It’s only the beginning of summer, but with the release of the brand new PlayStation 4 console, I can practically hear Christmas wish lists being scribbled in crayon all over the country.
While the console design isn’t all that impressive (anyone else look at it and see an old VCR tape?) there are a lot of new features that gamers, both young and old, will appreciate with this new model. Details are still emerging, but at first glance, here are a few of the main updates that we think will be the biggest hits in family households.
Bigger and Better
The console features pretty impressive hardware specs, like 8 GB of memory, a fat 500 GB hard drive and increasingly essential features like a built-in BluRay player (same as PS3), a full 3 USB ports, Bluetooth technology and a faster processor.
Basically, all of that means that this is more than a gaming device, it’s becoming a real household entertainment portal.
Personalizing your Preferences
Like everything else tech-related nowadays, personalization is huge. PlayStation 4 is on board too, taking a page from algorithms like Amazon and Netflix, with a new intelligent engine so that the more you play, the more it will get to know your likes and dislikes, and will customize your gaming experience to suit your interests.
A fan of sports games? It will help sort those games out when you log in, making sure you see them from the get go. It will also provide recommendations on TV shows and movies you’re watching, and will present related information that those in your PlayStation network have also shared. Should you be interested in knowing how much your cousins liked Pound Puppies Season 2.
Play While You Download
Upped memory means you’ll be able to get to your games faster, even being playing them as they’re downloading. That’s a huge deal, if you’ve ever gotten excited to start a new game, only to find you have to wait 20 minutes (and endure a chorus of “how much loooonnggggerrrr?”) before you can get going.
The Playstation Controller Gets an Upgrade
Any gamer knows that a good controller is key to optimizing the gaming experience. The DualShock 4 controller offers a similar style to previous versions, but offers new features like a “Share” button which lets you instantly share things from the remote, a touch pad and cool lights and “rumble” vibrations that will make the games come even more to life. Early testers have great things to say about it.
We’ve been fans of the Playstation Vita for a while and it looks like the new console will allow direct and seamless integrated play between your at-home console and PS Vita handheld, allowing you to pick up a game right where you left off and take it to go. We also hear buzz that there will be a PlayStation app compatible with iOS and Android devices, but it remains to be seen if you’ll just be able to actually play PS 4 console games on there, or just use it to access account information and view and purchase games (more likely).
Backwards Compatibility? Well, maybe.
One question we’ll keep our eye on is the compatibility of past games on the new console. Some reports point to the PlayStation 4 being compatible with earlier versions of PlayStation games, but with the huge slew of new releases anticipated for the new console and their desire to push these new titles, I’m guessing there will be limited compatibility.
Definitely something to consider if you have to purchase a whole new library of games and make the commitment to move away from a PS2 or 3. But with the resale value of older games being high rightnow, I doubt that will stop serious gamers from moving forward with the PlayStation 4.
PlayStation 4 is anticipated for a Holiday 2013 release (hence the Christmas lists in creation right now) and will sell for $399. You can pre-order the unit on our affiliate Amazon, and also have the option of purchasing the console that comes pre-bundled with mature games.