At the Playstation 2013 event, Sony revealed it’s much anticipated home console, the Playstation 4. Although they didn’t actually show the physical unit, they did reveal specific PS4 specs in addition to showing the Dual Shock 4 controller. Furthermore, Sony will also be releasing the Playstation 4 Eye, which is a much more advanced camera tracking system than current systems.
PS4 Console Specs
- AMD “Jaguar” 8-core CPU (x86 based)
- Custom AMD Radeon GPU (1.84 TFLOPS)
- 8 GB GDDR5 RAM (System and Video)
- Internal Storage built in
- DualShock 4 Controller
- Bundled mono headset (could be mono speaker on controller)
- Blu-ray, DVD optical drive
- 802.11 b/g/n Wireless, Bluetooth 2.1, USB 3.0 Connectivity
- HDMI, analog AV-out, and optical S/PDIF audio outputs
Some differences from the Playstation 3 include the much more PC friendly architecture. Specifically, the fact that they’ve dropped the RISC based processor in favor an x86 based processor. Although RISC processors are technically more efficient than x86 processors, they are a totally different architecture and require different programming. This directly effects low level developers who create game engines and other development tools. The next difference is unified graphics and system RAM, and lots of it. Although the PS3 had a substantial amount of RAM for it’s time, it was split between video and system RAM. By doing this, it forced developers to ration out their RAM in specific ways, unlike the Xbox 360. The GPU in the PS4 is said to be extremely powerful and versatile. So much in fact that it can also act as a second CPU, handling general computational tasks as well.
PS4 Dual Shock 4 Controller Specs
- PS button, SHARE button, OPTIONS button,
- Directional buttons (Up/Down/Left/Right),
- Action buttons (Triangle, Circle, Cross, Square)
- R1/L1/R2/L2 button, Left stick / L3 button, Right stick / R3 button, Pad Button
- 2 Point Touch Pad, Click Mechanism, Capacitive Type
- Six-axis motion sensing system (three-axis gyroscope, threeaxis accelerometer)
- Light Bar
- Built-in Mono Speaker
- USB (Micro B)
- Extension Port
- Stereo Headset Jack
- Wireless Communication Bluetooth® Ver2.1+EDR
- Battery Type Built-in Lithium-ion Rechargeable Battery
Another area of notable change is the Playstation 4 controller. The Dual Shock 4 controller shares the form factor of previous Dual Shock/Playstation controllers. The key changes include the removal of the Start & Select buttons in favor of a single Options button. Sony has also added a Share button, which will allow gamers to instantly share videos via social networking channels like Facebook. The Dual Shock 4 also features a Light Bar on it which will be used to identify multiple players in a room by color. Furthermore, the Light Bar can also be used by developers to indicate critical messages in a game such as low health. The Light Bar will also help interface with the PlayStation 4 Eye, allowing for more accurate tracking. The feature list continues with the addition of a speaker on the controller in addition to a headset jack for stereo audio and voice chat. The controller can be charged via a docking station and also via the PS4 console, even when it’s off. The familiar dual analog sticks have been tweaked in shape, now with a concave surface, similar to the 360 controller. Sony has added a textured surface to the lower half of the controller, which should make it a bit more grippy. Last, but not least, the Dual Shock 4 controller will also feature a multi touch (2 point), capacitive touch screen.
PlayStation®4 Eye Specs
- Pixel (Maximum) 1280 x 800 pixel x 2
- Frame Rate 1280×800 pixel @ 60fps
- 640×400 pixel @ 120fps
- 320×192 pixel @ 240fps
- Video Format RAW, YUV (uncompressed)
- Dual Lenses, F value/F2.0 fixed focus
- Capture Range 30cm??
- Field-of-View 85°
- Microphone 4 Channel Microphone Array
- PS4 dedicated connector (AUX connector)
- Cable Length Approx. 2m (tentative)
The PlayStation Eye peripheral has been improved in a number of ways. It now includes 2 HD cameras which can be adjusted by game developers for different tasks. 1280×800 being the maximum resolution at speeds of 60 FPS and 320×192 pixel at 240 FPS being the lowest. It also has an improved field of view, now at 85 degrees. It can also record sound with it’s four-channel microphone array, which should enable more accurate and interactive sound communication with the PS4.
For many, the Playstation 4 features that are the hottest subject are not hardware related directly. We’ve compiled the key features the PS4 will have regarding gameplay, PSN, and more.
- PS4 Second Screens (remote play with PS Vita)
- PlayStation App (allows access to PSN and to additional game features while playing, such as maps)
- No backwards compatibility (but streamed play of PS3/PS2/PS1 games planned in future)
- Play new games while you are downloading them
- Suspend Mode (allows you to put PS4 in low power standby and turn it back on to continue playing)
- Download games in background or when system is in Suspend Mode
- Cloud based music and video services
- PSN will predict and preload games based on your gaming library (optionally we hope!)
- Instant sharing of videos and images on social sites such as Facebook
- Broadcast gameplay in real-time using live internet streaming services such as Ustream
- Cross chat (talk to your friends even when playing different games)
- Cross-play (Help your friends by seeing what they’re doing and sharing items even when playing different games)
- Playstation Move compatible
Much to the confusion of gamers, Sony did not actually show what the PS4 will look like. In a statement made to Kotaku, Shuhei Yoshida, President of SCE Worldwide Studios said, “As far as the DualShock 4 is concerned we wanted to do the live demo. And we were like, yeah, we have to show the controller, because it’s awkward not to show the controller when someone is doing a demo. And also the feature that the DualShock 4 has, the share button, is a very key idea behind the design of the PS4… We really wanted to explain what we’ve done with the DualShock 4, but as far as the system itself we have to keep something new for later. Otherwise you’d get bored.”
The PS4 release date is not locked in stone at the moment, but Sony says it will be coming out Holiday 2013.