Impressions from the Playstation 4 Announcement
The Playstation 4 has finally arrived or…has been announced. While the actual hardware is still yet to be shown, we have been treated to numerous details, gameplay demoes and a look at the new Dualshock 4. A huge emphasis is on social aspects such as Facebook and Ustream have been highlighted amongst a more socially designed gamer profile within PSN. Finally, Sony’s acquisition of Gaikai has resulted in significant advances in how gamers will experience Playstation products in the future.
There were several reports in the past few weeks concerning the new Playstation controller. Most of them indicated that there would be a touchpad among other additions and refinements. It turns out that they were correct!
The redesigned Dualshock 4 has a touchpad above the analog sticks, a speaker, headphone jack, a Move-like light sensor, redesigned R2 and L2 triggers and a share button. The vibration in the controller has been enhanced and there is a new sensor that works in conjunction with the light on the front of the controller.
The new Share button is central to the social aspects of the Playstation 4. With a press you’ll be able to stream your current gaming session and allow others to comment or even take control of the game you’re playing. With the power of the Playstation 4, sharing video will be as easy as sharing screenshots in the current generation.
The Share button is also sure to be central in how gamers use Social Networks such as Facebook and possibly Twitter. The whole share theme is expanded in the sense that Playstation 4 titles can be experienced on a variety of devices, either Sony branded, Android, computers and more.
Thanks to Gaikai, remote play can finally be utilized to its full potential. According to Sony, every PS4 game can potentially be played remotely using the Playstation Vita, at a performance greater than the what the PS3 previously offered. Adding to that, with the network Gaikai is building we can expect to stream a full history of Sony titles on a variety of portable devices.
I know what you’re thinking! Here’s another one of those crazy promises that Sony will never deliver on! I agree, that’s exactly what this sounds like. However, Gaikai knows networks and they’ve been awfully quiet since being acquired. If they do in-fact deliver then the future of PSN looks to be incredibly bright.
The Vita is apparently going to be utilized to it’s full potential as its life cycle progresses. While not exactly clear, Sony indicates that Vita will become more a home media device. Gamers would probably just be satisfied with a steady release of titles but if Sony follows through with remote play then everyone should be happy.
The Playstation Move will still be compatible with the Playsation 4. The only developer that mentioned it was Media Molecule (Little Big Planet, Tearaway). Their stage demo showed off a title where the Move controller is used as a sculpting tool. They made it look incredibly cool and amazing to sculpt a variety of objects that can easily be transformed into other creative sculptures as you continue to sculpt away. In the end, all of your creations can be used as your gaming sessions are recorded.
I’m still gonna call it PSN, doesn’t everybody? The new PSN will adapt to your preferences and the preferences of your friends. What this means is no longer will you be treated to the same PSN experience but one that is tailored to your interests and the interests of your gaming companions.
Downloads and updates can be performed entirely in the background and games you’re interested in can played instantly from the network. The way this is accomplished is that every game will have small initial download that allows the title to be played while the 2rest continues to download in the background. According to Sony, every game will be available to download for free, you only pay for the titles that you decide to keep.
A variety of first and third-party developers showed off projects and demoes during the presentation. From what was shown, we can definitely see that there has been a leap in graphical ability and the previous constraints developers once had appear to have been removed.
Guerrilla Games announced “Killzone Shadow Fall”, Sucker Punch announced “Infamous Second Son” and Bungie showed off more of “Destiny”. Square-Enix announced that a new Final Fantasy is in the works and “Watch Dogs” looks to be one of the most intriguing titles in the pipeline. Knack was the first game revealed and it was also demonstrated via remote play using the Vita. Knack appears to be on par with anything out of Pixar, we’re sure to hear more about it soon because its likely to be ready for launch.
“Drive Club” is an example of a title that could only be truly realized in the upcoming generation. The painstaking detail that has gone into replicating high-performance vehicles and the club racing experience is a testament to the developer’s commitment to realize the potential of what the PS4 has to offer.
If Sony does deliver the Playstation 4 in 2013 then they’ll be in good shape to regain their footing in the industry. With much yet to reveal and Microsoft’s successor still under wraps, we’ll have to keep our eyes open especially this summer at E3.
If Sony delivers on their revamped network, it may become quite the powerhouse in home and mobile entertainment. Stay tuned to Gaming Enthusiast as we keep you updated with the latest developments.