Rich Lanci| Staff Writer
Sony has been one of the head companies of video game consoles since the mid nineteen nineties, to the current day. They’ve mainly focused on home consoles, but even stepped into the portable market with the Playstation Portable and the Playstation Vita for instance. As of February 20th, Sony has unveiled their next home console, the expectedly named Playstation 4. The console is set to release in Holiday 2013 for possibly all regions. The design for both the system has not been shown off yet, but the controller retains the sleek black approach that the PS2 and 3 took. Many details were given with the unveiling of the console, is it looking like a positive step for the next generation or a few steps back?
One apparent thing about the PS4 is its continuing re-iteration of the iconic design for its controller, the dualshock. It is now of course called the Dualshock 4. The biggest physical difference with it is the small touchscreen in the top middle portion of the controller. This is a feature taken from Sony’s most recent portable system, the Playstation Vita. The controller also adds an even more improved vibration function, and also adds a share button for people to share videos to other online friends.
The specs of the system are of course improved over the Playstation 3 hardware. The system will actually be using the Unreal Engine 4 on the system. It will provide obviously better graphics and memory with 18 processing clusters that can have up to 64 cores. As for the memory it is said to have 8GB, and the PS4 will also be able to power down in the middle of gameplay and turn right back on to the game progress, instead of having to start at the home screen. This could be very convenient and alleviates the worry of being afraid to turn a game off and losing progress.
There will of course be more interactivity with the Playstation Vita. This connectivity with it will let players stream games on the Vita. There will be more features announced in the future. Not many details have been revealed regarding it, but Playstation Move will also play a much bigger role with the Playstation 4.
While the PS4 does seem to be moving forward in some areas, its direction in other areas is somewhat questionable. The PS3 was originally backwards compatible with PS2 and PS1 games, but later models removed the feature. This was a feature that was severely missed and that people were hoping would at least stay for PS3 games with the PS4. However in the future there will be an emulation feature that offers PS1 up to PS3 games, but this will most likely cost money and will not be accessible at launch. Another big potential problem is a rumor saying that Sony will make it so that purchased games will be tied to the player’s network account and cannot be re-sold, thus eliminating buying used games. Another more positive rumor is that the PS4 may cost $400, as opposed to $500 or more like most PS3 models did.
Some games announced for the PS4 are Infamous: Second Son, Knack, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Destiny, and Watch Dogs. All games have been receiving mixed reactions from gamers. The Playstation 4 seems to be taking some steps forward, but also some very drastic steps backwards. One common trend among modern video games is improving in areas, while backpedaling in others. The PS4 seems like it may be no different. Hopefully the system will receive more specific details at E3.