In a move that surprised no one, Sony has unveiled the upcoming model of their home video gaming console named, equally unsurprisingly, PlayStation 4. As is par for the course in the hype up preceding any new technological gizmo, we have a lot of hyperbole about how it will change the way you live and think forever backed up with a number of ambiguous logos, target renders (what developers hope their upcoming games will look like), and tech demos with no basis in reality (“Look at how many polygons this dude’s head has since we didn’t have to code anything else!”).
Still, it’s fun to dream!
So, what do we actually know? Well, the newest member of the venerable PlayStation family is a lot closer to your PC than ever before thanks to the system now being powered by a 8-core X86 processor (details not yet announced) as the CPU and a standard PC GPU. The game console is finally going to have enough memory to get some multitasking done thanks to the addition of 8GB RAM (shared between video and system). In other words, the PS4 is a PC; Lock, stock, and barrel. It even has a suspend mode.
The tried-and-true DualShock controller remains mostly the same but gets some slick new features by way of touchpad and glowing LED light on the back for motion tracking made possible by a pair of cameras, similar to the PS3’s Move controller system.
The promised software features of the PS4 look a good deal more revolutionary (at least for Sony) than the little tid-bits revealed about the hardware. Sony’s acquisition of cloud gaming service Gaikai will finally be bearing fruit as the PS4 promises to stream demos on demand and offer real-time spectating and video capture similar to Onlive. A much more ambitious proposed feature allows gamers to hand off control of their game to another person remotely. Oh, and since this is a 21st century device social media sharing features will be integrated into every facet of the new system.
No release dates or pricing have been announced. Heck, they didn’t even show what the console looks like! All of these details will undoubtedly be coming in drip and drabs through the year. Now is the time for drink deep of the marketing Kool-Aid and dream of the future. It is a time to giggle like schoolchildren and imagine what ‘play’ may mean in the future.
Let’s just hope that the next announcement is streamed by someone with the bandwidth capable of handling it as opposed to Twitch/Ustream…