The PlayStation 4 was unveiled with great fanfare at an event back in February, and now that Sony has finally given us a closer look at the console at its pre-E3 press conference, we have the maximum information about the console that we'll get without actually buying and using it.
The first thing you'll notice about the PlayStation 4 is its pricing. The console is priced at $399 in the US, which roughly translates to Rs 23,399. However, the pricing for the console in Europe is 399 Euros, which roughly translates to Rs 31,053. This is closer to the console's Indian price, which is bound to be even higher because of taxes and duties.
Now, the hardware. The console will be running on the x86 architecture that we have on desktop PCs. This is a big change from the PlayStation 3's Cell architecture, which made development for the console quite difficult. It'll have 8GB of uber-fast DDR5 RAM, which combined with AMD's x86-based chips, will give the console quite the leap in performance compared to the PlayStation 3.
The controller retains much of the traditional DualShock look
The controller on the PS4 retains the same DualShock design we've all come to love (and in some cases, hate). The major difference is that it now has a large touchpad at the centre of the controller, which is flanked by two buttons—Menu and Share. The Menu button will act like the Start button does on current controllers. The Share button will let you upload any video from your console quickly to video services. The company says, “Our goal is to make sharing of video as popular in PS4 as screenshots are today.” Videos are automatically uploaded while you play a game.
Taking a page out of Microsoft’s Xbox Smartglass, the PlayStation 4 will have some integration with smartphones and tablets as well. Apps will let you access the social aspect of PlayStation Network.
On the software side of things, we all know that the console will be getting its own line-up of exclusives, including Killzone: Shadow Fall, inFamous: Second Son and Knack. What's interesting, however, is how Sony is tackling backwards compatibility on the console. It is using its cloud gaming service Gaikai to let users stream their PlayStation 3 games on to the console, along with other current Sony gaming devices like the PlayStation Vita.
Sony has announced that the PlayStation 4 will sport a $399 price tag (image credit: Sony)
On to some bad news. Sony is changing its PlayStation Plus service a bit. Multiplayer gaming will no longer be free on the PlayStation 4. You'll need a PlayStation Plus subscription to play your games online. The good news is that this also gives you access to discounts and PS Plus' Instant Games Collection. If you already have a PS Plus subscription on your PlayStation 3 or PlayStation Vita, it'll get carried forward to the PlayStation 4.
The console will also feature some new quality-of-life changes. The console is said to have a low-power state and auto saves games. You don’t have to wait for the game to load the next time you’re switching on the console. According to the company, the console can also download games in the background, even when the system is powered off. Games can also be played while they’re being downloaded; Sony has already tried this out with its recent game, The Last of Us.
On the DRM front, Sony has said that it will be leaving it up to game publishers. The console itself won't have any DRM, and it will still support used games. The PlayStation 4 will also be region free.