Sony officially made its move into the next-gen console market, announcing the Playstation 4 on Wednesday, Feb. 20 at a conference in New York. The conference featured the PS4 specs, the new Dualshock 4 controller and a list of confirmed projects for Sony’s next console.
Many game developers made announcements immediately after, making sure the next generation doesn’t have a shortage of triple-A titles. Guerrilla Games officially announced Killzone: Shadow Fall, the fourth title in the PlayStation-exclusive franchise. Sucker Punch announced Infamous: Second Son, the third game in the Infamous saga, and Square Enix released a trailer for a new Final Fantasy game. Blizzard Entertainment announced that its popular PC hack-and-slash game Diablo III will be making its way to the PS3 and PS4. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt was also announced for next-gen consoles and is expected to be released in 2014.
Sony’s conference also introduced a variety of new franchises to be released with the new platform. The first game announced in the conference, Knack, is a family-friendly platformer following the story of a robot constructed to defend humans against goblins and is able to alter his form in order to fight enemies or solve puzzles. Evolution Studios (Motorstorm) announced its new simulation racer DriveClub. Jonathan Blow (Braid) announced his new first-person puzzle/platformer The Witness. Capcom revealed footage of Deep Down, a third-person fantasy dungeon crawler similar to their recently released Dragon’s Dogma. Bungie (creators of the Halo series) released the first taste of their new project and first multiplatform release: Destiny.
But the clear high point of the show, and the reveal that was most intriguing to many gamers, was that of Ubisoft’s Watch Dogs, an open-world game centered around the manipulation of technology.
It was also announced that Media Molecule, Quantic Dream (Beyond: Two Souls), and Just Add Water (Oddworld) are working on titles for Sony’s next-gen console.
The PS4 will be controlled using the new Dualshock 4 controller, which features a touchpad, a share button, a headphone jack and a lightbar that tracks depth in a way similar to the Nintendo Wii. The console also features the ability to stream gameplay directly from the console, edit and send quick video clips and play games while they’re downloading on the console.
The PS4 will also sport specs similar to a typical high-performance PC, including an x86 processor, customized graphics processor and a Blu-Ray/DVD player, along with USB 3.0, Ethernet and Bluetooth.
A major point for gamers however, was what Sony did not mention at the conference. Even though Sony hinted at a release date of the 2013 holiday season, there was no official release date announced for the console or the games. The actual PS4 also didn’t make an appearance at the conference, despite the conference being dedicated to the next-gen console.
Overall, Sony came out with an impressive conference and proved that it is serious about bringing the best experience the company can on a console. Sony has its triple-A franchises ready to lead the company into the next generation in Infamous, Final Fantasy and Killzone, as well as having a more family-friendly mascot for the new platform in Knack.
In addition, Sony has addressed some issues present in the current generation of consoles, allowing for a more enjoyable gaming experience that more closely resembles that on the PC.
The electronics giant, however, missed out on answering some major questions consumers have, such as the price, official release date and what the console looks like. If the games slated to launch with the console live up to their potential, then gamers who purchase a PS4 will have plenty to keep themselves occupied over the holiday season.
Answering the question of whether or not the PS4 will be better than the next Xbox, however, will have to be pushed back until Microsoft reveals its new console later this year.