With the announcement of the Playstation 4 on the 20th, there has been a lot of conversation between my friends and I about whether or not it is worth buying right out of the gate. Will you be lining up to get the PS4 at launch? Will you simply love your PS3 a little longer until a price drop or lottery windfall? Here’s some of the biggest features to help you make up your mind.
First of all let’s talk guts. Coupled with the returning features from the PS3 (HDMI, USB, Blu-Ray, WiFi, etc.) the new system is rocking an X-86 Quad-core CPU, with a Radeon GPU and 8 Gigs of GDDR5 memory. Not too shabby, but it’s still far off the realm of high-end PC’s, so it remains to be seen how the system will stack up in it’s third or fourth year. Granted, if Watch Dogs is any indication, it’s going to look really good out of the box.
One of the most important point for me was the confirmed integration with the Playstation Vita. I was wondering when there would be something, anything that would get me usingmy neglected Vita again. Every game that you play on the PS4 will be playable on the Vita through remote streaming using Sony’s newly aquired Gaikai technology. We will have to see how good this actually works when we get hands on with it a little later on this the year.
A totally revamped Playstation Network sees players having Facebook style profiles, complete with pictures and information about them as well as trophy scores and much more. It’s an interesting take, and it remains to be seen whether this will catch on or simply be another thing to put your information on. A new feature is that the new PSN will “learn” from your gaming choices and auto download games it thinks you may be interested in so that when you do inevitably pick that game for downloading, you’re playing it in a matter of minutes! Pretty interesting!
The PS4 is also equipped with some pretty crazy streaming and sharing features. According to Gamenguide.com, “The PS4 features always-on video compression and de-compression, which allows “seamless uploading” of game footage players can take on the fly. Players can broadcast play sessions to friends watch gameplay sessions of their games. Using Gaikai, players will be able take over controls of a friend’s streaming game and “assist” them with their game if they get stuck.”
It’s initial games list includes a number of both first party games as well as some great ones from 3rd party developers including new titles in the Killzone, InFamous and Final Fantasy franchises, as well as Diablo III, Watch Dogs and others. Quantic Dream’s David Cage simply stated, “With the Playstation 4, game creators can now can forget about the technological limitations and simply focus on inventing experiences never seen before.”
At the end of the day, Sony is pushing its processing power, with a smattering of social interaction and design. Are better graphics what we really want? In an era where Microsoft is so perfectly cornering the home entertainment market, Sony is going to need more than graphic processing power to dominate one of the most competitive markets on the planet. It has put the “gamer” as the core of its system development and strategy, but what that really means is still a little hazy.
All in all it’s a pretty exciting time to be a Playstation fan, but whether or not I go out to get it on launch day will be decided in the coming months. Will the price drop? What will the complete launch list look like? What will the actual SYSTEM look like? All of these questions need to be answered before I go running out to pick one up.
Are you going to get one on launch day? Let us know!