Sony Drops the Mic with PS4 Announcement

ps4

Highlights from the Sony / PS4 press conference:

– Sony won.

I could end it at that, but let’s take a serious look at what the PS4 has to offer.

  • $399 US price point, $100 less than the Xbox One.
  • Holiday 2013 launch date.
  • Support of pre-owned games (PS4).
  • Indie developers have the ability to self publish content.
  • The hardware is a nice throwback to the PS2 design.

If there ever was a time to just drop the mic and walk off stage, Sony could have used a Power Point to pop those five highlights on screen and ended the night and still come out on top. Instead the company brought us a spectacular two-hour event that highlighted their dedication to gaming and the fans. Addressing many of the concerns fans have voiced since the announcement of the Xbox One, Sony drove home the point that their next gen console is a true gaming entertainment system.

Sony kicked off with full support of their Vita, calling it the “companion to the PS4.” God of War HD 1 and 2 were announced, along with the highly anticipated sequel to Telltale’s The Walking Dead. Also, not in a hurry to bury the PS3, they unveiled some new titles that had fans hollering in the crowd. The Puppeteer looks increasingly charming while Beyond: Two Souls could be intensely heart breaking. We also got the prequel to the Arkham games. Batman: Arkham Origins which brings a whole slew of rogues out to squash the Bat, including the return of The Clown Prince of Crime!

Now, onto the PS4. The box itself is a reminiscent of the PS2, which the Twitterverse lit up at. Angled and sharp, it looks like the next gen systems for both companies is sticking with the boxy design. It’s simple and modern, but what really counts is what’s inside. We didn’t hear a lot about the tech specs of the system, but there’s still a week’s worth of E3 to fill up.

Game wise, Sony came out hard with a new IP from Santa Monica. The Order: 1866 looks like a supernatural survival game set in a dystopian world. Graphics and the few measures of story we were treated to shows it to be a strong new title.

KillZone and Drive Club will also make launch title debuts. A nice look at InFAMOUS: Second Son shows the game to be as fun as it’s predecessor, but we won’t have that in time for launch.

Quantic Dream revealed more of their creepy old man. At first I thought we were getting a DragonLance game, as he looked strikingly similar to Raistlin, sans the gold skin – but turns out it’s The Dark Sorcerer. The video was hilarious, and the graphics unbelievable. There will be a full demo on Tuesday. This is one to keep your eyes on.

One of the other major titles to come out of the PS4 conference was Final Fantasy XV, the formerly titled Versus VIII. Square Enix has created a world not too unlike our own, but with a mix of high fantasy and not-so-distant sci-fi elements. The two main characters will certainly appeal to the Tumblr crowd, meaning they are young boys that you will probably want to avoid any fanfiction about. While I wasn’t overly impressed with the graphics and game play (looked a little too much like God of War), I know hard core Final Fantasy fans will buy the system just for this. And of course, Square Enix couldn’t resist not teasing us with the next installment in the Kingdom Hearts series.

The bevy of indie games showcased really drove home that Sony is trying to do right by the fans. They announced that developers will have the ability to self publish games via the marketplace, opening up a slew of opportunities for up and coming companies. This alone packed a huge punch to Microsoft. Sony followed it up by announcing that the PS4 would support used games. PS4 discs will act just like PS3 discs, and games can be traded, sold or simply shared between friends. They even gave us a handy PSA on how this works.

The last game of the night with Bungie’s Destiny. It was like Mass Effect and Halo had a love child and this beautiful creation was born from their night of passion. Seriously, the game is gorgeous in every way. The lighting effects, weaponry, graphics is a dream for FPS fans. I expect to hear a lot more about this blockbuster in the coming days.

It was a superb performance from Sony. Not only did they listen to what fans have been saying against Microsoft, but they took a lot of criticism from their last system and have worked hard to improve on that. It’s not a fully immersed entertainment system like the Xbox One, but the PS4 is a true gaming console. Both systems will find homes with their demographics, but it’s great to see a company really listening to what the gamer world wants.

[Pre-Order a PS4 on Amazon.com: $399]




25 Responses to Sony Drops the Mic with PS4 Announcement

    • Competition implies that there’s a fair fight. This isn’t going to be a competition. It won’t even be a slaughter. It will be a vulture swooping in to consume it’s prey that has just shot itself in the head.

      I mean seriously: cheaper price, comparable hardware, and not being dictated to on how you can use your property. And since they’re not backwards compatible, even loyalty as a reason goes out the window. Literally the only reason to stay with MS from an objective point of view is if they have an exclusive title that you like. Or if you’re an exhibitionist that happens to like their NSA lite (aka the always-spying-on-you kinect). Unless they do some serious back-peddling, they’re going to lose, and lose big. I wouldn’t be surprised if going through with their plans ultimately kills their hardware division.

    • I hope so, I am so sick of XIII/2 and the thought of Lightning Returns sickens me.
      I’ve lost a lot of interest in the FF series since X, I really did not like XII too much and XIII is pure bs imo. I’d love to see something more than just a cash cow. And I am hoping XV is where it is at.

  1. Yes, PS4 is $100 cheaper than XBox One, but that is because Xbox One comes with Kinect. PS4 chose not to bundle their camera.

    • That’s because most people don’t care to have a camera. Especially not one that’s on 24/7. And hey, if you really want a camera, buy it separate and you’ll still be paying 40 less than for an XB1.

      • The Kinect is only on the the Xbone is on. Might as well throw away your cell phone because it’s speakers and camera is always on. Big Brothers always watching you know /sarcasm.

        • Originally that was *not* the case. Before the announcement yesterday, you would be able to walk into the room with your xbox one, and tell it to turn on. In otherwords: the Kinect would always be on, without your xbox being on. MS realized what a horrific class action lawsuit this could lead to, and decided to recant and allow you to turn your Kinect off, but they were absolutely leading out with it being ALWAYS on, unless you unhooked the power from the box.

    • And, the PS3 camera is only $50. STILL makes it cheaper. That’s not a justification for a higher price point: A required addon that only a fraction of your users will take advantage of. It’s just as frivolous as the “check in every 24 hours” crap: In the end – it won’t stop pirates/hackers, and will only go to burden your paying fans.

  2. Both Systems leave me feeling underwhelmed. It’s like adding a new video card to your PC, you can do all the same stuff you were doing before with better graphics as expected!

  3. And I see nothing that says either system is backwards compatible. I still have a ps1 an ps2 and I had an original xbox but it died,simply because neither company can figure out backwards compatibility.

    • Maybe re-read the article, and you’ll see, the “Backwards Compatability” aspect.
      Sony Drops the Mic with PS4 Announcement

      “$399 US price point, $100 less than the Xbox One.
      Holiday 2013 launch date.
      Support of pre-owned games.
      Indie developers have the ability to self publish content.
      The hardware is a nice throwback to the PS2 design.”

      Let’s read that again, Support of Pre-Owned Games. Pre owned as in ps3,2,and 1.

      no need to thank me for the clarification.

      • Pre-owned = PS3/2/1 Titles? Sorry, you failed!

        Pre-owned means PS4 titles resold/gave away to another person.

      • Ummm, you read that wrong. Pre-owned means PS4 games that were previously owned. The architecture of the PS4 is completely different from the previous playstations, its x86 based which is a good thing, but it also means it wont do backwards compatibility straight away. They did mention streaming of previous playstation platforms later on. But for now, neither Xbone or PS4 will be backwards compatible.

        It sucks that PS4 has no immediate backwards compatible option, but its also worth it to get it on a x86 platform instead.

    • It’s not that they can’t figure out backwards compatibility, it’s that they don’t want to a dd it. They make up stuff like incompatible hardware to explain it away but the truth is they make more money by forcing you to buy expensive new games, than by supporting cheap bargin bin old games.

      • Not only that, but they’re trying to get you to purchase the games you already have for the PS1/2/3 on their marketplace.

  4. I also enjoyed that every single game that they played (rather than showing cinemas), crashed or lagged horribly. Though they’re stepping in front by the price and pre-owned games (which, as of right now, will require online passes still… so unless you’re waiting months and months down the road to play them; they’ll still end up costing about as much as a brand new game). They’re also taking a HUGE step backwards by heavily relying on the PS Vita, or did none of you catch that also? So now you’ll also have to purchase a $250 accessory to get the ‘Full experience’. I think Sony has gone in a good direction with price, however: Instead of putting a system out for $500 for 3 months then dropping it to $399-$400 and continiously dropping said price to sale more, they’re starting off low and they’ll stay that way for years, whilst the XBox will start off high and will taper off in the months to come. Not to mention Microsoft ALWAYS has wicked sale bundles for the holidays, when Sony never does. I’m not a fanboy of either, but I think XBox is giving us more bang for our buck, not to mention they have so many new titles coming out (47+ with launch), while Sony keeps saying they have titles in the works while the PS3 titles (namely The Last of Us) are coming out. They have less than 10 normal titles, but are relying on the PS Vita’s 160 indie titles to save their console. This war will be interesting.

  5. “We didn’t hear a lot about the tech specs of the system…”

    That’s because they already revealed the specs 4 months ago. AMD custom Jaguar 8 core processor, ATI Radeon graphics, 500 GB HDD, 8GB GDDR5 RAM. Essentially it has almost the same hardware as the Xbone, but with much faster RAM.

    • Actually the RAM for the PS4 is NOT faster only due to the fact it’s ‘Allocated’ between all system and sub-system components. That RAM is shared between every software computation, which is a big problem (since you have ALL system ‘dashboard’ items running in the background of your game: Livestreaming and recording processes, system processes, online processes [The list goes on and on]) . When you purchase a PC or build one, you NEVER want anything ‘allocated’. It’s slower and more prone to crashes by filling up with menial tasks too quickly: We saw this multiple time during their E3 press conference. Also their GPU is weaker, as it is integrated with the APU. This, again, is a very very bad thing… and again, they did the same thing with their CPU. This overall provides limited power (albeit high settings of it) in an extremely cheap fashion. It will ‘throttle’ settings in order to play the game, however, these games will not push extremely high settings without becoming unstable and crashing (due to graphical leaks etc). Now, if they can find a way to shut down all of those ‘menial tasks’ while you play a game, it will fix their crashing issues.

      • Regardless of how the system manages the RAM (something they are sure to address before launch), the fact is, the PS4’s GDDR5 on its own has much, much faster throughput than the DDR3 in the Xbone (176 GB/s versus 68GB/s). The GPU in the Xbone uses the same “system on a chip” combined CPU/GPU structure as the PS4, with the exception of the Xbone’s additional 32 MB of ESRAM on the chip, so I don’t see how that is really a weakness of the PS4. Frankly, the Xbone GPU itself is somewhat weaker than the PS4’s, as the Xbone is essentially a Radeon 7770, using 768 shader cores running at 1.23 TFLOPS, while the PS4 has something comparable to the Radeon 7850, using 1152 shader cores running at 1.84 TFLOPS. Any way you cut it, the PS4 definitely has the edge in hardware, but in the end that will really only matter for exclusive titles, since cross-platform ones are likely to be optimized for the lowest common denominator.

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