PlayStation 4 (officially abbreviated as PS4), is a video game console from Sony Computer Entertainment. Announced as the successor to PlayStation 3 during a press conference on February 20, 2013, it was launched on November 15, 2013, in North America, and November 29, 2013, in Europe and Australia. It competes with Nintendo's Wii U and Microsoft's Xbox One, as one of the eighth generation of video game consoles.
Moving away from the complicated Cell architecture of its predecessor, PlayStation 4 features a more common AMD processor, in hopes of attracting a broader range of developers and support for the system. Sony intends more focus on social gameplay, incorporating a "share" button on the new controller and enabling a view of in-game play streamed live from friends.
The console enables interactivity with other services and devices through the following methods: Gaikai, a cloud-based gaming service that offers streaming video game content; PlayStation App, designed to enhance gameplay by using smartphones and tablets as a second screen; and PlayStation Vita's design for playing a majority of PlayStation 4 games through wireless Remote Play.
The company revealed release dates for everyone as well as final pieces of information at the Gamescom conference in Cologne, Germany on August 20, 2013. The console was released on November 15, 2013 in the United States and Canada, followed by further releases on November 29, 2013, in Europe. The PlayStation 4 had debuted in Singapore and Timothy North on December 19, 2013.
The console design was not revealed at the press conference, since its shape and specifications were still being finalized. However, some technical specifications about the console were announced. The technology in PlayStation 4 is relatively similar to the hardware found in personal computers. This familiarity should make it easier and less expensive for game studios to develop games for PS4. The physical console was finally unveiled by Sony at E3 2013.
Technical specifications Edit
- Main article: PlayStation 4 technical specifications
PlayStation 4 uses a processor developed by AMD in cooperation with Sony. It combines a central processing unit (CPU) and graphics processing unit (GPU), as well as other components such as a memory controller and video decoder. The CPU consists of two quad-core Jaguar modules totaling 8 x86-64 cores. The GPU consists of 18 compute units to produce a theoretical peak performance of 1.84 TFLOPS. The system's GDDR5 memory is capable of running at a maximum clock frequency of 2.75 GHz (5500 MT/s) and has a maximum memory bandwidth of 176 GB/s. The console contains 8 GB of GDDR5 memory, 16 times the amount of RAM found in the PS3 and is expected to give the console considerable longevity. It also includes secondary custom chips that handle tasks associated with downloading, uploading, and social gameplay. These tasks can be handled seamlessly in the background during gameplay or while the system is in sleep mode. The console also contains an audio module, which can support in-game chat as well as "a very large number" of audio streams for use in-game.
Its read-only optical drive is capable of reading Blu-ray Discs at speeds of up to three times that of the PS3's. The console features a hardware on-the-fly decompression module boosting optical disc reading speed and buffer unread data when a game is not actively accessing the optical drive, forming part of Sony's PlayGo strategy. Like the PlayStation 3, the Blu-ray Disc drive should be capable of reading 16-layer 400 GB discs. Although the console supports photos and videos at 4K resolution, the system is not expected to be able to render games beyond 1080p. The console includes a 500 gigabyte hard drive for additional storage, which can be upgraded by the user.
PlayStation 4 features WiFi and Ethernet connectivity, Bluetooth, and two USB 3.0 ports. An auxiliary port is also be included for connection to the PlayStation Camera, a motion detection digital camera device first introduced on the PS3. A mono headset, which can be plugged into the DualShock 4, is bundled with the system. Audio/video output options include HDMI TV and optical S/PDIF audio. The console does not have an analog audio/video output.
Although not available on the system at launch, the PS4 features a "Suspend mode" feature. This places the console in a low-power state, while allowing users to immediately resume their game once the console is awoken. The console also is able to download content such as game and OS updates while it is in this state.
- Main article: DualShock 4
DualShock 4 is PlayStation 4's primary controller, retailing at US$59/€59/£54. Similar to the DualShock 3, it connects to the console via Bluetooth 2.1+EDR. The DualShock 3, however, is not compatible with PS4. The DualShock 4 is equipped with several new features, including a built-in two-point capacitative touch pad on the front of the controller, which is clickable. The controller supports motion detection via a three-axis gyroscope and three-axis accelerometer and improved vibration, as well as being the first PlayStation first-party controller to feature official support for the Windows PC platform. It includes a non-removable, rechargeable lithium-ion battery tentatively capable of storing 1000 mAh. The tentative design weighs Template:Convert, has dimensions of Template:Convert, and has a rubber or etched plastic backing to enhance grip. The design shown at Sony's launch event was "near final".
The controller features several output connectors. Its stereo jack (3.5 mm TRRS connector) supports the connection of a headset to allow a user to speak and hear audio simultaneously. A micro-USB port, an extension port, and a mono speaker is also included. The controller can be charged via micro-USB, a dedicated charging station, or the console (even when the console is off).
DualShock 4 features the following buttons: PS button, SHARE button, OPTIONS button, directional buttons, action buttons (triangle, circle, cross, square), shoulder buttons (R1/L1), triggers (R2/L2), analog stick click buttons (L3/R3) and a touch pad click button. These mark several changes from the DualShock 3 and other previous PlayStation controllers. The START and SELECT buttons have been merged into a single OPTIONS button. A dedicated SHARE button allows players to upload videos from their gameplay experiences. The joysticks and triggers have been redesigned based on developer input. The joysticks now features a concave surface.
DualShock 4 also features a light bar that can display different colors. The colors help identify players and alert them with critical messages such as low health. It also interacts with a camera attachment that perceives movement and depth by using the controller's light bar. It is based on the existing technology used in the PlayStation Move. Existing PlayStation Move controllers are supported on PS4.
PlayStation Camera is an optional motion sensing accessory for PlayStation 4. It includes two 1280×800px lenses operating with an aperture of Template:F/2.0, with 30 cm focusing distance, and an 85° field of view. The dual camera setup allows for different modes of operation, depending on the target application. The two cameras can be used together for depth-sensing of objects in its field of vision, akin to the Xbox's Kinect peripheral. Alternatively, one of the cameras can be used for generating the video image, with the other used for motion tracking.
PlayStation Camera also features a four-channel microphone array, which helps reduce unwanted background noise and may even be used to issue commands. It is tentatively set to be Template:Convert (width × height × depth), with a weight of Template:Convert. It records video in RAW and YUV (uncompressed) formats and connects to the console via an auxiliary port.
Companion devices Edit
- Main article: Remote Play
A PlayStation Vita can be used for streaming video directly from the console to the handheld, allowing supported games to be played remotely. Sony hopes to make all PS4 games playable on PlayStation Vita. Developers can add Vita-specific controls for use via Remote Play.
PlayStation App allows iOS and Android mobile devices to interact with PlayStation 4, similar to Xbox SmartGlass. Gamers can use this application to, for example, purchase PS4 titles while away from home and have them remotely downloaded to the console, watch live streams of other gamers, and view in-game maps while playing games.
Software and services Edit
PlayStation 4 runs an operating system called "Orbis OS"; prototypes ran on the FreeBSD operating system. The final version runs on the FreeBSD kernel. Although the console does not require an Internet connection to function, it will provide "richer" functionality when it is connected to the internet. PlayStation Network (PSN) allows users to access a variety of online services, including PlayStation Store, and the Music Unlimited and Video Unlimited subscription services. Customers can browse titles and stream games via Gaikai to demo them almost instantaneously. Unlike PS3, a PlayStation Plus subscription is required to access online multiplayer in most games; this requirement does not apply to "free-to-play" or subscription-based titles. a new policy introduced with PlayStation 4, though this is dependent on the game publisher. Furthermore, owing to the need to subscribe for online multiplayer, Sony will not allow online passes to be used on the system by any publisher. Sony intends to expand and evolve the services it offers over the console's lifespan.
User interface Edit
PlayStation 4 replaces the functionality of PlayStation 3's XrossMediaBar with a new customizable interface titled PlayStation Dynamic Menu. The user profile for players shows recent activity, their full name, and other details in addition to their unlocked Trophies. The PS4 home screen features personalized content from friends. Services from third-party vendors, such as Netflix and Amazon Instant Video, are also accessible within the new interface. It is possible to multitask during gameplay, such as opening a web browser while playing a game.
Sony has announced 11 digital entertainment apps on PS4 at the American launch on November 15, 2013: Amazon Instant Video, Crackle, Crunchyroll, EPIX, Hulu Plus, NBA Game Time, Netflix, NHL GameCenter LIVE, Redbox, VUDU and YuppTV.
Voice control Edit
A microphone or camera enables users to control the system through voice commands. Although limited at launch, Sony plans to expand the number of voice commands in the near future.
Social features Edit
Template:Quote box Sony is focused on "social" aspects as a major feature of the console. Although PS4 has improved social functionality, the features are optional and can be disabled. Gamers have the option to use real names with friends, in addition to a nickname in other situations when anonymity is important.
The DualShock 4 controller includes a "SHARE" button, allowing the player to cycle through the last 15 minutes of gameplay to select a screenshot or video clip appropriate for sharing. Media is uploaded seamlessly from the console to other PSN users or social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. By December 10, 2013, the "SHARE" button was already responsible for 20 million minutes of live gameplay broadcasts, and accounts for 10% of all Twitch activity.
Live broadcasting Edit
Gamers can browse live video of titles their friends are playing through the PS4 interface, with cross-game camera and microphone inputs, spectate or assist in their game to help them overcome difficult obstacles, and broadcast live video of one's own gameplay via public services Twitch and Ustream, allowing friends to view and comment on them from other web browsers and devices.
Template:See also Sony Computer Entertainment of America chief executive officer Jack Tretton said games for PlayStation 4 will range in price from Template:USD to Template:USD. Games on PlayStation 4 are not region-locked, so games purchased in one region can be played on consoles in all regions. In response to concerns surrounding the possibility of DRM measures to hinder the resale of used games (and in particular, the initial DRM policies of Xbox One, which did contain such restrictions), Sony explicitly stated that there would be "no restrictions" on the resale and trading of PS4 games on physical media, while software product development head Scott Rohde specified that Sony was planning to disallow online passes as well, going on to say that the polices were designed to be "consumer-friendly, extremely retailer-friendly, and extremely publisher-friendly."
Sony also took steps to make it easier for indie game developers to develop titles for PS4. Developers are able to self-publish their titles on PlayStation Network for PlayStation 3, 4, and Vita systems. The company further announced at least ten indie titles that will make their console debut on PlayStation 4 by the end of 2013.
In addition to the physical media available at retailers, all PlayStation 4 titles can be purchased online through PlayStation Store. Demos are available for all games. Players can sign into any PS4 console to access their entire digital game library.
All PS4 games, regardless of media, must be installed to the console's hard drive in an effort to reduce load times. After the download and/or installation of a game's initial content (such as opening levels), users can begin playing the game while additional content is streamed from the game's disc or downloaded as needed. A secondary processor coordinates the background downloading of games and updates, even when the console is in standby mode.
Backward compatibility Edit
PlayStation 4 does not natively support PlayStation 3 games. While the company has yet to also rule out locally-hosted emulation of some previous generations of game systems, the company has detailed plans to leverage Gaikai (which Sony acquired in July 2012) to provide cloud-based emulation of previous generations on both PS4 and Vita as a long-term solution to the challenges of backwards compatibility. In December 2013, Andrew House indicated that Sony was planning to launch Gaikai streaming for PS4 in North America within the third quarter of 2014, with a European launch to follow in 2015. Gaikai is already used by the console as the backend for the Remote Play feature.
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