by Jesse Tucker
Sony has already announced that the PS4 release date is “Holiday 2013” for the USA.
The rumored, more specific release date is sometime in October. In a recent interview, the creative director of the upcoming Ubisoft game Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag stated that the game will be launching in late October on all platforms simultaneously, which implies the PS4 will be out by that time. Ubisoft has since said the interviewee was not referring to the game’s PS4 release, but only current generation consoles; however, many believe the company is just trying to cover for a slipped secret. Skip about 5 minutes into this video and see what you think.
The PS4 is sporting some pretty impressive hardware. With an 8-core main processor, 8GB of RAM, and a very impressive graphics processor, it’s at least as powerful as a current high-end gaming PC. Add to that a wireless Internet card, a built-in motion-tracking camera similar to the Xbox Kinect, and the ability to play 4k resolution videos, and you’ve got quite the powerhouse to look forward to.
With a new console comes a new controller. The DualShock 4 is similar to the DualShock 3, but with a few new features. There’s a small touch pad in the center of the controller, a headphone jack on the top, and the “Start” and “Select” buttons have been replaced by “Options” and “Share,” respectively. The share button is in line with the PS4’s heavy focus on social networking connectivity. You’ll be able to use the button to instantly share screenshots, accomplishments, and sections of gameplay video to sites such as Facebook and Ustream. According to Sony, you’ll be able to stream your gaming sessions live, and even pass control of the game to a friend over the Internet, just like passing the controller to someone sitting next to you.
PlayStation Vita Connectivity
Sony promised at their press conference that PS4 will connect with their portable console, the PlayStation Vita, in a variety of interesting ways. The primary confirmed method is for the Vita to act as a remote screen for the PS4, very similar to how the Nintendo Wii U controller interacts with the Wii U.
Update: Sony confirmed in their E3 press conference that the PS4 will launch at $399.
Sony has not yet confirmed a price for the PS4, but rumors from Japan’s Asahi News place it somewhere between $400 and $450. Some analysts say this still isn’t cheap enough, despite being about $100 less than the cheapest PS3 launch model back in 2006.
Update: The E3 press conference has confirmed that used games on the PS4 will not be restricted in any way.
Many PS4 games have been announced and rumored so far from several major developers. There are too many to list here, so check out IGN’s PS4 game list for a constantly updating guide.
Unfortunately, PS4 will not be capable of playing any of your PS3 game discs; however, plans are apparently in motion to create a cloud system that will allow users to purchase and play many games from current and past Sony consoles on the PS4, PS Vita, and future Sony consoles.
As for used games, gamers had long speculated that Sony may try to block them in some way since secondhand game sales earn no money for developers. Some recent statements from Sony suggest otherwise, but they have not said anything definitive one way or the other. In any case, it is widely believed that there will be some form of restriction on used games, possibly an additional fee necessary to play the game, similar to how many current games require an additional fee to play online if your game was purchased secondhand.
Next generation game prices are all purely speculation and rumor at this point, but many believe we’ll see an increase of $10 from current generation games, putting standard PS4 games at $70. On the other hand, recently leaked information on Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag prices the PS4 version at $60. The leak has since been pulled, but if it the information was accurate and any indication of future PS4 game prices, we may not see that $10 hike after all.