The lights are on
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.