This evening Sony announced its next-generation console, the PlayStation 4 and its accompanying new controller, the DualShock 4. The company had a few surprises up its sleeve, like the fact that its recently-released PS Vita would be capable of playing PlayStation 4 games via streaming technology it acquired when it purchased Gaikai. The news is still coming, so check back with this StoryStream for everything you need to know about the new hardware, latest games, and more.
May 26, 2014
Microsoft and Sony's global battle for gaming dominance is about to spill over into China. After the country's longstanding ban on home consoles was lifted earlier this year, Microsoft announced it'll start local sales of the Xbox One in September, and now Sony's putting plans in motion to do the same with its PlayStation. Documents filed with the Shanghai Stock Exchange show Sony has set up a pair of joint ventures with Shanghai companies for the production and sale of PlayStation hardware and software.Read Article >
Apr 17, 2014
Titanfall was the best-selling game for the month of March, according to NPD, but it didn't help Microsoft take the lead in the latest console war. Today, Microsoft has announced that the Xbox One has shipped over five million units to retailers, but yesterday Sony reported selling seven million units of the PlayStation 4. That's a sizable lead for Sony, especially considering that Sony says those consoles were actually sold to consumers, not just those sitting on retail shelves. (The PlayStation 4 is frequently sold out.)Read Article >
Still, it's important to note that neither company is losing this battle: both Sony and Microsoft's gaming machines are doing fantastically well. The Xbox One may not be the top seller, but Microsoft says it sold 311,000 consoles last month, 60 percent more than the Xbox 360 managed at the same point in time. The company also says that Xbox One users spend an average of five hours a day using the device.
Mar 19, 2014
Sony has revealed its plans for virtual reality technology on the PlayStation 4. Shuhei Yoshida, president of Sony Worldwide Studios, showed off a prototype headset at a Game Developers Conference 2014 event entitled Driving the Future of Innovation. "Nothing delivers a feeling of immersion better than VR," said Yoshida. "VR has been a dream of many gamers since the computer was invented. Many of us at PlayStation have dreamed of VR and what it could mean to the gaming community."Read Article >
The VR system is currently codenamed Project Morpheus, and will work with PlayStation 4. While still in prototype form, Yoshida says that Morpheus is the "culmination of our work over the last three years to realize our vision of VR for games, and to push the boundaries of play." The headset uses a 1080p LCD, offers a 90-degree field of view, and will integrate with the PlayStation Camera for tracking and PlayStation Move for motion control. It connects via HDMI and USB; while the current prototype uses a 5-meter cable, Sony would like to make it wireless. The company says the headset doesn't put weight on your nose or cheeks, and its design allows for airflow without the lenses fogging up.
Feb 25, 2014
The PlayStation 4 appears to be off to a good start in Japan. According to figures from Japanese magazine Famitsu, 322,083 PS4 consoles were bought in the first two days on sale — that's nearly four times as many as the 88,443 PS3 systems sold on its opening weekend back in 2006.Read Article >
However, the circumstances were a little different. While the PS3 was extremely supply-constrained for its first few months, and its successor remains hard to find around the world, Sony appears to have secured a lot of PS4 stock for the Japanese launch.
Feb 22, 2014
The PlayStation 4 is now available in Sony’s home country of Japan, over three months after it first became available in the US. The release comes after Sony has racked up impressive figures elsewhere; the company announced earlier this week that it has sold over 5.3 million consoles worldwide as of February 8th, and managed to nearly double Microsoft's Xbox One sales in the US for the month of January. It remains difficult to find on store shelves.Read Article >
In Japan, the console is being offered in two packages: a regular edition for ¥41,900, and a bundle with the PlayStation Camera peripheral for ¥46,100. Both options also include a downloadable version of Sony's family-friendly action game Knack. Microsoft has not announced any information about the Xbox One in Japan, having long struggled in the region, though the new console should arrive eventually. And Nintendo has failed to match up to the Wii's performance with its successor, the Wii U.
Nov 29, 2013
The stars of Sony's The Playroom are meant to be its robots. Small, white, and cute, they jump and wiggle around at the feet of their owner. The Playroom — an alternate reality game that comes pre-loaded on PlayStation 4 — projects the miniature machines into players' living rooms. Using the PlayStation Camera, players can interact with them, kicking, flicking, and cradling them as they frolic and cower.Read Article >
But on the world's biggest video-game streaming site, Twitch, the stars of The Playroom haven't been its robots — they've been its players. The PlayStation 4 can stream any of its games live. Streaming a video game is like having someone watch over your shoulder as you play: both streamer and viewer are absorbed by the same rendered, imagined, computerized world. But streaming The Playroom is showing the internet your real world. It's not an invented universe you're displaying in 720p for others to watch: that's your couch and coffee table, and those are your family members.
Nov 25, 2013
We've known for a long time that users will be able to swap out the hard drive in Sony's PlayStation 4 for another model, but what type of drive makes for the best replacement? Tested recently ran a side-by-side test with a trio of drives to determine which offers the best performance and value. A 256GB Samsung SSD, a Sony-issued 500GB standard drive, and a 1TB hybrid drive (a regular hard drive with a small amount — in this case 8GB — of solid-state storage added) were all used to boot up the console and load various games, with the results unsurprisingly showing the SSD outperforming the original drive across the board.Read Article >
Gains range from six seconds for a boot-up to up to twenty seconds for loading a pre-installed game. When loading a pre-installed game with the disc inserted, the original hard drive cut the gap down to six seconds again. Although the SSD was easily the fastest in most tests, the hybrid drive wasn't far behind, with the gap between the two ranging from one to three seconds.
Seven years is a technological eternity. Yet the PlayStation 3 has sold well for that long, ever since DJ Fatman Scoop and Ludacris hosted its blowout launch event in New York City in 2006. At launch, the PlayStation 3 was big, heavy, and expensive — it took nearly two revisions and almost a dozen SKUs of PS3 to get Sony to 2013. The console now starts under $200, the controller rumbles, Blu-ray is the dominant physical disc format, backwards compatibility is a moot point, and there's a large back catalog of titles both physical and digital. PlayStation Move exists now.Read Article >
But even as the current generation continues to adapt and evolve, Sony has decided it’s time to start anew. Time to do something fresh, to create the console that will sate gamers for seven more years. Sony’s new PlayStation 4 reflects the company’s guess about the future of video games, and displays the many lessons Sony’s learned over the life of the PS3. It’s built a different kind of console for a different sort of purpose as it looks to 2014 and 2021 to see what we’ll want to buy.
Nov 8, 2013
The launch of any new console can do some serious damage to your bank account. But one week ahead of the PlayStation 4's launch, Sony is announcing a trio of free pack-ins meant to reward games who invest in the console early on. For a limited time, PS4 buyers in the United States and Canada will receive three bonuses packed in with the console. First is $10 worth of PlayStation Store credit that you're free to use however you'd like, be it for a game purchase or HD movie rental. Next is a 30-day trial for Sony's Music Unlimited service. Unfortunately, this one's only valid for new premium plan subscribers.Read Article >
But the third voucher is arguably the most important of all three: PS4 owners in North America will get 30 days to try out PlayStation Plus. Sony's monthly service is required for most online multiplayer gaming, so we're happy to hear that Sony is making it easy for users to get acclimated with Plus. You'll also have access to other perks that come with membership including Sony's Instant Game Collection and cloud storage for your game saves.
Nov 7, 2013
Earlier this year, Sony famously made its PS4 announcement without actually showing anyone the hardware. We all had to wait months for E3 in Los Angeles to see the new black box — even hardware architect Mark Cerny was kept in the dark — but now everyone knows of the sharp, angular new look. What we hadn't yet glimsped were the innards of the PlayStation 4, which have today finally been revealed, courtesy of Wired.Read Article >
Sony engineering director Yasuhiro Ootori both unboxes and tears down the new console, exposing its metallic internals for everyone to see. There's a satisfyingly chunky heatsink and a predictably small fan, squeezed in alongside an integrated power supply and the usual circuit boards and components. You'll also find some external details that may have slipped your attention so far, such as the tiny power and eject buttons nestled in the fissure that dissects the matte and glossy parts of the PS4.
Oct 30, 2013
Out of the box, the PS4 will include a 500GB 5,400RPM hard drive that's user replaceable — so long as the new drive is larger than 160GB. Sony says the console's cooling system has been tuned for living room usage and "is generally much quieter than the PS3," so hopefully you'll rarely hear a whirring fan during those lengthy gaming sessions or when watching a movie. Speaking of movies, Sony has confirmed that a software update and one-time internet activation will be required before you can watch any Blu-rays or DVDs. That update, PS4 firmware 1.50, will be available at launch — and you'll be allowed to play a game while it downloads in the background. And while PlayStation Plus is required for online multiplayer, you'll be free to use apps (movies, music) without subscribing to Sony's service.Read Article >
There's very bad news in store for home theater enthusiasts, though. Sony says you'll be unable to use the PS4 as a client for your media server. The next-gen console is shipping without DLNA support, a significant step backwards for a device that's likely to be a living room centerpiece for many. Even more unfortunate, the PS4 can't play MP3 files, suggesting that Sony wants users to turn to its own store and third-party apps for all media needs. And your CD collection? Useless. Sony has decided that now's the time to end support for audio CD playback.
Sep 25, 2013
It was shortly after Sony's February announcement of the PlayStation 4 that the company provided a first look at the user interface of its next-gen console. Since then, Sony's been iterating steadily, making small changes here and there, but the latest batch of screenshots reveals a reassuringly similar appearance — it doesn't seem like Sony has found any glaring faults with the UI and is sticking to its earlier paradigm.Read Article >
That's not to say that things are entirely unchanged, as the interface appears lighter in both color and clutter, with the user profile pages undergoing the biggest alterations. There are also a few shots of the companion app for iOS and Android, all of which can be perused on Sony's PlayStation Community forum.
Sep 9, 2013
One notable omission from the PlayStation 4 launch information provided at Gamescom was any hint of a date for Sony's home country of Japan. At a press conference today, however, Sony revealed that the next-generation console will be released on February 22nd, 2014, priced at ¥39,980 (about $400) excluding sales tax.Read Article >
The console will also be offered in additional bundles. A package with the PlayStation Camera peripheral — which is not included with the console elsewhere — will sell for ¥43,980 (about $440), and another pre-order bundle will include a free downloadable copy of the game Knack and a one-year warranty extension.
Aug 22, 2013
Even if you weren't familiar with Mark Cerny before the start of this year, you'll have been hard-pressed not to hear his name after he was announced as the PS4's lead system architect. The man in charge of specifying how much oomph Sony's next black box will need to carry on the storied PlayStation heritage was in Cologne, Germany, this week to participate in Sony's Gamescom activities. He sat down with us in the midst of the gaming show maelstrom to discuss the work he's been doing over the past five years and where he hopes it'll take Sony's home console over the next decade.Read Article >
Let's start off with your Gamescom press conference. While Microsoft relied on familiar franchises like Fable and FIFA at this year's show, you really showed off a variety of gameplay styles and genres, from developers big and small.
Aug 20, 2013
Twitch began its life as one of many channels on the streaming video service Justin.tv. But the video-game vertical quickly became bigger than the service that spawned it, and spun off into its own business. Today Sony announced that Twitch will be built directly into the new PlayStation 4, allowing users to broadcast their games live by simply clicking the share button on their controller.Read Article >
"Five or six years ago it was a real pain in the ass to stream from home," says Rod Breslau, who has been competing, casting, and covering the world of eSports for over a decade. "You needed a capture card; video cameras were more expensive, and there was a lot of complex software."
Aug 20, 2013
Sony just announced a November 15th release date for the new PlayStation 4, and following Microsoft's lead, the company's also revealing the full set of games it expects to deliver shortly after the launch of the game console. Unlike Microsoft, however, Sony isn't promising these games on the actual day of launch, merely "before the end of the year." Still, the company claims we'll see 33 different games before December 31st, 2013, and many more in the future.Read Article >
Here's the full launch window lineup:
Aug 20, 2013
Retailers are already devising their own upgrade programs to let consumers jump from current-gen games to their technically superior Xbox One and PS4 counterparts. But Sony is taking things into its own hands. At the company's Gamescom 2013 keynote, SCEA president Andrew House announced that Sony will offer an upgrade path for customers that purchase select PS3 titles and later wish to upgrade to a PlayStation 4 version of the same game. "We see this as a great way to reward PS3 gamers for their loyalty when transitioning to PS4, ensuring that it is as simple and accessible as possible," he said.Read Article >
Sony will offer the PS4 releases digitally at a "significantly discounted" rate, though House didn't delve into specifics on the exact savings. He noted that Ubisoft, Electronic Arts, and Warner Bros. are among the publishers that have already signed on to the effort. Battlefield 4, Call of Duty: Ghosts, Watch Dogs, and Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag are among the games set to be included. Further details on Sony's upgrade plan are expected in the coming weeks.
Aug 20, 2013Read Article >
At Gamescom 2013, Sony answered the final big question about its next-gen console: the PlayStation 4 will go on sale November 15th in North America. The European release will follow two weeks later on November 29th. Priced at $399 / €399 / £349, the PS4 will do battle with Microsoft's $499 Xbox One, which is also scheduled for a November release. Sony plans to release 33 different games for the PS4 by December 31st, 2013.
Aug 2, 2013
Id Software may not be at the vanguard of gaming innovation as it once was, however its patriarch John Carmack remains one of the most respected developers in the industry. Making his annual keynote address at Quakecon, Carmack didn't dodge the topic of the upcoming generation of consoles, however his opinion has been frustratingly diplomatic: he judges the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 to be "very close." Reiterating his preference for Microsoft's Xbox 360 among the current-gen machines, Carmack says that Sony has made "large strides" to close the gap in terms of developer friendliness, meaning that the choice among the next wave of hardware won't be as clearcut.Read Article >
Moving on to address one of the Xbox's undeniable success stories, the Kinect motion control peripheral, Carmack expresses himself a lot more bluntly. To him, the entire experience is "fundamentally a poor interaction." Analogizing it to Apple's old one-button mouse, Carmack opines that "Kinect is sort of like a zero-button mouse with a lot of latency on it." That comment earned him a mixture of disagreeing boos and polite applause, though there was evidently a tongue-in-cheek quality underpinning the provocative statement.
Jul 29, 2013
Sony has revealed that it won't charge customers if they want to access party chat functions and third-party apps on the PlayStation 4. Unlike Microsoft, which requires Xbox 360 and future Xbox One owners to sign up to Xbox Live Gold, Eurogamer reports that Sony will provide free access to core services, as well as apps like Netflix and Hulu. Online multiplayer will still require a PlayStation Plus subscription, but it will not apply to free-to-play games, which is another thing that Microsoft charges for.Read Article >
Jun 11, 2013
Several months after it was first revealed, we now know what Sony's PlayStation 4 looks like, and surprise: it's a black box. While we still haven't gotten to see the PlayStation 4 in action, we've gotten a quick look at both it and the DualShock 4, Sony's new controller. Where the new PlayStation is hard and blocky, the controller has gotten softer, with rounded sides and a matte black finish.Read Article >
May 30, 2013
Sony and Microsoft launched their next-gen consoles in very different ways: the Xbox One was pitched as a complete living room device, while the PS4 event was a nonstop series of game demos. That's important, Kaz Hirai told reporters at the D11 conference today. "The most important thing we need to do is agree and understand that the PS4 is a great video game console that appeals to video gamers," he said. "If we miss that part, I don't think we get the initial establishment of the console. That formula has worked for us with all our consoles, including the PS3."Read Article >
May 30, 2013Read Article >
Although such a feature is unlikely to spark many sales alone, it will be welcome news to current owners of the flagging handheld, which has suffered from poor retail performance and a barren software lineup. Sony is yet to announce further details of whether Remote Play will be available on other devices.