Sony announces PlayStation 4

ps4announceProbably not a huge surprise, but Sony Computer Entertainment has just officially announced the PlayStation 4. While we haven’t seen the console itself, we’ve seen the new DualShock 4 controller as well as heard a ton about the specs of the machine.

We’ll talk about the controller in more detail in another article, but it is pretty close to what we’ve seen, though there are a few new interesting functions we didn’t know about.

The console itself will be called PlayStation 4, not Orbis, or anything else. While Sony’s website hasn’t been updated to show off the new system as of this writing, we got plenty of details from the presentation that we can share. Lead system architect, Mark Cerny, a legend in the gaming industry, said that work on PlayStation 4 began in the early days of the PlayStation 3, which means Sony will be looking at PlayStation 5 design documents within a year or two.

original-1“We were able to create in PlayStation 4 a system by game creators, for game creators,” Cerny said. The system runs on a pretty standard x86 architecture, a “highly enhanced” PC graphics processor, copious amounts of hard disk space (we’d guess a terabyte or so, if Sony has it’s way with features of the console), and 8GB of RAM.

What Cerny pointed out was that the system memory is actually GDDR5 memory, usually reserved for the highest-end graphics cards, and it will deliver a whopping 176 GB per second data rates. That is truly remarkable considering the PS3 has just a quarter-gig of a much slower variety, naturally.

The software that is running on the new PlayStation 4 will have a plethora of new and interesting features, including features like Suspend & Resume which lets a gamer hit the power button and pick up exactly where they left off, eliminating the need for those few minutes on either end of gameplay sessions that can be rather boring. There are a bunch of other nuances to the new take on Sony’s gaming interface, and we’ll be going through those in another article.

Sony’s event was devoid of both Kaz Hirai and Jack Tretton who are usually the poster boys for big hardware announcements, and as such, we didn’t get any price or release dates for the console. With that said, we didn’t really expect to get prices or dates today, anyway.

The console has tech carried over from previous generations to enable Remote Play of some games, though the technology behind it puts the data processing on the console and the video processing on the Vita which would lead to near-zero lag. Whenever we hear “zero-” anything, we’re skeptical, but we can’t say what is true until we get our hands on with it, likely at E3 in June.

As expected, the hardware announcement brought up more questions than were answered, but we assume we’ll be finding out more in the coming months. Stay tuned to Eggplante on Twitter and Facebook for all the latest and greatest PS4 news.