Yesterday, Sony held a big press event in NYC to reveal (sort of!) their new console, now officially named PlayStation 4. It has a lot to live up to: the PlayStation 3 (and the Xbox 360) took consoles to the next level with streaming of content like Netflix for the first time. For PS3, the Blu-ray player became a major plus. HD became the standard. And the controllers got wireless! (Yes, the Gamecube had the Wavebird first, we know.)
What is Sony ready to deliver with their new PS4, set for a "Holiday 2013" release? Of course, great graphics; but in a conference that lasted over two hours, there were tons of demos and a lots of information. Overall, it was a big day for gamers, but how big? Here are our super-quick snap judgments on Sony's big news.
5. The Specs Are Impressive. Most Impressive
We haven't heard from Microsoft yet, but if history is any indication. Sony's new console will be the most powerful. Does that matter? The PS3 dominated the 360 as pure hardware, but for most of this generation, the 360 was bigger in overall sales. What we know: PS4 uses the X86 CPU and has a whopping 8GB of RAM with a local hard drive. (They didn't say how big, but we assume at least 250 gigs). Uses APU technology and GDDR5 memory. All that and you still watch Netflix!
4. DualShock 4 Controller + That New Motion Capture Device.
This isn't really a surprise (leaked images have been online for weeks now), but this is good news for PS fans. The look and feel of the Sony controller really hasn't changed since the PS1 days: they just keep adding and maximizing: two sticks, vibration, wireless, and now that cool "Share" button and a touchscreen pad. (Like the Wii U gamepad but not as horribly oversized.) Yeah, the built-in motion bar is pretty much a Kinect clone but we're not complaining. "PS4: download Downton Abbey."
3. Games! Watch Dogs Looks Next-Gen Incredible
Seen at last year's E3, Ubisoft's Watch Dogs looks like Person of Interest: The Game, only better. It's set in a future Chicago where you play some dude that has an HUD on everything. Walk by a stranger, get everything on them: "lost job, 30 bucks in their bank account." The demo ends with the player hacking a moving elevated subway train. Whoa.
Also can't wait for: The Witness, by designer Jonathan Blow, the indie god who made Braid. Blow was, as you may recall, the pretentious one in Indie Game: The Movie. I love that guy!
2. Spectator Mode
Hey, I just got the new Uncharted game! So get online and watch me play! And maybe help me out too. The idea of watching and interacting with other players has been talked about for years and Sony claims to have nailed it. Even cooler, only one person needs to own the game. Wow. At anytime you can hit the "Share" button for this all new interactivity: watching, saving videos, and "more." Why do we think "Jill Sandwich" gaffes will pale in comparison to what gamers will do with this feature?
1. Load Times Are a Thing of the Past!
I don't think anyone is as psyched for Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto V as I am, but even I hate that all GTA games take a full minute just to load up. Don't get me started on all those "elevators" in Mass Effect. Loading has been the big FAIL of games ever since we left the cartridge era. Discs always need time to buffer, so honestly, this sounds too good to be true, but if it IS true, well, then we're saying it: game changer.
The Five Worst Things after the jump...