Last night Sony hosted the much-hyped PS4 event in New York City presenting an opportunity for lots of unphotogenic nerds to step into the limelight. Though less polished than an Apple launch (a good thing) Sony did manage to drop one enormous clanger and FPS themselves directly in the foot by not actually revealing the new PS4 itself.
Console – However, we were told a few generic hardware specs, shown the peripherals, and demoed various games engines and capabilities that showed off the new, much-vaunted, “enhanced PC GPU” (with eight cores). Other tech specs mentioned were a hard drive, and x86 AMD CPU, 8GB RAM and 176GBps of bandwidth. Supposedly it’s a “complete redesign of what’s currently on PS3”, but we didn’t actually get much information so it’s difficult to tell just how much better it might be.
Peripherals – We did get some more information about peripherals like a Kinect-like “front-facing light bar” with a stereo camera that can track the position of controllers and recognise players. The new controller will also have “enhanced rumble capabilities”, a touch-pad, a share button and a headphone jack.
Connectivity – We’ll also get better connectivity via the Sony Vita, tablets and smartphones. In fact, Sony really pushed the connection between with the new PS4 and the Vita, which suggests that they are eager to shift a few more of the poor-selling Vita units that are currently gathering dust in the warehouse.
Cloud – They also mentioned that the PlayStation Cloud Service was a go.
Social – New games as well as video and audio content will be available and Sony were promoting the whole “social” aspect of gaming and content consumption via the PSN (PlayStation Network) with collaborative game-play, spectating, sharing and connecting with friends- remember the “share button” we mentioned earlier?
Games – A small selection of games and game engines were also showcased during the presentation:
- Kill Zone: Shadow Fall looked like a fairly conventional appearing science fiction FPS from Guerrilla Games.
- Drive Club is yet another driving game, but with nice graphics and team collaboration from Evolution Studios.
- Second Son is superhero game from Sucker Punch- kind of like if the TV series Heroes ended in a big war between humanity and the mutants. I liked the look of the game, but we’ll have to see if they game-play lives up to the walkthrough.
- The Witness from Braid is a too much of a Myst look-a-like for comfort, but at least it is a game not involving killing, crashing or blowing things up.
- Legendary CapCom demoed their flashy new Panta Rhei graphics engine software with a generic, no-name medieval game.
- Unfortunately, there was also a frankly alarmingly, bigoted-looking graphics demonstration of the Luminous engine from Square Enix. The bad-guys with guns looked and sounded very Middle-Eastern and were attacking European-looking, magic-wielding good-guys. (Grow up guys, just grow up).
- UbiSoft presented Watch Dogs where the protagonist is a tough-guy/anti-hero hacker dude in a wired world of surveillance, networked data. Hey, don’t moan! At least the “hero” isn’t another tiresome special forces operative.
- Blizzard announced that they will also be coming to PS4 with, wait for it, Diablo III.
- Finally Bungie revealed their big, multiplayer, science fiction, FPS- Destiny. Much as I do love FPS games, as you no doubt know by now, but another one?
Next week, we’ll take a short break from consoles, but bring you still more gaming goodness and see how PCs will bust into gaming in a big way this year.
See you next week and remember to follow my blog and connect with me at RoyMathur.com