PlayStation 4 news from GDC

DualShock-4-and-PlayStation-4-EyeWe still have no clue what the PlayStation 4 will look like, but that doesn’t mean Sony isn’t making fanboys eager with bits and pieces of information from the Game Developer Conference last week. At a panel Sony dropped more information about the new console, the DualShock 4, PlayStation 4 Eye camera, and finally changes to the UI.

At the original press conference for the PlayStation 4, we got a lot of information about the CPU (8-core AMD with integrated APU), the amount and type of system memory (8GB of DDR5), and as expected the system would come with a Blu-ray drive. In last week’s panel Sony’s Senior Staff Engineer Chris Norden added that the Blu-ray drive on the PS4 will be up to three times faster than the current drive on the PlayStation 3. He also added that a “very large” hard drive will be in every system. I just hope the system comes standard with an HDMI cable to welcome it to the 21 century, don’t you?

The DualShock 4 and new PlayStation 4 eye camera seem to be the only pieces of the puzzle that we’ve seen so far. Norden gave out some new information about the devices, so let’s list some things out.

  • The new analog sticks are tighter and more precise.
  • The gyrometers are also more precise than the DualShock 3 or the Vita.
  • The touchpad has a tactile click, sports a 1920 x 900 resolution, and it also supports gestures.
  • The light bar on the controller will always be on and is replacing the the port number we currently see on DualShock 3 controllers.
  • The new PlayStation 4 Eye camera will use the light bar from the DualShock 4 to identify the player in the room.
  • A mono speaker is also in the controller that will stream audio directly from the PS4.
  • A headset and mic will be included in every box!
  • The port at the bottom of the controller is used for voice chat with its mic.
  • L1, R1 and action button are all digital now.
  • A new small and large motor for the rumble will add some “Cool effects”.
  • The R2 and L2 won’t get pushed if you put down the controller on a flat surface thanks to a new curved design (I didn’t know this was a problem).
  • The DualShock 4 can charge when connected to the PlayStation 4, even if the system is in stand-by mode.

Wow! That’s a lot of details about just the controller. I’m all for more precision and charging the controller even if the system is on standby. You have no idea how many controller I kill during a great gaming session. I’m still not that crazy about the light bar on the controller, but It’s hard to get excited just about controller specs, but maybe that’s just me. Maybe all of this will wow me and everyone at E3; it’s only a few months away.

Next let’s see what’s new with the new PlayStation 4 eye camera.

  • The bar has two cameras running at 1280 x 800, 12 bits/pixel, running at 60Hz.
  • It has an 85 degree wide angle view.
  • A 3-axis accelerometer/tilt sensor is inside.
  • A four microphone array will pick up voices and sounds.
  • The camera has a new dedicated port, no more USB.
  • HD wide-angle video, PS Move support, and speech recognition are all supported with the camera.

Sony wants to make it easier to create walk-through videos and post them directly from the console. While this isn’t all new technology, I’m very interested in what Sony has planned for this device. These new specs really out trump the current PlayStation Eye. With its wider range of view and dual cameras, it should be easy to catch the action and make games more responsive to the players movements, even in low light. It would have been great if Sony kept the USB connection to connect the new camera to a PC, but I guess it will stay firmly connected to your PS4.

Norden also talked about changes to the PlayStation UI. Now the console will be able to give you a lot of up-to-date information, like when new DLC is available, social recommendations and much more. These are all available by just powering on the console. One nice improvement should make some popular games very happy, as the PS4 will allow a higher number of friends on your friend list.

Another new feature called “True Name” will allow you to not only display your gamer tag & avatar, but also your real name and picture. Your real name and picture will only display with friends you add with social networks like Facebook or True Name search. The user will also have a choice if they want to display their real name as well. Norden also said he wants developers to integrate social features directly into games. For example, when you come to a mini game of choice you could pull up a list of your friends and see what choice was most popular. This seems like and interesting feature. I could see myself using this a lot when I get stuck on a level, assuming all my friends get a PS4 and play the same game before me.

The last thing Norden covered was with the PS4’s ability to constantly store the last few seconds of game play. While most PC gamers have had this for years, and you can easily buy devices that can give you the same feature, console gamers will finally have this built in (I know numerous times over the years where I wanted to replay and epic battle or or races). I just wonder how flooded YouTube will get once PS4 players start posting every head shot, tea bag, and show boating possible.

I personally can’t wait to get my hands on a DualShock 4 and play some games at E3.

source: arstechnica

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James Martinez
James Martinez 245 posts

James likes racing games, puzzle games, and building computers. By day he works as a systems administrator, by night he is a writer. He likes to be comical and open to new ideas and technology.