Today Sony held the big event they’ve been teasing since earlier this year. I wasn’t around to watch it (I plan to in a bit), but Jeff saw it live. We’re entering the third age of the never ending console war. (This is the third one, right? At least with the current console big dogs by my count.)
Oh, and Jeff’s back!
Del: You told me a few of the highlights via text while I was gone, but you got to see the whole show. How was it?
Jeff: Informative. I’m excited, but I’m bummed they didn’t show what the PS4 looks like, they showed the controller, but I don’t really care about that. I want to see the console!
Del: Maybe they haven’t finished how it looks? So they’ve got a touch pad on the front on the controller. Looks kind of like the Vita’s rear touch panel. And I see they moved Start and Select to the top.
Jeff: Yeah, and some other stuff.
Del: (I go and look up some info and find what I’m looking for over at TechRadar.)
…it also has a touchpad across its face, and a PlayStation Move-like “light bar” across the top. The start and select buttons have been moved to the sides to make room for the touchpad, and the DualShock 4 also features a “share” button next to the triggers and a 3.5mm headphone jack.
Jeff: That Share button is used to upload recent video footage of what you’ve been playing–a few minutes or so–to show your friends.
Del: So just a little clip of something cool? Like some trick in SSX or maybe a fancy trick shot in a CoD game?
Jeff: Yeah, exactly. The headphone jack is a nice addition. Basically it serves the same role as the jack on the Xbox 360′s controller.
Del: That’s handy. Even though so many wireless headphones exist I much prefer wired stuff. Maybe in a few more years we’ll get better batteries–lighter and longer lasting–but for now I don’t think the lack of a wire is worth the loss of quality and added weight I tend to find in wireless paraphernalia.
Jeff: Something I was not a fan of was this talk about how Sony will watch your buying habits. They said they’ll show you more content based on what you like, stuff you play I guess.
Del: Games and movies? Like how Netflix suggests stuff for you?
Jeff: I guess, but they didn’t say anything about movies that I remember. What I didn’t like though was how they said they’ll automatically buy stuff for you based on your preferences. I mean, what if you don’t have the money?
Del: I’d hope there’s a way to opt out. Or be able to set some parameters. Like, “You can buy me one game a month.” Even still… I think I’d want to be in 100% control of what I bought unless I had millions to blow. This seems like a trivial and rather dumb thing.
Jeff: One new thing that was very, very cool was the take-over feature.
Jeff: Your friends can watch as you play a game. Sony is partnering with USteam for steaming within the PSN–or whatever they’re calling it now–but beyond that if your buddy owns the game you can pass the controls to him.
Del: You mean virtually. Like, you’re in Seattle, he’s in New York, but he plays a section because he’s done it and you’re stuck?
Del: Did they mention many games? That’s a massive weakness for Sony when they release a new system. A long time joke has been that the “PS3 has no games”.
Jeff: They said they’re working with a ton of third party developers to make games. Just shy of a hundred I think.
Del: Those are developers already working on games?
Jeff: I think so. Or will be shortly.
Del: Wow. I hope this year’s E3 is amazing then.
Jeff: Quantic Dream has a new engine and apparently what they’re able to do is the best graphics on a console to date it seems.
Del: That’s from in-game?
Jeff: Yep. That’s what they’re saying.
Del: Holy cow. There’s no uncanny valley there at all. That looks like a photo of a derpy Gandalf. You mentioned something about tablets or an iOS and Android app. Something like the SmartGlass on the Xbox 360?
Jeff: Yeah. I don’t remember if they had a fancy name for it, but you’ll be able to access pretty much everything on your smartphone and iDevice or Android tablet. Buy games while away from home and they’ll be ready for you when you get back.
Del: Will you be able to watch people playing too from those things?
Jeff: Did you even look at the picture you just inserted, Del? It says “Now Streaming.”
Del: Oh. Yeah. Right. Eh-hem… tell me about the suspend thing.
Jeff: Say you’re playing Watch Dogs and you need to go to work or head to bed, you can suspend the game–put the system into a near-off state–and then when you’re back you boot it right back up.
Del: So it’s like pausing, but more long term? More for a few hours or more, not just a quick piss break I guess?
Jeff: I think so, yeah. That’s what it seemed like anyways.
Del: I’m glad Sony did this. It’s nice to see them in full control of their news. I had fun watching all the regular gaming news sites scramble for tid-bits of anything they could find before this event. Rumors were about all they had. I think this type of thing should be done more often. More companies should take the control from the so-called ‘journalists’ and put it back to where it belongs, the actual source of the news. Then let those sites report on the news. This kind of stuff shouldn’t be coming from anyone but those that are creating the item or content. Bungie did it last week with Destiny and now Sony did it for their PS4. I hope more companies follow suit.