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Sony Kick Starts The Next Gen

Roger Aguirre |
February 21, 2013 | 5:00 p.m. PST

Staff Writer


One of the speakers from the conference was Andrew House, the Group CEO and current President (Sony Entertainment)
One of the speakers from the conference was Andrew House, the Group CEO and current President (Sony Entertainment)
A few weeks ago, Sony released a cryptic video simply titled “See The Future.” At the end of the 44-second video, the date February 20, 2013 was shown and that was it.  

The video instantly caused a commotion throughout the gaming and technology community as to what the announcement would ultimately be.  The general feeling appeared to be that Sony was going to announce a Playstation 4, although it was simply conjecture or someone stating that the video was 44 seconds and that must be a sign.  (Which I did in my last piece.)

READ MORE: Sony's New Playstation Announcement

Well the date finally arrived and the conjecture was proven correct: Sony unveiled, to an extent, the Playstation 4.  Although the price and system itself were not officially announced, Sony and several developers demonstrated what a (in some peoples’ mind) true next generation system could do.

From a hardware perspective Sony made official the Dualshock 4 prototype that had been making its rounds on the Internet for the past week.  The new Dualshock 4 has a few subtle and distinct differences when compared to the older Dualshock 3.  

For the most part the core design that Sony has been using since the PS1 are intact, such as the four shape action buttons and the directional pad being above the analog sticks.  The subtle differences include what appear to be a slightly bulkier frame, different R2/L2 triggers and concave analog sticks, like those on the Xbox 360 controller.  

The bigger changes are the inclusion of a touchpad on the middle of the device.  The touchpad does seem to be influenced by the rear touchpad that is on the Playstation Vita.  The Dualshock 4 will also include a share button.  There is also the addition of Playstation Move capabilities, which should allow for motion controls that will also go with a new version of the PS Eye, taking advantage of the move lightbar on the controller.

Andrew House, President of Sony and Group CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment also mentioned that the Playstation 4 would also create a degree of unity between the many different parts of Sony’s game platforms, meaning the PS Vita, Sony Tablets and Sony Phones.  The hope seems to be that you can turn off a game on the Playstation 4 and continue on your phone as you leave the house.  

Sony also seems to be hoping that the Playstation 4 will help breathe a bit of life into the underwhelming PS Vita.  (Which as an owner of one, I can attest to.)

READ MORE: Playstation 4 Revealed By Sony 

Sony then gave the floor to Dave Perry, a game designer and co-founder/CEO of  Gaikai, a company that specializes in Cloud Gaming.  Gaikai in conjunction with the PS4 will, in the opinion of Dave Perry, revolutionize gaming for this new future.  The PS4 could let a portion or all of the computing be done in the cloud, enabling the remote play, mentioned earlier to be possible on such a large array of devices.  The cloud also works in conjunction with the earlier mentioned share button on the Dualshock 4.

The New Dualshock 4 controller design (Playstation of America)
The New Dualshock 4 controller design (Playstation of America)
As you play a game, a portion of the latest part you played will continually be saved.  So when the player hits the share button they can then see their latest bit of gameplay and post it to facebook or send it to their friends’ PS4.  The Playstation 4 will also be able to stream your gameplay to your friends.  To further add to the social network that the Playstation 4 is developing, a player will have the option to get direct help from a friend.

So if a player is stuck on a puzzle in a game, they can then ask one of their friends to briefly play for them and solve the puzzle.  Also while watching a player, friends can comment on the stream and give hints or talk trash.  

The rest of the presentation revolved around the games that will eventually be released on the new system.  Founders from Guerilla Games, SuckerPunch, Ubisoft, Capcom and other game developers showed off some of their games and explained why they felt the Playstation 4 was such a great platform for them to develop on.  

David Cage, the creator of Heavy Rain for instance, showed how he felt the PS4 allowed him to create characters that could fully express emotions.  He went on further to compare it, much in the way of how the audience could gauge characters feelings in a silent film.

Media Molecule, creators of Little Big Planet, instead demonstrated what seems to be the natural evolution of their game series.  Instead of just creating a level they demonstrated, how by using the move controller that you could use to sculpt out an object, or characters or practically anything you wanted.  

Ubisoft showed Watch Dogs, which still looks impressive, and  SquareEnix showed off a tech demo of what the PS4 could do, but not in a game form.  Instead Shinji Hashimoto, the man in charge of Final Fantasy, stated that a new game would be announced at E3 but assured the audience the game would be released this year.

Blizzard also announced a partnership with Sony that will at least initially begin with an exclusive console version of Diablo 3 for the PS4 and PS3.  Hopefully this version won’t have to deal with Error 37

The final big announcement was by Activision.  Activision announced a joint venture with the newly independent Bungie.  Bungie, most famous for the Xbox exclusive Halo series, revealed their new game, Destiny.  Destiny will be the first Bungie game to be on a Sony system and although it will be a multiplatform game, Bungie promised Destiny will have Playstation exclusive content.

At the Playstation event many things were revealed although to a degree most of them, like the controller were badly kept secrets.  Although the price or the appearance of the system weren’t revealed, the hype machine will surely build up until E3, where it is presumed the price and release date will be announced.  



Read More on the Playstation 4 from Sony's official site here.

Reach Staff Writer Roger Aguirre here.



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