A few weeks ago SONY announced an event that they coyly called PLAYSTATION MEETING that was to "address the future of PlayStation" (an obvious allusion to a PS4 unveiling). It's important I think to note this because by giving a set time they created a scenario where they dominated every gaming conversation and the headlines of every gaming website for weeks. The hype going into this event was massive and thus the expectations they created for themselves were doomed to be met.
I don't think it was a perfect show by any stretch of the imagination, but I do think it was ultimately successful. I'm a little disillusioned that they didn't provide more hard info or provide a picture of the box, but I'm admittedly a weirdo who wants far more info than SONY is willing to provide with the better part of a year left before launch.
I think they succeeded in saying something we all knew to be true: The PlayStation 4 exists and people are making games on it right now. Furthermore while I wish the event had more of a technological focus they did appeal to the gamer in me by showing what amounted to a metric shit-ton of trailers, tech demos, and actual footage of PS4 games. While I wasn't totally into any title shown with the noted exceptions of Knack and The Witness, I think the Killzone demo and the Deep Down trailer adequately displayed the leap that this new generation represents.
And honestly? that's pretty exciting. Let's all just hope SONY is a little more forthcoming with information at E3.
Before the show I wrote down some of my predictions, here they are with the harsh realities below:
1. The console will not be named PlayStation 4. SONY will opt for some sort of PlayStation: (vita equivalent), or they will simply call it The Playstation.
I was completely and totally wrong about this, the console is called PlayStation 4.
2. The controller leak is real but will contain small tweaks and will no longer support Sixaxis.
The final controller resembles the leaked one but adds a share and options button on either side of the trackpad. I do not believe SONY has said one way or another if Sixaxis control will be supported.
3. The press conference contains very little footage of games but we do see a live demo of Watch Dogs and a trailer for Star Wars 1313.
Surprisingly the press conference was mostly dedicated to talking about games for the platform. We did see a live demo of Watch Dogs but Star Wars 1313 was not shown in any form or even mentioned.
4. There will be no release date announcement beyond "2013".
Technically correct, but I believe they described the expected release date as "2013 holiday season" which could mean an early 2014 launch if things go really bad in manufacturing.
5. There will be no price announcement, but just for fun I'll say there's a sku at $399 and $499 whenever they're ready to talk.
SONY said nothing on the price of the unit.
6. The console will not be backwards compatible with PS3 natively but it will include the ability to transfer licenses to your new console and allow some sort of game streaming service similar to On Live.
PS4 has no backwards compatibility whatsoever but during the Gaikai portion of the show it was stated that streaming games from all former PlayStation consoles was a possibility.
7. The controller will include a share button that automatically uploads the last 15 minutes of game footage to a SONY video website (no YouTube).
The share button on the controller will upload the last 15 minutes of gameplay online. Furthermore they announced that the console would have native livestreaming support via uStream.
8. Online multiplayer is still free, however Playstation plus grants you access to dedicated servers and unlimited game streaming access.
There was no mention one way or another, it seems like SONY is keeping this locked up for the time being. My thought here is that they're waiting to see if Microsoft goes free (as unlikely as that is).
9. The console includes a disc drive in all versions.
SONY didn't show the box, there's no way of knowing for sure.
10. Like Microsoft the console will have some sort of protection against used games, I think it'll be less restrictive though. I think they'll sell $5-$10 licenses on PSN for any used game.
Nothing was said beyond "PlayStation 4 will work with used games". I think their vagueness is exactly because they intend on selling used game licenses to help placate publisher demands.
11. The console will ship with 500GB and 1TB variants. SONY will allow you to insert any SATA drive inside without issue. Flash and cloud storage will also be supported.
Capacity and types of storage supported was not addressed beyond that PS4 will have a large hard drive. How large and what type of drive it will have is still to be determined. I would be very surprised if the console didn't have flash and cloud storage to maintain feature parity with the next Xbox.
12. The console will include a kinect like camera across all versions, using it will be optional.
There was a picture of what they were calling a "PlayStation Eye" camera shown, but they didn't state what it's intended purpose is. They didn't say one way or another if it's included in every box or not. We do know that some form of PlayStation Move controller is supported.
13. Installing games will be mandatory.
They did not say one way or another but I think this is a fair assumption with any BRD device.
14. All games will be available digitally and SCE games will be cheaper than physical versions, they'll encourage other publishers to also discount games but will allow them to sell it for whatever price they want.
They didn't say one way or another, but I believe they'll carry over the only smart thing they did with the Vita.
15. The console will ship with only HDMI and power connectors, SONY will sell a 1st party converter for all other formats.
We didn't see the box so again I have no idea. I think proprietary formats are going to go away now that HDMI is such a dominant format.
16. It will have 1260p support.
Max resolution at launch will be 1080p but I wouldn't rule out a firmware update down the line that added it similar to how Xbox 360 got 1080p support after launch.
I think overall I did pretty well, I wasn't completely wrong on most things and a lot of my predictions are yet to be determined.
Thanks for reading FRAMES PER SECOND, my weekly gaming feature here on YPOIW. If you have any questions or comments regarding this piece I am available on Twitter. Also feel free to contact me if you have any requests for the next game I do a Let's Play video on.