Thursday, 21 February 2013

(Feature/Blog) My Thoughts On The Playstation 4 Reveal

So Sony revealed the Playstation 4 yesterday, which is great news for gamers and Playstation fans.
Unfortunately, Sony was still pretty secretive about it all and didn't even show the console itself. However, they did show a fair amount of gameplay and weren't shy of letting the specs be known either.


There certainly isn't much to go on yet, but according to Sony, the Playstation 4 will be more than gamers ever imagined, which is a pretty big statement.

The Playstation 4 is looking more like a super-charged gaming PC than a standard console, with a lot of emphasis being put on the specs of the machine. The PS4 will come with an 8-core AMD 'Jaguar' x86-64 and a 'Next-gen' AMD Radeon graphics card. All this has a nice 8GB of dedicated GDDR5 memory to keep it going. Like the PS3 it will come with an inbuilt Blu-ray player, Bluetooth 2.1, USB 2.0 ports and a 'AUX' port(?). The Playstation 4 will feature cross game chat too, which was a feature that, bizarrely, the PS3 didn't come with.

The new Dualshock 4 controller has had a pretty big upgrade too. It now supports touch input allowing for some new, most likely game dependent, controls, a button dedicated to allowing gamers to quickly and simply upload gaming videos, and also a 'Light Bar that connects with the Eye sensor.

The Eye sensor itself will have a 1280x800 pixel sensor and capture video at 60fps, however its full use has still not been fully explained, although it will no doubt be involved with the way games are played on the PS4.

Oh, and if you were worried about used games being blocked; worry no more! Sony have said that the PS4 will not block used games at all, although the developer/publisher integrated online pass codes will no doubt still be relevant.

So that is pretty much the PS4. Some games were shown off too, however there was hardly a full gameplay demo to analyse and not much about the games themselves and how different features of the PS4 or Dualshock 4 would affect them.

The games looked mostly gorgeous, however, especially when it came to Killzone: Shadow Fall, it didn't exactly, well, astound. In fact the likes of this generations Crysis 3 didn't look much shabbier at all.

Overall, the PS4 reveal felt a little more like consolation that there was actually going to be a Playstation released this year rather than a total information fest. Quite like with the Wii U reveal, I don't feel totally drawn in or shocked by it. The console still has some pretty alien features that will probably remain that way until more information about them is revealed to the public.

However, one thing that did impress me was the specs. I'm glad Sony have put some extra emphasis on the actual internals rather than simply saying: "This is what it does and this is how good the games look, now deal with it".

The specifications themselves looked good, mainly where the processor is concerned, however in the case of the 8GB of RAM, it looks a little bit wobbly. 8GB is good, more than enough to run all games on a PC, however consoles are supposed to be long, drawn out affairs that last at least 5 years. No doubt in a couple of years gaming computers will be shipping out with 16GB of RAM as standard and, yet again, consoles will be miles behind.

More than anything, it's the prospect of new features and the little things that have got me properly excited. The new controller, the obvious update the online service will receive, the new ways to play games and connect with friends; these are the things that have me fidgeting with anticipation.

Now that Sony has shown their hand, the ball is in Microsoft's court. How they will respond to the likes of used games, Playstation Eye, the Dualshock 4 and the impressive internals of their competitors console is going to be very interesting indeed. There is no doubt that it will be a struggle for Microsoft to dominate the next generation like they did this generation gone by, but only time will tell.

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