“Today we are revealing the genesis of an expanded idea in the future of play,” said Sony Computer Entertainment CEO Andrew House, before kicking off the presentation.
Lead system architect Mark Cerny mentioned that this hardware has been in the works for the better part of five years before touting system specifications. Those specs include “supercharged PC architecture”, an X86 CPU, “enhanced PC GPU”, along with 8GB of unified system memory and local storage.
Along with that information came the reveal of the new DualShock 4 controller, which looks nearly identical to the leaked prototype images of last week. The controller has a touchpad in the middle along with a share button that allows players to immediately upload videos of gameplay.
Other system of features include the ability to play a game bought off the PlayStation Store as it’s downloading, as well as suspending and picking up play much like with the PlayStation Vita. Speaking of the Vita, the handheld will supposedly work as a second screen to the console, with Dave Perry of Gaikai saying the goal is to have every PS4 title playable on the Vita, and every game over every platform available for streaming.
The one downside to all this, though not surprising, is that the PS4 won’t be backwards compatible with the PS3.
Sony didn’t end the presentation there though, the games took over at that point starting with Studio Japan’s Knack, directed by Cerny. Guerilla Games took the stage next and announced, as expected, the next game in the Killzone franchise, titled Killzone: Shadow Fall. Demoed live on stage, Shadow Fall took advantage of the systems power to display stunning visuals and effects.
Evolution Studios, known for the MotorStorm series, announced DriveClub. The game was described as a team-racing game, much in the way first-persons shooters emphasize squad based combat.
Next up was Sucker Punch, showing off their new inFAMOUS game, subtitled Second Son. No gameplay was shown but the introduction and trailer touched heavily on surveillance and freedom.
Moving on to indie development, Jonathan Blow took the spotlight to say that his next game, The Witness, will arrive first on the PlayStation 4.
The rest of the conference was littered with tech demo’s. David Cage showed Quantic Dream’s new engine, capable of showing enhanced facial expressions and emotions. Media Molecule displayed tech using the PlayStation Move controller, continuing the trend of them giving players creativity tools. Other tech demo’s came from Capcom, with their working title Deep Down, and Square-Enix. A new Final Fantasy game was said to be in development but nothing was confirmed beyond that.
The only third party demo was from Ubisoft, who displayed the upcoming Watch Dogs. Blizzard also showed up for the first time during any conference, to announce a partnership with Sony. Said partnership includes the release of Diablo III on both the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4. The console versions of the game will be playable at PAX East.
To end the conference, Bungie developers gave more details on their ambitious title Destiny. The first footage of the game was shown, including the news that exclusive content to the game will come to PlayStation consoles (both the PS3 and PS4).
No price point was announced, and beyond “holiday 2013” no firm release date was given. The form factor of the hardware also remains a mystery, but with there still be a few major trade shows between now the end of the year, Sony still has many opportunities to release more details on the PlayStation 4.
What did you think of the announcement? Is this already enough to get you interested? Sound off in the comments below. Stay tuned to Comics & Gaming for more on the PlayStation 4 and all things comics and gaming.