In a presentation that lasted a little over two hours, Sony showed off their dreams for the future, highlighted by their next console, the PlayStation 4. The new system comes with impressive specs, featuring 8 CPU cores and 2 teraflops of computational performance, an X86 CPU, enhanced PC GPU, “supercharged” PC architecture, and 8GB RAM. The system will be capable of background downloads of firmware(finally) and games, and will be able to start playing a game almost instantaneously, while the rest of it downloads in the background.
A big focus was the social element of the PlayStation Network, as you’ll be able to use the DualShock 4’s “Share” button (yes, the controller looks like the one we showed off recently) to stream whatever you’re playing, live. The PS4 will be able to upload gameplay recordings, download content while turned off (using features that learn more about you and what you like), and “eventually” stream gameplay to the PS Vita in real-time, much like what the Wii U does with its GamePad. They also confirmed that the PS4 will not be backwards-compatible with PS3 game discs, but that the PlayStation 4 would “eventually” stream content from the entire PlayStation library, from PS1 through PS3, with a free demo of every game on the PSN using the Gaikai streaming service.
They also announced a few titles, including Knack, an exclusive that looks like it borrows from Pixar’s art styles; Killzone: Shadow Fall, the newest entry in Sony‘s “Halo-killer” series, which looks gorgeous and is going to be available at launch; and Infamous: Second Son, which has a new protagonist in a new city, and looks to focus on a heavy narrative based on the fearful society we have in the real world.
In addition to strong first-party support, Sony announced that virtually every major third-party developer will be supporting the system, including announcements of Deep Down, a working title from Capcom that looks like a medieval adventure featuring knights and dragons; a new Final Fantasy title coming from Square Enix (with more details at E3 in June); Watch Dogs (complete with a new live demo) from Ubisoft; Diablo III from Blizzard Entertainment(go here for more info); and “multiple blockbusters” promised for the PS4 from Activision, including a new look at Destiny, the latest from Bungie, including exclusive content for PlayStation users. Also, Jonathan Blow, creator of Braid, will be bringing a ‘launch window’ exclusive game called The Witness to the PS4 as well.
What wasn’t announced were a price or a solid release date, but they did confirm “Holiday 2013.” Those are expected to come later this year, most likely at E3.
Sony has also, after the show, confirmed that the PS4 will not ban used games.
Be sure to keep an eye out for our editorials and podcasts, that will be going over our reactions to today’s news in detail.