Sony shares new PlayStation 4 details at GDC

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.

System

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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