At its “See the Future” event, Sony has announced its next-generation console, the PlayStation 4, yet still managed to shroud it in mystery by not actually revealing the physical console. Instead, the event focused on some specifications, features and a showreel of upcoming games for the PS4. We also got a look at the new DualShock 4 controller. No specific pricing details or exact launch date was given, merely that it would be arriving in the holiday season of 2013.
We may not know what the console may look like, but at least we know what’s inside. Sony has released a list of the tech specs for the console, confirming rumors of its AMD chip usage. Inside is a “single-chip custom processor” with eight AMD Jaguar CPU cores and a next-gen AMD Radeon graphics engine capable of 1.84 teraflops of performance. Below is the full list of 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
From the looks of it, the PlayStation 4 is taking on a more PC-like approach, unlike its previous CELL architecture. This lets the console do more with what it has, for example Sony has revealed that by using parallel background processors, users can play online games while they download them through the Gaikai cloud gaming service. However, Sony has stated that the PS4 won’t support PS3 games natively, relying on streaming for backwards compatibility as we’ve heard before.
Sony seems to be planning to tie in the PS Vita to the PS4 ecosystem. The company’s “long-term goal” is to make almost every PS4 title playable on the PS Vita through Remote Play streaming. Sony is also introducing a “PlayStation App” for iOS and Android devices that would act as a second screen, for viewing maps during an RPG or viewing streamed gameplay video from a friend.
“Imagination is the one weapon in the war against reality.” was the tagline for the event’s opening video. So we’re left to imagine what the console will look like. It isn’t entirely surprising that Sony has refrained from pushing out all the details of its next-generation console, avoiding the embarrassment of its PlayStation 3 reveal in 2005 that was unlike what was initially announced. This announcement has been earlier than expected, but many were hoping to at least see a brief peek at the console itself.