PlayStation 4 – What can we expect from today’s announcement?
Peter Donnell / 4 years ago
The Sony event is just hours away where Sony will be streaming live from New York to millions of eager viewers as well as the 1200+ media and investors that will be attending the exclusive event. It’s hotly tipped to be the PlayStation 4 launch event and Sony have been building the hype with relentless force all week to get everyone excited for whatever it is that they announce.
With the premise of a next-gen console on the horizon there are many things that as a keen gamer and PlayStation fan I want to see in terms of hardware and software. There are also a lot of rumours floating around right now and what seem to be quite a few leaks on the hardware specifications, controller and even some of the games. So lets try to put all of this into perspective and make sure you’re ready for what could be the biggest gaming announcement in years.
This is the big one, as with any major hardware update comes a performance increase. We all want the next-gen hardware to be a big improvement on the last generation and if rumours are to be believed then we’re looking at a 6x performance increase over the current PS3.
The rumours and leaks say that we can expect a custom AMD Fusion APU (Accelerated Processing Unit) that features an integrated CPU and GPU. Such a chip would offer up many cost saving benefits to Sony as well as providing a programming environment similar to that of PC gaming. This would obviously make development much easier on the platform compared to the exotic programming nature of the PlayStation 3 Cell Processor.
- 8 Core Jaguar CPU @ 1.6 Ghz (two clusters)
- Each cluster contains 4 cores and a shared 2MB L2 cache
- 256-bit SIMD operations
- 128-bit SIMD ALU
- SSE up to SSE4
- Advanced Vector Extensions (AVX)
- Two pipes per core yield 12,8 GFlops performance
- 102.4 GFlops for system
This is ofcourse speculation and “supposed” leaked information but it sounds like a fairly safe assumption that these are where the PlayStation 4 will go. This packs enough CPU horse power to allow for gaming on par with most high end PC games at this time, of course the benefit of fixed hardware allows developers to squeeze every bit of power from the console over its lifespan, just look at early PS3 and Xbox 360 games compared to the games of today to see what I mean.
If the rumours are true then the GPU packs quite a punch too and is on par with the higher end of the AMD HD 7000 range of cards that are available for PC. The inclusion of compute Units will allow for GPGPU processing that should help take the strain of off the CPU on demanding tasks like lighting and physics.
- DirectX 11.1+ feature set
- 18 Compute Units (CUs)
- Hardware balanced at 14 CUs
- Shared 512 KB of read/write L2 cache
- 800 Mhz
- 1.843 Tflops, 922 GigaOps/s
- Dual shader engines
- 18 texture units
- 8 Render backends
Add to this an upgraded BluRay drive, 4GB of ultra-high-speed DDR5 memory that can shift 176 GB/s and all of the usual bells and whistles and you’ve got quite a powerful gaming machine. Lets hope this is one area that Sony delivers on.
There are many developers out there that have already flat out said they are working on next-gen games for “as yet unannounced hardware”, EA are working on a next-gen Battlefield, CDProjektRED are making a next-gen The Witcher 3 and many more. However,there are many lurking in the shadows and it’s typical for a game studio to publish a title on a two year cycle, so where have these developers been for the last two years?
- Naughty Dog
- Polyphony Digital
- Guerrilla Games
- Media Molecule
- Sucker Punch Productions
- Evolution Studios
- SCE Japan
- SCE Santa Monica
- SCE Bend
- Ready at Dawn Studios LLC
- Quantic Dream
Pretty much all first party Sony development teams that between them have created games like Uncharted, God of War, KillZone, Gran Turismo and more. Every single one of these studios main teams have been working on unannounced games for the last two years, every single one of them has kept quiet and if you look at the PS3 release schedule for 2013, it’s pretty empty.
It seems then that with the announcement of new hardware we can expect some major game announcements, maybe Sony won’t make these games known today, but we could see short “pre-rendered” demos or something to that effect to get us excited about the future of gaming.
A lot of images have been coming online of a “pre-production” controller for the PS4 and what has been confirmed to be a PlayStation 4 development kit next to it. If this makes it to market we can expect the new controller to feature revised analogue sticks, a touch panel interface, a built in Move sensor and most interestingly of all a “share button”. The PS4 is hotly tipped to be capable of recording your gameplay and uploading it to YouTube, only time will tell if this feature makes it to market.
Social and Mobile
Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, iPads, Smart Phones and a million other things just weren’t part of the eco system when this console generation launched, at least not in the same way most of them are now. Sony registered several domain names this week that include “PlayStation World” and “PlayStation Cloud”, which are tipped to replace the current PlayStation Home, Network and other online features as a unified network between mobile phones, consoles, Vita, PC, TV and more meaning you can always be connected to your social networks, games and gaming friends in one big place. Access to FaceBook, YouTube and much more are going to be vital to the next-gen of hardware and not just an add-on afterthought like they had to be with this current generation.
Sony spent a whopping $380 million on buying Gai Kai last year, a service that could stream games direct to your device and run the game remotely on their servers. Sony seem to be planning on using this service to add backwards compatibility to their consoles, the major thing here however is that services like Gai Kai can stream high quality console and PC games to just about any digital device. Your mobile phone, PC, Tablet and more could all be capable of running PlayStation games very shortly, for a fee of course.
With only hours to go, the world is watching and Sony certainly have a lot of hype to live up to. All week the company has been posting videos of their gaming history and rise to fame, fortunate and future, so one can only assume tonight is when we see the real future.
Microsoft are still to show their hand in the next-gen party and I imagine it wont be long, for now however the gaming community, the tech world and of course millions of others are focusing on Sony and Sony alone.
What do you hope to see with this announcement? Are you looking forward to the PlayStation 4? Let us know in the comments section below, on our Forums, Facebook page or Twitter.
Watch the live stream here at 11PM GMT – us.playstation.com/meeting2013