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Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Sony Takes The Wraps Off The PlayStation 4


Sony today unveiled its next generation game console, the Playstation 4 (PS4), which was described as "a bold step forward for Sony and Playstation," offering new hardware, software and network capabilities along with easy access, mobility, social interaction and connectivity between devices.



The insides of the PS4 will essentially be a "supercharged PC," much like an Xbox - a big departure from the old PlayStation design and should make it easier for developers to create games. Sony is using processing chips made by AMD. The PS4 is powered by a powerful custom x86-64 AMD "Jaguar", chip that contains eight x86-64 cores and an "enhanced PC GPU" for graphics. The AMD next-generation Radeon GPU has a unified array of 18 compute units, which collectively generate 1.84 Teraflops of processing power. The device is also equipped with 8 GB of unified system memory, easing game creation. GDDR5 is used for this memory, giving the system 176 GB/second of bandwidth.

The PS4 has also a local HDD, a BD-ROM drive (BD 6xCAV, DVD 8xCAV), a USB 3.0 port, Ethernet (10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T), IEEE 802.11 b/g/n , and Bluetooth 2.1 (EDR) connectivity. AV outputs include HDMI, analog-AV out and an optical Digital Output.

Sony did not provide any additional details on the hardware side.

The PS4 is also using a new wireless game controller, the Dual Shock 4. It adopts the familiar form factor of the DUALSHOCK 3 wireless controller with some key enhancements:

- Motion control is enabled by a new highly sensitive six-axis sensor
- Dual analog sticks fine-tuned for better precision plus improved surface materials and shape for more delicate manipulation
- L2/R2 buttons on the top of the controller employ a curved design for easier, smoother interaction
- A new "Options" button combines the functions of the DUALSHOCK 3's "Select" and "Start" buttons for operating in-game menus

On the front side of DUALSHOCK 4 is a light bar with LED that illuminate in various colors to match the color of the character in a game as a simple way to identify players. The colors can also provide information to players, such as when their character has taken damage during a game.

DUALSHOCK 4 was developed alongside a second peripheral, a dual camera which can sense the depth of the environment in front of it and also track the 3D location of the controller via its light bar. Called "PlayStation 4 Eye", the newly developed camera for PS4 incorporates two high-sensitive cameras that have wide-angle lenses with 85-degree diagonal angle views which can recognize the depth of space precisely. This enables PlayStation 4 Eye to cut out the image of the player from the background, or to grasp players' position in front and behind, further broadening the ways to enjoy games. Incorporated four microphones are also capable of sound detection and source origination. In addition, users will be able to login to their PS4 with face recognition and are capable of using their own body movements or voices to enjoy games more intuitively. Furthermore, PlayStation 4 Eye senses the color of DUALSHOCK 4's light bar to judge the positions of multiple players, and set characters in the same positions or let a character talk to a particular player, enabling players to enjoy games in new way. PlayStation 4 Eye also supports PlayStation Move motion controller. It detects the motion of PS Move more precisely, and reflects players' in-game motion more accurately than ever.

DUALSHOCK 4 also has a touchpad at the front of the controller as a new input method, offering more ways to interact with games. Additionally there's a built-in speaker and headset jack to deliver sound effects from the games. A headset will be bundled with PS4, enabling gamers to chat with friends during online gaming and to hear sound effects from the controller.



The PlayStation 3's motion controller, PlayStation Move, works on the PlayStation 4. Sony demonstrated playing games and the creation of an actually new world in a game, by placing "sculptures" and objects on a virtual scene using the PlayStation Move. Alex Evans from Media Molecule then re-imagined the concept of user-generated content and creativity. Armed with a PlayStation Move motion controller, he demonstrated the freedom of expression that PS4 offers to creators, whether they're professional developers or gamers of all levels. Evans remarked: "PS4, in our eyes, should be 'the creative console'. It's the place you go to be inspired; It's the place to experience other's dreams, or make your own: it's the place you go, to make. With PS4, with the creative console, we want to change making in every way: from music to gaming to story-telling."

Not much information about all this was given and we'll have to wait for more in the near future.

The PS4 also features an updated user interface and will be able to pause and resume mid-game, allowing players to multitask at any point. Through the updated UI, users will be able to upload 10- second videos of their gameplay, browse live game videos or spectate other gamers. By using the "share" button on the controller, users will be able to broadcast from their game to all their friends instantly. Friends will be also able to even help each other during hard parts of gaming by taking over the controller. Users' friends can also interact with them and post comments to each others' screens.



There's also a second chip dedicated to managing uploads and downloads, meaning users can download games in the background or when the system's off. Users can also start downloading a game and begin playing it as the download goes.

PS4 is also heavy on social interactivity. Gamers will see real photos of people, real names, and there'll be mobile apps that let them connect to the PS4 from anywhere. Facebook and Ustream will be integrated, so users will be able to share content and videos. Users will be also able to browse video remotely from their phone, tablet and their PS Vita. In addition, PS VIta will offer remote playing in PS4 - users will be able to transfer their game o from PS4 to PS Vita and resume playing. Sony said not all PS4 titles will be playable on the Vita, at least for now.

Personalization will also be a major feature, the system learning users' likes and dislikes. It will Predict their favorite games and load it for them. It will also automatically download content tailored to each user.

Sony also mentioned that the PS4 will not will not natively support PS3 games. However, it will instead stream PS1, PS2 and PS3 games from the cloud. Sony purchased U.S. cloud-based gaming company Gaikai in July. Using that technology, the new console will offer a cloud-gaming service.

Sony is hoping that PlayStation Cloud will apply to more than just PS4 and Vita, but also to mobile devices as well. The service will roll out "in phases," according to Sony, without offering additional information.

Used games will also play on PS4, Sony confirmed.

Sony also introduced developers behind some of the first-party titles being created exclusively for the new platform, including Guerrilla Games' Hermen Hulst , Sucker Punch Productions' Nate Fox , and Evolution Studios' Matt Southern .

Celebrated independent developer Jonathan Blow unveiled the first official trailer for 'The Witness,' which will be exclusive to PS4 for console and underscores PlayStation's support of developers interested in pushing the boundaries of play.

Sony's PlayStation Meeting 2013 also featured two of the gaming industry's most talented creators providing a glimpse into the future of what's possible on PS4. David Cage from Quantic Dream explored narrative-driven gaming and how PS4's hardware lets developers forget about technology and focus on creating experiences that trigger emotions.

Building on PlayStation's long-standing history of collaborating with third-party partners, PS4 will have software support from virtually every major developer and publisher across North America, Europe and Japan. At PlayStation Meeting 2013, titles in development and technology demos were presented by Sony's partners including Activision Publishing, Inc., Blizzard Entertainment, Inc., Bungie, Inc., CAPCOM, Epic Games, Inc., Havok, SQUARE ENIX Co., Ltd., Ubisoft Entertainment, showcasing how the development community has already embraced PS3's ability to make their imaginations become reality.

Ubisoft Entertainment Co-Founder and CEO Yves Guillemot announced that Watch_Dogs, introduced at E3 2012 to critical acclaim, will launch with PS4. "Today, with PS4, Sony Computer Entertainment is introducing an amazing new platform," Guillemot said. "It will let developers like ours deliver games that surpass anything previously possible on a home console. PS4 will also help us deliver on what we believe to be the future of gaming."

Chris Metzen , Senior Vice President of Story and Franchise Development of Blizzard Entertainment, Inc., unveiled that the Diablo franchise would make its console debut with PlayStation. Diablo III will be adapted for PS4 with an interface custom-designed to work naturally on controllers.

Eric Hirshberg , CEO of Activision Publishing, Inc., announced full support from its developers for PS4. Hirshberg then introduced Bungie, Inc., which is working on "the next great video game franchise - Destiny."

Harold Ryan , President of Bungie, Inc., announced that Destiny will have exclusive content for PlayStation gamers. Ryan said: "Like PS4, Destiny is an online, connected experience. Like PS4, Destiny lets you access the content you love from multiple devices. And like PS4, Destiny is designed to entertain you for years to come."

The lineup of PS4 games shown at PlayStation Meeting 2013 include:

- Driveclub (WWS Evolution Studios)
- inFAMOUS Second Son (WWS Sucker Punch Productions)
- Killzone: Shadow Fall (WWS Guerrilla Games)
- Knack (WWS Japan Studio)
- Deep Down (working title) (CAPCOM)
- Destiny (Activision Publishing, Inc./ Bungie, Inc.)
- Diablo III (Blizzard Entertainment, Inc.)
- The Witness ( Jonathan Blow )
- Watch_Dogs (Ubisoft Entertainment)

Sony did not show any actual picture of the console itself, neither gave an exact release date and a price tag, rather than it's coming in time for holiday 2013.

Playstation 4
Main Processor

Single-chip custom processor

CPU : x86-64 AMD "Jaguar", 8 cores

GPU : 1.84 TFLOPS, AMD next-generation Radeon™ based graphics engine

Memory

GDDR5 8GB

Hard Disk Drive

Built-in

Optical Drive

(read only)

BD 6xCAV

DVD 8xCAV

I/O

Super-Speed USB (USB 3.0) 、AUX

Communication

Ethernet (10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T)

IEEE 802.11 b/g/n

Bluetooth® 2.1 (EDR)

AV output

HDMI

Analog-AV out

Digital Output (optical)

 

Wireless Controller for PlayStation 4 (DUALSHOCK 4)

External Dimensions

Approx. 162mm x 52mm x 98mm (width x height x depth)

(tentative, excludes largest projection)

Weight

Approx. 210g (tentative)

Keys / Switches

PS button, SHARE button, OPTIONS button,

Directional buttons (Up/Down/Left/Right),

Action buttons (Triangle, Circle, Cross, Square),

R1/L1/R2/L2 button, Left stick / L3 button, Right stick / R3 button, Pad Button

Touch Pad

2 Point Touch Pad, Click Mechanism, Capacitive Type

Motion Sensor

Six-axis motion sensing system (three-axis gyroscope, three-axis accelerometer)

Other Features

Light Bar, Vibration, Built-in Mono Speaker

Ports

USB (Micro B), Extension Port, Stereo Headset Jack

Wireless Communication

Bluetooth® Ver2.1+EDR

Battery

Type

Built-in Lithium-ion Rechargeable Battery


Voltage

DC3.7V (tentative)


Capacity

1000mAh (tentative)

 

PlayStation 4 Eye

External Dimension

Approx. 186mm x 27mm x 27mm (width x height x depth)

(tentative)

Weight

Approx. 183g (tentative)

Video Pixel

(Maximum) 1280 x 800 pixel x 2

Video Frame Rate

1280x800 pixel @ 60fps

640x400 pixel @ 120fps

320x192 pixel @ 240fps

Video Format

RAW, YUV (uncompressed)

Lens

Dual Lenses, F value/F2.0 fixed focus

Capture Range

30cm~∞

Field-of-View

85°

Microphone

4 Channel Microphone Array

Connection Type

PS4 dedicated connector (AUX connector)

Cable Length

Approx. 2m (tentative)



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