Sony Releases first details of Playstation 4
It was presumed for a long time that Sonys press conference yesterday on 20th February was going to be about the up coming Playstation 4 and this was the case. The first details of Sonys new gaming console have been released and there are a couple of surprises good and bad.
Firstly of course it will be getting the usual hardware spec upgrade, exact specs are not known as yet but we do know that that the system will be based on x86 architecture which is the same as what PC's use. The CPU is being produced by AMD (Intels main rival) and it will be a custom designed 8 core processing unit. Graphics will be a next generation Radeon chip with 8GB of dedicated GDDR5 memory which will be up there with most gaming focussed PC's. Of course when this is released PC's will have moved on a bit more but with the all the PS4's games and software being specifically coded it will make very good use of the power availabe to it. The base system will also come with wifi, bluetooth, hdmi, analouge A/V, USB 3 and an AUX port for I can only imagine is something for the future. The Playstation 4 will also ship with a mono headset which will be capable of cross game chat and other social features.
It was stated in the conference that the Playstation 4 would be aimed more at being a social system, with more features aimed at sharing the gaming expereince, sharing things to social networks is just one part of this but the cross gaming chat and an ablity to let a friend take over your character in a game to help you out also in the working.
The controller now going to be the DualShock 4 has also had an upgrade, it sports an LED screen in the middle that games can use for various things like character health or level maps etc. It also has a light bar which is is used to track movement. A new share button has been included which is linked in with the social improvements of the PS4.
Now the bad news and something that seems to be getting a worrying trend, as it stands at the moment the PS4 would not be backwards compatible, meaning all you PS3 games will not run on the new console. Bad news for all those with a large collection of PS3 games. It is rumoured that PS3 games will be available via the playstation store but at a cost and this wont go down well with the people already owning the game.
The released date has not been confirmed but was quoted as saying around the holiday time so we are expecting a pre-xmas release. The cost has also not been confirmed but Sony may consider selling the console at a loss and push the Playstation plus model to get a large consumer base in order to sell more of the add on products and software. They will also be hoping that getting people into the world of Sony with a reasonably priced console that they will be able to sell more linked items such a TV's, home cinema systems and phones which im sure will be seemlessly interconnected with the PS4.
Now we wait to see what Microsoft have in response with there next generation coonsole and how it measures up to the PS4
I've heard and read that the PS4 is going to be using 10 core not 8 core and have a secondary CPU for background downloads which means that you will be able to play games while stuff is downloading in the background which you could only do on certain things on the PS3.
Also the new Ps4 will have an option to "suspend" meaning that instead of powering off the console and re-bootings it all back up again which takes time and can be annoying, the console uses a tiny bit of power to idle itself and keep everything the way you left it when you turned it off so when you turn it back on again you'll be right back at the same point you left it at, whether it be ingame or watching a movie.
To expand on the Share button at the back, the new feature will incorporate and promote community gameplay, what this means is that before when you had your mates round you all played together on the same screen, well this new tech is designed so that you can do exactly that but without the need of your friends to be with you. Ok that sounds lame but hear me out, in actual fact this could be a really awesome feature as you can ask your friends to help you by giving them part or full control of the game your playing, for example, if you were stuck on a hard level that you just couldn't do, you could use the share button to give your mate in australia control of your game and he/she could do that part for you (think in terms of microsoft assistance for PC). this could add a whole new way to play games by where you may need your partner to take control of you and vise versa to complete challenges. Also you will be able to live stream to youstream (and possibly youtube etc etc in the future) for what is rumoured but not confirmed to be 15 min videos through HDPVR technology built into the Ps4.
The Ps4 will also house 8gb of combined RAM which the graphics card and processor will use, while some may find this a worry, fear not as like the Ps3 it worked really well and lead for faster prosessing and gameplay.
Another thing that Sony have decided to do is scrap their own pixel shading tech which for those with a ps3 will know too well that Sonys pixel shading tech was awesome but lead to poor dev ports from Xbox meaning a lot of games actually looked better on Xbox than Ps3 due to the ports being either rushed or not completed to the required specs the ps3 could handle. Well no more as Sony have decided it will benefit them more to use the same tech as PC's and Xboxes so that ports will play much better than the xbox versions and not suffer from the detail lack due to lazy devs. So instead of trying to break off from the norm and come up with inovation they have decided to go for mass market rather than try and make the ps4 stand alone in the battle of the boxes.
There have also been some speculation and rumours after the announcement that the Ps4 will have some sort of cross platform ability by where you may be able to play with PC users sometime in the future but this is just speculation.
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