At 6pm EST (11pm UK time), Sony will be holding a huge event in New York City to announce their next-gen console.
Throughout the months of anticipating the PlayStation 4, there have been a high number of rumors circling the internet regarding what new features the next-gen console will have.
This is what we know so far:
The PlayStation 4 is codenamed Orbis. This codename, however, is only used internally by the developers. There hasn’t been any information regarding whether the next-gen Sony console will be named as such, though it is unlikely. To follow in the footsteps of their previous consoles, it would make sense if Sony just named their next console the PlayStation 4. However, the number four is regarded as bad luck in Japan as well as in other Asian cultures. We’re not quite sure whether Sony buys into the whole superstitious nonsense. The worst that could happen is that labelling the console with four may affect sales in some countries in Asia. China, for example, also regards the number four as unlucky but consoles aren’t exactly legally available there yet. However, the Chinese government is considering lifting the ban on consoles.
There was also a leak regarding the PS4’s dev kit specifications but these should not represent the actual specs for the system’s commercial version. However, for the sake of somewhat shedding light on what is expected:
- System Memory: 8GB - Video Memory: 2.2 GB - CPU: 4x Dual-Core AMD64 “Bulldozer” (so, 8x cores) - GPU: AMD R10xx - Ports: 4x USB 3.0, 2x Ethernet - Drive: Blu-Ray - HDD: 160GB - Audio Output: HDMI & Optical, 2.0, 5.1 & 7.1 channels
- System Memory: 8GB
- Video Memory: 2.2 GB
- CPU: 4x Dual-Core AMD64 “Bulldozer” (so, 8x cores)
- GPU: AMD R10xx
- Ports: 4x USB 3.0, 2x Ethernet
- Drive: Blu-Ray
- HDD: 160GB
- Audio Output: HDMI & Optical, 2.0, 5.1 & 7.1 channels
Most of the rumors that sprung up during the past few months surrounded the new controller which will apparently sport a touchpad in place of the Start and Select buttons.
The new controller’s texture seems to have been completely revamped and now features more of a rubberized texture, perhaps for easier cleaning, more grip or maybe it will make it less likely to make your hands sweat. The D-pad has been completely changed in that it is now webbed. Personally, I hope the controller shown above is just an early prototype because I think the Dualshock and Sixaxis D-pads were perfect. The analogs are now more similar to the Xbox analogs in that they have a slight concave now for better grip, a problem I found with the previous models. There is also an input below the PS button which will most probably be for an external mic.
There was a rumor that the controller will feature a “Share” button that enables players to share up to 15 minutes of gameplay footage. Though, the Share button doesn’t seem to be present in the picture, the rumor about sharing gameplay footage still stands.
The PS4 might also include a PlayStation Eye.
Most of the next-gen console’s online features, PlayStation Plus specifically, will require a premium subscription much like Xbox Live. PlayStation Plus’ name will allegedly be changed to PlayStation World.
The console will also be remotely controllable via a smartphone or a tablet. This feature goes hand in hand with another rumor that suggest that users will be able to chat with their PlayStation friends as well as purchase games that will be automatically downloaded in to their system.
As mentioned above, the PS4 may also include a PlayStation Eye. There will be a new feature that allows users livestream their games through the dashboard. Spectators will be able to watch whatever game their friend is playing even if they don’t own a copy.
It is also rumored that PS4 will support LAN play with the PS Vita.
Yesterday, gaming sleuth Superannuation found a recently registered domain name called “PlayStation Cloud.” This includes the domains “playstation-cloud.com,” “playstation-cloud.org” and “ps-cloud.net.” These domain names’ administrative contact is Gaikai, a cloud-based gaming company Sony purchased last year. This information suggest that the PS4 may be capable of cloud gaming
During the CES expo last month, Baird Equity Research analysts estimated the the PS4 will cost around $300-$400 in the US.
As for the UK, a Tech reporter for the Times said that Sony is considering pricing the PS4 at £300. He went on to say that this number is not a conversion from a yen price. Earlier this month, a report at Japanese website Ashai Shimbun claimed that Sony will price the next-gen console ¥40,000 in Japan.
Analysts suggested that the PS4 might launch late this year around October. This is only one month prior to the expected release of Microsoft’s Xbox 720.
Call of Duty
Activision has officially confirmed the next installment to their hard-hitting series Call of Duty. It is expected to launch later this year on next-gen consoles including the next-gen Xbox. There hasn’t been information regarding who will be developing this title. However, it is very unlikely that Treyarch will be working on it because they’ve just released Black Ops II. Recently, Activision laid off approximately 30 employees from various studios, specifically Treyarch.
The Witcher 3
CDProjekt Red confirmed The Witcher 3 on Feb 5th. It will sport the recently unveiled in-house engine REDengine 3. It is expected to launch some time in 2014. According to Adam Bedowski, the game will release on “all high-end platforms available.”
Also from the makers of The Witcher series, Cyberpunk 2077 “scheduled a way off in 2015″ so you can bet that it’ll be on next-gen consoles.
Just Cause 3
Gaming sleuth Superannuation spotted two unannounced projects on the LinkedIn profile of Avalanche Studios’ CEO Christopher Sundberg. According to the profile, one of the titles is a “sandbox action game” published by Square Enix and will be a “new installment in a very well-known game series.” I’d say it is safe to assume that this will be the Just Cause 3.
The second unannounced project is an “open-world action game” that will be “based on a well-known movie license.” It was previously rumored that Avalanche Studios is developing an open-world game based on the upcoming post-apocalyptic dystopian film Mad Max:Fury Road.
Mass Effect 4
BioWare said December last year “you’ll hear more about the new Mass Effect game in 2013, it should launch in late 2014 to mid-2015.” Development started around September last year so it is safe to assume that Mass Effect 4 will be released on next-gen consoles considering they are aiming for a 2014-2015 release.