The Sony PS4 games console has finally been announced, along with some of the games that will launch on the new hardware, and a redesigned Dual Shock 4 controller.
The console will consist of a 64-bit, x86 AMD APU with eight cores, codenamed Jaguar, Radeon-based graphics capable of 1.84 teraflops of power, and 8GB of GDDR5 memory, along with an unspecified amount of hard disk storage and a Blu-ray drive.
The revised DualShock 4 controller has an integrated touchpad, microphone jack, dedicated share button and a light bar that copies some functionality from the PlayStation Move motion controllers, which will work with the PS4, despite being designed for the previous-generation PS3.
The Share button forms a major part of Sony’s revised user interface, which is integrated with Facebook and Ustream. It looks similar to the redesigned PlayStation Store, with a strong focus on personalised content. It uses Trophy data to preload game demos and videos based on what it thinks you’ll be enthusiastic about, much like the Tivo TV system.
Remote Play will play a bigger part in the future, with new game Knack streaming play from the PS4 to Sony’s Vita handheld. The goal is to make every PS4 game stream in this way, but it won’t be a requirement at launch.
Several games were confirmed as PS4 launch titles or exclusives, with Sony stalwarts Killzone and Infamous receiving next-gen updates, new racing game DriveClub, Ubisoft’s techno thriller Watch_Dogs and Capcom’s new Panta Rhei game engine all making an appearance. Destiny, developer Bungie’s first project after the Halo series, will also be coming to the console.
The PS4 announcement confirmed the reason behind Sony’s purchase of cloud company Gaikai. The new console will allow players to perform streamed demos straight from the PlayStation Store without having to wait to download them, share gameplay videos with buddies, and even jump into other people’s games to help them through challenging areas.
The company hasn’t yet revealed the console itself. Sony Worldwide Studios chief Shuhei Yoshida explained the reasons behind this. “When we prepared for this occasion, obviously we discussed what we should show and speak about,” he said. “As much as the DualShock 4 is concerned, we wanted to do the live demo… It’s awkward not to show the controller when someone is doing a demo. The DualShock 4′s Share button is a key idea behind the design of the PS4.
“We really wanted to explain what we’ve done with the DualShock 4, but as far as the system itself goes, we have to keep something new for later. Otherwise, you’d get bored.”
It’s widely expected that the final console will be revealed at the E3 gaming show in June, but gamers will still have to wait until the vague ‘Holiday 2013′ release window to get their hands on the new console. UK prices and release dates are also yet to be confirmed.