PlayStation 4 to deliver new social, streaming features

February 20, 2013


It’s official: Sony’s new system is the PlayStation 4, and it’s packed with social features and streaming capabilities. The system sports 8 gigabytes of RAM, as well as a motion-sensing and touchpad-sporting controller, and will arrive later this year. Lots more, including some new game announcements, after the break.

The PS4 allows for streaming of live gameplay natively through Ustream, as well as clip sharing and feedback. Also streaming will be full games as demos, as well as games you buy so you can start playing while they download. There’s a special chip designed to run background tasks, speeding up downloading and other functions of the new system.

Gaikai-enhanced Remote Play functionality will allow Vitas, as well as other devices, to play all PS4 games away from the TV, and the PS4’s architecture is designed to minimize lag as it does. The much-rumored backward compatibility via cloud isn’t ready, but was mentioned as a “possibility,” as it contains no such function, cloud-based or otherwise, at this time.

One surprise: Blizzard has entered a strategic partnership with Sony, and it’s starting by bringing Diablo III to the PS3 and PS4 with four-player local support.

Some high-profile new game projects were also announced:

Knack: SCE Japan’s new colorful release follows a robot named Knack, who seems to be able to change his size and shape at will. Sony also demonstrated the game being played on the PlayStation Vita using the PS4’s cloud service.

Killzone: Shadow Fall: Guerrilla Games is back with the next title in the popular Killzone franchise. An entire gameplay section was demonstrated, showcasing a new, transforming gun and a cityscape environment that is clearly meant to demonstrate the PS4’s power.

DriveClub: Evolution Studios, the developer behind the Motorstorm franchise, returns with a new cooperative driving simulator. Not much gameplay was shown, but they did demonstrate car models, first-person driving and brief glimpses of the online functionality.

inFamous: Second Son: The third game in Sucker Punch’s inFamous series didn’t show much, but it seemed to be expanding the “multiple people with powers” idea that begun with the original two games. Perhaps co-op will be involved?

The Witness: Jonathan Blow’s follow-up to indie darling Braid was announced to be a PlayStation 4 timed console exclusive. The brief trailer showcased the landscape you’ll explore and some of the Myst-like puzzles.

Destiny: Bungie’s next big project is coming to the PS4 with exclusive content.

Quantic Dream also showed off its new face rendering technology, and Media Molecule unveiled a Move-controlled creation tool, the full nature of which is yet to be revealed.

Features editor Andrew Passafiume contributed to this report.