Sony PS4 Reveal – Technology
So last night (Feb 20th 2013) in New York City, the long awaited PlayStation 4 was revealed to the world, more or less. For those of you who missed it, here’s a recap of the specs, the games that will be available at launch and the others that will follow on soon after, not to mention all the other changes that show Sony’s PS4 ushering us into a whole new world of console gaming.
This next generation entertainment system is what every console gamer has been waiting for, boasting rich and detailed powerful graphics, immersive gameplay, intelligence and speed, integrated social features, innovative cloud technology and second-screen features, and much, much more. This post is here to tell you what the console is capable of, so brace yourselves, as there’s a lot this bad boy can do.
Let’s start with the console itself.
The PS4’s design is very specific, built from the ground up so as to fully support the very best games complete with the most immersive experiences. The greatest game developers around the world were given the chance to fully unlock their creativity and push the boundaries of play with this innovative system, which has been tuned specifically to their needs.
The system architect of this incredible console is Mark Cerny, the famed US games developer, with equally amazing specs. The architecture of this console boasts supremely high performance and ease of development and play, revolving around a special customised chip that features x86-64 cores and a graphics processor that’s completely state of the art.
The GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) has been seriously enhanced and upgraded, primarily to allow for easier general purpose computing (GPGPU), including physics simulation. In total, the GPU contains 18 unified compute units, which collaborate together to generate 1.84 Teraflops of processing power that is free to be used on graphics, simulation, or a combination of the two. Add to this the 8GB of system memory, and you know that the PS4 is easily capable of hosting amazingly rich content. Plus, with GDDR5 being used for the memory, the system is given 176 GB/second of bandwidth, allowing for an even further super improved graphics performance. In total, the end result for gamers will be incredibly rich and superbly rendered high-fidelity graphics and visuals, giving players overall deeply immersive gaming experiences, that are sure to succeed any and all of your expectations.
|Main Processor||Single-chip custom processorCPU : x86-64 AMD “Jaguar”, 8 coresGPU : 1.84 TFLOPS, AMD next-generation Radeon™ based graphics engine|
|Hard Disk Drive||Built-in|
|Optical Drive(read only)||BD 6xCAVDVD 8xCAV|
|I/O||Super-Speed USB (USB 3.0) ?AUX|
|Communication||Ethernet (10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T)IEEE 802.11 b/g/nBluetooth® 2.1 (EDR)|
|AV output||HDMIAnalog-AV outDigital Output (optical)|
The PS4 also places a large focus on connectivity, making social interaction and shared game experiences central to your own PS4 gaming experiences, fluidly connecting you through the PlayStation Network, across the console, and through your mobile. These new features have been built into the actual hardware architecture of the console, which also provides video compression and decompression systems that allows players to seamlessly upload their gameplay instantly, with just the press of a button. Simply hit the “Share” button on the controller, skim through the last few minutes of gameplay, tag it, then resume playing the game; the video will upload as you play. Alongside these videos, gamers can also share their images and more to their friends on social networking sites, for example Facebook.
The PlayStation 4 can also enhance social spectating, by providing players with the option to broadcast their gameplay in real-time to friends and fellow gamers, using live internet streaming services such as Ustream. Friends can comment on the live streaming gameplay, and even join in the game if the player is stuck on a particularly difficult level, opening up completely new ways to play. Say a player has been trapped in a corner in a game, no ammo and low on health; a friend can offer them health potions and weapons, just when they need them most. In addition to this, the PS4 is opening up a friends network based on real world friends, as well as allowing users to sync their Facebook account with their Sony Entertainment Network account. Through the PlayStation 4, you will be able to open up connections through the portals of co-op play and “cross-game chat”.
On the newly designed PS4 menu screen, players can scroll though game-related content shared by friends, easily watch friends’ gameplay, as well as gain information on recommended titles, including games, TV series and films. The goal of the PS4 is that the system knows enough about a player to predict the next game they’ll purchase, having that game already loaded and raring to go before the player even clicks the buy button; this reaffirms PlayStation’s long term goal of reducing the download times of digital titles to zero, on the premise that the console will know you. The PS4 is designed to further enhance and enrich gamers’ entertainment experiences, by knowing what they want or need before they do.
The PS4 also integrates second screen in order to expand the options of gameplay, including the PlayStation Vita, smartphones and tablets, in order to open up a world of options to gamers to play their favourite games and content from wherever they are. A key feature of these second screens is “Remote Play”, where the PS4 fully unlocks its potential by allowing the PS Vita to be the ultimate companion device. With the Vita, players will be able to seamlessly pull PS4 titles from their living room TVs on to the Vita’s gorgeous 5 inch display, via Gaikai and Wi Fi networks. Sony Computer Entertainment’s new application called the “PlayStation App” will allow iPhone, iPad, and Android smartphones and tablets to also become second screens for PS4 games alongside the PS Vita. Once the app has been installed on these devices, users can use these second screens throughout gaming for multiple purposes, for example to view the map whilst playing an adventure game, and also to purchase PS4 games whilst they’re out and about away from home, downloading them directly to their PS4 console at home, or even to remotely watch other gamers playing on their consoles.
Immediate Gameplay has also become a focus for the PS4, as this console reduces the lag times between players and their content by an impressive amount. The console also features a suspend/sleep mode, which keeps the system in a low power state and suspends gameplay, but which allows you to resume your game from the exact point you left off as soon as you hit the power button again. Players can also boot a range of applications, including a web browser, whilst playing a game on the PS4. It also allows for games to be downloaded or updated in the background, and even in stand-by mode, as well as enabling digital titles to be playable as they’re being downloaded. When a gamer purchases a title, the system downloads a small amount of the date so you can start playing it immediately, allowing the rest to be downloaded in the background as you play.
In addition to the wide variety of games available in the PlayStation Store, PS4 players will also have a range of services offered by the PlayStation Network, including Sony Corporation’s Music Unlimited, a cloud-based music subscription service, and Video Unlimited, a premium video service, as well as various other content distribution services. Sony Computer Entertainment has now combined the PlayStation Network with Gaikai Inc’s cloud technology, opening up a whole new world of free exploration for gamers of all varieties. With this new technology, when a user sees a potentially interesting title in the PlayStation Store, they can start playing a portion of the actual game instantly, instead of just a stripped down version. With the combination of Gaikai and the PlayStation Store, players will have the options to experience all the games they think they’ll like, and only pay for the games they love.
Congratulations if you managed to read all of this. Consider yourself a committed PlayStation and potential PS4 fan. The console is due “Holiday 2013”… can’t wait!!