A Bright Future For PlayStation 4?

For those of you who may not know Sony recently announced the PlayStation 4, the official successor to Sony’s previous popular video game console the PlayStation 3. The PlayStation 4 is due for release in Q4 of this year and the future definitely seems brighter for Sony and the PlayStation.

So lets go over the bulk of the information that Sony gave in their February event.

First of all the PlayStation 4 will be the first console released by Sony that will embrace the x86-x64 system architecture, which as many geeks may know is widely used in today’s modern PCs. The previous architecture that Sony was using was the Cell architecture. The reasoning behind this change was to make it easier for developers to develop applications and games for the upcoming console. Seeing as modern PCs are based on x86-x64 architecture, games and applications could be tested natively on the very same development system rather than in some sort of emulated environment.

The biggest change was to Sony’s perspective. Sony aren’t focusing all that much on the hardware of the next PlayStation. In fact, we haven’t even seen what the console will look like. Sony are focusing on one thing for it’s upcoming console. The experience. I for one happen to be very happy that Sony are focusing on this. More and more these days we are starting to see more companies thinking the correct way of that it’s really not the features it’s the implementation and it’s not about the horsepower it’s about making a good experience. Something the end user really enjoys using, even if they’re not using it to it’s full potential. But make no mistake, Sony also have some innovations with this upcoming iteration of the PlayStation.

One of the first innovative things that was shown was the controller. The next controller is literally packed with controls, but it’s not in a way in which makes it seem “messy” or unnecessary. There’s now a conveniently placed touchpad on the top of the controller which should be useful for browsing (we have yet to see how this can be used in games) and a new shiny share button next to it. Which brings us swiftly onto Sony’s next main focus of social media. It’s true, gaming on consoles can sometimes seem a little “boxed in” and it’s nice to see that in the next PlayStation we’ll be able to record and share gameplay via the widely known Ustream service and share updates, screenshots, scores etc to the likes of Facebook and Twitter.

Again it’ll be interesting to see EXACTLY how this will be implemented but hopefully Sony will stick with their new standpoint. The next thing which I found quite interesting was the ability to stream games. Sony isn’t the first to offer game streaming, it’s been done before but wasn’t all too great and wasn’t implemented in the same way. Basically Sony want it’s users to be able to thoroughly test out games before they buy them so they will offer the ability to stream the game live from Sony’s servers. This is pretty cool as it means instead of downloading a demo and waiting 30 minutes to play it, you can select it from Sony’s stores and instantly preview it. The thing that concerned many about this was reliability. First of all Sony is going to need some new HUGE server farms if they want this service to be reliable and speedy and this is where Sony really made things more interesting.

Sony said they plan to create a PlayStation network. Sound familiar? Well it’s not what you may think. Basically as we know internet connections around the globe (except for in Japan) are truly terrible. We’re way behind in speed if only because not every router is plugged into a fiber-optic connection. This is where Sony said they’ll help. So essentially what they’re wanting to do is allow you to get another internet connection which is made for the PlayStation. So small download times, reliable streaming and a fully cohesive experience. Sounds good! Again, we have yet to see how Sony will do it but if they manage to pull it off, Sony will have certainly stepped up their game (literally).

Of course we haven’t seen what the PlayStation’s rival the Xbox will become yet, but one can only assume that there will be a lot of healthy competition in the next couple of years in the video game console industry.

What are you hoping for in the next PlayStation?