After months of rumors and speculation, it’s finally come down to this: Sony has announced the PlayStation 4. At this time there have been no prices announced yet, nor have we actually seen a picture of the actual console. However, we do know that the rumors that the controller will feature a touchpad and share button, as well as a light bar are indeed true. Though a definite release date has not been announced, according to graphics at the end of the event it was revealed that the PS4 will be out for the 2013 Holidays. I would speculate that it’ll be out sometime a week or two before Thanksgiving and Black Friday.
The console itself seems to be pretty beefy, considering how it’s sporting 8 GB’s of GDDR5 Ram, though other than that we don’t know any specs. What we do know is that the CPU is an x86-64 AMD “Jaguar” APU running 8 cores that will work with an “enhanced PC GPU”, which is an unidentified AMD Radeon card that can run at 1.84 TFLOPS. The console will of course have some sort of storage space, though it’s unknown as to how much space it will hold. If I had to guess, though, I’d say at least 500 GB’s considering how that’s what the latest PS3’s have nowadays. One of the big things that the console will have is a separate chip that can download and install games in the background. In fact, you’ll be able to play a game as it’s being downloaded in part because of this extra chip.
As we’ve said earlier the controller will feature a touchpad, share button, and light bar, as well as a headphone jack. Something interesting that came out is the fact that the PS4 will come with a stereo camera peripheral that quite frankly reminds me of Microsoft’s Kinect. From one of the demos they showed it looks like it will be able to show actual video on the screen. The share button is particularly intriguing, because when you press it you can stream your game live using Ustream.tv. Sony also announced that you’ll be able to stream PS4 games directly onto the Vita, similarly to how the Wii U can stream games directly onto the gamepad. And much to many players chagrin, the PS4 will support the PS Move.
However, as interesting as what Sony told us would be in the PS4, what’s more interesting is what they didn’t say. In the event Sony never mentioned the Blu-Ray drive that will be coming with it (as shown in this press release document). Instead, what was implied was that all games will be downloaded directly to the hard drive, and in fact after awhile the system will even be able to predict, based on previous patterns, what games you’re likely to buy and will download those games for you before you even purchase them. In other words, it wouldn’t surprise me to see Sony apply some sort of anti-used game technology (most likely a CD key for physical discs) and perhaps an always-on requirement for the system. In the end, it seems that the disc drive would only be there for the folks who live in rural areas with slow internet, who can’t download a 10 or 20 GB game in a reasonable amount of time. We’ll learn more as time goes on, though I gotta say, after looking at all the evidence folks, just prepare yourself for the worst if you’re a fan of used games.