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Console packs an x86 GPU, 8 GB of DDR3, a powerful GPU, and a custom processor for background processing

Sony Group President Andrew House kicked off Sony Corp.'s (TYO:6758) 6 p.m. press conference with the expected news, commenting, "The demand for a new console were clear....Today we will give you a glimpse into the future of play.  The most personalized gaming experience available today... the most powerful platform ever.We believe that PlayStation 4 represents a shift from thinking of a box or console... PlayStation is the best place to play."

Sony's fourth generation console, which will enter the eigth generation of console wars has been in the works since at least 2007.  The console packs a new x86 processor replacing the International Business Machines, Inc. (IBM) derived CELL processor from the PS3.  The system has 8 GB of DDR3 RAM (unified) shared by the GPU and CPU.  Sony did not specify the hard drive size, but it promises it is "huge".

The new controller has a light bar, which is recognized by a 3D camera on the console, allowing motion control (similar to the Wii, Kinnect, etc.).  The new controller also features a headphone jack and share button, as rumored.  The controller also features a power button that can pause games; all games will be equipped with power save features.

Sony DualShock 4 Controller
 
Games can be downloaded while the console is in the low power/background mode.  The background processing is handled by a secondary "custom" chip.  Lead architect Mark Cerny explains, "[Our] long-term vision is to reduce download times to zero... if we know enough about you we know what game you'll purchase next and download it in the background."

There's also continual support for hardware video compression when the console is on.

The console also supports using smartphones, tablets, and the PlayStation Vita as controllers via custom apps on the latter two (specific platforms were not announced).  Most PS4 titles will be playable on the PlayStation Vita as a secondary screen.

For sharing Sony is pairing up with Facebook, Inc.'s (FB) ubiquitous social network and Ustream.  Describes Mr. Cerny, "By combining the PS4, the PlayStation Network, and these social platforms, our goal is to become the social platform for gaming."

One thing Sony views as key to the upcoming console's success is to woo developers big and small.  Much like Apple, Inc. (AAPL) Sony made it clear that it's all about the developers and will promote small third party studios and big studios alike via abundant resources and a set of accessible APIs.

For big end studios, there's plenty of room for creativity; high end game titles are expected to feature characters with up to 30,000 polygons. Some of the high end games shown off included Killzone: Shadowfall, inFAMOUS: Second Son, Driveclub, Deep (Capcom Comp., Ltd. (TYO:9697)), Final Fantasy (unnamed) (Square Enix Holdings Comp., Ltd. (TYO:9684)), Watch Dogs (Ubisoft Entertainment SA (EPA:SA)), a Diablo III port (Activision Blizzard, Inc. (ATVI)), and (now-independent) Bungie's new title "Destiny".

Source: Sony



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RE: X86
By Wiggy Mcshades on 2/20/2013 9:22:25 PM , Rating: 4
It would come down to apis. The game engine needs to use parts of the OS like input, network, file system, ect and the way you do that is through apis. The ps4 will most likely use proprietary graphics, audio, and input apis (possibly even more than just those). For example, the ps3 uses LibGCM instead of OpenGL. It would require someone to write a translation layer for those apis. Some games may circumvent the graphics api (to get the absolute best performance out of the system) and those games will basically never run on anything but the ps4 without changes to the engine. There are rumors of the ps4 supporting OpenGL natively (it's emulated on the ps3), so those games would be easier to get running on a PC (running linux not windows), but you'd still need a translation layer for all the other apis.


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