Sony have finally announced the PlayStation 4, revealing plenty of powerful hardware and advanced new features, and some rather impressive graphical capabilities.
Hardware specs revealed include an x86 architecture CPU, a “nearly 2 teraflops” PC GPU (possibly putting it about equal to a GeForce GTX 660), 8GB of RAM and a HDD.
How upcoming HD successor formats will be supported was not touched upon, although presumably all PS4 titles will at least be in full HD.
The system’s controller sees minor enhancements – including confirmation that the already notorious “share” button will be present, and that motion tracking technology will return in the form of controller tracking.
A much touted goal of “immediacy” results in instant resumption of play on suspend/resume, as well as the ability to share gameplay videos with the touch of a button, and even view the gaming activities of friends in realtime.
Social network integration is also a major feature of the platform, with more efforts to make users surrender their real identities to the trustworthy custodians at Sony and elsewhere.
Remote play and cloud gaming are being billed as major features – Sony’s recently acquired Gaikai cloud-gaming service will offer instant access to all titles, and PSV remote play will be supported intensively for those who enjoy playing next generation titles on 5 inch screens.
It will also be possible to play downloadable games as they download, rather than having to wait for 100% completion, as the addition of specialised hardware allows games and other content to download in the background.
Although not touched upon by Sony in their presentation for obvious reasons, another expected feature of these introductions is the complete or near-complete elimination of second-hand sales.
Games unveiled include Killzone: Shadow Fall, Driveclub, Infamous: Second Son, Capcom’s tentatively titled “Deep Down”:
Square Enix even has a new game, and amazingly is reportedly also planning a PS4 iteration of the Final Fantasy franchise:
Release details and pricing have not yet been announced – although it has already been widely speculated that a 2013 holiday release is planned.
Amazingly, the PS4 itself was conspicuously absent from the show.