I Watched The PlayStation 4 Reveal, Now You Don't Have To

The Playstation 4, predictably, was announced tonight. Outside of a few trailers, the press conference was absurdly boring. Save yourself here.

By Tony Walter | Feb 20, 2013

Tonight was the PlayStation 4 reveal. That's a big deal for a lot of reasons. It gives us all hope that we only have to put up with sequelitus for the rest of the year, then we get to do the experimental beginning of a new generation, mostly bad launch games, then studios find their footing and really start knocking things out of the park with stuff we've never heard of and reboots of games from a couple consoles ago - keeping fingers crossed for Beyond Good & Evil 2.

The reveal served as a two hour long info dump, rounding out with a couple of interesting trailers - I refuse to call anything I see in these conferences demos because about ninety percent of the time it's not actually a demo. Anyway, for those that just want the cold hard facts, here:
  • New(ish) controller. It looks similar. Now with a touchpad in the middle section, a headphone jack, improved triggers and joysticks, and a nifty light bar that they claim was to give it a more friendly(?) feel. In reality that is to pair it with the Move-like sensor that will allow the system to read exactly where in the room the controller is. No examples of how that is used were provided tonight. Also, the Share Button, but more on that later.
  • The console can enter a sleep state and run your games from RAM. What does this mean? Well, you don't have to stop and save your game when you're done playing for the night. Just put your system to sleep and when you boot back up in the morning it'll be right where you left off. One of those small features that will be under appreciated, like, turning the system on and off from the controller is.
  • Background updates, this means patches and things of this sort can be downloaded while you play the game.
  • Streaming games, this is the more interesting bit on the background download front. When you buy a game from PSN, you'll be able to begin playing almost immediately while the rest of it is downloaded in the background.
  • No backwards compatibility, however there will be a service available to play old games. No specifics on that yet, though.
  • The Share Button. This lets you upload moments from the game you're playing online. In addition, you can spectate your friends and "famous" players' games.
  • The online system will be more focused on people you know. Instead of XXmurd3rKl0wN420XXX, it will be that Jason guy from high school that you no longer speak to.
  • Integrated devices. Phones and tablets and the Vita will do things with the PS3. Possibly as useless as Smartglass has been. Though, the Vita will also feature Remote Play, allowing you to stream your game to the Vita, just how the Wii U does.
  • The system learns what you like and dislike, suggesting new downloads and purchases. These can be pre-loaded for quicker downloads.
  • You can try the games featured in the store before buying them. Sounds similar to the full game demos offered on PlayStation Plus.
  • You can connect to your friend's system and take over their game to help them beat a difficult scenario.
  • Knack was the first game announced for the PlayStation 4, being lead by Mark Cerny.
  • Killzone: Shadow Fall, InFamous: Second Son, and Drive Club were also all revealed.
  • Several tech demos were shown from a handful of studios, nothing that is officially a game yet.
  • Blizzard is putting out Diablo III on PS3 and PS4 and Bungie announced Destiny for PS4.
  • Watch Dogs was shown on PS4, a full demo, and it looks damn good. 
The rest of the event was filled with big talk, colorful words, and awkward nerds standing in front of a large crowd. No information on the price, or even a look at the console itself. The release window is winter 2013, as if there were any speculation on that, but nothing more specific. I'm going to take a break from thinking about the future for now. I'll be back tomorrow, after I've had time to process this, with my impressions.

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