On February 20th Sony held a press conference to announce the newest member of the PlayStation family, the PS4. whilst many people were happy with their current console, the dawn of the next generation of gaming was upon us. Many were disappointed that the actual PlayStation 4 made a “no show” at its own announcement with only the controller being shown to the eager crowds, but this was all part of Sony’s master plan, leaving gamers talking, guessing and hyping whatever their next gen console looked like.
Sony also pulled a masterstroke with the PS4 architecture. People expected PlayStation to move away from the troublesome CELL Processor, which plagued the PS3 throughout its life cycle, with many developers saying that it was just too difficult to program for. And that’s what PlayStation did, announcing the PlayStation 4 would be basically a supercharged PC With no CELL, but an x86 AMD Jaguar 8 core CPU with integrated APU. The biggest shock was the choice to go with GDDR5 unified RAM in the PlayStation 4. GDDR5 is RAM that is commonly used in high end graphics cards as it is of a high bandwidth than other RAM, it also works closer to the GPU/CPU so there is less distance for the data to travel, bottle necking also become less of a problem. All the hype and technical talk of what the PlayStation 4 could do Made E3 2013 one of the mostly highly anticipated E3’s to date.
PlayStation 4 came out all guns blazing at E3. Sony first showed the PlayStation 4 to a rapturous crowd who regularly disrupted the show with applause and hollering, but after the earlier disastrous Microsoft E3 Presentation and questionable policy on used games and DRM (Digital rights management) and price, the PlayStation crowd were waiting to see PlayStations stance on all three of those highly talked about topics. but first, PlayStation showed their upcoming Launch line up of games and games to follow in 2014.
The much loved Shuhei Yoshida come on stage to more applause, and started talking how PlayStation were creating new IP’s and how PlayStation is known for its varied and highly acclaimed first party games. Shuhei then showed the world premiere of The Order 1866, now, a highly anticipated third person shooter. More games followed showing Killzone: Shadow Fall, DriveClub, Infamous Second Son, Knack all of which with the exception of Infamous were launch titles, unfortunately DriveClub fell away, and as of now is due for October 2014.
At E3 Sony also showed their support for indie developers, with Shuhei Yoshida welcoming Adam Boyes to talk about how Sony were incorporating Indies in the fibres of the PlayStation 4. Sony also announced they were letting indie developers to self-publish and added an indie specific section on the PlayStation store. As of writing PlayStation is still the best console for indie games. Indies are playable on Vita, PS3 and PS4 with many games becoming free as part of the PlayStation plus subscription, and many indies having a cross buy option between the PS 3 and PlayStation VITA.
After PlayStation showed their portfolio of Multi platforms games, Adam Boyes welcomed back Jack Tretton on the stage. Jack Tretton announced that the PlayStation 4 would have no restrictions on used games, which was greeted with huge applause from the audience. Jack went on further to announce that PlayStation 4 games don’t need an internet connection to play or for any periodic online checks. Jack Tretton just established himself in E3 history.
After the Destiny world premiere, Andrew House came back to the stage to talk about Gaikai and announcing that it will be available to the US from 2014, but this wasn’t the big news Andrew went on to announce that the PS4 will be $399/£349 to massive applause once again this price beat the Xbox One by $100/£80 and would be available from holiday season 2013. PlayStation just dealt a hammer blow in the beginning of the “Console War”.
Today we see ourselves just but a few weeks away from E3 2014 and apart from a few hiccups (The Watch_Dogs resolution debacle and DriveClub being unplayable if you have no PlayStation plus and have bought the game through the PlayStation store) PlayStation have done their best to listen to customers The PS4 has been updated regularly to improve the console and to add new features for gamers and the support doesn’t look like it will be ending anytime soon. After the PS3 Sony seem to have something to prove in this new generation of gaming.
On the games front of PS4, PlayStation’s first party games have been technically sound, PS4 supports fantastic visuals and the holy grail of console gaming, the 1080p resolution. Third party games are also best on PS4 supporting better frame rates and resolution the vast majority of the time over its competition. This is a huge turnaround from the previous gen where the Xbox 360 was the chosen platform of many developers. Call of Duty is lead platform is now the PlayStation 4 and Ubisoft recently voiced their opinion on the PlayStation 4 being an easy system to develop for when referencing the delay of The Division “That’s not correct. PlayStation 4 is the more powerful hardware and we feel it is easier to develop for. Snowdrop works better on PS4 and even if Microsoft do want us to shift lead platform that’s not something that has happened.” So not only is the PS4 a more powerful than its competitors it is also easier to make games on it.
So far the PS4 is outselling the Wii U and Xbox One on a monthly basis, with the PS4 shifting over 7 million consoles to date and Xbox One only hitting 4 million+ consoles. this is fantastic news for Sony especially seeing as their finances are not in the best of shape at the moment. the forthcoming E3 2014 is a chance for PlayStation to firmly stamp their mark further into this generation they have a sizable lead in sales and arguably the best console on the market but can Sony and PlayStation wow the fans again with a performance such as the last E3 or will Microsoft start to claw back and show the consumer that they are listening to them again? only time will tell.