The Game Developer’s Conference ran from the 25th to the 29th of March and had various hardware manufacturers and development studios in attendence. One of the lectures was held by Sony and they revealed some more details about the PS4 which were more in line with what game devs would be interested in. A few things aren’t new, but there’s a lot that is. Hit the jump for the extra juicy bits. Surprisingly, Microsoft’s Xbox team was nowhere to be seen.
On the morning of the 27th the following was revealed by the Sony reps in attendance. Mark Cerny wasn’t one of them, sadly. Anyway, the details pertaining to the PS4 and the new Dual Shock controller:
The DualShock 4′s touchpad uses 2-point touch and tactical click.
Said touchpad’s resolution is 1920×900
All DualShock 4 buttons are now digital, except the triggers.
The DualShock 4′s analog sticks have reduced dead zone and tighter control.
There are four colors for the DualShock 4′s light bar: blue, red, green, and pink (corresponding wight he face button colors).
PS4 controllers can be synched to both the system and specific user accounts.
The PS4 now recharges controllers while powered off.
Remote play on the PS4 can be accessed through the local network and/or Internet.
Remote play is now seamless, and doesn’t require activating a specific remote play mode like with PS3.
The PS4′s software can map buttons that doesn’t exist on the Vita.
PS4 purchases can be queued for auto-download from other devices (mobile, PC).
The PS4 camera features head tracking, facial recognition, and speech recognition. Both its cameras are color.
The PS4 camera contains a 3-axis accelerometer/tilt sensor to assist with leveling when setting up.
The camera’s game-loop sync taps into games to determine how much information is being processed, scaling back or ramping up that information based on the game’s needs.
One of the conceptual ideas discussed involved the PS4 camera’s auto-correct feature, which would theoretically recognize which side (left or right) players are sitting, and adjust the splitscreen to reflect their seating arrangement—even if they switch sides.
PlayStation 4 profiles will have two identities: true names (with picture) and PSN ID (with avatar). Plays can choose which is publicly displayed. True names will be shown if friends are added through Facebook or the true name search, but much like Facebook’s privacy settings, these options can be modified.
The developers at the GDC panel used in-game choices as an example of the PS4′s emphasis on social gaming, saying that the PS4 would allow you to see what choices your friends made as compared to you.
Developers can set chapter markers in PS4 games, which can in turn be used as reference points for the Share option.
The panelists also emphasized the simplicity and ease with which players will be able to edit video using the Share function.
By far the most interesting aspect is the fact that all the buttons on the DS4 will be completely digital. There’ll be no analogue input whatsoever. That’s a good thing for those of you interested in reducing input lag, but it’ll be a little irritating for those of you who play racing games. Having no analogue controls means that sensitivity changes need to be highest on Sony’s list, lest they take away the granular control the analogue sticks and trigger controls currently afford.
I love the standby charging option. At my home, we have to cycle controller charging so that one controller’s always getting topped up while someone’s playing. Having an offline charging feature now means that you can plug your controllers in at night and not have to worry about juggling them around one by one. Some of the above features aren’t set in stone yet, mostly for those pertaining to how the PSN profiles work and game recording. The auto-correct feature is interesting but I can see Sony adopting the same keyboard design that Valve’s Big Screen mode employs.