Gavin gives you his thoughts on the big Sony announcement prior to, well.. The big announcement.
It is exactly 2pm Pacific Standard Time as I write this, that is 1 hour from the official Sony product showcase scheduled for 3pm for those of us on the Best Coast. What does that mean, and why should you care?
I’m not sure, yet.
Here is what we know ahead of the big news today. Sony is currently crippled like a Carnival Cruise ship, when they launched the PS3 7 years ago it was already behind in sales figures because Microsoft had a huge head start in selling consoles while Sony was still taking it’s time with it’s unique Cell processor that was ultimately a very expensive gimmick that didn’t help it sell more consoles. It wasn’t until the just ended holiday season that PS3 consoles finally caught up to Xbox 360 console sales, something Sony has been trying to fix as it slowly bleeds out of its money-hole.
With this upcoming debut, Sony is banking hard on the time honored idea of “the early bird gets the worm” and looks to be taking Microsoft to task by debuting their console a full 6 months ahead of the (unknown) projected Xbox 720 debut. This is exactly what Sony needs, a good head start with a product that will be easy to make and quick to sell.
Here is what we know about the hardware under the hood of the PS4:
Processor: 1.6GHz 8 Core AMD CPU + GPU (AMD Radeon HD 7850 based)
Memory: 4GB GDDR5
Display: (probably) 1080p gaming at 60fps with 3D supported also
Looking at the above information either seems awesome, or like gibberish to you. Let me break it down into regular English:
The PS4 has ditched the in house Cell Processor for something that is already being made by AMD, this will help them bring the costs down and offer a better launch day price. Having 8 cores in the CPU makes for smooth multitasking for the console and when working in tandem with the GPU unit AMD is also supplying, will make for some visually spectacular gaming. When you take both of those parts and add in the GDDR5 ) Graphics Double Data Rate, version 5) RAM – You have the ability to create and run games with such detail that AI faces can have pores, and bad skin, hair can seriously blow in the wind, blood splatter can fly beautifully in endlessly random ways, and debris from a savage car wreck can break and flow in realistic ways.
The next big change Sony will have to bring up is the controller. If you look back, it’s been almost the same controller design since the original Playstation made its mark on the gaming world 18 years ago. I expect the PS4 to maintain a similar shape to the current Dual Shock 3, but they will do away with the “Move” system and incorporate it within the controller itself, also adding the Touchpad from the current Vita to the back of the controller to give the user the best of everything, literally at their fingertips.
And lastly, look for them to really take the Kinect to heart. Microsoft really scored on this, and has given new life to its Xbox 360 consoles with the addition of the Kinect system. Sony is certainly not blind to that fact, and they will be sure to offer a full room interactive experience, without the need for a separate controller or wand.
When you compare the current PS3 to the upcoming PS4, it’s not fair at all. The PS3 is no slouch of a machine, and has been delivering fantastic graphics for almost a decade, but it has always lacked the finer touches of realism that the PS4 will bring to the table. With the ever expanding role of cinematic game play in today’s major titles, more and more time is being spent to develop hardware that can deliver the realistic CGI we have come to expect from major movie releases, in a tense situation you want to see your character sweating or the grimace of pain on the face of your hero, with the PS4 – we finally might get what we wished for last Christmas.
15 minutes to go, the official reaction write up will follow after the Sony announcements.