As gamers everywhere wait with baited breath for Sony’s announcement this Wednesday, largely expected to be a big PS4 reveal, it’s easy to overlook the fact that we already know a good deal about what to expect from the upcoming console. Unavoidably, information about hardware and features has been leaked and posted throughout the internet. While not all of this information has been confirmed, let’s recap ten things we already know (or think we know) about the PlayStation 4.
PS4 Hardware Specs
Of course, the most important thing when it comes to determining console performance is the hardware. Rumors about the PS4's specs have been floating around the internet practically since the console's announcement. Recently though, the speculation has consolidated around this hardware summary: System Memory: 4GB Video Memory: 2.2GB CPU: 4x Dual-Core AMD64 "Bulldozer" (8 cores total) GPU: AMD R10xx Ports: 4x USB 3.0, 2x Ethernet Drive: Blu-Ray HDD: 160 GB
DualShock 4 Design
In the photo above, you can get a look at something else that's been revealed about the PS4: the controller design. This photo of the next PlayStation controller has been confirmed by multiple sources and is probably very similar to how the final product will look. It also reveals a few key features; the PS4 controller will have an integrated two-point multi-touchpad, a built-in speaker, and a headphone jack. Oh, and that blue light on the top? Presumably a tracking light for Move integration.
400 Dollar Price Point
One of the biggest problems the PS3 faced at launch was its 600 dollar price tag. Dropping that kind of money on a video game console was hard for many gamers to justify (or afford), especially when the PS3's competitors could be had for cheaper. It seems Sony has learned their lesson this time around; a Japanese newspaper put the launch price of the next PlayStation at 40,000 yen, which would equate to just over 400 dollars here in the States. How reliable is that conversion? The PS3 launched at 60,000 yen/600 dollars, and the cheapest model currently sells for 24,980 yen/269 dollars. Given the pattern, gamers should expect a 400-450 dollar price tag for the PS4.
As with any new console release, one of the first questions asked about the PS4 was, “Can I still play my old games?” Backwards compatibility is a big deal for console gamers, who can easily invest hundreds into a game collection over the 7-10 year span of a console generation. Having to decide between abandoning your old games, or constantly swapping out cables from your TV to switch between this-gen and last-gen consoles is never a pleasant experience. Luckily, it seems that prospective PS4 owners might be able to avoid that choice. Although the AMD x86 chipset used in the next PlayStation is incompatible with the hardware of previous generations, the Wall Street Journal reports that Sony’s 2011 acquisition of Gaikai means that the PlayStation 4 will be able to stream game content. This technology is widely expected to be used to stream PS3 games to the PS4, offering a degree of backwards compatibility.
PS4 Eye sports dual cameras
Perhaps in recognition of the success of Microsoft's Kinect, the next PlayStation will be accompanied by an updated Eyetoy. The device will feature dual 720 cameras and a 48 Khz four microphone array, an improvement over the previous iteration. It's expected to add additional motion capability like hand and head tracking, as well as non-gaming functionality like user recognition and video chat.
Quantic Dream has a game in the works
Quantic Dream is the development studio behind the beautiful PS3-exclusive titles Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls. Prior to the public announcement of those two games, Quantic Dream registered appropriate domain names: HeavyRainPS3.com, and BeyondPS3.com. How is this relevant to the PlayStation 4? A new domain registration for SingularityPS4.com popped up, leading to speculation that Quantic Dream has a next-gen title in the pipeline.
50% More Raw Power than Next Xbox
The beginning of a new generation of consoles often leads gamers to a critical question: Which one should I buy? One key factor in making that choice is performance; which console is more powerful? According to VG247, developers fresh out of this year's CES say that the PS4 will have a run capability of 1.84 teraflops, versus the 720's 1.23 --- that would mean a 50% processing power advantage for the PlayStation 4.
Likely 2013 Launch Date
Almost everyone agrees that Sony's big announcement this week will reveal the PS4, but there is still debate over when the new console will launch. Despite Sony CEO Kaz Hirai hinting that the PS4 would launch sometime after the next Xbox earlier this year, the Wall Street Journal reported at the end of last month that the PlayStation 4 will probably launch near the 2013 holiday season; just in time to compete with the Xbox 720.
Killzone 4 is a potential launch title
The ending of Killzone 3 almost immediately sparked speculation of a sequel, and it seems only fitting that the fourth Killzone game would launch on the fourth PlayStation. According to VideoGamer.com, an industry source claims that this pairing is in the works. The source says that the next Killzone is currently in development by Guerilla Games, and may be announced alongside the PS4 on Wednesday. This would match the Killzone 2 reveal which accompanied Sony's announcement of the PS3 at the start of the seventh console generation.
PS4 Likely to Star at E3 2013
Some overly hopeful gamers thought we might get a glimpse of the next generation of consoles from Microsoft and Sony at E3 2012. Naturally, they were disappointed when no such reveal occurred. This year's E3, however, is a sure thing when it comes to the PS4 taking center stage at Sony's conference. In addition to whatever we learn later this week, there's no doubt that we'll get a much closer look in a few months.