The wait is finally over, and despite what feels like years of leaks and guesses Sony has pulled the curtain back on their next generation console. Meet the “everything everywhere” PlayStation 4 concept, due out Holiday 2013.
With six years to prepare, the stakes are high for Sony to deliver a mind-blowing game console. In an always connected world, with smartphones and tablets in every pocket, Sony has created a console that tries to connect every part of your life to the PlayStation experience. Rather than simply relying on its ability to play high definition, super deep new games, Sony has created a console that allows the player to share the experience in real time.
While focused on delivering a product that focuses on instant on, downloading everything behind the scenes, and not waiting for a download to finish in order to play a game, Sony seems to have set the bar pretty high. The console’s features are all wrapped around playing games in a web focused social experience as well. You can record or live broadcast your gaming experience and share it using the dedicated social button on the new touch capable Dual Shock 4 controller.
In order to deliver even half of the things Sony has promised, they need a powerful system. ThePlayStation 4 promises to be a console made “by game creators, for game creators” and in order to do that they’ve stuffed the console with hardware. The “supercharged” AMD-based processor is coupled with an “advanced PC GPU” is coupled with 8GB of RAM and a “massive” hard drive. We don’t even actually know what the console will look like yet. There’s a secondary chip responsible for handling downloads so you aren’t interrupted during gameplay.
While that’s very little in the way of specifics, the end result is the ability to play PS4 games even while broadcasting a live video feed and allowing another player remote access to the console though “Director mode”. The new controller includes a touch surface in the center, as well as a share and power button. The power button allows for instant suspend and resume console capabilities, and the share button controls everything from live broadcasting to publishing a screenshot on Facebook.
Sony is focusing deeply on social features for the PlayStation 4. You can watch others play in real time, communicate across games, or keep an eye on a social feed of what your friends are up to on their consoles. Sony plans to use this information to deliver a targeted experience, going so far as to start downloading a game before you purchase it if the console thinks you are going to buy.
The PlayStation 4 will use its Gaikai technology to stream games to you in replacement of a downloadable demo system, so your friends can share a game with you and you can start playing immediately. Sony has also announced that smartphones and tablets will have access to the social network, including the ability to watch live streams and comment while on the go. The idea is that you are always connected to your PlayStation 4, somehow.