As PAX Prime 2013 have come to a close in Seattle, and the chain of big gaming industry events slows down a bit, the fog of excitement grows thicker for the next generation of home video game consoles. Especially for people looking towards adding the PlayStation 4 as their next piece of video entertainment. Which features of PS4 are we most excited for?
We’ve learned a lot about PS4 over the course of the past several months. Yes, we did have to wait for each piece of information beginning on February 20th when the PlayStation 4 was initially revealed. People were left excited, yet so very intrigued to learn more, to ask more, and to pre-order. But that wasn’t possible until the Monday before E3 2013 where Sony revealed the new form factor, it’s amazingly competitive price, and a slew of controversial attacks on its competitor that will likely go into the history books – maybe.
So, out of all the jaw dropping announcements and unveils, which new features coming to PlayStation 4, its accessories, and the Plus service are we chomping at the bit to use now? Here’s PS4Daily’s Top 10 Most Exciting Features of PlayStation:
#10 Dat PlayStation®4
Who out there does NOT want to dust off the shelf that once held their most prized piece of entertainment hardware and place the new PlayStation 4 upon its throne? Is there anyone NOT looking forward to sliding the HDMI and power plug into the back of the PS4 and hearing the initial boot up sounds for the first time. Which one of you won’t feel a sudden spine-tingling sensation while hearing those sounds and seeing that snappy new UI on their own television on November 15th?
Crowning dat PlayStation 4 top dog in your entertainment center will definitely be one of the top 10 most exciting things to do after unboxing. It is truly the #1 thing you are thinking about while waiting in line, paying for the system, taking it home, glancing at it in the passenger seat at least twice before every light, whispering “I’m going to tear you open when we get home” at the unsuspecting box.
Or maybe, like me, you’ve ordered from Amazon and you’ll be waiting with baited breath for the doorbell to ring so you can vault over a hallway littered with dangerous kid’s toys to the door and welcome the PlayStation 4 home at least with open arms, as if it were a war hero back from a year abroad. It’s smaller, lighter, faster, quieter, and cooler than the PlayStation 3. With it’s sleek parallelogram design, sharp lines, blue light strip along its topside, slot loading Blu-ray discs – it’s a thing of beauty. There is no one with a pulse who will admit they aren’t excited to receive their purchased PlayStation 4.
#9 Next Gen Visuals
While normally, visuals are the biggest selling point to upgrading to the “next generation” of any video game related product, be it handheld, PC graphics card, or home console, PlayStation 4 will allow not only (insert adjective here) graphics but also more technology to enhance the visuals…overall.
Technologies like advanced real-time lighting, shaders, texture mapping, artificial intelligence, more system memory, a large 500GB hard drive in every system, and all sorts of other technobabble under the hood was all part of encouraging developers to tell Sony what they want from the next generation of hardware. Afterall, they will be developing for it and no one wants to hear how difficult it is to developer for their platform.
#8 DualShock®4 – the total package
Dat DualShock 4 has eight new exciting features every single person will notice the moment they caress it for the first time, NO GAME NEEDED. That new clickable touchpad, new analog thumb sticks, new shoulder buttons, new larger look and feel, new light bar, new integrated speaker, integrated headphone jack, new Share button. All new features that cannot be overlooked. The most exciting part of the DualShock 4 is how exactly each developer will use these new features to bring us new gameplay experiences.
It is not unlike the Vita, which also has a long list of new features including dat front and rear camera and touch surfaces. The rear touchpad was the most questionable new feature to the handheld – never before seen in any other device to date. No one really knew how the rear touchpad would be implemented in games they were familiar with.
It was used in new ways such as to zoom in/out in a sniper scope in Killzone Mercenary to pushing objects toward the player in LittleBigPlanet Vita. Now we are questioning how the touchpad on the DualShock 4 will be used. I think the answer will come much quicker than we imagine and it’s uses will extend far beyond that of a gimmick.
#7 DualShock®4 – Share button
Speaking of the DualShock 4 and that new Share button, online gamers will be pressing that thing more than they know. The ability to share the last 15 minutes of gameplay to your friends, push it to a social media site, or share online with Twitch and Ustream will connect gamers more than ever before. We’re going to see an utter explosion of new media sources for gameplay tips & tricks.
If you are Facebook friends with other gamers, you will have more to brag about and actual screenshots to prove it. Bragging will hit an all time high. I predict that the whining little kids of America that think they can get away with saying the stupidest things on Earth will be prompted to show their face with a skillful feed of videos or live-streaming, or be muted by lack of evidence.
#6 PlayStation®Plus for PS4
Fact: You won’t need a PlayStation Plus subscription to enjoy Netflix, Hulu+, YouTube, Amazon Instant Video, or Vudu on PlayStation 4. You won’t need it to video chat with friends or upload videos and screenshots with the new Share button to services like Twitch or Ustream. You don’t even need it to play games online as many free-to-play online multiplayer games will be entirely online without Plus. So why do you need it? You don’t.
Frankly, if you’re getting a PS4 (especially on day one) you are hardcore enough to know that if you don’t have a Plus subscription, then you’re doing it all wrong. Plus gets you so much extra stuff that it pays for itself in just the first couple months. Free games coming from every which genre, some you’ll love and some you won’t. Some will be big $60 blockbuster games and some will be $5 to $10 niche indie games. They will end up amounting to well over several hundreds of dollars in games you would otherwise never had played; just that alone is worth $50 per year.
I’m paying $50 per year to have cloud storage for my game saves. When my PS3 died and took all my game saves with it, I vowed never again to allow that to happen. But backup options weren’t a solid solution on PS3 as some games were Copy Prohibited, meaning I could not back them up to an external thumb drive. I could run a system backup, but that was not something I could easily run on a daily basis. Enter Plus, and 1GB of storage for each device: PS Vita and PS3 each with their own 1GB. It automatically backs up all my save files to the cloud, even Copy Prohibited saves.
How about automatic game updates to the last five games you’ve played? Or automatic system updates, automatic trophy sync, and automatic demo or video recommendations. That last one is not so cool actually. All this stuff takes place when the system is asleep at a scheduled time each day, so gamers don’t have to sit and wait. Although, I imagine all this stuff would happen in the background of the PS4 anyhow. PS Plus on PS4 will undoubtedly bring many free games to gamers, starting with DriveClub PS Plus Edition for free.
#5 Stand-by Mode
The PlayStation 3 was either on or off. Heck, every video game console before that was the same way. PC’s have had a standby mode for a very long time. Nintendo was ahead of the curve by including standby mode in the DS/3DS and Wii/Wii U systems [Thanks to bizzy gie and That_one_guy99]. The PlayStation Portable (PSP) was truly the first PlayStation console to have a standby mode. Just sliding the Power slider up quickly would place the PSP into Sleep Mode, allowing the gamer to awaken the system later when they chose to continue their gaming session, placing them exactly where they left off.
PSP Go took it a step further by allowing gamers to save a suspended gameplay session at any point and play something else entirely. That suspended game could be resumed right from the XMB without any splash screens or much loading; you’d be put right back into the action of the game with little opportunity to forget what you were doing.
Finally, we’ll be able to simply press the power button on the PlayStation 4 and walk away without turning the system off completely or having to rush to the next save point. Furthermore, the DualShock 4 can be charged via the USB connector to the PlayStation 4 while the system is in standby mode. No major need to go out and by a charging dock anymore! Now, if we’re able to suspend a gameplay session and save it like you can on PSP Go, then this exciting new feature would be higher up the list.
#4 DualShock®4 – Light Bar
The light bar on the DualShock 4 is the most exciting new feature of the controller. It is the largest feature that you won’t be looking at while using the newly redesigned controller and will have the biggest impact in your favorite games. Whether it’s setting the mood by changing the light during an epic single player moment, distinguishing between player 1 and player 2 by assigning different colors, or allowing the PlayStation Camera to track your position and movements with Move motion controller accuracy – these are all new and innovative ways to interact with your games without giving up the controls you’re used to.
The Move motion controller will still work on PS4, but why use it when the DualShock 4 is so complete? With Move, you need the Navigation controller to get the left analog stick action. But I remind you, the Move and Navigation controllers are built on the DualShock 3 design principals and don’t have that PS4-new feeling to them.
Also, Shuhei Yoshida demonstrated how the light bar is used on the new on-screen keyboard. A small circle represented a cursor. He appeared to use it for at least one keystroke before running up to the predictive text input.
This is the one exciting feature that no one at Sony has elaborated on much. Shuhei Yoshida has mentioned before that the PlayStation 4 will take full advantage of all the extra RAM and allow greater multitasking than we’ve had on PlayStation 3.
Again, we look at the Vita for cues as to how Sony might allow several apps to run simultaneously without having to quit a game. It should be absolutely possible while playing a game to have the browser open to look up helpful tips, explore the Dynamic UI of the PS4 in search of gameplay video clips from friends, retrieve a game invite asking for assistance in a game you don’t own, go download said game from the PlayStation Store, jump into their online multiplayer game before the game has fully installed, and even jump back into your single player game – all seamlessly and without much of any loading or splash screens between.
We saw this happening in real-time at Gamescom 2013 when Shuhei Yoshida took to the stage sitting in a cozy leather chair and navigated the PS4 using his PSN ID. He proved that the PS4 is fully capable of doing all of that and then some. He ended the demonstration by sending out a screenshot to his real world Twitter account to prove just how live the whole experience was. Afterward, he admitted that neither Killzone Shadow Fall or the Dynamic UI were final code, and anything could have happened. That is pretty impressive and a very exciting feature of the PlayStation 4.
#2 PlayStation®Camera – The Playroom free with every PS4
The second most exciting feature of the PlayStation 4 could be a controversial one if Sony hadn’t taken such a backseat approach to talking about it. While Microsoft got all sorts of negative press for security and requiring the Kinect to be connected, then revoking nearly everything, Sony said virtually nothing about the PlayStation Camera.
Well folks, it turns out that the PlayStation Camera has nearly every feature the Kinect has. There is still so much more we need to learn about the camera to make a full comparison against the Kinect 2.0, but we have confirmation on a couple new features. What’s truly exciting about this is the fact that developers can potentially make Kinect-enabled games for PlayStation 4 utilizing the PlayStation Camera, providing more games for gamers and hopefully more revenue from a broader market.
Voice commands have been confirmed for the PlayStation 4 by SCEA’s Group Manager of Retail Training and Advocacy Sean Coleman at a recent convention with GameStop employees in Las Vegas via the 8 array microphones in the PlayStation Camera. It’s likely this is just a system feature and any recognized microphone will work including the mono headset that comes with every PS4. Coleman also confirms the PlayStation Camera will be able to track a player’s face and body, all in a 3D space thanks to the dual cameras.
The Playroom will come bundled with every PlayStation 4 even though the PlayStation Camera will not. The Playroom will introduce gamers to the 3D object tracking of the camera as well as its ability to track multiple faces and bodies simultaneously. Is this starting to sound familiar to any Xbox 360 owners? Let’s not forget that only the PlayStation Camera will be able to track the DualShock 4 via the light bar as well as the Move motion controller, allowing augmented reality games and new input devices to be implemented.
#1 Remote Play
The PlayStation Vita has only been around for a year and a half and is about to get a big support boost. With over 1 million PS4’s pre-ordered worldwide across 32 countries and broken pre-order records on Amazon, I have no doubt that the most exciting feature the PS4 has to offer is Remote Play. It offers the potential to play games
Remote Play using the Vita as a second screen is not a new innovative feature. Blu-ray movies have offered the ability for tablets and phones to be used as second screens while watching Disney movies for example. The Wii U has the ability to play select Wii U games on the Gamepad, freeing up the TV for other purposes, but it’s not supported by all games.
This is the one new-ish feature of the PS4 that will be supported across all PS4 games. Being able to push any PlayStation 4 game to the Vita and continue play while another family member or roommate commandeers the television to watch a show or whatever, that’s exciting! Especially if you have a house full of kids as I do. As early as launch day, we’ll start to see Remote Play extended to mobile phones and tablets with games like Watch_Dogs and Assassin’s Creed IV. Sony is challenging big publishers and small developers to innovate with Remote Play and come out of the gate swinging.
Sony has learned their lesson after the lackluster Remote Play on PS3 and PSP. The added power of the Vita and dual analog sticks provides everything that was lacking on the last generation. Developers will be able to use the Vita as a fully functioning controller. The 5″ OLED touchscreen and rear touchpad add new elements to a game and allow more immersive experiences than are possible with just a DualShock 4. Cross-Controller bridges the divide between Wii U and PlayStation 4, meaning developers can make more cross-platform games for both systems having the same features, and this is a good thing for everyone. Vita’s will sell when Remote Play ends up being the feature friends show off most.
That was our list. Now it’s your turn to tell us what your Top 10 Most Exciting Features of the PlayStation 4 are in the comments section below.