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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The PlayStation 4 Announcement: What We Know and What We Don't

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Image via PlayStation Blog Europe

Tonight, after a long 6 years, Sony has finally announced the arrival of its next flagship game console, the PlayStation 4.  During the event, it revealed the new DualShock 4 controller and several game trailers.  However, as strange as it may seem, the PS4 console failed to make an appearance during its announcement.  Not only do we have no idea what it will look like, but we can only cower in fear, as we imagine the arm or leg we will have to give to buy this next console.

Sony is taking a new approach to traditional gaming consoles by providing a more social and on-demand approach.  The new DualShock controller will include a share button, allowing users to share their gameplay instantly through Facebook, Ustream, and other social networks.  In addition, through Sony's acquisition of Gakai, it plans to allow remote play of all games through its portable console, the PlayStation Vita, and even smartphones and tablets.  In addition, Sony hopes to port every PS3, PS2, and PS1 game to the PlayStation 4 through real-time streaming.

The high performance parts of the PS4 will ensure that it will be future proof for the next decade, as were the last three of Sony's consoles.  It will include an eight-core CPU with an integrated GPU, based on the x86 architecture found in Windows machines.  In addition, it will include 8 GB of RAM, much more impressive than the depressing 512 MB found in the PS3.  Because of this, it will have an instant resume feature, where users will be able to quickly launch into a game where they left off, without the need to wait through start menus.

Image via PlayStation Blog Europe
Essentially, the DualShock 4 is an enhanced version of the original DualShock that we have all learned to love.  However, it has received a major redesign, with a more rounded chassis, the new Share button, and a headphone jack.  On a much more exciting note, it will also include a touchpad and a built-in light, allowing it to act with the functionality of a Move controller when combined with the system's new 3D camera.  This will bring the interactive experience up to par with Nintendo's newest console, the Wii U.

When the PS3 launched, the game lineup was quite depressing,  However, the complete opposite will be true for the PS4, as an awesome array of games is already prepared for launch day.  This holiday season, along with the console, Killzone Shadow Fall, Bungie's Destiny, Diablo III, a new Final Fantasy, and Infamous: Second Son are just a few of the exciting titles set to launch.  Therefore, it can be concluded that there will not be a shortage of titles for this holiday season.

This year will be an extremely exciting one in both gaming and technology.  The PlayStation 4 looks like it will be a great hit, but it will be hard to tell until we know the price and what Microsoft is planning to release.  The price tag alone will be enough to predict success with consumers, as people were scared away from the $599 price last generation.  However, at least Sony and Microsoft will both be on an equal playing field at launch, as both are expected to release their consoles before the holiday season.

Through Sony's launch event, one thing has become apparent: the next generation of gaming will be much more social.  More experiences will be shared and through Facebook connect and other features, users will feel as if they are actually playing against real people.  Friends will be able to find friends by their real name, not an embarrassing gamertag they set years ago.  In addition, they will be able to see and join more of the games their friends are playing, as gaming finally makes its way into modern social media.
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  1. I am sorry that you feel that your gamertag is embarrassing. Such things happen, there is not much to do about it. I feel as though you can only continue with the same gamertag, as I don't think it is possible to change your Playstation name. When the time comes for the PlayStation 5, that will be good news.



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