Sony shares new PlayStation 4 details at GDC
posted on 03.27.13 at 03:38 PM EDT by (@salromano)
Real names optional, bigger friends list, and more.

Sony shared new details on PlayStation 4 during a developer overview session at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco.


Sony is targeting PlayStation 4 to be the “central device in the living room,” and are building the system around core gamers, its “primary audience.”

There are five core principles to PlayStation 4: “Simple, Immediate, Social, Integrated, and Personalized.”

[Note: I have no idea what I’m writing in this next section.]

The PlayStation 4 CPU boasts a 64-bit x86 architecture, low power consumption, low heat, 8 cores, 8 hardware threads, 2MiB L2 cache per 4 core group, 32kib l1 I/D-cache, PlayStation Shader Language, and features DirectX 11 and OpenGL 4.0 support.

The GPU will offer tessellation to add “geometric detail to smooth edges or create more organic shapes.”

The system’s RAM is 8GB 256 bit GDDR5, a high-end graphics memory only found on PC graphics cards.

The PlayStation 4 developer environment is Windows 7 64-bit (our source wrote “Windows 7-bit,” but we take it that’s what he meant) with tools fully integrated into Visual Studio 2010 and 2012. Developers, Sony says you’ll be able to “debug your PS4 code as you would your PC code.”

Every PlayStation 4 will be equipped with a large hard-drive.

DualShock 4

As previously announced, the Start and Select buttons on the DualShock 4 have been replaced with a single “Options” button, and a new button called “Share” has been added.

According to Sony, the PlayStation 4 controller buttons are going back to digital over analog because no one used them on PlayStation 3.

The L2 and R2 buttons on the DualShock 4 have been given a curved bottom. That means no more accidental fast-forwarding while watching Netflix.

The touchpad on the controller will have a resolution of 1920×900, and will click when pushed down.

The light bar on the back of the controller can act as indicators for different players. Player one would be blue, two red, three green, and four pink, just like the PlayStation symbol colors. It could also indicate things in-game, like when your health bar is low.

Unlike the DualShock 3 and PlayStation 3, you’ll be able to charge the PlayStation 4 controller when the system is not turned on.

PlayStation 4 Eye

The PlayStation 4 Eye camera will “enhance the PS4 user experience” with high-sensitivity dual color cameras at 1280×800 resolution, 12 bits per pixel, and 60Hz.

PlayStation 4 will have a dedicated port for the camera, which is an exclusive Sony-developed connector. That means you won’t be able to plug it into your PC.

Suggested uses for the camera include walkthrough videos, killcam taunting, system login, and speech recognition. Or, the camera can see each player’s controller, and move split-screens according to each person’s location in the room.

User Interface

In 2004, there was the XMB (PSP, PS3), in 2011, the LiveArea (PS Vita), and with PlayStation 4, a new user interface based on the five principles mentioned earlier.

The interface is meant to give players a glance of information without having to load a game. You’ll be able to see what new add-ons are out, what friends are saying about said game, etc.

PlayStation Network

Every PlayStation Network user on PlayStation 4 will have two identities: their real name and picture, and their PlayStation Network ID and avatar. The player can toggle whether others see their real name. If imported through Facebook, your real name will automatically show. But that, too, can be modified.

Additionally, PlayStation 4 will have an increased friends capacity.

Social Gaming

A mock-up of how PlayStation 4 can integrate social gaming was shown. For example, with games that have choices (imagine Mass Effect or Heavy Rain), it’s possible you might see what choices your friends who’ve played the game have made. Developers will be able to set chapter markers in PlayStation 4 games for reference when using such Share options.

As far as PlayStation 4’s streaming and sharing features go, they require no additional work from developers. The hardware will handle it automatically.

Remote Play

With remote play, PlayStation 4 games can be played on a PS Vita screen. The screens are mirrored on both systems at the same time. As with streaming and sharing, this is something handled by the hardware, not the developers, and can be booted at any time with no special mode required.

PlayStation App

Through the PlayStation mobile app, PlayStation Network users will be able to login, buy PlayStation 4 games, and have their systems begin downloading at home.

Thanks, @GameOverGreggy, @Pikoeri.

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  • Richard Tooth

    I guess that counts be out as a “Primary audience” I only use my PS3 for gaming nothing else :-) would this still appeal to me? Don’t want to fork out money for a system mainly for social media and such. Thanks :)

    • uhawww

      It says ‘core gamers’ are the primary audience…

    • I think you’re misunderstanding. The terms are core gamers and casual gamers. Sony said core gamers.

      • Richard Tooth

        Ohhh! Can’t you tell I haven’t been to sleep yet :-) haha sorry! Thanks for clearing that up, thank god for Sony!

    • Ryuhza Murphy Timmuns

      It may have some social funstuff added in, but trust me, this will be nothing compared to when Microsoft shows the new Kinectbox.

      PS4 will still have it’s prime focus on gaming.

      • Richard Tooth

        Haha, they do like there Kinectbox don’t they….

    • Solomon_Kano

      Nothing here says it’s mainly for social media though…?

    • disqus_rIjnBIKvqC

      ye,im not getting next gen or the ps4,the ps4 can burn in hell,so can sony.they literally goes away from gaming,what made ps1 and ps2 and ps3,its the main focus the games,your hear that sony….games you douchebags.

      when I start my ps3,all I do is gaming,if I want to watch movies,listen to music ill do with 46 inch tv connected to 5.1 on blu ray or I pop in a CD.

      i couldnt care less for social media,especially on my console,I dont turn on my ps3 so I can log in to twitter,facebook and all that bullshitt.I game games,nothing else.

      Sony will do the same thing as MS does,trying to make the console the center in your livingroom,and thats a bad thing,this means they will go harder social media,stupid share button,letting other help you while you game,I game so I dont need any other help,if I die I die.

      THey are going away from the hardcore audience,they have integrated Move,move is now unmovable if your getting the ps4.

      and since ps4 will up on the graphic part and that will cost alot more then ps3,my guess is that they will not take many chances,so there will be tons of shooter games,since it seems that its the only thing that teenagers play.

      and why ohh why would sony change their controller,its been like that before most of you was born and began to walk.

      • Yea not a fan of the whole facebook/twitter integration, and I’m still hopeing the PS4 Eye isn’t required to be plugged in because it feels like a ‘Big Brother’ thing having cameras pointed at you all the time.

        • Solomon_Kano

          You can always turn it around, put a sheet over it, hide under a cardboard box, etc.

          • DrForbidden

            Not if it is required for turning on and signing in… which I really hope it won’t be.

            • Solomon_Kano

              They’ve only listed those as possible uses. The Kinect does a similar thing on 360 currently, but you aren’t required to login that way or turn the system on that way.

              Considering the problems that facial recognition software presently has (generalization, inability to adapt to change), I can’t see Sony making that an integral part of just getting the system started. It’d be an unnecessary expense when the PS3 already has auto sign in on system startup.

              I understand the skepticism, but I don’t think we’ve heard enough to start worrying.

      • LordKaiser

        My PS3 will continue to be the center of my living room.

  • uhawww

    Hardware dependent Remote play makes me a happy Vita owner.

    • rockman29

      Omg they confirmed it???? WINNNN!!!

    • Kurisu Makise

      Ah so Watch Dog’s and ACIV: Black Flag all in the comfort of the comfy bed. Well played Sony, well played.

    • Tetsu

      Reeeeeeally stoked about this feature~

  • fqc

    “The player must enable people to see their real name. ”
    Fucking stupid.

    • How is it “stupid”? Most people were worried that it would show their real name automatically. In fact, most people don’t want their real name shown on PlayStation Network.

      • fqc

        I read it as the opposite meaning, as in “players must let people see their real name”. Sorry, my bad. I should not comment when I’m too tired.

        • Ah, I see how that can be misread. I updated the post with better wording.

      • Elvick

        That’s dumb though, because I’m pretty sure during the damn conference they said you could choose who to display it to already. If not then, then it was definitely early interview coverage.

        So we knew this already, but people like to throw their hissy fits without bothering to pay attention.


        you can do a false profile like facebook or twitter thats not a problem

  • So this means there’s no reason for PS4 games ported to PC to suck terribly? Sounds like it should be super easy to port back and forth between PC and PS4. I don’t have the money to spend on a PS4 (which is technically weaker than my PC) so I hope this means more console games get ported to PC

    • DesmaX

      Honestly, it isn’t really that hard. The PS3 is a console that is hard to program, so you commonly see X360 version being superior to their PS3 counterparts. But, yeah, it’s mainly the developer capacity for porting games to PC.

    • Solomon_Kano

      I don’t think this changes anything. It’s apparently not that hard to port from 360 to PC already and there’s still a lack of console to PC ports.

  • DesmaX

    “it’s possible you might see what choices your friends who’ve played the game have made.”

    … Hope it will be hidden, and let me see it only if I really want. I don’t wanna be spoiled

    “Unlike the DualShock 3 and PlayStation 3, you’ll be able to charge the PlayStation 4 controller when the system is not turned on.”

    But I just connect my Dualshock 3 on my PC to charge it when I’m not playing

    • Elvick

      I’m sure it’s an option, and will have filters.

      “Wonder what my friends are pla… AERITH DIES?!?!”

      • Tetsu

        AERITH DIES?!?!……….:(

        • Elvick

          Oops, spoilers!

          • Tetsu

            Lol, that would have been VERY sad had I not known.

            I would have been living under a rock for 15 years haha XD

  • DarthBrian

    “The PlayStation 4 developer environment is Windows 7-bit”

    This should probably be 64-bit Windows 7.

  • Bloodios

    I grow more and more giddy as more details about the console is unveiled. Can’t wait till E3 to see what the system will look like (and how much it will cost.)By the way…

    “The PlayStation 4 developer environment is Windows 7-bit with tools
    fully integrated into Visual Studio 2010 and 2012.”

    7-bit? Surely you mean Windows 7 64-bit, right? ;)

    • I think, yeah. Looking a it now, 7-bit doesn’t make sense. That’s what Greg Miller wrote, though. I updated the post with a note.

  • Solomon_Kano

    Charging the controller while the system’s off, low-power mode for downloading updates while powered down — these are fantastic features. Having to sit closer to my TV because my controller needs to charge always sucks, so knowing that I’ll never have to worry about that again is awesome.

    The PS4 Eye stuff sounds interesting too. I still remember having an EyeToy on PS2. Used it maybe twice. It’s cool to hear that they’re actually trying to come up with some relevant uses for the new one though.

  • Sweeeet

  • PrinceHeir

    “According to Sony, the PlayStation 4 controller buttons are going back to digital over analog because no one used them on PlayStation 3.”

    wait i don’t understand this, does this mean no rumble or something??

    • Solomon_Kano

      I don’t think it’s referring to rumble. I think it has something to do with the Start and Select buttons, maybe? Or the sticks? I remember the original Dualshock had an analog button, though I never knew what it did as kid. Other than light up, I guess lol.

      • PrinceHeir

        ahh the analog button :D

        PS3 still had rumble feature, but they removed the analog button.

        probably a waste of battery life

    • It’s talking about the main face buttons (triangle, square, X, circle) being able to tell how hard you’re pushing them. Some race games I think would have the car go faster depending on how hard you pushed, and back o the PS2 in the game “The Bouncer” you would perform different attacks depending on how hard you pushed the buttons.

      • PrinceHeir

        so they will remove that or what O___O

        i love how the game detects how hard or soft you press a button.

        • tubers

          Yeah they will.

          • PrinceHeir

            nooo :(

            • Skeletor

              they clearly state no devs used the feature

              If you can name two games that dod on PS3 I will show mercy on Prince Adam.

  • EcoYunix

    “The touchpad on the controller will have a resolution of 1920×900, and will click when pushed down” Yeah I’m not going to believe that the touchpad is too small to have a resolution like that…I have not seen anything so small to have a resolution like that

    • tubers

      I also don’t understand that as well.. does that mean converted to 1920×900 relative to the screen? Seems to be the PS VITA’s backpad ratio compared to the 5 inch OLED.

      I don’t think it’s resolution in terms of showing actual pixels..

      • shogunknight

        Actually, that is my most confusing part of the ps4. At first i thought it was a touch only interface without a screen, but after this, it may probably be a touchpad mixed with something you see in a digital watch (i think). if thats the case, then the resolution may be accurate (not that it may have been of use but oh well)

      • EcoYunix

        It’s so confusing x.x you saw how small that touchpad on the controller was. Like I’ll believe this when I see it

  • SirAuron14


    • Solomon_Kano


      • shogunknight

        yep, definitely e3

  • Fantasytales

    they had me at the first conference but with more details coming out im loving this system more n more.

  • This sounds absolutely amazing.

  • “Every PlayStation Network user on PlayStation 4 will have two
    identities: their real name and picture, and their PlayStation Network
    ID and avatar. The player must enable others to see their real name.”

    Fake names, fake names everywhere.

    “According to Sony, the PlayStation 4 controller buttons are going back
    to digital over analog because no one used them on PlayStation 3.”

    Huh, that’s a bit of a shame but can’t blame them. I can’t remember a single game that used analog button input since The Bouncer on PS2.

    • Solomon_Kano

      Well, you wouldn’t need a fake name since you can choose if people see your real name or not.

      • But do you really want to give Sony any real info on yourself after the PSN security breach?

        • Solomon_Kano

          That’s the thing… you don’t have to. How do they know what your real name is? If you choose to put John Doe, how do they that’s not who you are? They don’t. Whether you put your real name or not is up to you, one way or the other, you’re in control of whether everyone sees that info.

    • Gran Turismo!?!

      Edit: This is in reference to the analog controller buttons. GT uses the analog pressure sensitivity for steering with the D-pad, and for accelerating/braking with the cross and square buttons. The game physics act like having an IRL car pedals pressed halfway through.

      I’m actually concerned.

  • rockman29

    They have built it…

    And it is perfect.

    • Tetsu

      “If you build it, they will come”

      True, and true! nice :D

    • LordKaiser

      But not complete.

  • Skerj

    “As far as PlayStation 4′s streaming and sharing features go, they require no additional work from developers. The hardware will handle it automatically.”

    Thank goodness, that means it will be in every game. Now tell me the same about custom soundtracks and I am a happy panda.

  • shogunknight

    Good to know local multiplayer may still exist, and the info makes the ps4 very promising. Almost time to see the box and reveal the price, i wonder how it would look, curvy, boxy, sleek, glowing, hmm

  • Kurisu Makise

    I’m glad they confirmed the option to choose between the real id and the psn id. From there, the app for login, more details on PS4 Eye and the DualShock 4 are appreciated. I’m a bit concerned about the lack of analog on the buttons but if nobody used it then oh well I guess. I am curious if the PS4 Eye’s mandatory to always be plugged in, as well as just how big the HDD will be.

  • InternatlGamer3

    So that means that PSN titles and all games for PS3. Will be transferrable to PS4 after all.

    • Not sure where you’re getting that?

      • Tetsu

        I, too, am confused…?

    • Tetsu

      Huh? Where does it say that??

    • LordKaiser

      Sadly no. Sony is ditching all retro-compatibility. I would pre-order a PS4 otherwise. Everything is harder to me because I use wired connection only and If I had a PS4 I would need to unplug my Ethernet cable from 1 console to the other every time I switch. I don’t trust the re ability of WiFi connection at it DC more often.

      • Skeletor

        Wow. Paranoid much?
        My linksys wifi router is 7 years old and even with multiple devices accessing it at the sametime I can count on NO hands the number of DC’s Ive had since purchase.


        Also my wifi router has 4 ethernet ports on the back to hardwire multiple devices if I so choose.

        Enjoy the stone ages friend.

        • LordKaiser

          Also I would need to buy a router that I currently don’t need.

          • Skeletor

            Hence my last line in the above response.

  • “As far as PlayStation 4′s streaming and sharing features go, they
    require no additional work from developers. The hardware will handle it

    One of the best features already. One thing I hated about the PS3 was that Sony left it up to the developers to add a screenshot feature, custom soundtrack, and Youtube uploads. It’s good to see this feature already built-in this time though and will be compatible with every game.

  • Everything sounds good. I’m glad that Sony is giving us options, especially in regards to the social stuff, and personal information, like real names, etc. Those who read my previous comment — know that I was a bit worried about that.

    Anyways ~ I’m ready to see some more games! Bring on e3!

  • zweii

    Aww! No more pressure sensitive buttons. I love that in games like MGS. Its a real shame they are abandoning it now.

    • zweii

      I just found out that going back to digital will cut latency to the new controller.

      • Tetsu

        Yep! it’ll cut down on costs too, a minute amount, but still some.
        More precise buttons w00t!

      • Tetsu

        Also, the Vita does not have analog buttons, and if your using remote play with your PS4, you would not be able to play correctly!

        • Tetsu

          Actually I just re-read my own statement 3 times, and this must be the main reason, lol baffled myself with intellect! bwahaha :P

  • ddsfan2

    I find it strange that they mention that the architecture is “x86”, yet it is 64-bit. It sounds to me like they meant x86-64/x86_64, or amd64.

    I get that those architectures are considered by some to be x86 anyway, but I’m just sayin’.

  • LordKaiser

    So they removed the L3 and R3 buttons to ensure that the PS4 won’t be compatible with PS3 games in the future either.

    • Raiyu

      Huh? There are L3 and R3 buttons.

      Or are you talking about pressure sensitive buttons?

      • LordKaiser

        It’s not that what they mean with this?

        “According to Sony, the PlayStation 4 controller buttons are going back
        to digital over analog because no one used them on PlayStation 3.”

        • Raiyu

          That’s talking about pressure sensitive buttons that PS2 and PS3 have. The only games that use them (or at least, as far as I know) are games from MGS and GT franchise.

          • LordKaiser

            I agree with Sony them. As long as the buttons feels smooth like the DS3.

        • Tetsu

          Games where you hold down ‘X’ a little bit to walk or all the way to run, etc. Barely any games utilized that feature. I’m assuming they are dropping them for cost purposes.
          It’s actually gaining a button too, the touchpad is a clickable button.
          It’s a good thing, cause it’ll be alot more precise, there won’t be that guessing if your pressing hard enough or not on face buttons (X,O,/,[_])

  • Tetsu

    Clickable Touch Pad?

    I’m dubbing it, the T1 button!

    I bet it’ll be used in lieu of no select button, for maps and such.

  • Tetsu

    “Bigger friends list” – Yay! …oh wait, I don’t have any friends :'(

    Unfortunately I don’t have that problem lol

    Who wants to be my friend? :D

    • Feel free to add me on PSN then — slash789

      Or I can add you, PSN handle?

      • Tetsu

        Your already my friend on psn lol.

        But which one am i? dun dun dun!

        • OH! Geez! I should have known that, lol. Sorry. xD

          But… That means you do have a friend on PSN. =)

          • Tetsu

            YOUR RIGHT!

            Yay me! XD

  • Kurow Akutenshi

    But will it be region locked or not?

  • Ace

    Neat. Now all we need now is for someone to scream “Riiiiidge Racer!” at the e3 Sony press conference.