The Playstation 2013 conference is over and we just got all the details on Sony's upcoming next-generation console. You know, except for what it looks like but that's besides the point. It would seem in regards to the PS4, Sony has opted to put a large focus on social connection and user convenience. I guess this is their way of challenging what Microsoft likely has in-store for "Durango" at E3 this year where we know they want to conquer the living room. A lot of these features are cool but are they things that will entice gamers into shifting from the "superior" online network of Xbox Live? Find out for yourself by reading below!
The spec of the Playstation 4 confirmed
The PS4 looks like it'll be packing quite the interior firepower, at least if we make the argument that console games are more optimized for gaming. But here are the confirmed specs. These specs have been seen in the past but at the time, it was all speculation.
What I like to see here is that 8GB of GDDR5 RAM. That's some fast memory they got there.
The reveal of the Dual-Shock 4
The first official reveal of the PS4's controller, which they dub The Dual-Shock 4, was made today. It's a nifty little device similar to that of past PlayStation controllers except this time around, there's a touchpad and a light-bar indicator. The light bar is there to emphasize which player is what by what I assume would be color differentiation but of course, the best new features are the touchpad and the little "share" button that sits on the top left. What you can do during a game is hit the button and immediately share your game clips to the world, tell people you're streaming, or instant message people.
I'm not going to go in to full technicalities but the Playstation 4 will boot in an instant and leave off where you last left in your game. Took them long enough. I hate waiting for the console to boot. It's sort of why I invested in the SSD for my main computer. I just want to push the on-button and see it... on.
Live-updates and downloads
Another little nifty feature that adds to the convenience is the ability to download updates as well as full games in the background of your system. I don't do the digital distribution as much as the next guy but I like the idea of being able to play the game you just purchased digitally right away even though you haven't finished the download.
Gaikai Cloud service
It seems the Gaikai cloud service will be integrated into the Playstation network. Realistically, what this means is while your browsing the store, you're just a click away from playing whatever game you're looking at. You'll play the game through the gaikai service in an instant. Demos are now played with via streaming and if you want to make the purchase, just buy the game or perhaps they might even go as far as to offer Gaikai subscription so you can play every game in the collection right away. I'm guessing games tested on the service are under some sort of time-limit or stage cap but no longer will demos be watered-down version of the original. I like the whole idea of being "just a click away."
But another cool thing about Gaikai is allowing developers to use some really cool spectator tools, you know, since everyone "owns" the game. Let's say you are stuck on a level, well you can have someone who already beat the game help you out and take over your game right infront you remotely. Kind of silly since that takes away from the challenge, but the stuff developers will think off to utilize this technology would be unreal.
Speaking of spectating, Sony has adopted the whole Live stream thing. I have a strange feeling this has something to do with Sony's partnership with MLG and the success they've seen from pro-streams.
THIS is something I have always wanted in my console experience, or heck, even in my whole gaming experience. I've always wanted the ability to watch others play the games I enjoy any time I want. Once upon a time, we went to our friends houses to play with them and even shared the same screen via split screen. But now with the internet and online-play in existence, someone finally thought of a way to make this experience a reality on a much bigger scale. Yea, I can do this on twitch.tv or perhaps even youtube, but Sony aims to make the streaming/spectator experience built into the system itself. Want to take a break for awhile? Well, now you can watch your friends play in real-time just to see how much they need you on the team instantly with the push of a button.
Sorry we don't know what it looks like :P
Still, I will admit these features are very cool. At the very least, they add to the convenience and social capabilities of the Playstation Network. I only wish they actually unveiled what the console looked like. Now it looks to me Sony will still be waging war with Microsoft come E3. And here I thought they wanted an early advantage, first blood if you will.
The question still remains. Do you think today's reveal could save them from what Microsoft will be inevitably unveiling at E3 this year? The PS3 lost traction, despite the PS1 and PS2's dominant success. What do you guys think?