Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI) introduced PlayStation 4, its next generation computer entertainment. Combined with PlayStation Network with cloud technology, PS4 offers an expansive gaming ecosystem that is centered on gamers, enabling them to play when, where, and how they want. PS4 will be available this holiday season.
PS4 is centered around a custom chip that contains eight x86-64 cores and a graphics processor. The Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) has been enhanced in a number of ways, principally to allow for easier use of the GPU for general purpose computing (GPGPU) such as physics simulation. The GPU contains a unified array of 18 compute units, which collectively generate 1.84 Teraflops of processing power that can freely be applied to graphics, simulation tasks, or some mixture of the two.
PS4 is equipped with 8 GB of unified system memory. GDDR5 is used for this memory, giving the system 176 GB/second of bandwidth and providing a further boost to graphics performance.
The end result for gamers is new games with rich, high-fidelity graphics and deeply immersive experiences that shatter expectations.
PS4 provides dedicated, “always on” video compression and decompression systems that enable seamless uploading of gameplay. Gamers can share their triumphs with the press of a button. Gamers hit the “Share” button on the controller, scan through the last few minutes of gameplay, tag it, and return to the game—the video uploads as the gamer plays. Gamers can share their images and videos to their friends on social networking services such as Facebook.
PS4 also enhances social spectating by enabling gamers to broadcast their gameplay in real-time to friends using live Internet streaming services such as Ustream. During live broadcasts, friends can make comments on the streamed gameplay and, if a gamer gets stuck on a challenging level, friends can also join the game in completely new ways. For example, friends can offer health potions or special weapons when a player needs them most during actual gameplay.
Furthermore, users can connect their Facebook account with Sony Entertainment Network account. Through PS4, users are able to deepen their connections through co-op play or “cross-game chat.”
PS4 integrates second screens, including PlayStation Vita (PS Vita), smartphones, and tablets, to wrap gamers in their favorite content wherever they are. A key feature enabled by second screens is “Remote Play.” With PS Vita, gamers will be able to seamlessly pull PS4 titles from their living room TVs and play them on PS Vita’s 5-inch display and intuitive dual analog sticks over Wi-Fi networks.
A new application from SCE called “PlayStation App” will enable iPhone, iPad, and Android based smartphones and tablets to become second screens. Once installed on these devices, users can, for example, see maps on their second screens when playing an adventure game, purchase PS4 games while away from home and download it directly to the console at home, or remotely watch other gamers playing on their devices.
PS4 also features “suspend mode,” which keeps the system in a low power state while preserving the game session. The time it takes today to boot a console and load a saved game will be a thing of the past. With PS4, gamers just hit the power button again and are promptly back playing the game at the exact point where they left off. Additionally, users can boot a variety of applications including a web browser when playing a game on PS4.
PS4 also enables games to be downloaded or updated in the background, or even in stand-by mode. The system takes it one step further by making digital titles playable as they are being downloaded. When a player purchases a game, PS4 downloads just a fraction of the data so gamers can start playing immediately, and the rest is downloaded in the background during actual gameplay.
On the newly designed PS4 menu screen, players can look over game-related information shared by friends, view friends’ gameplay, or obtain information of recommended content, including games, TV shows, and movies.
SCE will announce new details of PS4 and its lineup of games from 3rd party developers and publishers, the independent gaming community and SCE Worldwide Studios, as well as further enhancements to the entire PlayStation ecosystem between now and the holiday launch.