back to article Sony promises PC-based PlayStation 4 for Christmas

Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the Sony PlayStation 4 - or, as we say in the trade, a PC. Yes, the PS4 will indeed be based on an octo-core x86-compatible processor, incorporate 8GB of GDDR 5 and will be equipped with a PC-centric GPU. It’ll have a hard drive too, plus the inevitable Blu-ray drive. It will incorporate …

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  1. Flawless101
    Alert

    Price...

    Price will be the key issue, the PS3 was far too expensive on release and really suffered for it (even though they sold it at a loss). Not to mention the use of a different CPU architecture put some developers off, at least at the start.

    I think it looks good overall, the routing of sound to the controller and being able to plug in a pair of headphones is a neat idea.

    1. Ragarath Silver badge

      Re: Price...

      Well the cost should be rather low. It sounds to me like it is a PC using off the shelf commodity items. I hope they made the GPU upgradable otherwise people will just buy a PC as it will be cheaper to maintain.

      This is also good news for PC gamers. As the PS4 is basically a PC, cross platform game licensing will mean better ports (both ways).

      1. wolfetone Silver badge

        Re: Price...

        It sounds as well that they're following what Microsoft did with their original Xbox. If the components are ready to come by and cheap, then the profits per console will be huge.

        As well as this, Nintendo have been using ATI for graphics for years. ATI could be found in their GameCube, and anyone who's played Rouge Squadron II (especially the Hoth level) will testify to the beautiful graphics it could generate.

        1. FartingHippo
          Headmaster

          @wolfetone

          "Rouge Squadron II"

          How does wearing blusher help defeat the empire?

          1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
            Coat

            Re: @wolfetone

            > How does wearing blusher help defeat the empire?

            For that you need to ask Princess Leia Orgasma.

          2. Simon Harris Silver badge

            Re: @wolfetone

            "Rouge Squadron II"

            How does wearing blusher help defeat the empire?

            Apparently, there is precident for this... from http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Red_Leader ...

            During the Battle of Endor, Wedge Antilles flew as Red Leader, commanding the squadron formerly flying as Rogue Squadron. He led Red Squadron into the superstructure of the second Death Star, and, along with Gold Leader Lando Calrissian, destroyed the battle station. Following that battle, Red Squadron was once more renamed Rogue Squadron.

            I can only assume that the lingua franca of the Rebel Alliance was actually French and 'Red Squadron' really should have been translated as 'Rouge Squadron'.

        2. Mike Richards

          Re: Price...

          Commodity bits aren't always the bargain they seem.

          Microsoft lost lots of money on the original Xbox hardware because they couldn't control the price of key components such as the CPU, graphics chip and hard disk. Specifying and co-designing their hardware pretty much from the ground-up for the 360 actually saved money in the long term.

      2. Mark Allread

        Re: Price...

        Why would they make the GPU upgradeable? Don't you understand the difference between a console and a PC?

        1. JDX Gold badge

          Re: Price...

          Clearly he doesn't The whole point is every console has the same spec, so developers can wring out the last bit of performance and not have to worry about compatibility.

          You code to the specs.

      3. Pie
        Meh

        Re: Price...

        Why would you need an upgradable graphics card? Sony are not going to want to dilute the market by having haves and have nots? Developers are not going to want to limit games only to people who have upgraded? It would just add confusion and dilution.

        1. mark1978

          Re: Price...

          That's the main point of having a console. You buy a game for "PS4" and you know it's going to run well.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Price...

        LOL, "cheaper to maintain"

        My maintenance price on my PS3 in the 6 years I have owned it = £425 / 6 = £70 year.

        And Xbox360 works out at £90 a year when you include Xbox Live, and close to £100/year when you add in all the other shite they make you buy.

        How much will your PC cost? Double the Xbox360 every year?

        1. Ragarath Silver badge

          Re: Price...

          Whoa! Lots to answer here.

          So what you all seem to be saying is that you are happy to pay over the odds for a non-upgradable PC. I understand the difference between a console and a PC. A console is a way for the manufactures to gouge you for money buying stuff that only works with their implementation and pay again for the same games in some cases.

          Upgrading the graphics does not make it a problem for developers, they have been doing this for years on the PC yet PC graphics still far surpass consoles if you want them to. Or if your content you can play with less flashy graphics and use your PC from a decade ago.

          Maintenance cost, your having a laugh! How much extra are you paying for games over a PC, even if you were to upgrade your OS and graphics card etc. every year (only the hardcore do this) then the price you overpay for games would cover this. I upgraded last year for the first time in seven years and have been able to play all games that have come out for the PC. So I am not sure where this mythical double XBox maintenance cost comes from. I imagine thin air.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Price...

          You do get what you pay for. Xbox Live is an order of magnitude better than anything Sony have. And Microsoft run a secure Azure based environment, not a shoddy LAMP stack like Sony, so you don't get your personal information and credit card numbers published to the Internet.....

      5. Mark Goodwin

        Re: Price...

        Using your reasoning, nobody would buy and XBox.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Price...

          Sorry, but I simply cannot take financial advice from anyone who's surname is Goodwin. I'm sure you understand. :)

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Price...

          Xbox Live is substantially better than anything Sony have and worth paying for....

          1. Daniel B.
            Thumb Down

            @AC on "xbox live is better"

            Xbox live is a pre-internet model of "pay for the privilege of multiplay" which was wiped out by Quake and similar games that gave it away for free. It should eventually get wiped out again, which will probably be sooner if the PS4 "wins" the next console gen wars.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: @AC on "xbox live is better"

              40 million current Xbox Live subscribers says your defination of 'wiped out' is a bit lacking...

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: @AC on "xbox live is better"

                Well I pay for Xbox live and tbh I think it's shit.

                As soon as I get a new TV that does Netflix etc my son can go fuck himself and pay for xbox live himself - though I suspect that he's going to jump ship and upgrade to the PS4.

                Personally I'm more than happy playing for free on steam and I can't stand using sill hand controllers.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: @AC on "xbox live is better"

                  Have you tried Sony's offering? It's substantially more 'shit' than Xbox Live...And it sounds like you don't use it for gaming...

      6. Piro

        Re: Price...

        Uh, not really. 8GiB of GDDR5? I doubt that's going to be especially cheap.

      7. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Price...

        PCs always struggle from having vast numbers of configurations. With varying GPU speeds, varying facilities.

        As a result the code has to be more complex to suit the differing capabilities of each machine, switching on and off various operations depending on if the hardware can cope with it.

        A slower GPU on a console combined with a more optimal API and less code branches can easily equal a desktop machine in some cases.

        Allowing upgrades introduces complexity into the software and complexity into the manufacturing process too. I suspect the GPU will be BGA, soldered to the board with a custom heatsink assembly.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Sony Vs MS

          Any interesting article in Geek.

          http://www.geek.com/articles/games/why-the-playstation-4-should-have-microsoft-worried-20130221/

      8. Comments are attributed to your handle
        FAIL

        Re: @Ragarath

        This is very much complicated by the fact that the PS4 will use a SOC (system on a chip) - one die, containing both the CPU and GPU. So, no user-upgradable GPU.

    2. jai

      Re: Price...

      It was far too expensive for a games console, perhaps yes, but for many it was also the cheapesst blu-ray player at the time, so actually made economical sense to get one.

      Or at least, that's how I rationalised spending that much money to myself.

      Then again, I'm not sure the same laws apply. In a world where we're buying tablets for 500 quid just to surf the web and play "small" games, why would it seem daft to expect people to pay up a lot more for a next gen console that again is not just a games machine but also a full media centre for your living room?

      I wouldn't be surprised to see both the PS4 and the next Xbox with (at least initially) asking prices similar to the expensive tablets.

      1. Captain Underpants

        Re: Price...

        @jai:

        People who aren't audio/videophiles do not see the value in buying a full media centre worth a damn, especially not one whose benefits may be lost on them if it turns out they bought a less-than-amazing-quality TV. A PS3 or PS4 won't be a compelling sales pitch at £600 as "not just a games machine" if the "not just games" stuff is stuff that customers view as unwanted/unneeded extras. That's not a comment on the quality of the other functions, but on whether people place value in them.

        The tablet pricing thing is down to people seeing a large overlap between a laptop and a tablet, and thus being willing to apply similar pricing. (It still seems a bit barmy to me too, but then I've already got a netbook, a laptop and a desktop, so it's hard to see a niche for a tablet. If I just had the desktop, I'd probably see it differently...)

        1. jai

          Re: Price...

          @Captain Underpants

          I disagree, i'd say that people who aren't audio/videophiles would be the ones who see value in buying a single piece of equipment that does the job of 3 or 4 (games / blu ray / dvd / streaming iPlayer/Netflix/LoveFilm / plays music / etc).

          It's the audio/videophiles who will be wanting to spend even more on a high spec blu ray player that's seperate to their home cinema 7.2 surround sound system, and also a seperate dedicated dvd player because it upscales better than the blu-ray player does, and a dedicated NAS box somewhere for streaming their downloaded content, etc etc etc. The PS3 did all that stuff okay, but it wasn't the perfect option, if you were particularly obsessed with sound or image quality..

          Most of the people i know that are non-techies and have gotten themselves a tablet are the ones who only really had a cheap laptop before, sitting on the coffee table. And now they've got a more expensive iPad instead. i'm not sure how that works, must be Apple's RDF in action i guess.

          1. Captain Underpants

            Re: Price...

            Well, I obviously disagree :)

            The PS3 was, at launch, a games platform with Blu-Ray player and a £600 price tag. With Blu-Ray discs rare and stupidly pricey at the time, that was basically "A games console with some function I'll barely ever use". We're not talking "commoditisation of DVD playback" in the way that the PS2 achieved here - for many people this thing was the introduction to the technology. Hell, for plenty of folks today their Blu-Ray collection consists exclusively of discs that they've received as gifts.

            At the time of the PS2 and its integrated DVD player, that was pretty much the only current form of contemporary home video option, with VHS already recognised as being on the way to its grave. It was good enough, and didn't drive the cost of the console up particularly. Whether or not the Blu-Ray playback function drives up the cost of the PS3 is irrelevant - because it appeared to do so, in no small part because Nintendo's console launched at 1/3 of the PS3's price. If the killer feature the PS3 offers is Blu-ray, but the value of that feature has been hobbled by the continued viability of the DVD and the rise of streaming/downloadable content (Blinkbox, 4OD, iPlayer, iTunes etc), then it stands to reason that selling it as anything other than the Sony Games Machine isn't going to work. And you can see this in the fact that they started to shift more units once the price came down to £250-£300 - because when it's more or less the same price as a Wii and can do other stuff as well, it gets people's attention. If it does other stuff as well but costs twice the price, people consider the other stuff and largely decided that they didn't really care all that much.

            And this all before we talk about selling a £600 piece of home entertainment electronics with a horrifically high failure rate and several instances of functionality being removed during firmware updates...

      2. steogede

        Re: Re: Price...

        >> It was far too expensive for a games console, perhaps yes, but for many it was also the cheapesst

        >> blu-ray player at the time, so actually made economical sense to get one.

        >>

        >> Or at least, that's how I rationalised spending that much money to myself.

        That's the key. All they need to do is think of something new that nobody wants or needs, make it really expensive and include it for less on the console. Can't go wrong.

    3. Def Silver badge

      Re: routing of sound to the controller and being able to plug in a pair of headphones

      3DO did this 20 years ago. It's a great idea, but not exactly a new one. :)

      1. Ommoti
        Unhappy

        Re: routing of sound to the controller and being able to plug in a pair of headphones

        20 Years ago... Oh bloody hell I'm old.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sony have dropped the ball

    I can understand Sonys desire to be first out of the blocks with the announcement of their next gen console, but they've dropped the ball for me.

    They had all the hype and build up to yesterdays event and didn't show us a single shot of what the console looks like. Some people may disagree, but I think that is MASSIVELY important. Take Apple for example all their big launches are based around them proudly parading their latest iWhatever in front of a drooling audience but all Sony can give us is a controller and an improved EyeToy....

    For them to capitalise on the hype they had people needed to see a picture of this thing to get it embedded in their minds early doors that this is the next gen console that you should be buying.

    If Microsoft show their new Xbox at E3 and have the finished console there ready for people to see and awe at then they'll come out of the blocks faster than the PS4.

    1. jai

      Re: Sony have dropped the ball

      Thing is, when Apple show off their new shiny shiny, it's generally either available to pre-order (for delivery within the month) immediately after the show is over, or it's in their shops at the end of the week.

      Sony have at least 6 months before putting the PS4 in the shops. If they show off the design now, there's plenty of time for Microsoft to copy and improve on any particularly good aspects of it.

      And it's not like they have any competition at the moment - you can't go an order/pre-order a competitor's next-gen console today because you didn't get to see what the PS4 will look like.

      So they can wait - If Microsoft are going to show the next Xbox at E3, then Sony can also surprise everyone at the same time by showing the PS4. And it'll be the PS4 that gets all the headlines, precisely because they've created all the hype now by not showing it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Sony have dropped the ball

        They had twitter and numerous websites foaming at the mouth in anticipation of what the thing would look like and then they just give us fantastic specs and some impressive demos, but no tangible product.

        Sony won't be able to pull the same trick twice, so when they do announce what it looks like they won't generate as much of a media and social frenzy as they had in the build up to yesterdays event. When Microsoft announce the new xbox at E3 they'll get the bulk of the coverage even if Sony show what their PS4 looks like. The majority of the column inches will have already been written about the PS4 by the time E3 rolls around apart from the design.

        I've no preference over either company and I agree it's a long time until we can preorder either console, but I think this launch could've gone so much better for Sony. Microsoft aren't afraid at throwing millions at advertising a product and making sure everyone knows about it. Sometimes it doesn't pay off (like their phone range) and other times it does (like it did with the 360) and no doubt they'll be doing it again, so I hope Sony have a few more tricks up their sleeve with the design of their console.

        I can see Microsoft going down the X86 route too and having the new xbox dual boot with Windows 8, so I'm surprised Sony haven't seen this coming and shipped a fork of Android on there as part of their UI experience

        1. djack

          Re: Sony have dropped the ball

          Yeah, I it would be good for Sony to put a general(er) the purpose OS on the PS4. That way they have some functionality to remove after a year or two.

        2. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: Sony have dropped the ball

          The last two generations of Playstation haven't been an embarrassment to the living room in terms of their looks, so I don't need to see a mock-up of the hardware to be reassured.

          1. Mike Richards

            Re: Sony have dropped the ball

            I must be in a tiny minority, but I find the asymmetric angular shapes of the PS2 and PS3 to be bloody ugly. It's only that they're so black that prevents them being a complete eyesore. Much prefer the shape of the original 360.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Up

        Re: Sony have dropped the ball

        Osborne effect.

        See why Ford aren't selling any Mondeos recently (in comparison to Insignias and the likes).

        Get someone used to the new product, they wont buy the current product.

      3. Alan Dougherty

        Re: Sony have dropped the ball

        Or you could just go and buy a PC?

    2. GregC
      Happy

      Re: Sony have dropped the ball

      It'll be a black shiny box with a PS logo, a BD drive and ports for USB/HDMI/whatever else is on the list. It'll be tucked away under the TV for it's life. I don't really care at this point about exactly what shape that box is, what it's packing hardware wise is what's important and that's what Sony have announced.

      No doubt there's be pics and/or hardware at E3 - if they reveal everything now how are they going to keep the hype machine fed until Xmas....

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Sony have dropped the ball

        I think they are deciding on what format of media to accept and so can't show the device.

        The dilemma of the PS Go is haunting them. They would love to drop discs but it has a lot of downsides which will kill their market.

        1. Blank Reg

          Re: Sony have dropped the ball

          They have already said it has a 6x bluray drive. They didn't show the box because they are saving that for E3.

    3. Annihilator
      Facepalm

      Re: Sony have dropped the ball

      I have never, ever bought a console based on what it looks like. That is all.

    4. mark1978

      Re: Sony have dropped the ball

      Because Apple have devices which people hold in their hand and carry around, the device and how it looks is important. The PS4 is a box that sits under the telly. What it looks like is of little consequence.

  3. wolfetone Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Well hello there...

    I'm quite impressed with what's been said so far. I'm not a Sony fanboi at all (I cut my teeth on the Nintendo 64), and have been out of touch with gaming really. But this has got my interest, especially with the inclusion of a proper processor. This is key, as the PS3 was too difficult to develop for, now that it has an x86 processor maybe now it'll be easier to develop for and we'll receive PC-like games to a console.

    Yes, I'll be getting one.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Well hello there...

      That point was addressed directly in the presentation, a soundbite along the lines of: "designed by developers for developers"

    2. Katie Saucey
      Windows

      Re: Well hello there...

      " we'll receive PC-like games to a console"

      Good luck with that. PC games such as the Civilization series would be a nightmare minus mouse and keyboard (shortcuts). FPS ports to consoles and consoles back to PC also generally suck, mostly because of the lack of precision control on a console forced devs to include the lazy gamer "auto aim" button (and associated strobe-like cross-hair so you know which enemy you might hit). I'll stick with the mouse and keyboard until direct thought interface comes out.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Well hello there...

        >Good luck with that. PC games such as the Civilization series would be a nightmare minus mouse and keyboard (shortcuts).

        The PS4's Dualshock controller has a touchpad on it.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Well hello there...

        Sure if you play the FPS game for kids like COD then there is heavy auto-aim. But I find the mouse and keyboard suck for FPS games. Movement using binary left/right/up/down controls is so archaic in this day and age, that's what we had decades ago. Analog movement is far superior. While the mouse is more accurate that for me is it's down fall, I don't want a point and click adventure game. Play a real FPS without the autoaim using a joystick, it's more challenging and once you get good at it you won't miss the mouse at all.

        1. MJI Silver badge

          Re: Well hello there... FPS

          Play with Move - great fun

          KZ3 CinC here

      4. Red Bren

        Re: Well hello there...

        So you wouldn't be interested in a second hand copy of Civ II for the psone?

      5. Vic
        Joke

        Re: Well hello there...

        > until direct thought interface comes out.

        It's easy enough, but you have to think in Russian...

        Vic.

    3. Mark .

      Re: Well hello there...

      Was the processor really the reason, given that most people aren't writing in assembly anymore even for games (and even if they were, I thought traditionally x86 was harder...)?

      I thought the issues were more to do with things like graphics APIs - obviously MS have Direct X for X Box. Whilst Open GL does fine, my understanding was that not all consoles have great support (or in some cases use some custom API)?

      "we'll receive PC-like games to a console."

      I'm not sure that matters - I'd have thought things like the available controllers (which most PC owners don't have, restricting them to mouse and keyboard), or apparent buying trends in the people who tend to buy them, would have more effect?

      The original X Box was x86 PC hardware - did that have PC-like games, that the X Box 360 didn't?

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Well hello there...

      Having a x86 processor doesn't itself mean it will be easier to develop for (look at all those ARM processors flying about these days). In fact personally I'd prefer to deal with PowerPC assembly than x86.

      It's the exotic architecture that includes the cludge that is the Cell multicore arrangement with very specific requirements (in order execution being one of the features) that made it so difficult for developers to grip with.

      Now that we have a octo-core x86 processor in a more conventional setup (with a yet unknown secondary custom chip), yes it'll be much easier with out-of-order processing, but the headache of adapting to more parallel processing still remains (current-gen games still generally make better use of fewer but more powerful processing units). It'll be a leap that every platform will have to contend with, notably as more mobile phones start to move towards quad cores.

      The GDDR5, whilst high bandwidth, will have its own quirks, so along with a different OS, you're not going to be able to simply recompile a PC game and dump it on the PS4.

      Overall though I'm optimistic about the PS4, and I think developers will find it easier to find some fancy tricks to max out the hardware and look forward to some nice shiny bling in the near future.

      (after all, if you're busy trying to juggle 8 flaming cell torches, how are you going to find new fancy tricks on that bike you're trying to ride hands-free at the same time?)

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lightbar

    That thing looks sinister. Like some kind of evil robot staring at you from the top of the telly.

    1. hplasm Silver badge
      Terminator

      Re: Lightbar

      Cool!

    2. dogged
      Thumb Up

      Re: Lightbar

      It's going to make Barry Shitpeas' head explode. All this time he's been going on about how crap Kinect is and now his beloved Sony have copied it.

      I hope it happens here, live.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Lightbar

        Sony really havnt copied Kinect. All they have done is allowed the standard controller to be used as a stand-in for the previously required glow-in-the-dark dildos.

        Kinect is cutting edge, and it remains to be seen if Microsoft move it past it's currently limited implementations in games. Certainly it is clear that Kinect 2 has substantially improved capabilities...

  5. Andraž 'ruskie' Levstik

    Now...

    just need some games and I know what I'm saving my coins for.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Now...

      'Destiny', though it won't be a PS4 exclusive. With the next gen consoles being built upon PC lines, I expect platform exclusives to be rarer- though if you have a fetish for Japanese titles then the PS4 will be the one to go for.

  6. Mage Silver badge

    Sony and Valve should Merge?

    Discuss...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sony and Valve should Merge?

      One wants to infect all of your games with malware, the other wants to infect your music CDs with malware.

      A match made in heaven. They can disappear up each others' arses and I never have to deal with either again.

      1. MJI Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: AC. Sony and Valve should Merge?

        Now you have both Playstation AND Steam fans after you.

        I think I will play Portal 2 tonight just to annoy you doubly!

        I will use the Sixense Move patch to make it tripply!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: AC. Sony and Valve should Merge?

          "I think I will play Portal 2 tonight just to annoy you doubly!"

          I think I will too, just minus the Steaming shit. As for whether fanbois hate me.. well, I hope they do. I hope they'e crying into their cornflakes at the idea that somebody thinks differently to them, absolutely will not play Valve's "all your base are belong to us" game, and refuses to give Sony an inch.

        2. Mage Silver badge
          Linux

          Re: AC. Sony and Valve should Merge?

          How would it annoy me?

          Steam is successful on the PC Platform, but is unhappy with Windows and considering Linux and an x86 console.

          Sony wants to be more involved with Online and has dabbled with Linux on PS2 & PS3

          Both love DRM ... (I don't mean Digital Radio Mondale either!).

          Big screen console style gaming isn't going to go away due to iOS or Andriod. Different market really, the Nintendo DS and Sony PSP type devices more challenged by phone based gaming now that even Primary school kids are getting smart phones.

          A fully open HW platform such as PC with Windows or Linux gets problematic quickly compared to closed HW like PS3, Xbox360, Nintendo Wii / U or even Apple's Mac OSX stuff. The PC based Windows for Gaming has become a high end niche, not mass market.

          Apple curiously has never managed to leverage the stable HW aspect of its computer products as well as iphone and iPad for gaming, A few stunning titles and some ports.

          I'd guess Apple don't like to be reminded of Pippin? Also was the Apple TV (a pretty limited media box and not a TV, not maybe much different from Roku?) a missed opportunity as a gaming console.

          1. Dave 126 Silver badge

            Re: AC. Sony and Valve should Merge?

            If someone wanted the 'it just works out of the box' approach for games, they'd just get a console. Macs offered neither the constant upgrade path of PCs, nor the 'plug and play' big screen experience of consoles.

            I do remember the Pippin, but then I remember the Phillips CDi, the 3DO and the Windows/Sega Terradrive.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: AC. Sony and Valve should Merge?

          'Steam' has fans? Fans of a DRM system? Are you sure?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: AC. Sony and Valve should Merge?

            That'll be the fans placed all around to try and waft the smell of bullshit away.

  7. MJI Silver badge

    Need to find the money

    One son wants Drivers Club and I NEED Killzone Shadow Fall

    As my wife said, it looks like a PS4 Christmas

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    At risk of offending the fan boys I will wait to see what Microsoft announce before declaring which one I intend to buy.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      If everyone were like you we'd never

      get a good flamewar going.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: If everyone were like you we'd never

        Sorry, I meant I will never buy a Playstation because they are for losers!

        1. Kimbie

          Connections

          See they mention WiFi but what about hardwired ethernet?

          1. GregC

            Re: Connections

            From the spec sheet...

            Ethernet (10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX,1000BASE-T

            IEEE 802,11 b/g/n

            Bluetooth® 2.1 EDR

        2. Andy 70
          Windows

          x86 playstation?

          wipe it, install windows, install steam, job done.

          media centre machine+gaming in a frontroom friendly unit with no vendor lock-in or tie-downs. nice one.

          playstation ecosystem? huh, whatever...

    2. MJI Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re

      But the PS4 has KZ Shadow Fall!

      Sorry that sold it to me.

    3. DrXym Silver badge

      The specs of "Durango", Microsoft's hardware are widely leaked and while there is some difference, they are so broadly comparable that regardless of whether you chose MS or Sony you're probably going to get a similar experience, at least as far as games go.

      What happens outside that is open to question - I expect Sony will have the best blu ray and 3D support, but perhaps MS will be better in the online and social media realm. I expect Microsoft are also working on their own cloud offering too - it's been a fairly obvious undercurrent in the last few years so they're hardly likely to pass it by.

      1. jai

        if the specs are similar, and the chipset is very similar, presumably this will make it very easy for developers to write games for both systems? so perhaps no longer any need for a title to be on one device and not another perhaps?

        1. VaalDonkie

          I believe the idea of platform-locked titles is rather to artificially inflate the allure of a particular console as opposed to it being a problem simply because it's hard to do.

          1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

            platform lockin

            As a PC user this does annoy me as there are actually a few games I wanted, but refused to spend a grand for all three consoles.

          2. MJI Silver badge

            Platform locked.

            Something to do with the owners of the studios.

            Sony own rather a lot

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        And of course

        Sony will have the GAMES. You know the platform exclusives you can't play anywhere else.

        Microsoft have Halo.....

        Sony studios: 32

        Microsoft studios: 3

        Go figure.

        1. VaalDonkie

          Re: And of course

          As long as I get to play Final Fantasy XV (if it comes out before I turn grey) and either Forza or GT, I don't care what logo is on my console. But then I'm not a fan of FPS titles on any console.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: And of course

          Unfortunately for Sony none of their 32 exclusives tempted me into buying a PS3

          1. Dave 126 Silver badge

            Re: And of course

            Title exclusives on the PS3 seemed conspicuous by their absence. A few tempting games did emerge (WipEout HD, Flower, some of the stranger Japanese titles) but nothing major at launch. On the previous gen, we'd been used to the PlayStation getting first dibs at Grand Theft Auto, and Tony Hawk's Pro Skater.

            When the PS3 came out, many people didn't yet have the HD TVs required to take advantage of BluRay, either.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: And of course

          Microsoft SELL the most games. An attach rate of ~ double that of the PS3 - therefore guess who developers will tend to focus on....

    4. Pamplemoose

      I'll be waiting too, but in my case I'll be waiting to see what my friends buy. They all went Xbox last time out whereas I bought a PS3. Sad times.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Sad times... for my friends

        fixed it for you

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nice

    8GB of GDDR 5 and 1.84 Teraflops are impressive, especially since there are far fewer layers of API crap between the game and the GPU than you will find on a PC. I expect this to perform better than my PC which has a 2GB video card capable of 4.6 Teraflops.

    Time to upgrade my three year old graphics card, I think. I'm sure I can get something really nice for the price of a PS4.

    1. M Gale

      Re: Nice

      Thre's actually a whole load of "API crap" between the programmer and the hardware on a modern games console, too. In fact, consoles are historically a bugger to program for because they are a whole new bespoke architecture each time. Usually a horrible mash of intermingled subsystems that have changed a few times in development, too.

  10. Joerg
    FAIL

    What a shame! What a fraud!

    A fraud this console really is.

    Cheap, slow AMD hardware. A custom AMD APU it's still going to be a slow product. The A10-5800K was released a few months ago and her it is:

    http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu=AMD+A10-5800K+APU

    AMD A10-5800K APU Average CPU Mark

    Description: Socket: FM2, Clockspeed: 3.8 GHz, Turbo Speed: 4.2 GHz, No of Cores: 2 (2 logical cores per physical), Max TDP: 100 W

    Other names: AMD A10-5800K APU with Radeon(tm) HD Graphics

    CPU Launched: Q4 2012

    CPUmark/$Price: 38.28 Overall Rank: 207

    Last Price Change: $123.79 USD (2012-10-06)

    >>>>>> 4739

    Samples: 167

    --

    4739 the benchmark score is. The new AMD custom APU for Sony might get 5500 ? 5800 ? Maybe.

    And an Intel Core i7-3770 instead:

    http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu=Intel+Core+i7-3770+%40+3.40GHz

    Intel Core i7-3770 @ 3.40GHz Average CPU Mark

    Description: Socket: LGA1155, Clockspeed: 3.4 GHz, Turbo Speed: 3.9 GHz, No of Cores: 4 (2 logical cores per physical), Max TDP: 77 W

    Other names: Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-3770 CPU @ 3.40GHz

    CPU Launched: Q1 2012

    CPUmark/$Price: 33.04 Overall Rank: 31

    Last Price Change: $286.99 USD (2012-04-30)

    >>>>9481

    Samples: 890

    ---

    At least 2 times faster on synthetic benchmarks.

    And LGA2011 Core i7 with 6-core and Quad-Channel 52GByte/s bandwidth DDR3 are even faster.

    1. JeeBee

      Re: What a shame! What a fraud!

      And your point is?

      The main workload of a games console is graphics rendering. How good will that Intel CPU do that?

      The next main important thing is that the CPU in the console doesn't cost Sony a metric buttload. Intel don't like selling their CPUs for cheap. In addition there's no way to create an Intel based SoC with AMD graphics.

      In short, quit moaning, it can't happen, and in the real world of gaming there isn't a massive difference in CPU performance.

    2. JeeBee

      Re: What a shame! What a fraud!

      I actually have to reply again to what is possibly the stupidest comment I've seen on the internet in at least an hour.

      Do you really think that a games console would use a $286.99 CPU? Which would require a discrete GPU?

      I like that you compare it to a $123.79 APU that gets twice the performance in GPU benchmarks.

      In addition the Playstation APU uses eight Jaguar cores, not 2 Piledriver modules. And to be honest, we don't know how it will perform at all.

      1. Boothy
        WTF?

        Re: What a shame! What a fraud!

        As mentioned, CPU performance in a game system is fairly meaningless for most games, and doubly so for console type games, it's the GPU that does all the real work.

        I've got a 360, but am primarily a PC gamer, I've got an old rig, with an AMD 4 core CPU from several generations back. (was top of the line about 5 years ago), and I can still play every game installed on Ultra (or their highest option). The CPU is generally under utilised, as most games still only run in one, or maybe two threads, so the CPU might max out around 40-50% for a heavy game.

        The only time a faster CPU would be useful would be for strategy games, where there is a lot of processing going on behind the scenes (rather than on screen), but those don't tend to be very common on consoles, so a mute point at the moment (may change in the future with improved console control systems of course).

        If games were made to utilise muti cores better, even my 5 year old CPU would provide more than double the current required processing power for top end games (and that's top end on a PC, not top end on a current console). So a current (or next gen) AMD processor would provide more than enough CPU power for anything likely to be thrown at a next gen console for years to some.

        1. Badvok
          Mushroom

          Re: What a shame! What a fraud!

          "As mentioned, CPU performance in a game system is fairly meaningless for most games, and doubly so for console type games, it's the GPU that does all the real work."

          Not sure if that is true anymore. Most people are unlikely to plug their PS4 into anything more than a Full HD/3D TV for quite a while yet. The PS3 can already do Full HD/3D, not particularly well but it's not far off, so maybe just one or two steps up the graphics architecture ladder would do fine for most people (maybe equivalent to a modern <£75 graphics card). It will be more important to enhance the gaming experience, better AI, better physics, better details, better interaction, and all that comes from the CPU not the GPU.

          As any PC gamer knows when selecting their CPU, AMD is for Office/Productivity, but Intel is for gaming. Add into the equation the lower power demands and better thermal efficiency of Intel line and it is a no-brainer.

          Looks like the PS4 is going to be another George Foreman grill, lots of heat and not much performance.

          (FYI, I'm a long term PlayStation gamer, from the very first days, I've bought every generation on Launch Day - until now.)

          1. Boothy

            Re: What a shame! What a fraud!

            On a modern gaming rig, the physics is done on the GPU, not the CPU. It's all math, so GPU is far more capable than any CPU at delivering good physics affects. After all, a GPU is just basically a glorified multi-core math co-processor.

            1. Badvok

              Re: What a shame! What a fraud!

              Yes the actual maths compute stuff for physics is often offloaded to the GPU but much of the work still requires a decent CPU.

              Also, just seen it confirmed that PS4 will NOT support 4K for games, so it will be only FullHD/3D at best.

      2. Joerg
        Thumb Down

        Re: What a shame! What a fraud!

        Nonsense.

        The Sony PS3 Cell CPU when it was released was beyond anything Intel had to offer at an higher price.

        That was innovating. That was worth paying a premium price for.

        The PS3 is still far from outdated.

        The first pictures and demos of beta PS4 games just show how bad the hardware really is. It's already outdated. It offers nothing better than what an old PS3 can do. And it's worse than any medium-range PC.

        That is the whole point.

        A cheap $100 AMD APU hardware only to rip customers off is just a shame Sony and Microsoft managers deserve paying by going bankrupt!

        Unless too many people will like being sheep wasting money on cheap AMD APU PCs.

        1. Daniel B.
          Boffin

          Re: What a shame! What a fraud! @Joerg

          I tend to agree with your assessment of the hardware: x86 is a steaming turd that should've been excised from the computer industry *decades* ago. Unfortunately, it seems the lack of cheap RISC-based, cost-efficient alternatives have brought another casualty in the war. ARM might wrestle the PC market in the near future, but they just aren't there yet as to be seen for a next-gen console at this point.

          That said, I'll probably cling to my PS3 for a bit longer. I still have a backup one with OtherOS, which I sometimes use to tap on the CellBE processor. :)

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: What a shame! What a fraud!

          "The Sony PS3 Cell CPU when it was released was beyond anything Intel had to offer at an higher price."

          erm, well the Xbox was released a year earlier and still outperforms the PS3 on the vast majority of titles that are on both consoles, so i think you are falling for the Sony advertising fluff...Cell has high theoretical performance, but in practice it doesnt deliver.

    3. M Gale

      Re: What a shame! What a fraud!

      Who cares? It's a games console. You know.. a toy.

      Following the same pattern as every other games console release: Fairly beefy on release. Outdated within six months by £50 graphics cards on £100 computers.

      Difference is, the games are usually designed around that less-than-optimal hardware so that they still run smoothly. I have a DS and 3DS here that probably have less poke than your average Android phone. The games are still awesome, though.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Proof of the pudding

        There is zero need to try to extrapolate its performance from its specs if you can just watch a video of what it can output. The demonstrations looked very impressive.

        Judge for yourself.

        1. Joerg
          FAIL

          Re: Proof of the pudding

          The demos look just plain lame!

          Impressive what?

          Do you work for Sony and you need to sell c*ap at any cost ?

          The demos just show that the PS4 can offer no better graphic quality than what an old PS3 can already achieve.

          1. Dave 126 Silver badge

            Re: Proof of the pudding

            >Do you work for Sony and you need to sell c*ap at any cost ?

            Sod off Joerg.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What a shame! What a fraud!

        I remember a 166mhz Pentium PC being over £1000 when the original Playstation released. It was a lot longer than 6 months until the PC could do anything approaching decent Arcade racers, beat em ups and platformers

        1. M Gale

          Re: What a shame! What a fraud!

          "I remember a 166mhz Pentium PC being over £1000 when the original Playstation released. It was a lot longer than 6 months until the PC could do anything approaching decent Arcade racers, beat em ups and platformers"

          PCs didn't get decent cheap 3D acceleration until 1996. However, I call bullshit on your examples. Only 2D sprite-based platformers used to suffer on the PC due to absolutely zero acceleration in those days. Anything 3D made the consoles look like the primitive last-years-tech that they really were, before they were even released.

          You might have heard of this little game called Doom? Or Quake? Or any flight sim ever? Good luck attempting any of those on the Saturn or PS1.. in fact, Doom was ported, and on both machines it had a border around the edges and a crap resolution.

          Then the 3DFX card came out and the rest was history.

          These days, yes, console releases tend to follow the pattern of being decent for six months, then utterly humiliated in the polygons-per-second fight by cheap commodity PC hardware.

    4. John H Woods

      Re: What a shame! What a fraud!

      3D benchmarks would have been a better choice for this purpose.

      The A10 can be seriously pushed: my sons got theirs running at 4.6GHz (rather than 3.8 with 4.2 turbo) with the iGPU at 1.2GHz (rather than 800MHz) and our RAM is running at 2.4GHz rather than 800MHz, doubling the stock 3D benchmarks.

      PS: With air-cooling and only a tiny voltage increase, this isn't some impractical LN2 system (in which the A10 has hit nearly 8GHz!)

  11. Justice
    Facepalm

    $ony PS4: Made of fail.

    Sorry, I have been a devoted $ony fanboi since the PS1. Owning a fat, slim and the same with the PS2 and the PS3. I didn't mind too much when they excluded PS2 titles from the PS3 (with the exception of my original release 60GB) but I won't be buying this pile of crap.

    I rip selective Blu-Ray titles I own (not download) to watch on my media server and Cinavia has killed this device as a media server. But the killer for me is an incompatibility with PS3 games some of these are £50 a pop for Jobs sake!!!

    Filling up my XMB with pay-to-use video apps I never wanted (and can't remove) and a complete inflexibility when it comes to what the user wants sees me heading for the exit on this release.

    But I think the biggest con is it doesn't matter how pretty it looks, if the gameplay isn't there then what's the point. Yet another COD or FIFA??? Look at that high resolution blood, wasn't that worth spending all that cash on exactly the same shit in a different package? I think not.

    The industry seems rife with forcing what they want on us and not what the customer needs.

    THE LINE MUST BE DRAWN HERE!!!

    1. 1Rafayal

      Re: $ony PS4: Made of fail.

      This sounds very much like someone complaining about features on a console that hasnt even been released yet...

      I take it the streaming of PS3 games to a PS4 isnt good enough for you when it comes to backwards compatibility?

      On a personal note, I would like to see a HDMI passthrough on this device. If I dont want to stream my PS3 games then I could at least hook up my PS3 via a passthrough to play them for real

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: $ony PS4: Made of fail.

        Xbox 720 has HDMI passthrough...

  12. Dave 126 Silver badge

    The EyePad makes sense now

    One bit of new during the announcement made sense of that Move-enabled tablet the Reg featured a few days back: 'Digital Clay'. During the PS4 presentation, the its 'Move' controller was used to 'sculpt' 3D models. Combined with Sony's 'EyePad' ( http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/02/19/sony_patents_eyepad/ ) there is the makings of a capable content creation system. The obvious applications are for creating levels and avatars, but there are applications beyond gaming. For certain scales of models (human-sized, creatures, vehicles), using a TV with a 3D cursor and tablet could be very usable indeed.

    The general consensus about the PS4's graphical prowess is that the games almost look like films, except that characters still move like video games (an issue with the game engines used, I assume)... The rendering of human heads looks very impressive, as did a Havok physics scene with a million objects.

    And it turns out that Bungie's next game, 'Destiny', is everything I hoped it would be - a blend of Elite, Halo, Planetside, Cowboy Bebop, Iain M. Banks, Borderlands and Star Wars Galaxies. Being produced for current and next gen consoles, with intention of a PC version.

  13. TeeCee Gold badge

    Lightbar?

    ...tracked by an Xbox Kinect-like “light bar” hooked up to the console.

    Sounds more like the Wii's infrared tracking bar than the Xbox's doppler system from the name.

  14. WonkoTheSane Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Pics of peripherals

    But none of actual console it seems.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Pics of peripherals

      Going by Sony's past PS design efforts, I'm not too worried that the PS4 will be a carbuncle in the living room.

      Curiously, the original Playstation was in part a homage to Frog Design's work on the Apple Macintosh, according to the head of the Sony Design Centre. Other geeky design details included using a more lavender shade of beige, so that UV ageing wouldn't be too yellow, and using a more expensive three-part injection mould for the case, with its cooling vents.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Pics of peripherals

      There's a very good reason why there are no photos of the console....

      Sony and select game developers working on launch titles have the workings of the PS4 in a beige box to help them get the titles ready for Christmas. They've already produced some very good demos and now it's down to Sony to work out how to pack the contents of the beige box into a smaller form factor that is still well ventilated enough to stop them from overheating and burning out in 3 months of extreme gameplay..... The race is on Sony you need to fit it in a box that can look stylish and keep it cool without making a massive noise and drawing too much power and get it produced and to market before December.

  15. JDX Gold badge

    Sounds good to me

    Upgrade the specs but otherwise keep the old device and bolt on all the cool new things from their own and competitors' products. Nothing is wrong with the PS3 after all.

    Very pleased they haven't messed about with the controller - keep the DualShock but add a couple of tweaks.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Sounds good to me

      Although they have basically just copied the 360... Kinect + x86. I'm sure developers will be very pleased, it should make porting new code very easy.

      Although all that time weeping over how to optimise for PS3 will be wasted ;)

  16. Thomas Kenyon

    headphones

    Coo. A headphone jack on the controller, not seen that since the 3DO. I wonder if it has a DSP dedicated to the headphone jack audio as well.

    1. VaalDonkie

      Re: headphones

      The Xbox controllers have that too.

  17. ElsieEffsee

    The Steam Console

    Will be my choice. I already have a big catalog of games bought through Steam and some (although not FPS, playing a FPS with a joypad is as stupid as not finding out where your GF is before shooting through a door) will be great on a big screen.

    My guess is that Valve will release something that plays better and looks visually better than either the M$ or Sony offerings.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      CounterStrike and checking on your GF

      > not finding out where your GF is before shooting through a door

      Why do you want to find out where your GF is before shooting through a door?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: CounterStrike and checking on your GF

        I believe that was in reference to that Olympic athlete that may or may not have accidentally shot his GF the other day.

  18. InsaneLampshade
    Thumb Down

    Better graphics card than the GTX TITAN?

    Will this PS4 have a better GPU than nvidia's GTX TITAN?

    If not it's already out of date.

    1. ShadowedOne
      FAIL

      Re: Better graphics card than the GTX TITAN?

      It's extremely unlikely that any console will ever sport a $999 discrete video card and you either need to work on your trolling, or need to put an ad on a singles site for your lonely brain cell.

  19. ?????

    So ready

    ..... to run PS4 VM on my laptop.

  20. Simon Rockman

    It's such a shame it's x86

    It would be much more exciting for the whole IT industry if they had continued development of the Cell processor. Now (ARM, low end, aside) Intel has a clear run at the processor market and we'll see less innovation.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: It's such a shame it's x86

      Well, the other partners in the Cell gave up on it a while back... better to appease developers, I guess.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: It's such a shame it's x86

        The Cell lost when GPUs kept jumping up in performance. The writing was on the wall: the future of HPC would be in GPU-based architectures, and I think Sony recognizes this which is why they seem to be putting a solid emphasis on that part.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: It's such a shame it's x86

          "which is why they seem to be putting a solid emphasis on that part"

          ...by going with AMD? ..........lol

          1. JDX Gold badge

            Re: It's such a shame it's x86

            You do realise AMD own ATI right, how have competed squarely with nVidia since the 90s?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: It's such a shame it's x86

              AMD will be bankrupt before the year's out. Their hardware has almost always been inferior to Intel and it's too late for them to catch up now.

              1. Fibbles

                Re: It's such a shame it's x86

                AMD processors may offer lower single core performance than Intel's high-end parts but their offerings also happen to be considerably cheaper. You should also consider that Intel's built in graphics is orders of magnitude less powerful than AMD's. Yes an Intel i7 coupled with a high-end graphics card will beat anything else hands down in terms of performance but such a system would also cost the better part of a grand. A console is never going to use discrete graphics so the choice is between an Intel APU and an AMD APU. The AMD APU is the obvious choice since Intel simply can't compete on graphics performance.

              2. Daniel B.
                FAIL

                Re: It's such a shame it's x86

                "AMD will be bankrupt before the year's out. Their hardware has almost always been inferior to Intel and it's too late for them to catch up now."

                Both use x86 arch. Both are shit compared to pretty much anything else.

  21. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Obsolete tech

      obsolete? it'll be 6 months or more between GTA 5 being released and you being able to play it on your PC.

      all that high spec tech, and all you're able to play on it is crappy on-rail FPS's

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Obsolete tech

        Clearly you've not used a PC for gaming recently.

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: Obsolete tech

          The games I enjoy the most are split screen, on a TV, sat on a sofa with mates... far more important to me than the better graphics on a PC. I'm not knocking PC gamers, but those who say 'my pc can do this...' are missing the point of what console gaming is about. Anyway, a PC gamer who is into WOW and uses fancy keyboard might be a different animal to the PC gamer who has a steering wheel, pedals and three monitors for a quick half-hour racing session.

  22. Charles 9 Silver badge

    So Sony's finally laid its cards on the table. Since they've changed architectures from generation to generation, switching to PC-based architecture is actually not too radical on their part, nor is trying an OnLive-like approach to retro gaming. All I can say at this point is good luck to them.

    Which leaves Microsoft. Their console evolution has been a bit different from that of Sony, and it might be of benefit to them to try something different than Sony's so as to differentiate itself. I think it would be best if Microsoft didn't jump architectures the way Sony did and stick with POWER CPUs and AMD GPUs. When it comes to specific hardware development, as long as the tools are robust and the hardware capable, the architecture can usually take care of itself, and sticking with POWER gives them a compatibility angle that keeps them closer to Nintendo's niches. As for memory, at least 4GB would be prudent, though with Sony touting 8GB they may want to consider moving up to allow for larger game worlds: cost-benefit analysis pending. Meanwhile, network-based gaming is thankfully a platform-agnostic idea so they can leverage Live to perform many of the same functions without much of a need for architectural changes.

    So, Nintendo's already out the gate, and Sony's laid its cards on the table. Now it's Microsoft's turn. Odds are we'll hear from them at E3.

  23. Amorous Cowherder
    Windows

    Back on the treadmill again...

    Ooh look a shiny box that will cost shitloads to start with, games will be close on £60 a copy, most of which will get slated as not being what the gaming faithful wanted and then after 3 years R&D will have been recouped, console will be down sub £100 and the next annoucement comes out and the whole cycle starts again with a brain rotting and tedious inevitbality.

    This must be one of those signs when you realise that as a dad, you're actually turning into a "Dad"! Next thing I'll be down the shops looking for elaticated waist slacks that I'll put a belt around and pull up right up just short of my 'nipple-line'! Oh dear God no, help me!!

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Back on the treadmill again...

      @Amorous Cowherder

      There there, it's okay, I've recently found I suck at Playstation games these days too.

      1. MJI Silver badge

        Re: Back on the treadmill again...

        I am good at a couple including on line. Fun telling all the kids they have been owned by someone a lot older, or "my sons are older than you"

  24. ColonelClaw
    Coat

    Missed Opportunity

    I can't believe they're not making a mobile client for Windows Phone 8.

  25. Fibbles

    The big question is of course;

    Will it be running a Linux kernel and did Valve have some hint of this ahead of time when deciding they could convince developers to create Linux ports? It doesn't seem like that much of a far fetched idea to me considering the leaked/speculated SteamBox specs are very similar to that of the PS4.

    1. david bates

      Re: The big question is of course;

      THAT is a good point...and thinking about it why would they bother to run anything else on it?

    2. Paul 135
      Linux

      More significant for Linux gaming than Steam box?

      That is what I am wondering too, and given that Sony have used Linux and OpenGL in the past then it is quite likely. The move to x86 surely now would require almost zero effort for developers to make Linux ports of any of their PS4 games? In many ways this could be more beneficial to Linux gaming than Steam's recent announcements.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The big question is of course;

      I hope so. If it runs Linux, it will likely be much easier to hack it.

      I will be getting an Xbox 720 just because of Xbox Live. I will likely only get a PS4 if it gets hacked.

      Sony have got a real problem this generation(Other than loosing billions for the last 3 years) - last generation they had the advantage of being the only console with a BluRay drive - and Microsoft still wiped the floor with them compared to the previous console generation. This time I don't see what Sony's competitive edge is.

      Some comentators seem to think cloud gaming is an advantage - but in reality its just filling in the gaps because Sony cant do backwards compatibility when moving to X86. Microsoft certainly have the technoogy (RemoteFX) to do cloud gaming if they wanted to anyway. However, as their console is likely backwardly compatible, I can't see why they would need to....

  26. adnim Silver badge

    Console ports

    will eventually have DirectX11.1/OGL 4.2 feature set.

    This has to be good for PC gamers who have had DirectX11 and OGL4.x capability for years and scant little game software coded that truly takes advantage of those capabilities.

    The quality of console ports if not the content has been improving over the years and some developers do make an effort for the PC port.

    I'm looking forward to what both the PS4 and the new XBox bring to the PC gaming scene, even if I am unmoved by the control that each party wants to exert over the use of their respective devices.

  27. IronSteve

    The flagship games are what I'm interested in...would be nice to see something both epic and unexpected for launch

    1. jai

      Well we saw Killzone

      And there was talk of Final Fantasy, which presumably is going to look mind-numbingly incredible.

      I wonder if GTA 5 will still come out on the PS3 or if they will slip the release date a bit further to be part of the PS4 launch.

      Is there going to be an Assassins Creed 4?

      Surely they won't be able to resist putting out Uncharted 4 also.

      and Gran Turismo, of course.... cept we probably won't see that until 2018.....

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    le sigh - ps4 wont play ps3 games - that's a dead duck then... though I havn't really done ps since ps2 and I have an emulator for that.

    1. jai

      Really? cos the only PS2 game i ever got around to playing on my PS3 was Shadows of the Colossus, and it looked really poor. And then they released the HD version for the PS3 which looked great so now there's zero need to fire up the old PS2 again.

      With the PS4, you'll likely be able to stream PS3 games to play them, so you can sell all your old PS3 games via music magpie to raise the cash to buy access to the streaming version of the few PS3 games you'd actually want to play again.

    2. JDX Gold badge

      Keep your PS3

  29. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
    Coat

    hmm

    So I can dualboot the PS4 with Linux (I would say Windows but I'll get downvoted) and invalidate the warranty at the same time.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Social? .... Where's the SPLIT-SCREEN gameplay?!

    Sony unveils social-focused PlayStation 4...

    The constant over-trendy push for ONLINE SOCIAL GAMING & SHARING makes me want to hurl. I game online, but only when my mates aren't around. Online gaming with strangers using nicknames / anonymous gamer tags, means winning or losing doesn't have the same value or enjoyment to me.

    I lament the loss of SPLIT-SCREEN gameplay, it kept me from buying the PS3. I'm a social gamer because I like to play split screen games with my mates at my mate's houses. Why has this been relegated to the dustbin of history? I loath the naff-ness of sharing gaming results online. Sorry, but IMHO sharing videos of my gameplay and similar things is narcissistic wank! Its a bloody video game not a trek to mars!

    1. A. Coatsworth
      FAIL

      Re: Social? .... Where's the SPLIT-SCREEN gameplay?!

      "narcissistic wank". Indeed there's no better way to describe all this hype surrounding social networking.

      Maybe I'd be interested in the list of games my friends are playing, but watching replays of their games? please... I can't understand why would anyone think I want to know what they are they doing every second of the day. Hell, I'm sure nobody cares about what I am doing when I play. As with current social networks, this will be a case where everybody broadcast for their own pleasure, so they can feel important on the web; and nobody, NOBODY listens... a pathetic state of affairs, really

      And I couldn't agree more with you about the split screen gameplay. I found a fair number of PS3 games that had that option, but usually it was buried in the menus or, in the case of RE5, plainly absent from the menu, so you had to follow a series of cryptic button presses in order to get it.

    2. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Social? .... Where's the SPLIT-SCREEN gameplay?!

      >>I lament the loss of SPLIT-SCREEN gameplay

      I agree. With the average TV size so much bigger these days it makes SS a better experience. And there's that TV tech which lets two people on different sides of the room see totally different images too.

    3. MJI Silver badge

      Re: Social? .... Where's the SPLIT-SCREEN gameplay?!

      Errr

      Recent SP

      Killzone 3

      Resistance 3

      Portal 2

      All the Motorstorms

      Recent MP

      Uncharted 3

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Social? .... Where's the SPLIT-SCREEN gameplay?!

        The recurrence of '3' in your titles suggests that developer's were a bit slow in appreciating the demand for split-screen games.

        1. MJI Silver badge

          Re: Social? .... Where's the SPLIT-SCREEN gameplay?!

          Actually I forgot Resistance Fall of Man, & Resistance 2

          Also Gran Turismo

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Social? .... Where's the SPLIT-SCREEN gameplay?!

        @MJI

        Some notable titles in there, but there are still some big titles missing from your list...

        QUESTION:

        Do all of the games you list offer OFFLINE SPLIT-SCREEN? Or do they require an online account and constant connectivity i.e. online co-op...? My point was there is a push by SONY towards ONLINE SOCIAL GAMING as opposed to OFFLINE (LOCAL) SPLIT-SCREEN.... But LOCAL is also very SOCIAL too.... So I hope it doesn't fade away...

        1. MJI Silver badge

          Re: Social? .... Where's the SPLIT-SCREEN gameplay?!

          All the ones under SP have local coop

          Anyway how about 4 player co op LBP?

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "So ready ..... to run PS4 VM on my laptop."

    Old consoles were all emulated, this one should be even easier.

    Meanwhile:

    - Need for Speed Most Wanted - PS2 - $159.99

    - Need for Speed Most Wanted - PC - $ 59,99

    Both ports are absolutely the same game, it was just ported to PC, a while ago, or vice-versa.

    and again, going back further:

    - Halo Combat Evolved - Xbox - $ 130,00

    - Halo Combat Evolved - PC - $ 60,00

    So, is there a reasoning here? I bought a PS3, but I vowed to buy only games that were not ported to PC, because they are SO MUCH CHEAPER.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: "So ready ..... to run PS4 VM on my laptop."

      What currency are your figures in? It doesn't look like $(USD)

      1. Luiz Abdala

        Re: "So ready ..... to run PS4 VM on my laptop."

        No, the currency is not $USD, and neither it is important. The point was to show the ratio between PC and console games, that are 2 or 3 times more expensive around here.

        FYI, it was Brazilian Reais (R$), back then, when 1 USD = 2 R$

  32. jai

    game.co.uk

    Well it seems Game.co.uk are taking pre-orders already.

    Or rather, they want a £20 deposit from you, and then i guess they'll charge the rest of the price on the release date.

    Trouble is, not sure I trust the Game brand, weren't they teetering on the brink of oblivion recently along with HMV and the like?

    Think I'll wait until Amazon have it up for pre-order instead.

    1. Brydo

      Re: game.co.uk

      Yes, but I don't see this being a console that will be in such demand that a pre-order is required.

  33. Phil Dalbeck
    Boffin

    RE: comparison with a PC and PC performance

    Cross porting may not be as easy as all that.

    At present, every PC game relies on high level API's to inter face with the underlying hardware - DirectX, OpenGL for 3D rendering. These calls are pretty damn inefficient at exposing the true power of the hardware. This is by necessity - the same API's have to abstract a huge range of physical GPU's from a variety of manufacturers, so this loss of optimisation is to be expected.

    You've then got the operating system layer, which operates as a go-between from the code to the hardware, again abstracting to cope with a wide range of hardware varients.

    If everyone wrote they're PC games in x86 Assembler, and their graphics code in the AMD or Nvidia equivalent, we'd see performance an order of magnitude better than we do now. Of course, that's not realistic as that code wouldn't be portable to the near infinite number of hardware configuration varients found in the PC world, and I doubt x86 assembly is much fun to work in these days...

    Even if the PS4 (and next Xbox) use x86 based CPU's and a variant of the Radeon GPU, they're going to be a single fixed part for the lifetime of the console - Meaning Sony can provide bespoke API's that are much more closely coupled to the hardware, or even provide direct access to the hardware for particularly performance focussed developers to tinker and squeeze out the maximum performance with - Thus the "real world" performance of a game on the PS4 is going to be extremely good compared to its PC version running on basically the same hardware, which is having much of its performance sapped by unavoidable inefficiencies at the API, driver and OS layers.

    TL;DR version:-

    Speaking to the hardware in the PS4 is like two native English speakers having a chat - quick, simple and efficient.

    Speaking to the hardware in a PC is like a guy who only speaks English wanting to speak to a guy who only speaks German - the problem being he has to use an English to French translator and then a French to Spanish translator, and then a Spanish to German translator to communicate every sentence.

    Of course - early PS4 games will probably use some familiar, common API layers (OpenGL etc) until dev's get time to get to grips with calling the hardware natively, so don't expect miracles from the first generation of 3rd party software!

    1. Mark .

      Re: RE: comparison with a PC and PC performance

      "If everyone wrote they're PC games in x86 Assembler, and their graphics code in the AMD or Nvidia equivalent, we'd see performance an order of magnitude better than we do now."

      I'm not convinced - these aren't additional "layers" that have to be got through at runtime, because things are compiled. So the question is whether compilers are better than humans at creating assembler/machine code. A lot of the time, the performance is restricted by choice of algorithm or bottlenecks in a particular area, not the choice of machine code instruction. And compilers - written by people who know CPUs very well, and developed over years - may well know better than an individual developer about what is more efficient.

      Assembly language made more sense in the 80s and early 90s, but since then, compilers have got better, the processing power available to compilers has improved, whilst CPUs have got vastly more complex - and human brains have remained the same. Plus there is still the option of hand optimising some performance critical areas if there is a compiler deficiency. The idea of writing 100% assembly - and that this could give a 10x speed up - does not seem realistic at all.

      I don't really see your language analogy is fair. I'm not sure I'd call assembly a "native" language for anyone. The question is whether the translation is done by the programmer, or the compiler.

      1. Joerg

        Re: RE: comparison with a PC and PC performance

        You are wrong.

        To achieve the best performance hand written assembly language is always used.

        The fact is that writing assembly is time consuming and only a few programmers can really do it.

        There are less than 300,000 programmers in the world, any higher numbers is people doing basic programming. Out of those only a tiny 5% or less is able to do proper optimization in assembly on one or more platforms.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: RE: comparison with a PC and PC performance

          But to use hand-written assembler over the entire length of a huge project is usually too demanding unless it's a requirement. So as the other writer has said, compiled code is made as a base and then parts of the object code hand-tuned or replaced with hand-written assembler where performance is demanded.

        2. Mark .

          Re: RE: comparison with a PC and PC performance

          I'm not saying that it isn't possible to outdo a compiler in some cases, and hand-optimising some performance critical components may be useful, as I say - though even there, if only 5% of programmers can outdo a compiler, that is part of the point I'm making about the difficulty.

          I was questioning the idea that it's always better, especially when claims such as an order of magnitude are thrown around. How does a GPU-bound game run 10x faster with assembly rather than C?

          How does shader code compare to fixed function - is assembly shader 10x faster than fixed function? Or is shader code written in Cg/HLSL/GLSL 10x slower than fixed function?

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: RE: comparison with a PC and PC performance

            In Joerg's defense, hand-tuning is a lot easier when the specifications are more concrete. In the general PC environment, coders have to consider whether their end product will be running a machine with lower levels of shader support which can restrict the level of graphical detail you can put in your product. Consider the game BioShock. It was made right around the time DirectX 10 and Shader Model 4 came out. However, since most video cards on the market could not support them, the amount of DirectX 10 code they could put in the game was quite limited. Pushing the envelope in PC technologies is risky because you risk alienating audiences (Crysis was an exception to the rule--but it scored BECAUSE of its audacity--trying to repeat the feat would be difficult).

            OTOH, on something like a console, you know exactly what type and how much hardware you'll be working with. This is the kind of information that lends itself well to hand-tuning. If you know just how much and what kind of RAM you're working with, you can micromanage to get the last byte of performance out of it and do it with the tighest timing you can. Similarly, knowing that every PS4 will fully support OpenGL 4.2, you know just what functions you can and can't use and don't have to worry about fallback functions.

    2. Fibbles

      Re: RE: comparison with a PC and PC performance

      It seems unlikely that the PS4 will have a custom graphics API when you remember that the PS3 used OpenGL ES.

  34. robp

    Ho ho

    A Steambox and an Ouya appeals to me the most. After a PC of course, which I can use for many many wonderful things other than gaming. Must be difficult being squeezed by competition, while trying to lock your potential customers into your platform, and also ensuring they can't use second-hand games. Does it run Linux for 6 months or so, before it's removed by the way?

  35. Phil Dalbeck
    Holmes

    Re: RE: comparison with a PC and PC performance

    My numbers comparison is just a casual abstraction to illustrate the problem Mark, as is the example of hand coding in cpu assembler I don't think anyone expects to dive in and hand code Uncharted 5 in Assembler from start to finish (other than some specific subroutines that genuinely require maximum performance tweaking, computer compiled is generally adequate and quicker) ;)

    Perhaps a more accurate comparison would be to say that the compilers available for a stable hardware platform can be far more focussed and better optimised on a console than is achievable on a general purpose PC. Additionally, game engines can be written to take full advantage of the highpoints and avoid the pitfalls of the hardware.

    Right now, PC based programming is based on lowest common denominator optimisation routines (as software has to work with a wide variety of present and future hardware, and the easiest way to achieve that is to use computationally expensive abstraction layers) - fixed hardware platforms don't have this constraint, so code can be made to be far more efficient in less time than would be required to get it working half as well on an acceptable range of PC hardware to cover the market.

    As the machine remains in the market longer, developers (of both game software and the API's, compilers and engines used to build them) can focus their time on optimisation rather than rebuilding every time a new GPU generating is released, and wasting time on ensuring backward compatibility and scalable performance options to remain inclusive of users with older hardware. The old argument about how good games released at the end of a consoles lifecycle look and perform in comparison to release day titles illustrates this nicely?

    My point is that those who assume that any developer is going to take the time to squeeze half the practical performance out of an equivalently specced Windows (or Linux) based White box PC isn't taking into consideration the commercial challenges this would entail. Consoles have a 6-7 year shelf life nowadays, and it is a testament to the unique benefits of closed platform optimisations that the Xbox360 and PS3 can come reasonably close to delivering the gaming experience achievable on a modern PC costing 10 times the price 7 years after they launched!

  36. Andy Fletcher

    All I need to say is

    I'll be buying one. No question.

    1. Joerg
      Thumb Down

      Re: All I need to say is

      So you buy whatever fraud Sony and Microsoft managers can come up with no question asked, uh?

      You must be rich and enjoy being ripped off.

      1. NotSmartEnough
        Stop

        Re: All I need to say is

        Fraud?

        Bit strong, don't you think? There may be an argument that the next gen consoles represent poor value for money, but I guess we'll need to wait to see how they're priced before passing that judgement.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This title has been carefully crafted to get you to read the post

    Xbox, PS and PC will all be able to knock our socks off with stunning graphics. Great.

    I guess the choice now is down to the importance to each individual of:

    - price (including ongoing costs)

    - flexibility (what else can it do besides play games?)

    - exclusive titles (Halo, Resistance, Arma III)

    - user mods (Black Mesa, Skyrim content, etc...)

    - indie titles

    - ability to buy second hand games

    My take: there is no "best" device, only an individual's preferred device.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    really?

    Ironic that PCs originally became like consoles in the 90s with the availability of not only custom graphic cards, but custom sound cards.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: really?

      Yeah, PCs were primarily business machines to which you had to add your own joystick ports, sound hardware, and later graphics hardware. You had to make sure that a game supported your choice of sound card, or else have it emulate a Soundblaster or Ad Lib. Lots of fun juggling different Autoexec.bat and Config.sys files, and making sure stuff didn't trip over itself.

      How that was like consoles (as easy to use a toaster) I'm not sure.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "The PS4 also automatically copies the screen buffer to the hard drive"

    Umm what? If it's not wasting CPU cycles encoding all of that on the fly, as someone who's used fraps daily to limit my FPS to prevent graphics card overheats, I can tell you those hard disks aren't going to live long.

  40. antisony

    Does anyone remember "other" operating system?

    I can remember when Sony gave the possibility of running Linux on a Play Station, sold many devices with this promised feature, then simply revoved the feature with a software upgrade. Fortunately I hadn't bought one and wasn't directly affected. However I was so disgusted with this action by Sony, equivalent to getting your car back from a service with all the optional extras removed, that I have since avoided buying Sony products. I used to trust this brand and have owned many Sony products in the past: Trinitron TV, VCR, Original Walkman, Recording Walkman , Mobile Phone, and portable Radio. Since this action I have sucessfully avoided the following Sony products: Flat screen TV (LG), Mobile Phones (4 x Samsung), PC Screen (Samsung), High range Headphones (Panasonic), Cameras (2 x Canon, 1 x Fuji), MP3 Player (Samsung), external HDD (Trekstor), external DVD Burner (LG), Car Audio system (Pioneer) and possibly a few more that I've forgot.

    Does anyone else remember this despicable Sony action, and how are they reacting as a consequence?

    Remember:

    It is a trick, it's a Sony!

  41. Isendel Steel
    Meh

    Backwards

    I too would be interested in hearing how directly compatible it will be with earlier versions, having been burnt by the "upgrade" to PS3 and being unable to use the PS1/PS2 game disks (although will be unlikely to purchase as the PS3 in house has been demoted to a blue-ray player).

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Backwards

      Likely, with the PS3, almost zip, because the PC x86 architecture is a lot different from the relatively unique PS3's Cell CPU. Architectural differences make emulation difficult and usually require a performance edge of some ten fold at least, which isn't happening this time (CPU tech hasn't been progressing as quickly as in previous generations). And timing concerns mean you can't throw multiple cores to make up the performance deficit for emulating a single core.

      The PS1 has been possible to emulate on the PC for years now, and PS2 emulation on PC hardware is achievable under the right circumstances.

  42. Brydo

    SmartGlass

    "Rather than go down the Wii U route and turn the controller into a second screen, Sony is looking to Android phones and tablets - Apple iDevices too - to take on that role, as well as the PS Vita."

    Sounds familiar... ah, SmartGlass.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Re: RE: comparison with a PC and PC performance

    Ok, nice pointing out that programming for PCs is much more complex, at least when compiling for a wide range of platforms is involved - at first glimpse. However....

    It still won't justify why PCs games are so much cheaper. I listed actual pricing ratios in another comment, being PS2 and Xbox games 2x or 3x more expensive than the same game in PC platform. They should have their price ranges exactly opposite, by this reasoning.

    So I belive it is all the way around..., I bet most games are DEVELOPED in PCs, and are just specially compiled for this or that console or processor (ARM, Cell, powerPC, whatever, just changing the compiler), where the resolution settings, for instance, are hidden, and I believe development is much easier that way.

    If it will run on your PC, they let you the job to find it out, provided they tested on a known minimal spec that is published along with the PC game. There is no promise it will run on your machine, since, as pointed, your setup is not known to them. I've seen games that run on a spec below the suggested minimum, with one or other component stronger than the minimum to compensate, being the GPU a classic burden carrier on low-spec CPUs.

    And remember, the compilers don't need to know the hardware, they need to know the API and expected family of processors. So, if you want your game to run on PCs, compile it for DirectX 9 or 11 and x86, and it will play on machines that support DX and x86... Most games have no OpenGL support, and won't run in Linux because of that. Compile it for OpenGL, and it may even run in Linux with minimal intervention.

    The scalability of compiling that allows the same game to run in PS2, PS3 (god of war is one re-compiled in HD for PS3) or any platform. I happen to have a collection of Genesis games (Mega Drive) that was designed to run in PS3. The games were not even touched, they have the same quirks and bugs and 320px resolution of the originals. The genesis chips were entirely emulated in code, but I digress.

    So unlike a lot of people think, console games are developed in and for PCs, and "TONED DOWN" to each platform capabilities, be that PS4, PS3 or whatever. They are *recompiled*, but now the developer knows exactly which processor and GPU is being used, and can optimize the code straight in assembler for better performance. So, it would explain why a game would look and run *better* on PS4, when its specs on the PC world would seem 'crap'.

    Since the PS4 is entirely based in x86, there is no reason in HELL their games can't be released for PC, except to extortionate the potential buyer.

    I won't buy a game that costs $400 in PS4, if there is the same game in PC for $90. They know that, and I know that, because it happened BEFORE.

    In fact, I believe that the ONLY reason you couldn't buy a PS4 game and run it on PC, would be the lack of DIRECTX support, since the PS4 probably won't need to support it, it is not expecting compatibility to anyone; all the way around, the game designers will have the PS4 x86 opcodes in hand, and go straight to assembly code.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: RE: comparison with a PC and PC performance

      The prices, however, also include market factors that are not related to the hardware or development costs. If a game is popular on one platform but not the other, or if one port came out later than the other, that will affect the price comparison. Take Halo. The PC version came out long after the original XBox version, for which it was a launch title and a console headliner.

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