The PS4 and What it Means for Gaming
So the next-next gen wars have begun and Sony have opened the main event with their announcement of PS4. Consoles may not be as dominant in gaming as they once were, but make no mistake, they are still a major force. Their sheer power alone means they can create experiences not found elsewhere. The size of AAA development teams mean they can create environments unmatched elsewhere in gaming. They still matter. A lot. Now let’s get into more of the key points of the PS4 announcements….
1. It’s called the PS4. Not Orbis. PS4. Hopefully this makes predictions on future brand exercises a little easier.
2. It has a brand new controller. The leaks, it seems, had it right and the new PS4 control pad has a touchpad interface where the ‘Start’ and ‘Select’ buttons usually appeared. We can probably take it as read that the functionality of those two buttons remains.
3. The PS3 controller has a Share button which not only allows players to upload and share clips from their gaming experiences online, it also allow players to browse their online mate’s games and take note of their trophies and leaderboards achievements. As if you didn’t feel inadequate enough already…
This is a great idea – thinking in a more network centric manner is going to be key to making the PS4 a new gaming machine rather than a PS3 with more power.
4. You will be able to interact with the PS4 with a smartphone or tablet. Take that, Microsoft!
5. The PS Vita – and its touch-surface interface – will be able to be used for remote play on the PS4. Take that, Nintendo!
Again, good thinking. Linking the PS4 to devices is a must and I’m glad to see that it seems more device agnostic, which is also key. Too many people don’t use Sony phones for this not to be done. (More on Sony and mobile here)
6. Cloud gaming will be available. Gaikai – or PS Cloud – and not only will it offer players a way to sample games, it’ll solve backwards compatibility issues too.
Ah, the cloud. Again, to be network-centric this needed to happen. If you use Steam (which is ace) then you are already more familiar with how that connectivity improves the overall experience and building the community.
7. There are a ton of first party games in the pipeline, including the rambunctious brawler Knack, a couple of new titles from the InFamous and KillZone franchises and Jonathan Blow’s new game, The Witness, which debuts on the PS4.
8. Third party publishers are also getting in on the action. Capcom has announced a new sword and sorcery title called Deep Down, Ubisoft has shoved a cyber thriller called Watch Dogs into the pipeline, and Bungie’s shared world shooter, Destiny, is confirmed with exclusive DLC for the PS4.
Good on them for getting The Witness, Jonathan Blow’s Braid was amazing (read him weighing in on the Endgame:Syria debate here). I hope that means a stronger approach to opening up the PS4 for indie devs.
9. The PS4 is coming out this year. The date is pretty vague – “holiday 2013” – but at least we know that there may be a next gen console released in time to go under the Christmas tree.
10. The Last Guardian may be vaporware. Seriously, Sony, when better to let us know that a platform-exclusive isn’t dead than at the reveal event of your new gaming platform?
So far so good, I’ve got a PS3 and it looks like I’ll be getting a PS4…