Today was the day many gamers have been waiting for. Sony has kicked off its next generation of gaming and has announced PlayStation 4. As you guys have probably been reading, there’s a lot to digest regarding PlayStation 4.
To start, it is a lot more powerful than PlayStation 3. The most powerful thing developers on stage today said was that their only limits are their imaginations. Quantic Dream’s tech demo featuring the head of the elderly man really shows off the power of this console. The realistic emotion in the faces of characters and the smallest details in environments might put more strain on developers, but will push games forward to become a more powerful medium for creating experiences and telling stories. Games such as Killzone: Shadow Fall and Capcom’s Deep Down are already proving this.
More power is one thing, but Sony pushed the envelope to deliver innovative new features on PlayStation Network and the PlayStation 4 hardware. The first is the ability to suspend games when shutting off the system. Because the PS4 includes 8 GB of RAM, one will be able to keep their PS4 in a low powered state and return exactly where they left off in a game when they turn their console back on.
Another cool feature is that PS4 includes a separate chip to upload and download content while games are running. Unlike the PS3, you will be able to download new games and patches while playing other games. Games can now also be played as they are downloading which solves one of the biggest problems regarding digitally distributed games.
Based on Sony’s tweets, I’d imagine that games will be available both on disc and digitally. Maybe buying digitally will be something I’ll take advantage of this time around. As the PlayStation Store finds out what I like, it can automatically download games it thinks I am going to buy. I’d imagine it would delete the data at some point if its predictions are wrong, but this can save me a lot of time when my PS4 figures out that I like Killzone and inFamous.
Also, remote play on every PlayStation 4 game with PlayStation Vita is going to be beneficial as the big TV in my house is always being used by different people. I can continue playing no matter what.
Aside from the capabilities of PlayStation Network, the brand new DualShock 4 controller really packs a punch when combined with PlayStation Network. Easily the most important new feature of the DualShock 4 is the Share Button. This button, located above the directional pad, can allow users to share screenshots and video on the fly. Your in game photos and videos can be shared on Facebook and live streams of your games can be watched on Ustream. It looks like Let’s Play videos are going to be a lot easier to do, especially if the sharing can support voice overs.
Sharing is powerful as the Miiverse service on Wii U has proven. Gamers want to share their game experiences as they are happing. PS4 will allow people to do this in more ways than ever before. Sony is taking advantage of social media for games as they should be.
Another powerful feature is the ability to have a friend remotely take over your game while on another console thanks to the power of Gaikai’s cloud streaming. Usually if I get stuck in a game, I don’t ever quit, but some people do. This feature is perfect for them.
Streaming games will also come in handy when it comes to immediately trying demos in the PlayStation Store. Sony made a big deal out of this today. In the future, they are also hoping to host older PlayStation games on their cloud service. The cloud has extreme amount of potential in gaming and the best thing Sony did was to build their new console around the Cloud.
PlayStation 4 games will be able to keep you immersed in game worlds, even when you are away from your console. Games will be everywhere between being on your TV and through parts of games being accessible through mobile apps. Games such as Destiny and DriveClub are taking advantage of keeping gamers in game worlds, no matter where they are. Sony correctly spotted future trends and acted upon them accordingly.
PlayStation 4 will be more accessible with a touchpad on the DualShock 4 and easy motion controls via the light bar and a 3D camera sitting in front of your TV.
The ability for developers to create the games of their dreams, the ability for players to share their gameplay experiences easily, and the fact that Sony has solved the biggest problems regarding digital distribution may make PlayStation 4 the ultimate platform for games. Sony has added enough to make developers and gamers alike imagine the possibilities of where video games will go next. This is the next generation of gaming.