Last night was the launch of the
After two hours of waxing lyrical about its under crackers (namely some 8GB DDR5 RAM and x86 architecture, geeks) the controller is all we see of the mythical machine.
It's a smoothed out offspring of its predecessors, imaginatively titled: Dual Shock III.
It has all the functions of your old controller but with improved ergonomics including a non-slip rim to the analogue sticks and a share button (we'll come on to that in a bit).
All you FIFA and COD fans who bought those silly triggers to grip the L2 and R2 buttons - rejoice! They've been redesigned to enable better grip for those of you with smaller digits. Midgets.
You can also see the rear of the pad is now textured for improved non-slip and vexing rage-quitters.
The latency has also been reduced to improve reaction times and reduce moaning.
At the top is an all new touch-sensitive block which we assume will be used as a gimmick and a mouse for improved inputting of characters. And on the rear there is a suave 'light bar' which we are assuming will work very much in the way that the Move system does for motion gaming. It also indicates who is who in multiplayer games.
Other things to note - it will now be charged by micro-usb connectors, had a built in headphone jack for you to wire in your own crappy iPhone earbuds and contains a miniature speaker for some purpose.
Back to that share button.
What appears to be integral to the new PS4 is connectivity - they want you to pester all your mates on all of your social networks with your trophies, online status and videos of Shola Ameobi scoring from the halfway line on FIFA.
Everyone's PSN ID will resemble something of a poor-man's Facebook to tell everyone what you've played recently, share videos and interact with friends in a more intuitive fashion. We know we'll be reaching for the privacy settings ASAP.
The PS4 is all about the online - so you'll need to bear this in mind to get real value for money. Downloads of updates and uploads of videos will be much slicker.
Gaikai was acquired by Sony recently. They specialise in cloud gaming. You can partially download a game and start playing straight away before it's even nudged 10%.All games have been promised to be available from The Cloud - you can play any game for free and then decide whether you want to pay for it after an initial trial. Whether this will be available to all users or PS+ subscribers was unclear.
The Playstation Vita will also be much more useful as a secondary screen - so you will be able to download and play some of your games for your PS4 on your little Vita from the magical Cloud.
The PS4 will also function in a low energy state - you won't have to turn off and reboot constantly. Much like a sleep button on your mobile phone - the PS4 will have a suspend/resume function to allow you to pick up where you left off.
Demonstrated at the event were some top publishers and developers including Bungie (of Halo fame showing off new multiplayer online shooter, Destiny), Blizzard (who are adapting Diablo III for both PS3 and PS4), a third installment of the Infamous franchise, a driving game that wasn't Gran Turismo and looked a bit crap if we're honest, another Killzone game and some other first person shooter. We got bored of them.
For us, Square Enix came up trumps with their reworked demo from last year's E3 of their long-awaited Watch Dogs. Nothing to do with Anne Robinson or that Chris bloke.
Other things to be aware of:
- It will go on release this year (no date given - whether that's worldwide is another matter).
- It will be sub $500 (£330 at this moment in time).
- It won't be immediately backwards compatible with old PS3, 2 or 1 games - though apparently this will happen further down the line.
- It will be able to play USED games (GAME, Cash Converters and CEX breath a sigh of relief).
What do you make of it all? Will you be buying a PS4 on Day One?