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Sony Unveils New PlayStation 4 / PS4 Details at GDC 2013

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91w ago - At this year's GDC, Sony has unveiled some new PlayStation 4 / PS4 details including optional real names, a larger friend's list, CPU and HDD updates and more as outlined below!

To quote: Sony shared new details on PlayStation 4 during a developer overview session at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco.


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.”

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 1920x900, 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 1280x800 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.

From [Register or Login to view links]: PlayStation 4 CPU, HDD and More Detailed


  • 64-bit x84 arch
  • Low power consumption
  • Low heat
  • 8 cores, HW threads
  • 2MiB L2-cache per 4 core group, 32kib I1 I/D-cache
  • PlayStation Shader Language
  • Similar to HLSL
  • Allows featured BEYOND DirectX 11 and OpenGL 4.0


  • Tessellation, adding geometric detail to smooth edges or create more organic shapes


  • 8GB 256 bit GDDR5

HDD Space

  • Unspecified, but will have “a very large hard drive in every console.” 1TB, anyone?

Developer Enviroment

  • Windows 7-bit
  • Tools are full integrated into Visual Studio 2010 and 2012

From phosphor112 (via NeoGAF): Comprehensive list of PS4 feature announcements at GDC:

  • Targeted to be the “central device in the living room”
  • “Core gamers are our primary audience
  • PS4 build around them, salable to the outsiders
  • 5 core PS4 principles: Simple, Immediate, Social, Integrated, Personalized
  • PS4 CPU: 64-bit x86 arch, low power consumption, low heat, 8 cores, 8 HW threads, 2MiB L2 cache per 4 core group, 32kib l1 I/D-cache
  • PlayStation Shader Language, very similar to HLSL, allows featured BEYOND Direct X 11 and OpenGL 4.0
  • “GPU – Tessellation – adding geometric detail to smooth edges or create more organic shapes”
  • PS4 RAM – 8GB 256 bit GDDR5 (GDDR5 is very high end graphics memory only found on PC graphics cards)
  • Will come with “very large hard drive in every console”
  • PS4 Dev Environment – Windows 7 64-bit, tools are fully integrated into Visual Studio 2010 and 2012
  • “Debug your PS4 code as you would your PC code”
  • PS4 Controller: Start/Select buttons are now “Options.” New System button is “Share.”
  • Speaker, headset jack and “extension port” on the PS4 controller
  • PS4 controller buttons are going back to digital over analog because no one used it on PS3
  • PS4 controller L2/R2 – Curved design to get rid of the accidental netflix fast forwarding
  • PS4 controller: 1920x900 resolution on the analog touchpad
  • PS4 controller colors are the Player Numbers: 1-Blue, 2-Red, 3-Green, 4-Pink (Like the buttons)
  • PS4 will charge controllers when it’s off. Unlike the PS3.
  • PS4 controller light bar can be used for muzzle flashes, health bars, etc
  • “The PS4 Eye will enhance the PS4 user experience.” High sensitivity dual color cameras
  • 1280x800, 12 bits/pixel, 60Hz
  • Dedicated port for the #PS4 camera, exclusive SCE Connector. Means it won’t use a USB port on the console, but won’t plug into your PC.
  • Cam suggested uses: walkthrough vids, taunting in killcam, login, speech recognition, etc; possible PS4 Camera Magic – Sees the controller, you guys move, splitscreen moves to be on the right side
  • The above is what devs could do (not mandatory)
  • Video example shown of PS4 combining the camera and the controller. “AR Menu”
  • Zoom into the controller, tilt to shake little dudes inside, push into our world like EyePet
  • 2004: XMB, 2011: LiveArea, 2013: New #PS4 one based on the five principles from earlier
  • UI is meant to give you at a glance info without loading the game. See what new DLC is out and whatnot. What friends are saying.
  • Have to enable people seeing your real name on the #PS4. Auto-enabled if you import from another social network. (Can be turned off)
  • PSN friend limit raised
  • PS4 Mock-up: Heavy Rain choice with the number of your friends that chose each option.
  • All the PS4 streaming and sharing: that’s on the hardware. Devs don’t have to do anything special to their game.
  • PS4 Remote Play: Screens are mirrored on PS4/Vita (Both on at same time). Hardware does it/not on devs. Start at any time; no special mode.
  • Talking about the PlayStation App. Login, buy game, PS4 starts downloading at home, you get home and start playing the part that’s DWLD.
  • Sony has sent their newly updated multiplat game engine PhyreEngine 3.5 to developers with PS4 support

Sony Computer Entertainment America senior staff engineer Chris Norden also confirmed to [Register or Login to view links] in an interview that a headset will ship in the box with every PlayStation 4 console.

To quote: "Everybody has asked about it, it definitely helps out with voice chat, multiplayer games and everything so we decided to go ahead and do that," Norden remarked.

"It's got 32KHz stereo output for two players... frequency will only be reduced slightly when you start cranking up the number of players just because of the bandwidth of the wireless. And there's a 16KHz microphone port as well. The speaker is the same high-quality output as the headset. It streams directly from the PS4 at runtime."

Finally, Sony also stated (via [Register or Login to view links] that they are open to buy in Alpha games for PlayStation platforms. To quote:

In an interview with Joystiq, Sony America’s VP of publisher and developer relations Adam Boyes, said the company would "absolutely support" buy-in alphas on the PS4, so long as they don’t "have any bugs that are completely destroying the world". He added that the same model could also be applied to PlayStation 3 and PS Vita development...

"Yeah, if it doesn't have any bugs that are completely destroying the world," Adam Boyes, VP of publisher and developer relations at Sony America told Joystiq last night at the PlayStation Indie Arcade event. "[CCP's Dust 514] is a great example of putting out content that you know is not final. If you want to monetize it, that's fine. I mean, if you want to put out a game that's playable and does pass the checklists and stuff, you can. If it doesn't sell and you can't support, you may not want to support, but we absolutely support that."

Boyes noted the buy-in alpha openness wasn't just for the upcoming PlayStation 4, but could be applied to PS3, Vita or PlayStation mobile.

He continued, "We allow that on all of our platforms, that sort of continually updating and selling. Again, if people buy it and they're passionate about it, and you want to improve it and make it better over time you can." If you didn't know, Valve recently announced plans to offer a similar service through its Steam distribution platform under the name [Register or Login to view links].

Stay tuned for more PS3 Hacks and PS3 CFW news, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and be sure to drop by the PS3 Hacks and PS3 Custom Firmware Forums for the latest PlayStation 3 scene and PlayStation 4 scene updates and fresh homebrew releases!

Comments 10 Comments - Go to Forum Thread »

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#10 - shimaz - 88w ago
shimaz's Avatar
fck you sony.

Also from me to sony

#9 - bouc - 90w ago
bouc's Avatar
As usual, hacks will appear and the webcam might be usable with pc

#8 - SwordOfWar - 90w ago
SwordOfWar's Avatar
I don't really mind the proprietary camera port as long as they did it to support extra features/hardware.

After all, if I want a PC webcam I'll go buy a really nice one made for use on the PC.

I don't expect graphics to make a huge difference this generation, but they should be able to use better textures everywhere now, instead of only with the main characters (I'm looking at you, Resident Evil 6).

The most different thing this generation has to be the surprising amount of RAM/Memory used, which will finally allow us to multitask on a console (or run more tasks at the same time).

#7 - mahidi - 91w ago
mahidi's Avatar
ps4 will suck pc's

#6 - mustafa - 91w ago
mustafa's Avatar
thank you


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