PS4 Release Date, News, Rumours and Specs
The buzz and excitement surrounding Sony's latest Playstation console, the PS4, is growing. Sony has told us what the gubbins will be and they do sound impressive but can the PS4 beat stiff competition from Microsoft's next console, the Xbox 720 and Nintendo's already launched Wii U? If you want to know everything we know about it so far then read on.
PS4 - AnnouncementThe PS4 unveiling event on 20 February 2013 was more than a little disappointing. We got to know that the PS4 would be powered by AMD and the graphics specs and a few other mildly interesting points, but not a single glimpse of the console was to be seen. Sony did not give anything away but it did show off the new DualShock 4 controller and Eye camera. More information about what the PS4 can do has surfaced, mainly thanks to overeager game developers spilling the beans.
PS4 - Release DateThe fugue surrounding the PS4's release date continues with no further elaboration on the official statement that it will be launched in the USA during the "holidays" of 2013, which likely means a Christmas release date. There was no mention of when the roll-out to different territories will occur, but there are a few rumours that suggest a simultaneous launch to several territories. We’re likely to have to wait until 2014 to see it in the UK, however.
With dozens of games already announced and with an end of year release in mind, we should see some PS4 games live at E3 2013, which takes place during June in Los Angeles.
PS4 – PricePerhaps the most interersting news to come out of the weeks since the official announcment is the news of the PS4's price. Michael Denny, Vice President of Sony Worldwide Studios, has suggested that lessons have been learnt over the pricing of the PS3. The PS3 launched in the UK with a £425 price tag, which put many people off. He claimed Sony wanted to “reach as broad a gaming audience as possible”. This suggests a sub-£400 price tag that many gamers will welcome.
PS4 - SpecsAs expected the PS4 will be a significant hardware evolution from the PS3. Before the launch, we reported that AMD will be providing the muscle for the console and this was confirmed by Sony. The eight-core x86-64 AMD Jaguar CPU custom built processor will also power the GPU meaning a single chip will take care of processing tasks and the graphics engine.
Specs for the GPU look impressive. Reaching 1.84 teraFLOPS (that's 1.84 trillion calculations a second), AMD's next-gen graphics engine will allow for amazing graphics and should have more than enough juice to upscale from HD to 4K. Bearing in mind how much Sony has invested in ultra-high definition 4K TVs it makes sense for the PS4 to have at least some 4K capabilities. So far, it has been confirmed that the PS4 can output content at 4K - a good start at least.
The specs list gets better with 8GB of super-fast GDDR5 RAM on-board. This blisteringly quick memory will help the PS4 reach performance levels the PS3, or even the much more recently released Wii U, can only dream of. It also enables the PS4's party piece - the ability to put the console on standby mid-game and then turn it back on and be playing again within seconds.
A Blu-ray drive will feature in the PS4 and will run at 6x speed as opposed to the PS3’s 2x - and will support DVD playback. An internal hard drive will also be included, although Sony made no announcement as to the capacities on offer. In terms of connectivity the PS4 will have HDMI, Analog-AV and optical digital outputs as well as USB 3.0 for faster data transfers.
PS4 - ControllerSony gave attendee at the Games Developers Conference in San Fransisco some face-to-face time with the new PS4 controller. At first glance the new PS4 controller, the DualShock 4, looks very similar to the previous model but it does have some interesting new features. One of the most striking is a touch display on the front, much like the rear panel on the PS Vita. Being on the front opens-up a whole new array of possible uses for this panel which could provide additional interface buttons, as well as acting as a single control interface. It opens the possibilities for casual mobile touchscreen-like games as well as being used for more hardcore titles.
An LED light-bar sits between the shoulder buttons. This changes colour according to what’s going on in-game but, more interestingly, also allows the DualShock 4 to be used much like a Move controller, by working with the PS4 Eye – but more on that later. This comes on top of improved motion control.
There have also been some audio enhancements. Sony has added a headphone jack to the controller which means no more trailing cables from the console while a speaker, similar to that in the Wiimote, has also been included.
Some of the ergonomics have also been changed. The analogue sticks and shoulder buttons have been tweaked. And the Start and Select buttons - present since the original Playstation - have been removed. The Option button now takes on both roles. Jumping on the social media bandwagon, a second share button lets you share screenshots or 10-second long videos on Facebook.
PS4 – EyeTaking a leaf out of Microsoft’s book and Xbox Connect, Sony unveiled the new PlayStation 4 Eye. With two 1280x800-pixel, wide-angle, high-sensitivity cameras and four microphones Sony claims the new Eye is extremely accurate at differentiating between players and background objects as well as allowing the ability to sign in using facial recognition. Expect a very intuitive motion and voice control mechanism for a host of new games.
The Eye will also work with the PS4 controller by recognising the LED light bar, allowing for Move like controls.
PS4 – Playstation VitaMuch of the beginning of Sony’s PS4 event was dedicated to the synergy between the PS4 and PS Vita. Just as the Wii U allows players to leave the TV and continue playing on the controller, Sony has enabled the PS4 to wirelessly stream games to the Vita. The fact that you’ll need to stump up the cash for a Vita as well as a PS4 to do this means this is not a feature that will be as used flexible as Nintendo’s system.
Following the “connected home” speeches at CES 2013 and hints that there will be similar wireless connectivity with other Sony devices we expect the PS4 to potentially also stream to Sony TVs, phones, tablets and even speaker systems.
PS4 – Games and compatibilityFirst things first, it has been confirmed that the PS4 will allow you to play pre-owned games. This is a good thing. What’s not so good is the lack of any backwards compatibility with the PS3 or any PSN titles bought for an old system, although attempts are being made to create an emulator for them.
A number of mouth-watering PS4 exclusive titles were announced in order of appearance:
Knack – a new franchise platformer
Killzone: Shadow Fall - The fourth chapter in the Killzone franchise
DriveClub – new racing game from the makers of MotorStorm
inFamous: Second Son – Third in the action-adventure series
Beyond: Two Souls – A psychological thriller adventure game
Check out the latest Sony PS4 news below >
PS4 Release Date, News, Rumours and Specs
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