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PS4 News and Features

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[Image: pad%20with%20logo-580-75.jpg]

At GDC 2013 at the end of March, a room full of would-be PS4 developers and press got some new details about the hardware, controller, online and social functions of the forthcoming PlayStation 4.

Well before Microsoft eventually announced the Xbox One, Senior Staff Developer Support Engineer Chris Norden unveiled the news under an overarching theme of a "frictionless and seamless" gaming experience.

We've known that the PS4 will track both the controller in a gamer's hand, as well as their face, since the console's launch in Feb. But during his GDC talk Norden revealed some interesting ways that this technology will be implemented in games.

For example, the old multiplayer standby of split screen, divvying up television real estate when two or more players go at it, will be aided by this tracking tech. If a gamer gets up and moves right or left, his section of the screen will automatically be swapped.

So here's everything we know about the PlayStation 4 so far...

The PS4 release date is "Holiday 2013" for the USA. That's the only official detail Sony revealed at the launch in February and it's unclear which other territories it applies to, if any.

In an interview in May with our buddies at CVG, a source inside Sony said that the company is pulling out all the stops to launch worldwide in 2013 and ensure that the PS4 is not trumped by the new Xbox.

Officially, Sony has said it wants the PS4 release date in Europe to be as soon as possible but makes no promises on whether the UK and other European countries will get a release date in time for Christmas this year or whether it'll be an uncomfortable wait until sometime in 2014.

Stock issues might be the reason for this, and that's exactly what happened back in 2006/2007 when the PS3 launched. It went on sale in the US and Japan in time for Christmas and Europe and the rest of the world had to wait for March the next year.

Zavvi has actually listed a UK PS4 release date of 31st December which seems extremely unlikely - launching a few days after Christmas? Surely that's retail suicide.

Until Sony gives more details then, it's all just speculation. Even the retailers don't seem to know when the PS4 will release - so maybe Sony doesn't either. It could depend on how quickly they can get manufacture going on retail models, what yield rates are and the capacity of the factories.

Until we know more, we'll quietly pray to the gods of silicon that the PS4 release date will be Christmas 2013 worldwide. Or better yet, tomorrow!

What we know for sure is that we'll get our first glimpse of the PS4 at E3. Check out the PS4 teaser video.
PS4: Hardware specs

AMD, as we guessed all along, is coursing through this new system's veins.

Post-event, Sony revealed the system runs on a single-chip custom processor and utilizes eight x86-64 AMD Jaguar CPU cores, with a next-gen AMD Radeon based graphics engine powering the way.

So it's very much a PC-based system then, which is great news for developers who will find it much easier to code games for the next gen consoles and for PCs. However, that CPU is hardly next-gen - it may have been modified for this system but the AMD Jaguar platform is by no means the fastest of its kind - indeed it's slower than Intel's fastest by orders of magnitude.

However, with fewer redundancies than a PC has, the PS4 will certainly be able to make use of every single Watt of power it draws.

The "highly enhanced PC GPU" is another story. It's another AMD part - something along the lines of a Radeon 7850 card - and packs 18 GCN units. That may sound a like a lot of techy mumbo jumbo but what it essentially means is that the GPU packs 18 processing clusters, each packing up to 64 cores. That provides a lot of parallel processing power, and will thus handle the majority of the PS4's grunt work. It hits 1.84 TFLOPS of processing mojo. This is a far more powerful component than the Jaguar CPU and is rumoured to have the edge on the GPU inside the Xbox 720.

Sony announced at the NYC event that the console will even use GPU compute features to take advantage of the GPU's raw power - it'll be used for general computation tasks as well as making games shiny.

Memory

The PS4 will ship packing 8GB of GDDR5 memory. That's some super-fast stuff right there and should enable lightning fast performance.

Indeed, Sony has revealed that you will be able to power down the PS4 mid-game and then switch it on again in seconds and pick up right where you left off. That's the sort of loading power that this memory enables.

Other specs

We're also looking at Blu-ray disk support plus good ol' DVD, plus HDMI output support as well as Analog-AV out and an optical digital output.

[Image: Not%2016x9%20PS4%20camera%201-580-100.jpg]

PS4 camera

PlayStation 4 Eye

What's really grabbing though is the development of the PlayStation 4 Eye, a newly developed camera system that utilizes two high-sensitivity camera equipped with wide-angle lenses and 85-degree diagonal angle views.

Sony said the cameras (amounting to 1280 x 800 pixels) can cut out the image of a player from the background or differentiate between players in the background and foreground, enhancing game play handily. There's also mention of logging in using facial recognition and using voice and body movements to play games "more intuitively."

[Image: DualShock%204%20a-580-100.jpg]

PlayStation 4 Specifications

CPU: low power x86-64 AMD "Jaguar", 8 cores
GPU: 1.84 TFLOPS, AMD Radeon™ Graphics Core Next engine
Memory: GDDR5 8GB
Hard Disk Drive: Built –in
Optical Drive (Read only): BD 6xCAV, DVD 8xCAV
I/O: Super-Speed USB (USB 3.0), AUX
Communication: Ethernet, IEEE 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth® 2.1 (EDR)
AV output: HDMI, Analog-AV out, Digital Output (optical)

DualShock 4 specifications:

External Dimensions: Approx. 162mm x 52mm x 98mm
Weight: Approx. 210g (tentative)
Buttons: PS button, SHARE button, OPTIONS button, Directional buttons (Up/Down/Left/Right), Action buttons (Triangle, Circle, Cross, Square), R1/L1/R2/L2/R3/L3, Right stick, Left stick, Touch Pad Button, Touch Pad 2 Point Touch Pad, Click Mechanism, Capacitive Type
Other Features: Light Bar, Vibration, Built-in Mono Speaker
Ports: USB (Micro B), Extention Port, Stereo Headset Jack
Wireless communication: Bluetooth® Ver2.1+EDR

PS4 camera specifications

External Dimension: Approx. 186mm x 27mm x 27mm
Weight: Approx. 183g
Video Pixel: (Maximum) 1280 x 800 pixel x 2
Video Frame Rate: 1280x800 pixel @ 60fps, 640x400 pixel @ 120fps, 320x192 pixel @ 240fps
Video Format: RAW, YUV (uncompressed)
Lens: Dual Lenses, F value/F2.0 fixed focus
Field-of-View: 85 degrees
Microphone: 4 Channel Microphone Array
Connection Type: PS4 dedicated connector (AUX connector)
Cable Length: Approx. 2m (tentative)

PS4 controller: DualShock 4

If you have an eye for details you may have noticed that the PS4'sDualShock 4 controller has no Start or Select buttons. Norden confirmed this, saying that it will have a so-called Option button instead, as well as the much bandied about Share button on the rear.

The analogue sticks have been tightened up to be more precise, and the controller also features a brand new three-axis gyroscopic motion sensor with three-axis accelerometer which should be great for getting you immersed in the games. The camera continuously tracks all four controllers with precise accuracy. Rotational tracking is provided by the internal components and.

The controller has a two-point Vita-like touchpad on the front with a 1920x900 resolution, and a tactile clicking sound letting you know you've pressed it. The light bar on the front will glow different colours depending on whether you're player 1, 2, 3 or 4 and will be tracked by the new PS Eye camera. It also has an Xbox-style headset jack and a mono speaker inside it.
[Image: 8OHl5AB.png]
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