used their feedback to construct a new system which would enable development, not complicate it, using familiar components. The new console will be similar to developing for PC, with an enhanced X86 PC GPU, 8GB of RAM, and almost two teraflops of power. Sony didn’t actually show off the console itself, but did introduce the new DualShock 4 controller which sticks to the traditional design but with the inclusion of a touch sensor in the front like what the Vita uses along with a Move sensor in the back that will work with another Kinect-style camera sensor like Sony’s original PlayStation Eye.
The DualShock 4 will also feature a new share button on the front that goes with Sony’s new focus on improving the social interaction amongst gamers while using their system. Sony dropped the ball with voice chat and other social features on the PS3 and they’re clearly trying to not make the same mistake twice. The PS4 will allow gamers to record videos of what they play and share said video with friends. Not only can videos be shared, but friends can even watch, try out, and help beat games for one another with the new screen-share features.
Finally revealing their plans for streaming gaming after purchasing Gaikai last year for $380 million. Sony will be using the streaming service to allow gamers to instantly try and download all full games on the PlayStation Store. Even more impressive is that with their newly acquired Gaikai technology Sony plans on allowing all PS4 games to be able to be streamed and played directly on Sony’s Vita handheld device.
Aside from the streaming, the PlayStation 4 didn’t have any mind-blowing revolutionary features that would wow you like what has been leaked in recent Microsoft documents showcasing Xbox 720 concepts. Games won’t be in 4K and it seems like Sony is moving away from 3D or trying to improve upon it. Instead of introducing new gimmicks, Sony let their newly announced exclusive titles show off why you’re going to want to pick up this next-gen system, whether you consider it a PS3.5 or PS4.
Other than the lack of an Uncharted 4 announcement (that will most likely be saved for E3) and a very disappointing announcement from Blizzard that their “big” announcement is that Diablo III is coming to the PS4 (and not something new — sorry anyone hoping for a Titan announcement), Sony’s new lineup was pretty surprising and packed with plenty system-sellers.
Guerrilla Games announced Killzone: Shadow Fall and it looks absolutely stunning. Be sure to check out the video below which showcases the games improved graphics which will finally introduce some more color to the green and brown franchise. Update: New 1080p version added from Guerrilla’s YouTube after for whatever reason Sony didn’t included the full demo on their YouTube account. Enjoy in all it’s HD glory. 🙂
Sony’s other exclusive developer, Sucker Punch, also revealed a new Infamous spin-off titled Second Son. Although not Infamous 3, like Killzone, the new installment to the series is sure to please fans and looks far better than previous games. And with a new lead character, now Sucker Punch no longer has to hear complaints about how Cole looks and can enjoy angry fans boys just wanting him back.
Gran Turismo 6 was a no-show and instead we got a worthy substitute in the form of a new similar racing IP called DriveClub. The insane level of detail in DriveClub was a great way to show off the power of the PS4’s photo-realistic visual capabilities. The developer even explained that their attention to detail in every square inch from the car’s carbon fiber hood weaving to the carpet drove them insane. Hopefully they spent equal time making sure the cars drive as smooth as the visuals.
Capcom’s new Deep Down and Quantic Dream’s (the studio behind Heavy Rain) PS4 Tech Demo showed off some of the most realistic facial animations ever. Again, for whatever reason Quantic’s part isn’t available to watch on Sony’s YouTube channel, so the capture version below doesn’t do the technology justice in full HD. But Deep Down might be the best looking game shown off during the announcement that Skyrim and Dark Soul fans are sure to love.
The just revealed new game from Bungie (creators of Halo), Destiny, was also officially announced as a next-gen title to put rumors of it being on current-gen consoles to rest. There was even some new footage of actual gameplay for anybody upset that Bungie didn’t show any off in the first look.
And we finally got another look at the GTA killer, Watch Dogs, which like Destiny, isn’t a console exclusive, but is only the second time footage of the game has been shown and looks better than ever. We haven’t seen any new gameplay since E3 back in June, so it was nice to see how the game is progressing and to hear that it will be available around the time of the PS4’s launch later this year.
So not only is the PlayStation 4 happening, but like recent rumors have pointed to, it’s happening sooner than later with Sony ending their 2013 Meeting teasing a Holiday 2013 release date. Overall the presentation was very solid, Sony didn’t show off anything mind-blowing in terms of new hardware and devices, but games like Killzone, Infamous, Deep Down, Watch Dogs, and Destiny looked very impressive and a reason to become an early adopter of the PS4.
Let us know what you think of Sony’s PlayStation 4 announcement in the comment section below. Are the newly announced titles “system sellers” or were you not impressed enough to justify purchasing the new system yet? Sony didn’t announce a price for the system either, but it’s been rumored that there will be two versions that will cost around $500.