Sony unveils "reinvented" Playstation 4

Playstation 4, from Kotaku's liveblog

'Tis the season for big news in console gaming: both Microsoft and Sony have been expected to announce new hardware. Sony is first with a new edition of the PlayStation 4. Around the web, live-blog coverage of the invite-only announcement event: Verge, Engadget, Kotaku, Ars, Wired.


  1. Just tuned into the live broadcast for fun, and saw them demoing a game that appears to be a total ripoff of the CBS show “Person of Interest.”

  2. Meh, with the rootkit on CDs, the locking of games your PSP, the lazy security that allowed PSN to be hacked. No thanks Sony.

  3. Congratulations Sony, you’ve just “reinvented” the Playstation into a locked down PC with a wonky controller.

  4. I don’t get this process of integrating touchscreens into the controllers. Maybe there is a game where this makes sense, but I haven’t seen it yet. The only place I’ve seen where a touchscreen does make sense is with portable gaming and the Nintendo DS pulls this off magnificently. But in a console game are you really going to look down from your TV to play with the touchscreen (or maybe hold the controller up and away from your body so that you can see both at once)?

  5. I think the touchscreen would be used as a custom control set for some games, so instead of just the default Start and Sleect, developers could program in an extra 2 buttons, like a Map button and an Inventory button or something.  Just a thought.

  6. Sony just unveiled fuck all. No console, no release date, some commitments from developers for the ‘coming months’. The biggest revelation was that they aren’t breaking their naming convention.

    1. And that’s the one thing they should have done, break the naming convention, since it won’t play any games from the previous consoles.

  7. I think the x86 architecture and big RAM opens some old PC game emulation possibilities if Sony were nice about allowing that sort of thing (they aren’t).

    I’m fairly excited about it, actually. The touchpad is a nice addition for using a GUI from the couch. I hope they allow KBM support for more games. The PS3 allowed a standard USB mouse and keyboard, but only in one game: Unreal Tournament III. I had a sneaky adapter that allowed KB/M as a game controller.

    Not a fan of all the “social” stuff, but I’ll just avoid the games that require it. I hope more games render in 1080p.

  8. The only reason why I am happy for the PS4 and the XBOX-whatever is that it will mean that we can stop playing games designed for shit hardware.  My three year old computer stomps the shit out of consoles.  Sadly, most games are released on all platforms, so if you want to use a computer, you have to play games made to run on tinker-toy hardware.

    It is great the consoles brought gaming to the masses, but it depresses the hell out of me to think of how much further ahead gaming could have been if they had kept up with the hardware cycles.  There isn’t a reason in the world why Skyrim shouldn’t have had destructible terrain, worthwhile flight, about 10 times as many NPCs wandering around, better AI, etc, other than that it had do be dumbed down to run on a relic from the distant past.

    I don’t give two shits what the consoles makers release, so long as they have some the hardware has some power behind it… not because I want to use them, but because I want game makers to stop making games for crap systems.


    1. But the specs for this box are meh compared to a good gaming PC. So so processor, 8GB ram. Okay it has the benefit of a custom OS designed for the games but it isn’t all that. It is more in line with a mid range gaming box. You could probably put together a better powered pc and use Steam for less money.

    2.  I’m actually going to disagree with you here.

      I think that limited hardware encourages more creativity with regards to efficient coding, and so when there’s finally an upgrade then the improvements are huge. Better than coders relying on upcoming hardware to fix the performance issues in their games.

      1. Better than coders relying on upcoming hardware to fix the performance issues in their games.

        I’d argue that not significantly upgrading the base platform for 7+ years (xbox 360) or 6+ years (playstation 3) is quite detrimental to the state of the industry.

        By naive reckoning, there’s been around 4.67 hardware generations since the first xbox 360.  After maybe 2 or 3 generations, developers have totally topped out the capacity of the platform.

        For example, the first Mass Effect game was stellar, a wonderful game, I still play it occasionally.  It’s IMMENSE, just full of content, NPCs, side-stories, player determined plot choices, weapon/armor/biotic choices.  But it was limited by the RAM of the platform and by the size of the DVD media.  The textures and visual detail weren’t great and other things like backgrounds were skimped on.  It was a game that was more ambitious than the outdated hardware.

        The platform is supposed to enable great games and make it available to the masses.  By not upgrading the consoles regularly, and leaving over half a decade between iterations, the platforms age into becoming a liability rather than asset to the developers.

        1.  Well, that’s the negative flipside.

          Although the PS3 used BDs, not DVDs, so in some respects it was ahead of most PC distributions there. Have any games been released for PC on BD?

          1. I can’t think of any PC games that are distributed on blu-ray, but it would seem that xbox 360 devs are very averse to multidisk sets.  Did the xbox 360 api not have any mechanism for installing a game from DVD to the hard disk?

            Don’t a bunch of final fantasy titles have huge multidisk sets?  I never played any of them (yes I know I’m not a “true gamer”) but that worked out for playstation hardware.  Were they installed to disk? or was the plot so linear that you come to a point where it tells you to put in disk n+1?

          2. I don’t know of any multi-disc sets for the PS3 (25-50GB seems to be enough space), but I’m pretty sure I remember some multi-CD games for the first PlayStation (no installation possible) where you were asked to insert another disc to continue.

        2. People who want yearly upgrades buy a PC. The whole basis for consoles is that you buy it once and you are set for the next 5 to 7 years. No parts, no upgrades. Just buy the box and play the games. 

      2. I agree, limited but standardised hardware mandates code efficiency and innovation. Performance on current consoles is pretty spectacular at this end of the lifecycle.

        1. Also, “superior hardware performance” isn’t very strongly correlated to “more entertaining gameplay.” I’ll take a fun, innovative game over a flashy-looking-but-uninspired game any day.

          1. Absolutely. The mass markets are a big carrot for developers. And also I only game late at night stretched out on the lounge in the living room, not in my office. And also get those damn kids off my lawn.

          2. I disagree. Many of the most entertaining, innovative games of the last five years were developed for mobile devices.

          3. Phone games have really taken off partly because of the huge explosion in mobile processing power that lets you store more in memory, make use of hardware accelerated graphics and processing and lets you work with bigger higher resolution screens then ever before.

            No where is this better shown then the Android ecosystem where older weaker phones are quickly becoming completely incomparable with the best rated games and phone manufacturers that don’t include high end processors are quickly dying out.

    3.  It depends on what you want out of your games. This may just be my background bias, as I grew up with Nintendo (which purposely uses cheap, reliable but older/less powerful hardware), but I don’t really feel the need to see every pixel on the screen. I actually have trouble even with games like Halo 3– they hurt my eyes a little when the settings are so unrealistically crisp. I vastly prefer the games with simple, cartoony graphics or otherwise stylized techniques rather than the hyper-realistic style where everything is a mess of very crisp brown/grey. (This was also my problem with Skyrim. Everyone raved about the graphics, but it looked awfully bland and brown to me. The Fable games were much prettier in their landscapes.)

      The most used console in our house, and the most “powerful” graphics wise is a 360. But even on the XBox, the games we play most consistently are mostly DLC like Castle Crashers and Geometry Wars. While I certainly admire the detail in something like Assassin’s Creed II, I’m actually unable to play it because we don’t have a flatscreen/HD TV and so all the text and maps become so small as to be unreadable.

      All of which is to say– the quality of a game doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with how detailed or complex it is. I’d rather see game designers looking to do interesting, unique things with a game, rather than just see how high they can get the resolution.

    4. Oh the flip side, I bet developing games for the consoles so old (usually cycle is before this long) will have made the current developers clever to try and fit as much optimazation into a game to get it to play on that crappy hardware. That same batch will be producing games for the new consoles presumably and thus we could be getting something really special. I know when developers have a lot to work with they can get lazy and just let the hardware brute force it because they don’t have to try and be very clever about it. Though I am sure some will bloat as soon as they get the new hardware to work with. However by the time the new consoles are out the life span will have doubled really (5 to 10 years), and I think that may have some positive impacts on the way developers go about creating new games.

  9. The deal killer for me will be whether the system allows physical media. I’m not willing to “rent” games that can be revoked at will by sony. I want to be able to buy (and play) used games.


    1.  I wouldn’t get too invested in that attitude if you’d like to continue to be a gamer.  In 5-10 years, absolutely no game will be sold via physical media.  “Screw the gaming cloud!’ is no longer a useful attitude; gamers are better served pushing for digital consumer rights, including the right to trade and resell.

      1. I think that there is still decent demand for physical media on the new consoles that most company’s or people tend to forget about. What about all the consoles that are not online? There are many places that the internet still doesn’t reach in rural America, and some places that the performance of what is available is very poor. Having a disk is sometimes the only way of actually playing a game in these cases. I’m not saying that this is the core of the market, but there are a lot of diehard gamers off the grid in farm country or the backwoods that people forget.

        1.  I agree, but in the end it won’t matter: always-online DRM has become de rigueur, and Microsoft has already announced that the new console will be the last to read physical media.  The number of off-grid gamers in five years will be an inconsequential market loss when compared to the publisher/seller advantages of cloud gaming, most of which involve depriving the consumer of something (the right to resell, the right to buy used, the right to trade, the right to rent from a third party, the right to freely mod. etc).

  10. I’m not going to say “ZOMG they stole the touchpad idea from ouya!”, but I have to wonder if the ouya’s gamepad didn’t at least inspire its inclusion in the PS4 controller.

  11. This system sounds great and all. Reading all the hardware specs, it seems like it’s going to be fast and powerful machine. However, Microsoft’s Xbox 720 is what going to be huge!  I have no doubt in my mind that Xbox will be the superior system. Fingers crossed!

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