Sony slapped gamers around the world this last Wednesday with the intent of leaving an imprint of the next console generation that will be upon us. Sony officially announced the PlayStation 4 and, with it, a multitude of new hardware changes, interfaces, and games. Without a doubt, we are hyped up for the new console; however, five things hyped us up more than the rest.
For the Devs, by the Devs
This is by far one of the best announcements from Sony. For a long time, Sony has neglected developers’ needs. When the PS3 was announced, there was massive outcry from developers complaining about how difficult it was to develop games for the PS3’s cell processor as opposed to developing for the Xbox 360 and Wii. Sony practically admitted that they had made mistakes on the PS3 and it finally seems they are listening to their game’s creators and have made a developer friendly system that will allow game creators to more easily translate their projects to the console. Sony has also stated that PC porting will be much easier than ever before. This will most definitely be better in the long run because it will lead to healthy relationships between Sony and their developers to ultimately put out better and more games.
The new PS4 controller, shockingly dubbed the Dual Shock 4, features a “Share” button. Apparently, this will allow players to instantaneously share pictures and game clips on social networks such as Facebook, all at the push of one button. Sony also announced a partnership with Ustream. Players will have the ability to live stream the games they are playing with friends, allowing them to comment or even jump into the game while you are playing. It isn’t for certain yet if live streaming will be exclusive to the Ustream service or if streaming can go as far as streaming on more popular sites such as YouTube or Twitch. If that’s the case, anyone who owns a PlayStation 4 will have access to becoming a video game streamer, without the need for technical knowledge or expensive capture cards no less, and that would be truly exciting.
Gaikai has taken the initiative of focusing on the PS4’s cloud streaming services. Although the PlayStation 4 will not have any backwards compatibility, which is rather unfortunate, it will offer gamers the option to download their favorite PSX, PS2, and PS3 titles digitally from their store. The biggest plus of downloading games online is that, once a game a is purchased, they can immediately be played. The video game is essentially streamed so that the player may instantly begin playing while the rest of the game is continuously being downloading in the background. Just imagine how much faster games can get delivered to our consoles. Needless to say, when even current generation 720p titles like Ni no Kuni take up a massive 38 gigs, the next generation will need this type of lightning fast content delivery service.
PlayStation Store Overhaul
With a new PlayStation comes a new interface for the PlayStation Store. No longer will gamers be bombarded with games they never even considered playing. Sony has stated that video game advertisements that are presented on the PlayStation Store will cater to gamers by being representative of the gamer’s purchase and viewing history. The whole goal of this seems to be to make it much easier for gamers to find video games that they may find interesting, basically making it an automatically customized service that is directly affected by gamers’ tastes. Sure, they’re essentially trying to grab as much of our money as possible, but they’ve certainly earned it if this succeeds in predicting my preferences.
It was quite exciting when Chris Metzen, game designer for Blizzard Entertainment, took the stage during Sony’s press conference. A company that has been out of the console scene for many years was at an event for a console. Unfortunately, however, it was to announce the port of a PC game: Diablo III. It may be exciting news for some, but all I was looking forward to here was a completely new title from Blizzard developed for the PlayStation 4. Be that as it may be, Blizzard has still formed a partnership with Sony and that more than likely means they will be working side by side on future projects to come. If that’s not enough to get you excited, think about StarCraft: Ghost. While it’s highly unlikely there will be a revival of StarCraft: Ghost, this could lead to some amazing projects nonetheless.
The next generation of gaming is sure to be an amazing one. Sony has essentially just given us an “appetizer” of what’s to come. It would have been great if Sony would have revealed more information, perhaps even the obligatory task of showing the PS4 itself, but I’m certain they want to see what their competition, specifically Microsoft, has in store come later this year. There is sure to be much more information released at E3 or GDC 2013, so all we can do now is keep our ears and eyes open and look forward to further announcements.
What were you most excited about from Sony’s PlayStation 4 Press Conference? Drop a comment below and let us know!