- will work with used PS4 games (the thing that it'd block used games was only a patent they made, which doesn't necessary mean they will ever implement it);
- is not backwards compatible with bought PS3 retail/digital games (you might be able to play them via the Gaikai streaming services, although I fear a repurchase of the respective titles is needed).
Ok, so I needed to state these 2 things first, because it's what counts the most and many persons don't know the truth.
I wanted to wait this much after the press conference to see the media reaction to it and also let the hype train leave me be so I can be more just in my statements, without being a total fanboy as I tend to be for each console separately, when they throw some amazing stuff at me. What drove me this excited was the idea of a new generation and the thought that blew me right into the image of the games I want to see in this new generation, because I just can't imagine how they'll be looking like. For instance a new Naruto game on this new generation. Quite a stupid example, but as I'm a huge fan of all that is Naruto video games, it's only natural I have this in mind. Also, although GTA V is just around the corner - the fall corner... - I already get myself thinking how the next GTA or Rockstar's next open world game will be like on the PS4 and the next Microsoft gaming console.
I was very excited and I still am as I wished for the next generation to bring me the CGI graphics we all seen in the current generation's games trailers and teaser trailers (Assassins Creed's CGI trailers for instance) brought right inside games as in-game real time graphics. I strongly believe this has just been accomplished as Sony showed us lots of goodies on how the graphics are going to look this time around. So, check! Wish that Sony made to come alive and so will Microsoft, I bet.
Another expectation I had from the following generation was to give me an highly populated open-world game. A game, which world would be just huge, amazingly huge, as huge as a continent, with tons of stuff to do in it. This generation provided great games with huge terrain to explore and come back over and over again, as it was the case with the fantastic Just Cause 2. Now the graphics weren't that impressive. You could see many faults in its looks, but it was still looking great and to accomplish such a large scale with such an engine, which, I repeat, wasn't that bad, was incredible. I waited for that game ever since it was announced and I was blown away. I enjoyed it a lot. Some great couple of months ago Square Enix got themselves some websites pointing towards Just Cause 4, which is quite confusing, but they are totally going to make another one as they said, they will not let this franchise done, for they can do so many things and have so many much more ideas. I truly expect them to have an announcement later this year of the following installment in the franchise for the PS4 and the next Xbox console.
Although I kinda expected for them to break the barrier and get out of the Uncanny Valley, they will still sink and bath in it this generation. Perhaps, new engines by the end of this following generation will allow photorealistic graphics, but that's just fine, the games shown at Sony's Press Conference on 20th this month were really great looking. I know graphics aren't everything. More important is the gameplay, but as a visual artist, for me, it's the main motivator factor that keeps making me play video games, aside the artistic inspiration it provides and well written story experiences.
But enough of speculations and expectations. Let's get to the important part!
The conference debuted with this magnificent montage:
Playstation Meeting 2013 Montage
The first thing they presented was the hardware of the PS4. They have only shown the controller and some specs, but no sight of the console itself. The specs are quite impressive. They are of a high end gaming PC on steroids. So as far as I'm concerned, they took the best configuration available out there, overclocked the hell out of it, and made it stable, nice and comfy for the PS4 shell.
CPU: 45 nm Cell Broadband Engine at 3.2 GHz
GPU: 40 nm NVIDIA/SCEI RSX at 550 MHz
Memory: 256 MB XDR DRAM at 3.2 GHz and 256 MB GDDR3 VRAM at 700 MHz
CPU: x86-64 AMD "Jaguar", 8 cores
GPU: 1.84 TFLOPS, AMD next-generation Radeon™ based graphics engine
Memory: 8GB GDDR5
So those are quite some differences. What's great this time is that the hardware architecture of the PS4 is very similar to the ones of the PCs'. This means that it'll be much more easier to develop games for PC and port them onto the PS4 and vice-versa.
Another interesting feature of the PS4 will be the Gaikai streaming service. If you happen to own a Vita and you'll be getting the PS4 as well, be proud and happy, for the streaming service will make possible the streaming of any of the PS4 games onto your Vita instantly. This will be the case with other smartphones and tablets that are supported by this service. I truly hope it'd be possible for you to stream PS4 games even when you are not home. Let's say you're in a restaurant and they have Wi-Fi or you were awesome enough to get the 3G Vita. You get it out of your pocket and voila! Killzone 4 right before your delicious tomato soup! Now how's that? Although this service might cost. It'd be good if you could buy it outside of a PS Plus subscription if you are not subscribed and get it for free each time you apply for a subscription until it ends.
The controller, the DualShock 4, had its spotlight moment and was presented having a share button, which allows you to share up to the last 15 minutes of your gameplay via facebook. Now, I have no clue why it is not YouTube, but there are more people with facebook accounts than YouTube so then it makes sense, but then I ask myself, why not both? The video player on facebook is quite retarded. It also features touch pad right over the area where the famous and nostalgic Start and Select buttons were placed. The home button was moved right under the touch pad. I don't know yet how it'll function, but it must be interesting nonetheless. Right below the controller you have a headphones jack, which is cool for anyone that felt the lack of it on the PS3 as a pain in the holy arse. It also features a light led on top of the controller, similar to the PS Move controller, which makes the console to easier detect which player is which and their position in the room with the help of this two-camera-bar-thing. The controller might be used just like a PS Move remote during games.
It was said during the presentation that they plan for the Vita, while interacting with the PS4, to also interact with the whole room. Now I have no clue what this means, but we'll live and see.
After this part, on stage came quite an unknown game legend, which I never 'ran into' until that moment, namely Mark Cerny. Those who know him know it for his involvement in the very first Sonic game and his major success, Marble Madness. He was very excited to finally show us what h's been working on: a game that makes great usage of the ParticleFX, with the main character getting rid of tons of his body parts to decrease their size.
Knack Demonstrative Gameplay via Remote Play on the PS Vita
The game looks interesting, It's definitely a platformer, which seems to combine many key exclusive platforming franchises of the Playstation brand. Seeing how the graphics in the trailer, of course, were in game graphics, I'm very looking forward to this game.
Next they showed a fantastic looking demo of Killzone Shadow Fall. As it looks like any other regular shooter from the current generation, leaving aside that it's a Killzone game, king of all FPS games, I won't criticize it just yet for they didn't show enough to convince me it'll bring absolutely nothing new to the FPS Round Table.
Afterwards a developer from Evolution Studios who claims they've been waiting a whole decade for the hardware to get powerful enough to be able to bring his vision of a racing video game to life, presented with so much excitement the game and the graphical details of the cars, which were done with "painstakingly" huge precision. For instance, the carbon fibre on cars isn't just a photography which simulates the carbon fibre texture, but a piece of dozens of 3D modeled tiny little components that put one near the other one build this carbon fiber texture, which is really amazing. He also said they taken care to manipulate the direction of each particle of painting on each car. That's dementedly mindblowing.
And then the bomb fell in the hood!
I didn't play the first InFamous, but I took the time to read the plot and then jumped right into the InFamous 2, which was free via PS Plus. I adored the game. Really fun. This game is supposed to feature 12 characters with strange powers in a society where everything is full of surveillance cameras and police. No move of yours is undetected, but they make a joke out of that and put every form of authority panic. A world filled with paranoia that in the end faces what it fears most. Just great!
Then came the developer of Braid - the successful indie game -, Jonathan Blow, came on stage and presented his new game, The Witness. He started by saying that what's amazing about all open world games is how huge they can be but in this game, the main focus is on making it as smaller and compact as possible. It's a world filled with puzzles and none of them ar fillers. Each single puzzle in this colorful world has a meaning and it's not there for the sake of filling empty space. Here you have the trailer!
Quantic Dreams, the ones in charge with the creation of the masterpiece that Heavy Rain is and the upcoming Beyond: Two Souls, presented their new engine for the PS4. Words aren't enough to describe it.
Media Molecule took the handle, at last! Was expecting an awesome new LittleBigPlanet game, but they seem to be moving forward with a sculpting game, which also lets you build your own environment and make your own open world game, which sounds great. It uses the PS Move controller for awesome sculpting. I'm really looking forward to that as I'm currently planning to study Zbrush, but of course it won't be the same especially for the main reason my hand will quite shake during the sculpting progress and I won't be able to get architectural structures right, but maybe there are grid and duplicating features. I really dug their stage presentation, except for the rock 'n' roll ending that got me confused. Will you be able to manipulate the characters you built in game like that, because the guys on the front screen were pressing certain buttons on the PS Move controller in order to make the characters make certain actions and the thought that you'd be able to easily assign your own characters built and sculpted from scratch with key movement features and actions sounds quite great.
Capcom also got up on stage and they presented a rather interesting title, Deep Down. Fabulous in-game graphics nonetheless!
Square Enix presented a tech demo from last year, which was quite disappointing as I wanted to see something completely new...but damn, those graphics look better and better each time I see the video. I love the natural animation the old mage guy dude has. "...between your realm" - looks down; arm reaching out to the creature - "and mine!" - looks up at the creature; arm retreats. Just take the time to notice this.
And then Ubisoft damaged my brain in a very positive way presenting a new piece of gameplay from Watch Dogs. This is actually my most anticipated game out of all that were presented.
Blizzard announced they are returning to making console games and introduced Diablo 3 for PS4 and then Bungie came in to announce their first game for the PS4, the first game since they got their independence as a gaming company. That game is Destiny and it's in Augmented Reality Game with a storyline that will be lasting for 10 real years. Interesting concept I can't wait to see how they'll put it in motion. Unfortunately there's no gameplay video for it.
And this was all the Press Conference of Sony's PS4. A whole lot more will be announced in the following months at GDC and E3. The PS4 is set to be released this holiday season and it'll be a day/week one buy for me, because I know it won't disappoint regardless its early lineup.
Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts!