The year of the gamer, what some are calling the year 2013. This year, the PS4, Xbox 720, and the Steam Console are expected to make their debut. Last week Sony released information, including specs, photos, and features of their newest PlayStation console. Sony announced that the upcoming PlayStation 4 console would sport what they call a “Supercharged PC Architecture,” featuring an Enhanced PC GPU, 8GB of RAM for improved speed coupled with an X86 CPU. The system memory is also sporting GDDR5. The system will also feature a hard drive, but no specifications were given on the hard drive.
One new feature of the PlayStation 4 is that it has a suspend feature, similar to the Vita. When the power button is pressed, the system suspends play and relaunches right where you left off when you turn the system back on. This in itself is a huge thing to have. This gets rid of loading time when starting and restarting your system.
Along with the console, the new controller for the PlayStation 4 was released. Dubbed the DualShock 4, the controller comes with a share button that will record and upload video when pressed while playing a game. It also allows you to browse live video of what your friends are playing. In addition, it features a touch screen that serves as additional input for new gimmicks in supported upcoming games, a headphone jack and a light bar to easily identify players.
Sony revealed its intention to redesign the PlayStation Network and the PlayStation Store in general, specifically looking to make the store more accessible by allowing you to play games while they are downloading. In an effort to focus more on social integration, Sony has expressed the friends network on PS4 is now based on real social networks, such as Facebook and Ustream. Your PlayStation Network account will draw from your social networking friends list and use real names. The PlayStation Network will now recommend games based on what you previously played. One new feature is allowing a friend to take over your game online to help you get through a tough part you’re struggling with.
No pricing details were revealed at release of info about the PS4. However, there are various rumors from before the launch, but it might be that Sony has a price point of around $400 in mind for the US release. There are also rumors that suggest Sony is going in the same direction as Microsoft in that it wants to kill off the second-hand games market. Current industry wisdom suggests that future PS4 games might be tied to your Sony Entertainment Network account and will thus have no resale value. That’s a similar approach as used by PC developers using Steam.
If you are a fan of PlayStation, Xbox, or PC, you can be assured that this will be your year. As this year continues to unfold, I am sure we will see things in gaming that we have never seen before.