Hey, PC gamers. You’ve probably seen people talking today about something called a “PS4″. What is it? Who makes them? What does “PS” stand for? How are they up to four of these freaky things, when you can’t even remember there being a first one?
Well, don’t fret. Just because you run a gaming machine that’s already more powerful and has better graphics than the next generation of home consoles doesn’t mean you can’t expand your horizons a little bit — at least enough to understand some of the weird acronyms your friends were spouting before you interrupted and — correctly — changed the subject back to PC gaming (you should look into getting better friends, those ones seem untrustworthy).
Blizzard makes good on those Diablo III console rumours
Yes, it’s all happening — those continual job postings for console developers at weren’t for nothing. At the event Sony happily announced that Diablo III would be coming to the PS3 and the PS4. The first hands-on of the game running on PS3 tech will be available at PAX East in late March.
Will it be the same as the PC version? Well, in a word, no. They’re keeping what they call “the core experience”, including all of the latest updates, but adding a new dynamic camera and control system — and a local co-op mode, which is actually the sort of thing I’d love to see on the PC version. How the new control system will work is not yet known.
Should you be afraid? Probably not! Blizzard’s market is still heavily PC focused, but they’d be crazy not to try and capture a new audience on the console when they can.
The PlayStation 4 still isn’t as powerful as your PC (probably)
Sony’s may have refused to actually show what their machine looks like (for… some reason) but as PC gamers, we know that it’s not what’s on the outside that counts — it’s the gleaming metal guts of the beast.
The PS4 has finally moved onto x86 architecture, which should make the unfortunate reality of console ports a lot easier, and Sony claims it’s an 8-core processor, but has yet to release any actual speeds. Their new AMD Radeon-based GPU contains a unified array of 18 computing units, generating 1.84 Teraflops of processing power, which is better than a GeForce GTX 650 at 1.4 Teraflops but far worse than a 670 at 2.4 Teraflops.
The just-announced NVIDIA GeForce GTX Titan, which will be launching soon, claims 4.5 Teraflops of computing power — 150% better than the PS4′s new GPU.
I’ll understand if you want to take a moment.
The PS4 also has 8GB of GDDR5 unified system memory, giving it 176 GB/second of bandwidth. This is pretty cool, but AMD started shipping GDDR5 memory in 2008 and so, by now, a GTX 660 has 192 GB/second of bandwidth on its GDDR5 memory. It’s not unified system memory, true, but with DDR3 RAM as cheap as it is, even 16GB of the stuff isn’t out of the question for the vaguely interested PC gamer.
Connectivity issues and options
The PS4 will feature the ability for you to start instantly streaming your gameplay at the touch of a button via Ustream, fire up a web browser while in game, play games as you download them with improved streaming technology, test games through Gaikai’s cloud gaming service without buying them, and even turn your smartphone into a second screen for any game through a new app.
Well… okay, I was getting ready to be all snarky, but that last one is pretty cool. Fair enough, Sony. Well played. Grumble grumble. Oh! And it won’t block used games, according to Eurogamer. So that’s nice too.
As for the launch details, the PS4 is coming “this holiday season”, the price has not been announced, and nobody knows what it looks like. How are we supposed to find it in the shops, Sony? Am I the only person thinking about these things?!