the latest

Preview: Sony PlayStation 4 | Gaming

March 5th, 2013 | by Seán J. Grannum
Preview: Sony PlayStation 4 | Gaming
Games
0

PS4

Sony recently announced the PlayStation 4 at a live event in New York, revealing a large amount of information and introducing a number games.

While the actual console itself wasn’t shown, a number of details about the hardware were mentioned, with Sony promising “supercharged PC architecture,” 8 GB of GDDR5 unified system memory and an X86 AMD processor. Needless to say, this thing is going to be powerful.

The Controller

The DualShock controller hasn’t changed much since it’s 1997 PlayStation debut, but with the PS4 this changes, as the pad sees the biggest transformation it’s ever faced.

The analog sticks are now indented, the START and SELECT buttons have been merged into an OPTION button and the rear side of the pad includes a light bar enabling PS Move-like functionality by communicating with a dual camera attachment. The DualShock 4 also comes with a headphone jack (which online communication will undoubtedly benefit from), an extension port and a mono speaker (perhaps for Wiimote like functionality within games).

The pad also includes a touch pad on the front (similar to the rear touch pad on the PlayStation Vita) which can be clicked, as well as a share button, something Sony is placing heavy importance on with the ideology of it’s new console.

The Share button will allow players to capture video and broadcast it to friends and other online players. Players will be able to tag recorded video and then continue playing their game while the video uploads. The PlayStation Network will host live footage of what their friends are doing, and will be focused on real world friends with real names as opposed to anonymity. Sony will partner up with “key third party devices and services” such as UStream and Facebook to extend the possibilities of the share tool.

ds1 ds2 ds3 ds4

The Cloud

Sony haven’t wasted time taking advantage of recently acquired cloud streaming service Gaikai, and their services will be used to allow gamers to sample and buy games through the PlayStation Network. The days of waiting for a game to download (and then install for PS3 users) will be long gone, as gamers will be able to play purchased games while they’re downloading. Dave Perry, Gaikai CEO added: “Instantly experience anything you want. Pay only for the games that you fall in love with.”

Users will also be able suspend play and then continuing directly where they left off as the information will be stored on the console’s RAM.

Sony also revealed that the DualShock 3 controller isn’t compatible with the console (but the PlayStation Move is), and that the PlayStation 4 won’t be able to play PS3 games to start with, though a tweet from PlayStation EU suggests that PS1, PS2 and PS3 games will be available via the cloud service.

The Games

A number of games were shown off from a variety of genres, highlighting Sony’s desire to convince everyone that they’ll be leading the next generation. Here’s a short break down of each:

Knack

Knack is about an unlikely hero that seems to be made of mysterious ancient relics. Due to the power of said relics the small hero can transform into a gargantuan fighter, and will have a big battle on his hands as the human world he inhabits is invaded by a goblin race. With a cute anime style (it is developed by Sony Japan after all), and colourful visuals the game is one to keep an eye out for, as it could prove to be one of the best games to take advantage of all the PS4’s new abilities.

Killzone Shadow Fall

The latest entry in Guerrilla Games’ PlayStation-exclusive Killzone series, Shadow Fall is set 30 years after the end of the Killzone trilogy’s, and sees the two rival factions of the Helghast and the Vektans living next to each other in a futuristic city that is divided by an immense wall.

Understandably tensions are high and war is seemingly imminent. In the midst of the trouble stands a Shadow Marshall, tasked with somehow maintaining a balance between the two groups.

The Witness

Back in 2008 Jonathan Blow released Braid, a time-bending Mario-inspired platformer that changed the way people viewed indie games, was critically acclaimed, and won a number of awards and accolades. In 2009 Blow announced The Witness, his next game that would involve solving 2D line puzzles on a mysterious 3D island. Blow made a surprise appearance at the Sony’s conference, announcing that the game would be exclusive to the PS4 for it’s initial release window.

inFAMOUS: Second Son

As the title suggests, the latest game in the inFAMOUS series no longer focuses on Cole MacGrath. Second Son takes place 7 years after the events of inFAMOUS 2, and focuses on Delsin Rowe, a young man in a society that fears superhumans to the point where they are hunted and caged by the Department of Unified Protection. When Delsin discovers his powers he’s forced to run away, in the hopes of finding over superhumans that can help save those he loves from the D.U.P.

Though the game was preceded by a slightly bizarre introduction from Sucker Punch’s Nate Fox that involved him recalling being tear gassed at a rally in 1999 (this image captures the gist of what he said), the game certainly looks interesting, and judging from Sucker Punch’s past hits I’m sure they have another on their hands.

DriveClub

Evolution Studio’s DriveClub places heavy emphasis on the social side of gaming, focusing on the “heart and soul of car culture and the passion it creates”. The team aim for the game to be played in real clubs, between real friends as they take on other clubs in team-based races with the world’s best supercars on some of the world’s most beautiful tracks.

Watch Dogs

Ubisoft’s open world action-adventure game Watch Dogs was the talk of the town upon it’s debut at last year’s E3 expo, and at the event we finally got to see more footage. The game, set in Chicago is all about the Internet and connectivity, and lets the main character, Aiden Pearce, control various parts the city (such as train lines, traffic lights and much, much more) through hacking mechanics. Not much is known about the plot aside from Chicago being entirely interconnected by a super computer known as a Central Operating System, but with it’s unique gameplay and Person of Interest-esque style the game is one of the biggest on my radar for this year.

Deep Down

Capcom’s brand new IP interestingly has the same initials as Dragon’s Dogma, it’s recent fantasy game, and the setting bares a resemblance so perhaps Deep Down is a spritual successor of sorts, despite their intentions to continue to Dragon’s Dogma series. Nonetheless the game looks interesting, though as with all of the other games it shouldn’t be assumed that the footage is gameplay running on an actual PS4, it’s strongly rumoured that the Deep Down footage is just CGI. Regardless the game looks beautiful, and we can only hope that when we see more of it (hopefully at E3 later this year) we’ll still think the same.

Footage of the game starts at 4:20 in the video below:

In addition to the above games Blizzard Entertainment announced that Diablo III will be making it’s way to the PS4 and PS3, Halo-creators Bungie showed off a little more of it’s upcoming first-person shooter with MMO-elements Destiny, and Heavy Rain/ Beyond: Two Souls creator David Cage showed off an old man’s head running on a simulation of hardware (footage starts at 3:20). It’s actually pretty impressive. Square Enix showed off that next-gen tech demo they released in June of last year and Little Big Planet developer Media Molecule showed off an interesting and yet slightly awkward demo showing some of the capabilities of the console when coupled with the PS Move.

All in all the event has put Sony at the forefront of the next generation of video game consoles. With Nintendo’s Wii U struggling, and suggestions that developers are getting increasingly worried about it’s underperformance (with rumours abound that such worries are leading them to change release plans), it seems that over the next two years the expected three-man race may find Ninty lagging behind. With Microsoft’s Xbox brand as Sony’s main competitor the ball is in their court, and as such we’ll have to wait till E3 (or a surprise announcement) to see how Microsoft responds.

If you missed the livestream you can watch it below. Are you planning to get a PlayStation 4? Waiting for Microsoft to reveal more about their next efforts? Let us know in the comments.