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Sony PS4: more details revealed at GDC

Sony PS4: more details revealed at GDC

The new DualShock 4 controller for the Playstation 4.

Sony revealed a few more snippets of information about its upcoming PlayStation 4 (PS4) during a session at the Games Developer Conference (GDC) today, showing details of the new system's user account control, social functions and its new interface.

Chris Norton, senior staff engineer from the strategy team for developer services and support at Sony Computer Entertainment America, showed mockups of the proposed PS4 interface and told how users would be able to see information about the game - such as the latest updates, comments from other users and available downloads - before opening the game fully.

Meanwhile a second mockup showed a 'digest' screen that looks very similar in style to Pinterest and will show news, social updates and what your other PlayStation Network Friends are playing.

Talking more about user account control, Norton also revealed that users will be given the choice to link their account with Facebook to show and instantly share real names and profile pictures. Otherwise only the - potentially gobbledegook - PSN name will be used, with users still able to share real names but only by mutually consenting to exchange details. User accounts will also be independent of the console while the 100 friend limit of the PS3 will be lifted.

Norton also suggested how some of these social features could be used in games with players perhaps able to name a particular corner on a race track after their friend with the fastest time.

Many of the previously revealed hardware features of the upcoming console were also reiterated, along with many details of the development tools. The console will centre around an AMD APU that features an 8-core CPU and an 800MHz GPU capable of 1.843 TFLOPS. This chip will then be accompanied by 8GB of very fast GDDR5 RAM, a feature that has already been lauded by many developers keen to take advantage of the 16x improvement in memory capacity over the PS3.

Meanwhile, the new Dualshock 4 controller will feature a two-finger sensing touchpad, a share button for instantly uploading recently grabbed screenshots and video clips (the console has a constantly on time-shifted record mode) and on the back is the light bar. The latter is an RGB LED-lit section that will be used to identify the controller to both humans and the console, with the accompanying PlayStation Eye camera, able to see the controller. Sony suggested this will enable developers to, for instance, ensure that views in split screen games always match the order of how players are sitting.

One of the final features talked about at length was "play as you download", which will allow developers to split games up into sections such that the game can be played when only the first section has been downloaded. Working in conjunction with the ability to start downloads while remote connected either through a mobile app or with a PlayStation Vita, the proposed vision is that you can be ready to start playing in the time it takes to walk home from your bus stop.

We like the idea of that last part. But what are your thoughts?

15 Comments

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enciem 27th March 2013, 22:07 Quote
Just get rid of the download, click, click, click ,click, instaaaaaaaaaaaalllll, updaaaaaaaaaate, turned off!!!!
Aracos 27th March 2013, 23:41 Quote
I think I can see few complaints from developers arising with the "play as you download" scheme for the first couple of years, you know how much developers hate to adjust to new things :P
Fizzban 28th March 2013, 00:41 Quote
You have to be pretty damn impatient if you can't wait for it to finish downloading before you start playing. This is classic of this "I want it NOW!" generation. And it is being panda'd to..lame.

And the potential for problems just makes it seem all the more crazy. Why make games more complicated for developers to produce? It will just push up the price in one form or another.
LightningPete 28th March 2013, 05:19 Quote
Same controller, the same system playing to same sort of games. Howay some innovation would be nice? Whats that now only downloaded stuff ... whooppeee..... an AMD cpu+gpu chip? great so thats the least powerful chip you could have used. So PC's are still 1 if not 2 generations ahead of the tech these will have. YAWN
GoodBytes 28th March 2013, 06:01 Quote
If you have innovation, people will brush it off as gimmick. Like every Nintendo gaming console except the first one.. and maybe the second one (SNES) as I was too young to remember.. but the rest without exception, even thaught many redefined gaming as we know it.
Gareth Halfacree 28th March 2013, 09:02 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fizzban
And it is being panda'd to..lame.
That is the greatest malapropism for "pandered" I have ever seen. I envision a big, fluffy panda cuddling someone, rocking back and forth whispering "it's OK, it's all OK, you're absolutely right, you're always right..."
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoodBytes
Like every Nintendo gaming console except the first one.. and maybe the second one (SNES) as I was too young to remember..
The SNES was Nintendo's third home console, after the NES and the Color TV Game. (Mate of mine, massive Nintendo nerd, had one - couldn't connect it to his TV, though, 'cos it outputs NTSC-J.) Well, possibly the seventh: there were five entries in the Color TV Game Series, so it depends how you count.
Cei 28th March 2013, 10:01 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by LightningPete
Same controller, the same system playing to same sort of games. Howay some innovation would be nice? Whats that now only downloaded stuff ... whooppeee..... an AMD cpu+gpu chip? great so thats the least powerful chip you could have used. So PC's are still 1 if not 2 generations ahead of the tech these will have. YAWN

1) It's not the same controller. Sure, it's a simple evolution of the current model, but just look at how Nintendo are faring with their latest effort to change input methods.

2) Download only? Since when? The PS4 is going to have download and retail games.

3) Yes, it's a poor chip in comparison to an i7 3770K. However, in console terms, it's plenty fast enough. Yes PCs will always be faster, but the PS4 is a powerful package for £350-400.
ksyruz 28th March 2013, 10:06 Quote
The download as you play seems stupid to me as the PS4 will have cloud gaming. So why don't Sony allow to play over cloud while your game downloads. This method would also be simpler to develop.
law99 28th March 2013, 10:36 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fizzban
You have to be pretty damn impatient if you can't wait for it to finish downloading before you start playing. This is classic of this "I want it NOW!" generation. And it is being panda'd to..lame.

And the potential for problems just makes it seem all the more crazy. Why make games more complicated for developers to produce? It will just push up the price in one form or another.

Quois? People who buy physical copies still say the same thing as a reason for their purchase. "My Internet is dodgy. I don't want to wait 4 days to play my game."

This is going to be a simple feature really. It will be nothing but a positive step for those gaming, especially on slow connections. There is no Panda-ing(big fluffy bear handy jays? Who's a good boy... ???) going on here (Pandering perhaps).

Oh no! The developers may have to think about what content is available for the initial download... woah is me. I can imagine a scenario where there is skinny assets downloaded that get you through maybe just the online gaming aspect or the first hour of play and then, in the background, the full thing is sourced.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cei
but the PS4 is a powerful package for £350-400.

Exactly... and I'd imagine that a PC you buy for £400 on launch day of the PS3 will not outstrip the lifetime of the PS4 game wise. Sure it'll play probably all content turned down to medium settings... but I bet you that by the midpoint in the PS4s lifecycle you'll be wishing you were playing at 1080p on your living room TV plugged into your AV receiver with 7.1, not worrying about turning down the motion blur, AA settings, AF, texture packs and draw distances to lock in some smooth fps.

Let alone whether you've let some moron install 55 useless shovelware a-dvert-pplications on your PC
Blademrk 28th March 2013, 11:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fizzban
You have to be pretty damn impatient if you can't wait for it to finish downloading before you start playing. This is classic of this "I want it NOW!" generation. And it is being panda'd to..lame.

And the potential for problems just makes it seem all the more crazy. Why make games more complicated for developers to produce? It will just push up the price in one form or another.

The biggest problem with the PS3's downloadable games (and patches) were that they downloaded so slowly no matter what speed your internet connection (with GT5 after you first put the disk in the drive you might as well go and make some popcorn and watch a movie and you'll still have enough time to make a cup of coffee before you'll get to play it).

Patches are the worst as you can't do anything else on the system while it's downloading it (unless you have a PS+ account in which case it'll check daily (at a time you've specified) for new updates and download them).

The one feature I'm not so sure is a good idea is the predictive download where the system starts downloading a game before you've actually bought it.
liratheal 28th March 2013, 11:37 Quote
It's going to show comments from other users for every game?

That won't be abused at all..
rollo 28th March 2013, 17:28 Quote
Ps vita does this already you can choose if you view or not.

Ps3 has one of the worst wifi connections on the planet, the max speed is so poor on it and its pretty unreliable. My phone has better wifi.

Ps4 better have a decent wifi chip in it if they want download as you play to work.
Corky42 28th March 2013, 19:40 Quote
Why when i read this part
Quote:
the new Dualshock 4 controller will feature a two-finger sensing touchpad

Do i think it going to be able to tell when your giving it a two-fingered salute :o
Bindibadgi 29th March 2013, 02:18 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corky42
Why when i read this part

Do i think it going to be able to tell when your giving it a two-fingered salute :o

Anyone want to guess how many 'adult' games are already being made around this feature?
Gradius 29th March 2013, 07:37 Quote
About the adult game: NONE! $ony never liked that.
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