PlayStation 4 is official

ps4-controllerSony has officially announced PlayStation 4, which will be available “holiday 2013”.

Sony Computer Entertainment president and group CEO Andrew House took to the stage at the Hammerstein Ballroom at Manhattan Center Studios in New York to reveal the name of Sony’s next-gen console.
The exec said Sony’s “most powerful platform ever” will allow “worlds to come alive with greater fidelity and intensity than ever before”.

House also noted that “ease of access regardless of location or device has been a priority” in the system’s development”.

“Our vision for the future is consumer centric and developer inspired,” he added, stressing that Sony is keen to enable developers to utilise “new business models that enable more flexibility including episodic and free-to-play”.

Lead PS4 system architect Mark Cerny was up on stage next. “We wanted to make sure nothing would come between the player, the platform and play,” he said. “Our main goal was to architect the system so as to support a breadth of experiences.”

Boasting 8GB of unified system memory, PS4 houses a “highly enhanced” PC GPU “containing a unified array of 18 compute units, which collectively generate 1.84 Teraflops of processing power that can freely be applied to graphics, simulation tasks, or some mixture of the two”.

It is also “centred around a powerful custom chip that contains eight x86-64 cores and a state of the art graphics processor”. Check out the full PS4 system specs.

Cerny then showed off the PS4 controller, “DualShock 4”, which will include many of the recently rumoured features. It will offer enhanced rumble and reduced latency, a touchpad, a headphone jack and a new Share button, which will allow players to record gameplay or screenshots and share them instantly. “Our goal is to make the sharing of video on PS4 as popular as the sharing of screenshots is today,” he said. PS4 will also support cross-game chat.

The new pad was developed in tandem with the next iteration of Sony’s PS Eye camera, dubbed PlayStation 4 Eye. Here are the full DualShock 4 specs.

Sony also said PS4 radically reduces the lag time between players and their content. The system utilises a “suspend mode” which keeps the console in a low power state while preserving game sessions. “The time it takes today to boot a console and load a saved game will be a thing of the past,” according to the platform holder.
Users will also be able to boot applications including a web browser when playing PS4 games, while the system will enable titles to be downloaded or updated in the background, or in stand-by mode. Digital titles will be playable while they’re downloading too, with only a “fraction” of data required to start a session.

Dave Perry, founder of cloud gaming platform Gaikai, which Sony acquired for $380 million last year, was up next on stage. “What we’re creating is the fastest, most powerful gaming network in the world,” he said.

“With Gaikai and the PlayStation Store, you’ll be able to instantly experience games for free [and only pay for the full experience if you want to].”

PlayStation cloud services will be rolled out in phases, with the ultimate goal being to give players access to all of their favourite PSone, PS2 and PS3 titles.

Perry said PS4 will let other players look over your shoulder virtually as you’re playing and, if you allow them to, post comments directly to your screen. Friends will even be able to take over your controller virtually and help you complete a section you can’t beat yourself.

Sony also said that Vita, along with iOS and Android devices, will be capable of acting as second screens for PS4. The new system will allow Vita users to “seamlessly pull PS4 titles from their living room TVs” and play them on the portable over Wi-Fi, while a PlayStation app will enable players to supplement their console gaming experience by – for example – displaying maps or inventory screens on supporting devices.

(via CVG)

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