Sony is promising some big things for gamers with their entrance into the next generation of gaming. From ultra HD graphics and a controller overhaul to automatic recording and social networking integration into PSN, the future for Sony’s PS4 is looking very sharp. And for those of you who may not have heard about all the buzz yet concerning the upcoming console, or just don’t seem to be on board yet, perhaps these five features for the PS4 may help sway your opinion.
With the PS4 comes an all new controller, the DualShock 4, one that ditches the old analog face buttons and D-pad of the PS3 controller in favor of digital buttons. The controller is also equipped with a glimmering 1920×900 resolution touchpad that can display everything from muzzle flashes from your gun and the health bar for your character in your games, to identifying players based on a simple color system.
The controller has also altered the design of the old L2/R2 buttons in favor of a more curved shaped, particularly done to address accidental fast forwarding through video applications such as Netflix. But perhaps the coolest thing about the DualShock 4 for Sony’s upcoming system is that it will charge while it’s sleeping, meaning that you no longer have to leave your PlayStation on to charge your controller(s).
The New PlayStation Network
Perhaps one of the most key features of any console nowadays is the amount of social integration that goes into it. With the PS4, Sony has made some exciting changes that they say appeal directly to the core gamers. For starters, the cap for the number of friends you can have on the PlayStation Network has been increased from 100 to an unknown, but much higher number.
And if you thought your game lobbies were eerily quiet in the past and quite frankly not very fun to play in because of this, Sony will be including a free headset with every PS4 console to ensure communication between you and your friends on the PlayStation Network is an easy experience. The neatest enhancement to the PSN though is the integration of social networks and the ability to use your real name for PSN. And if you have this feature enabled, you’ll be able to import all your friends from the social network to your PSN friends list.
If I had to say which one of the new features for the upcoming console was my favorite, I’d probably say the new always on recording feature since I am big on making gameplay videos with my buddies online. Whereas before you had to go out of your way and buy a pricey game capture recording device, Sony has integrated its own recording service for all users of the console.
No matter what game you’re playing, the system will record the latest 15 minutes of gameplay and allow you to edit and publish that footage to the internet. If you were scared about chewed up hard drive space because of this feature, Sony has assured us that the PS4 will feature a very large hard drive in all system bundles, but the specifics have not be unveiled. I’d expect each unit to have at least a 320 GB HD.
I think we can all agree that Remote Play for the PS3/Vita was an utter disaster. If the game you wanted to play happened to work with the feature, the framerate was atrocious and the overall experience was almost unplayable as a result. But with the PS4, Sony apparently has the feature fixed and will work 100% at launch.
Teaming up with Gaikai streaming services, when you connect both the PS4 and the Vita to a local network or the Internet, the screens will be mirrored, instead of the TV screen going dead like before with the PS3. And instead of being forced into launching a specific mode from the PlayStation home screen to activate Remote Play, the feature can be turned on instantaneously at any time while playing a game and you can pick up your Vita and walk to another room in your house and continue on with your game.
Lets face it, if there aren’t any good games coming out for a brand new console, I’m not gonna buy it. No matter how cool the PS4 may sound, I won’t ever buy it if there aren’t any fun games to play on it. But from what I’ve seen so far, Sony seems to have knocked the launch game dilemma out of the park, having announced exclusives such as Killzone: Shadow Fall, which depicts a futuristic war between two rival factions known as the Helghast and the Vektans, The Witness, in where you explore and abandoned island and solve the puzzles you find there, and Infamous: Second Son, which has you playing as a superhuman on the run from being killed or caged by the Department of Unified Protection.
And with countless other third party titles already announced such as Destiny, Watchdogs, Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, Deep Down, and Final Fantasy, I don’t think gamers will find a shortage of games anytime soon after launch day, granted these games are all available day one (crosses fingers).
Look for the PlayStation 4 to launch in stores near you later this year, just in time for the holidays!