The PlayStation 4 seems to have gained fans in development circles. According to ComputerAndVideoGames, Ubisoft Montreal describes developing for the PS4 as, “a pleasant surprise”. This mostly stems from the fact that unlike its previous consoles, the PS4 has x86 architecture, and as a result is easy to develop for.
“From what we can talk about, which is the PlayStation 4, it's been a radical change from those guys,” Ubisoft Montreal boss Yannis Mallat told CVG. Mallat also said the x86 architecture on the PlayStation 4 goes with Ubisoft's decision to start development on high-end PCs early for its upcoming games, namely Watch Dogs and Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag.
“PlayStation 4 really comes as a pleasant surprise because indeed it's a very familiar architecture,” he said. “I think it's paying off for us deciding to develop on high-end PCs early. It's a less complex transition.”
Sony's consoles have been difficult to develop for since the days of the PlayStation 2. This didn't affect the company at the time because of its consoles' market dominance. But when Sony tried the same thing with the PlayStation 3 and its Cell processor, it suffered greatly, owing in no small part to the fact that developers flocked to the Xbox 360 early on because of its earlier release and developer-friendly architecture.
PS4's x86 architecture goes with Ubisoft's plans for developing games for high-end PCs
An AMD-based x86 processor and a GPU on par with the Radeon HD 7850 would be powering the PS4. It will have 8GB of unified high-speed memory and a “massive” hard drive. The new controller—dubbed the DualShock 4—will have a touch pad, a share button, a headphone jack and a light bar to identify players. The light bar works much like the Move sensor through a 3D camera.
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.
The Share button on the controller will let you upload any video from your console quickly to video services. The company said its 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, it looks like the PlayStation 4 will have some integration with smartphones and tablets as well. Presumably, apps will let you access the social aspect of PlayStation Network.
As was expected owing to the radical shift in hardware architecture, Sony has announced that PlayStation 3 games will not run on the PS4, but the company says that it is exploring ways to make PS3 games available on “any device”.
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