PS4 Meeting - Editor Donald's Reaction

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PS4 Meeting

As predicted the Playstation “Meeting”: 2013 was a media event to announce the upcoming Playstation 4 and outline Sony’s general roadmap for the Playstation brand as whole. With the PS4’s announcement, Sony owned up to the criticism that their past system architecture was difficult to develop for. Once the console was announced as being more PC-like (X86 processor and 8GB of GDDR5 unified system memory), one had a feeling that the the presentation was a love letter to the jilted development community of years past. 

Playstation 4


Main Processor

A custom AMD “Jaguar” 8 Core x86-64 APU with a 1.84 TFLOP capable AMD Radeon GPU on die



Hard Disk Drive


Optical Drive




USB 3.0, AUX


Ethernet (10BT/100BTX/1000BT)

IEEE 802.11 b/g/n

Bluetooth 2.1 (ERD)

AV Output


Analog-AV out

Digital Optical Output

Lead by the steady stream of a western heavy lineup of speakers, it was evident that Sony wanted to take back the marketshare it lost to  Microsoft’s Xbox 360 crowd and woo the flummoxed Nintendo gamers.

First up is an introduction into the Playstation 4’s persona. Lead by the PS4's system architect Mark Cerny, he totes an impressive resume which few in the industry could match. As he demos what the hardware is capable of, we get a good long look at the Dualshock 4 which seems to have been married with a combination to technologies Sony Computer Entertainment has introduced in the past. More pleasing to the hand, the controller is described as tighter, more responsive, and offers a suite of inputs that range from the motion aspect (similar to the Move complete with a noticeable full spectrum LED (blue in this case)), a touchpad (likely for contextual story aspects and precision aim) and share button for social. With the social aspect in mind, Cerny goes on to demo a reworking of the user interface, how the Share button works and how  friends will now be able to see each other via a more personalized profile page which allows the owner to display their real name and photo seeded from existing Social networks ie. Facebook. A dedicated content management chip allows for background updates while in-game as well as allows for playing digital titles as they download and then streams in the rest of the game content. The architecture also allows for a low power mode which allows the player to press the power button to suspend to ram. The sharing of in game footage is handled seamlessly via the dedicated video codec chip. Footage and games of other users can be commented, spectated or joined if permitted. The social aspect is further extended accessibility to smartphones, tablets, web API or dedicated hardware like the Vita. Through Gaikai, spearheaded by renowned developer Dave Perry, PS4 users will be able to seamlessly try a game before they buy without having to download anything as well as expand Remote Play to allow device holders to remotely play their games. As you use and customize the PS4, the console will try to predict your gaming habit and may even pre-download titles you imply that you are interested in.

At this point the meeting has been all about information regarding the Playstation 4 and the ecosystem It was time for what most came to see; games. The first was a live demo of Killzone: Shadow Fall which didn’t quite feel “nextgen”. Taking place 30 years after the events of Killzone 3, the protagonist Lucas Keller  steps on lavish and rich planet of Vekta. The ISA are building up their forces and things are quiet. The silence is soon broken by Helghan forces. Likely a PS3 port mid development, KZ:SF is still rough around the edges. Unlike KZ:SF, Evolution Studio seem more like a “nextgen” game given the amount of detail. Next was  Sucker Punch’s “Infamous: Second Son” followed by “The Witness” by acclaimed indie dev Jonathan Blow of “Braid” fame. The hits just kept coming with David Cage of “Indigo Prophecy” and “Heavy Rain” fame introducing a tech demo of highly detailed character capable of expressing a wide range of emotion. What followed was a tech demo from Media Molecule which displayed a unique creation tool allowing for a more imaginative way of creating game content. If the first and second party titles were this promising, The third party offerings didn’t disappoint. With Capcom’s demo of “Deep Down”, we got a glimpse of what could be expected. Similarly, Square Enix’s demo equally impressive. When Ubisoft took the stage, I immediately knew we were going to be treated to a viewing of 2012’s E3 darling “Watch Dogs”. Blizzard made an appearance to announce “Diablo 3” for PS3 and PS4 and  as the “cherry on top”, Bungie joined in to talk about Bungie’s highly anticipated title Destiny.

All and all, one couldn't help but feel that Sony was finally on the right path but there were still many details left out. Here are a few tidbits that I came away with.

1. The Playstation 4 is not backward compatible with Playstation 3 and there seems to be a lot of PS4 and PS3 announced games. Okay. I can see that the PS3 is the low tier entry into the Playstation Network or a good console for the kids with a shared account and parental controls or... the best Bluray player on the market. The incompatibility between the the two systems are obvious; they have two totally different architectures where the Gaikai service has to be the bridge for said PSN back library. Outside of Gaikai or an emulator, you would have to rely on existing hardware if functional or purchasable.

2. Will the PS4eye peripheral be a pack-in?

3. Where was Team Ico and the 4 year old project “The Last Guardian”?

4. Of all the partners that presented work, where was the newly non-exclusive Insomniac title and where were the studios who were going to pick up the mantle of those popular Insomniac titles like Resistance Fall of Man and Ratchet and Clank?

I can’t speak for the other 2020 editors but, I for one am extremely excited to see what the coming months are going to reveal. Nintendo and Microsoft have the ball in their court and given that the WiiU is sell on par with the Playstation Vita, things do not look good for Mario and company. I wouldn't be shocked if they pull a Sega but Nintendo doesn’t seem to be in the gaming communities nextgen gaming conversation. Microsoft on the other hand have been very quiet but information regarding project “Durango” seems to vary wildly but most sources seem to imply that both the PS4 and the next Microsoft console will be similarly spec’ed. So what would be the incentive to by either? Services. If Sony manages to keep the price low and the offerings high, Microsoft will see a drop off in fans committing to that ecosystem. The company the came out of the whole “meeting” affair looking pretty is Valve with their promise of SteamBox. Downloadable game at a deep discount compared to the physical copy. As I mentioned before, I can’t wait to see the rest of the drama unfold.