In the middle of the night (SA time) last night, Sony unveiled the new Playstation 4. It’s been six years since the PS3 launched and everyone was expecting big things from Sony in light of the success of Microsoft’s Xbox 360 over the last 5 years. There is coverage of the launch pretty much everywhere, we thought we would pull out the key must know facts and give our thoughts on the announcements.

The PS4 console hardware

A good place to start, Sony announced a bunch of specs for the new PS4 console without actually showing what it looks like… so all the concept art and leaked images we have seen lately are still a hot topic until the box gets unveiled at a later stage. If we dive into the specs the big thing to note is the move towards PC based architecture with a new AMD single-chip custom processor and utilizes eight x86-64 AMD Jaguar CPU cores, with a next-gen AMD Radeon based graphics engine powering the way. The PS4 will ship packing 8GB of GDDR5 memory. That’s some super-fast stuff right there and should enable lightning fast performance.

We don’t know if it will be capable of delivering 4K ultra HD resolution content (the latest from TV manufacturers – not yet viable for home use due to the currently exorbitant cost), but I am pretty sure that Sony will provide more info on this soon.

The New Dual Shock controller

Finally, a new Playstation controller. I personally have been wanting this one, the previous controllers with the PS3 just felt dated and light. The new controller looks more ergonomic and has a bit more weight to it. It also features six-axis motion sensors and a touch screen pad on the top.

playstation 4 dual shock controller

Two small features that I quite like are the inclusion of a glowing light on the front that looks cool and provides extra functionality like changing to the colour of you on screen character so that you know which controller controls who etc. It has the ability to flash when your health gets low etc. The other is the inclusion of a standard audio jack on the controller, meaning you can plug in your existing awesome headphone straight into the controller. SMall improvements there but pretty cool in my opinion.

Its all about the Games

At it’s heart of the console experience are the games. Sony provided quite a lot of info on the gaming aspects of the new PS4. Firstly the PS4 will not be backward compatible with your old PS3 games. There was mention of emulators or other workaround that we could expect to see at a later date. Sony also confirmed that they will not be blocking pre-played titled which is great news for gamers everywhere.

Here are a few of the titles that Sony announced for the PS4 platform:

  • Killzone Shadow Fall
  • Destiny (Bungee’s new shooter)
  • Diablo III
  • A new Final Fantasy
  • Watch Dogs
  • Driveclub (a new team based racer)

Here is a video showing some Destiny gameplay from the PS4 launch – pretty awesome:

All in all the new PS4 sounds good (given that we didn’t actually see what it looks like), Sony have improved every aspect of the console addressing a lot of previous weaknesses and adding some great new features. We still need to see how these specs stack up when actually demoing the console and of course against whatever Microsfot have up their sleeves with their new Xbox. Watch this space!

Full PS4 tech specs:

  • Single-chip custom processor, with eight x86-64 AMD Jaguar CPU cores and 1.84 TFLOPS next-gen AMD Radeon based graphics engine
  • 8GB GDDR5 memory
  • Built-in hard drive
  • 6x Blu-Ray and 8x DVD drive
  • USB 3.0 and auxiliary ports
  • Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 2.1
  • HDMI, analog AV-out, and optical S/PDIF audio output
  • DualShock 4 controller, with two-point capacitive touchpad, three-axis gyroscope, three-axis accelerometer, vibration, light bar with three color LEDs, mono speaker, micro USB port, stereo headset port, extension port, 1000mAh battery
  • PlayStation 4 Eye camera, with two 1280 x 800 cameras, f/2.0 fixed focus lenses, 85-degree field of view, 30cm minimum focusing distance, four-channel microphone array