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Diving Deep Into The PS4 Hardware

Sony pulled back the curtain on its upcoming PlayStation 4 much farther at this week's Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. The company paints an expectedly rosy picture, but a few hard facts stand out that should matter to gamers.

Amid all the talk about Compute cores and power consumption that fly above most of our heads, Sony dropped some info about the PS4's controller. The sticks should be much improved, with concave tips that thumbs should slip off of less often and provide refined action. "The analog sticks have been tightened up, they feel a lot more precise than they did on the DualShock 3," said Sony senior staff engineer Chris Norden. The enormous 1920x900 resolution on the controller's dual-touch touchpad should allow for precise inputs. Some reductions in the packet size thanks to dropping little-used analog sensitivity for the d-pad, face buttons, and L1/R1 buttons make the controller much more responsive by cutting input lag significantly.

Every console will ship with a wireless headset in the box, which should help encourage more communication in online gaming.

The camera contains a six-axis accelerometer that can tell the PS4 console which direction it's pointing, so games could for instance prompt players to adjust the camera's position to a more suitable angle.

A secondary low-power processor core can do things like upload video that you want to share while the console is powered down. Hopefully that also applies to other actions so that updates are less painful than the lengthy PS3 process.

For much more, including all kinds of talk about memory bandwidth and camera resolutions and refresh rates, check out Digital Foundry's excellent breakdown of Norden's GDC presentation.

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