Sony’s PS4 unveiling was the tech equivalent of a burlesque style striptease. Some details were revealed but lots was left to the imagination. We still don’t know the pricing of the console, the specific release date, the size of its hard drive and finally, what the console itself looks like. Its reminiscent of the scene from the Pirate of Silicon Valley where Steve Jobs tempts Bill Gates with only a peek at the revolutionary Macintosh.
The event did its job to tempt perspective buyers of a next generation video game console. Sony wants them to realize there’s an alternative to the Wii U. Not that they should worry too much given the Wii U’s less than impressive sales. However, not revealing everything also gives Sony the opportunity to still maneuver after Microsoft’s new Xbox is unveiled.
Sony focused on what was most important: the games! While Sony talked about the gamer being the center of the action and consoles no longer being single use devices, the selection of games and game play are still central to a console’s success. Personally, the demos of the Watch Dogs, Destiny and even Knack look compelling (videos below).
While they didn’t go into all of the tech specs, Sony revealed enough to convine us that this console has some serious processing power. The PS4 may not be a revolutionary device, but it seems Sony focused on improving game play. I feel like every time I start up my PS3, I need to run a system update. The PS4 has a dedicated chip to run updates in the background. There’s also a suspend/resume function that lets you quickly jump back into where you were in the game. Hopefully, when the PS4 is asleep, it consumes much less power. I’m also interested in trying out new DualShock 4 Controller and see if it’s easier to handle.
Sony didn’t say too much about the console as a streaming video box and more details would be forthcoming. From the presentation slide, it looks like we’re going to see the same line up of services currently on the PS3 including Netflix, VUDU and Amazon Instant Video. However, as conveyed to Joystiq later, the PS4 is capable of outputting Ultra HD or 4K video. Don’t be surprised if the PS4 is the first device to support Ultra HD for Netflix and VUDU. While Ultra HD sets have just come to market that won’t be the case five years from now. Remember, the current PS3 has been on the market for six years already. It is interesting to note that the PS4 doesn’t leave any legacy devices behind retaining both composite A/V outputs as well as digital optical audio. Only offering HDMI would be a way to keep the cost of the console down.
Finally, the other benefit to launching this way is that Sony guarentees that the tech press will cover the PS4 several more times before launch. Enjoy the videos!
PS4 Launch Full Event