Will PS4 be the game changer?

Feb 21, 2013 by

In Gamer’s Anonymous, Mike provides news and opinions on everything related to video games and the virtual world we all live in.

“Integrated.” “Emotion.” “Holy Fart Nuggets!” One of these three phrases were not expressed during the Sony’s PS4 unveiling Wednesday night. Sony demonstrated the new tech in New York City, showcasing some gameplay, graphic power and new social capabilities the new Playstation will have. It was new, exciting, invigorating…and that felt expected.

A cautious optimism was the feeling, as speaker upon speaker merry-go-rounded through the presentation as the new tech was on display. Rumors and speculation surrounded the event, and we  finally caught a glimpse to the future of the Playstation and next gen gaming.

You can’t have a system without a controller, and Sony, in my opinion, has the best controller out there. The PS4 has retooled their patented DualShock controller. The shape and button scheme remains basically the same but with smoother, rounder edges. It now features a touch screen in the center , along with an “Options” button that takes the place of the “Start/Select” buttons of past. Also is a color-codded motion sensor on top of it that will bring a larger sense of motion range.

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The biggest new feature is the “Share” button, and that’s where the integrated social aspect of the PS4 comes into play. Sony wants to implement social integration to the fullest, with people not only sharing highlights of their gaming expertise, but to also live stream their gaming adventures. Comments and live trash talking will be part of the experience too, but the big feature is being able to let your virtual friend take over a game for you, like digital controller swapping (not unlike digital wife swapping, but with less e-stds). Say you’re stuck on a level in the new Killzone (which was demo’d and  featured gorgeous scenery and chaotic action at a smooth frame rate), you can call your buddy to take over for you while you sit back and lick the Cheetos residue off your fingers.

Killzone: Shadow Fall

Another new aspect of the Playstation 4 is their cloud, created by Gaikai. In it, Gaikai wants the PS4 to act almost as a hub, where you can access all your games digitally and play your PS4 games remotely via your PS Vita (ala WiiU). This is also a way of being “backwards compatible” by having PS1,PS2, Ps3 and PS mobile games available via the cloud, which Gaikai envisions as the fastest mobile network to be created. It’s definitely inventive, and digital cultivating migration of your games seems to the goal, but again old school gamers that would have loved to pop in an old copy of Onimusha or Twisted Metal or even the Uncharted trilogy will have to do away with your physical copies.

These are their “long-term” goals that they are aspiring to, and it’s left to be seen if it all can be accomplished.

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To lure high-powered computer gamers, the draw of an enhanced PC GPU, 8 GB of memory and X86 CPU in the PS4 could switch gamers from the keyboard to the console. Another step into ultimate gaming domination was the announcement of Blizzard bringing Diablo 3 to PS3 and PS4, with more details on their re-entry back to consoles coming during PAX East 2013.

Other developers like Jonathan Blow, Bungie and Guerilla Games unveiled their next gen IP’s, and major publishers like Capcom, Activision and Ubisoft expressed how revolutionary the PS4 would and will be. Quantic Dream (the developer behind Heavy Rain) demonstrated the unlimited power of polygons with their amazing rendering of an old man’s head (looks cooler than it sounds).

Image from “The Witness” a timed-exclusive PS4 launch title.

With so many parts to dissect about the event, all the answers given lead to more questions. How powerful will it be? Why isn’t it backwards compatible? Will we have to pay a premium fee for online games as well as the other online features? What does the console even look like? HOW MUCH DOES THE DAMN THING COST!? People felt screwed over when the PS3 was announced at a meager $599 at launch, so a healthy distrust had already been established, but I doubt Sony goes over $500 for the PS4 (Some insiders say it’ll be between $350-$400). Still, plenty of meandering will go on about what Sony will actually deliver and how they will deliver it.

We did get the release window mentioned, that of Holiday 2013, but the event wasn’t to hammer out every detail of the system in one swoop, but to place the seeds for the whole year as people anticipate and speculate what is the new wave of gaming.

This year’s E3 will be one of the most anticipated events in gaming history, with Sony already having a leg up on Microsoft with next gen platforms. At E3, we can expect more of that (and if they’re really considerate, some reveals on The Last Guardian and The Phantom Pain).

Until then, keep salivating over Sony.

Here is the full press conference:


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