By AUSTIN CONWAY
Last Wednesday, Sony took the stage at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York to officially pull the curtain back on the PlayStation 4. Rumors for the last several months have been building toward the reveal of something substantial at Sony’s own event, dubbed the “PlayStation Meeting 2013.” After a very extensive marketing campaign that teased the “Future of PlayStation,” the world was finally granted a first look.
Seeking to truly embody the ideology of “Next Generation,” the PS4 promises to redefine not only the technology that goes into crafting interactive experiences, but also the way these experiences can be shared as well as distributed. Described by Sony as “Gamer Focused, Developer Inspired,” the PS4 has been designed from the ground up with the hope of being significantly more developer–friendly than its notoriously difficult–to–develop for predecessor. Instead of resorting to the experimental and unconventional technology of the Cell Processor that powered the PS3, the PS4 opts for a more traditional DNA, being referred to as “Supercharged PC architecture.” While both the GPU and CPU of the PS4 are high performance parts, the real technological standout point of the system is its use of 8 GB of GDDR5 Ram, a factor that will be a significant boost to graphic and visual performance as well as fidelity.
Speaking of visuals, Sony offered a small taste of several first and third party titles that will hit the PS4 in the near future, all of which clearly utilize the advanced hardware of the PS4. The first game (and new IP) featured was from Sony’s Japan Studio, titled “Knack.” In the game, players take on the role of a creation that can grow in size by building himself up from more “like” objects. Guerrilla Games then took the stage and premiered a live demo of “Killzone: Shadow Fall,” the next installment in the widely popular and visually stunning Killzone series. Finally, Sony presented a brief teaser trailer for the next installment in their gritty superhero series, titled “Infamous: Second Son.”
Sony continued to display support for its upcoming platform by turning the attention toward the third party publishers and developers who would be releasing titles on the PS4. Ubisoft demonstrated more of the hotly anticipated “Watch Dogs.” Indie Developer Jonathan Blow was on hand to reveal the news that his new game, “The Witness,” would be exclusive to the PS4. Capcom wowed the audience with a tech demo of “Deep Down,” a dungeon crawler in the vein of “Dragon’s Dogma.” Finally rounding the night off was the announcement from Activision that both “Diablo 3” and Bungie’s new game, “Destiny,” will be releasing for the PS4.
Promised alongside the announcement of new software are also new ways to share the experience. The PlayStation 4 controller has been outfitted with a “share” button, allowing gamers to upload segments and portions of what they are playing to PSN or even Facebook. A more personalized interface is being promised, emphasizing the importance of relevant content as well as a feature that predicts what you will purchase next, pre-downloading the specific content and just waiting for you to click “buy” to unlock.
With the inclusion of new software, new social features and the addition of the streaming service Gaikai, it seems the future is bright for Sony.