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PlayStation (Games) Input Devices Hardware

Sony Reveals More PS4 and Dual Shock 4 Details 242

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the cool-sunglasses dept.
Yesterday, Sony gave a presentation explaining a bit about the new PS4 hardware, the development environment (Windows 7 based IDE), and the changes to the Dual Shock controller. From the article: "The system is also set up to run graphics and computational code synchronously, without suspending one to run the other. Norden says that Sony has worked to carefully balance the two processors to provide maximum graphics power of 1.843 teraFLOPS at an 800Mhz clock speed while still leaving enough room for computational tasks. The GPU will also be able to run arbitrary code, allowing developers to run hundreds or thousands of parallelized tasks with full access to the system's 8GB of unified memory. ... The DualShock 4 controller that's standard on the PS4 eliminates one feature that was seldom used on the PS3 —the analog face buttons..." The trackpad will support two touch points, the rumble motors can be controlled more finely, and the analog sticks were tweaked for "reduced dead zone and better feeling tension that grips your thumbs."
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Sony Reveals More PS4 and Dual Shock 4 Details

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  • So are they going to ditch the PS3 support with this one? i still have my PS2 sitting in my living room for that reason.
    • by Somebody Is Using My (985418) on Thursday March 28, 2013 @10:25AM (#43302709) Homepage

      The Playstation 4 will not be backwards compatible with Playstation 3 games. [ign.com]

      Playstation 2 games will be supported via emulation, /if/ you buy and download them from the Playstation store (so no, you can't just pop in a PS2 disc and expect it to work; you need to buy the game again).

      In other words, for full backwards compatibility you need all three devices.

      • by DdJ (10790)

        Three devices? What's the state of original PlayStation games? There's a (small) subset of those that don't run properly on the PS2. Will they run on the PS4?

        (I have a ton of PSX and PS2 games. Today, I keep both an original PlayStation and a PS2 hooked up in our guest room, next to the SNES, Genesis, and GameCube. I do not have a PS3 or any PS3 games, so the question of how original PlayStation games play on the PS3 isn't of interest to me.)

      • by butalearner (1235200) on Thursday March 28, 2013 @11:07AM (#43303155)

        In other words, for full backwards compatibility you need all three devices.

        My 60 GB first generation PS3 begs to differ! Just a month ago I was looking through my games and I realized I never played Growlanser 3 (which came in the set with 2, which I played through twice), so I've been going through that one. As a bonus, it takes some of the load off my aging furnace.

        • To be fair, the original PS3s had PS2 hardware built in. As the revisions went on, they started chopping the physical PS2 parts out.
    • by h4rr4r (612664)

      Yup.
      That is the reason I am likely not getting one.
      That and the fact that the PS3 still works fine. Heck, I am still backlogged with PS2 games to play.

    • They are ditching PS3 support. Mainly so they can move to a PC architecture.
      • If PlayStation 4 is moving to a PC architecture, then what's the point of buying a PlayStation 4 over a home theater PC running a less-closed operating system such as Windows 8 or GNU/Linux?
        • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 28, 2013 @10:52AM (#43302999)

          PCs don't get to run Sony exclusive titles. People like them, a lot. It's the same for the other consoles, it's about the games, not the transistor configurations. The new xbox will also return to x86 architecture. Going to moan about that too?

          • PCs don't get to run Sony exclusive titles. People like them, a lot.

            Nor do PlayStations run PC-exclusive titles. People like them, a lot. There are a lot of games that Valve greenlighted that Sony probably wouldn't for whatever reason.

        • by gstoddart (321705)

          If PlayStation 4 is moving to a PC architecture, then what's the point of buying a PlayStation 4 over a home theater PC running a less-closed operating system such as Windows 8 or GNU/Linux?

          So you can play the games for the Playstation?

          The internals might be PC architecture, but Sony is going to make damned sure there's lots preventing you from running these games on a PC.

          Sony is doing this to cut costs, not make something which is 'open' in any meaningful way. Because let's face it, Sony doesn't do that s

          • The internals might be PC architecture, but Sony is going to make damned sure there's lots preventing you from running these games on a PC.

            Please elaborate on these "lots". How is Sony going to prevent licensed developers from taking their own games, which are already ported to very PC-like hardware, and making PC ports available through Steam on the PC? And what is Sony going to do to attract PS4 ports of games originally developed for the PC?

            • by gstoddart (321705)

              There's nothing at all to prevent the publishers from taking their games and doing whatever they like unless they signed a contract with Sony to the contrary.

              But I'm betting that there will be just enough stuff in there that is proprietary to make it just incompatible enough as to be entirely unusable.

              I meant you won't be able to take a PS4 title, pop it into your PC and run it. Just because the CPU architecture is x86 doesn't mean Sony hasn't gone to great pains to ensure they don't quite work the same.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Dcnjoe60 (682885)

              The internals might be PC architecture, but Sony is going to make damned sure there's lots preventing you from running these games on a PC.

              Please elaborate on these "lots". How is Sony going to prevent licensed developers from taking their own games, which are already ported to very PC-like hardware, and making PC ports available through Steam on the PC? And what is Sony going to do to attract PS4 ports of games originally developed for the PC?

              Both Macs and Windows use PC architecture computers, and yet, I cannot run most Mac software on my Windows PC and vice versa. I can run Linux on both, but I can't run software designed for either on Linux. Software compatability is a lot more involved than the underlying hardware.

              • by tepples (727027)
                tepples opens Wine Notepad and begins to write a comment

                I can run Linux on both, but I can't run software designed for either on Linux.

                I have no problem running Modplug Tracker and FamiTracker, software designed for Windows, on a laptop running Xubuntu 12.04 LTS. In fact, I'm typing this very comment into a Win32 program running inside Linux. Sure, PlayStation 4 will incorporate measures to make binary compatibility more difficult. However:

                Software compatability is a lot more involved than the underlying hardware.

                I know it's more complicated than just a recompile. That's why I said "very PC-like hardware" and "PC ports". If there's about as much difference

        • Price, exclusive games, and difficulty. I was looking to purchase a Gaming PC a few weeks ago and every site I came across told me not to build one instead of buying one from a vendor. The consensus is that companies like Alienware gouge on price and include components with high numbers instead of good components. The prices were also higher than console prices. Most of those machines also ran Windows 8 (yuck) You can hardly go into a best buy and purchase good gaming pc either.
        • by Dcnjoe60 (682885)

          If PlayStation 4 is moving to a PC architecture, then what's the point of buying a PlayStation 4 over a home theater PC running a less-closed operating system such as Windows 8 or GNU/Linux?

          Maybe because you want to play PS4 games? Apple moved to a PC architecture and people still purchase their products instead of a home theater PC or Windows 8 or GNU/Linux. Probably because they want to run OS X.

          By the way, exactly how is running Windows 8 any less closed than running a Playstation?

          • Maybe because you want to play PS4 games?

            If a video game is released for PS4 and PC, people who want to play it on a PC can buy the PC version. Or what sort of anticompetitive contracts do you think Sony Computer Entertainment will use to discourage PS4/PC multiplatform releases?

            Apple moved to a PC architecture and people still purchase their products instead of a home theater PC

            Mac mini is a home theater PC. It runs XBMC (the home theater part) and it allows the user to write and install software, including game mods that use a game's mod API (the personal computer part). Sony Computer Entertainment, on the other hand, has a track record of takin

        • no driver updates. No tweaking settings. Better overall performance at a lower price because you don't have to test/optimize for every graphics card.

          Two things I noticed. 1) it's built on Directx. You'd think they'd worry about building their tech off Microsoft. 2) GDDR5. Not really a big deal. My $90 GT240 has 256 of GDDR5. The only reason you can't buy one with GDDR5 now is the cards perform a bit too well, and nvidia didn't want them biting into the $150 dollar range. :P
        • by Tarlus (1000874)

          ...what's the point of buying a PlayStation 4 over a home theater PC running a less-closed operating system such as Windows 8 or GNU/Linux?

          Exactly the same point that exists in buying a PlayStation 3 over a HTPC. People want different tools for different jobs.

  • Yeah, I guess you can call them seldom used... I never even knew the PS3 had controllers with those buttons. My PS3 controllers never had them.

    • WTF controllers did you buy?

      DualShock 2 & 3 had them. They let games tell whether you smashed the button & released it quickly, or gently pressed it and gently eased up.

      Only games I can recall using them on either system were entries in the Metal Gear Solid series. Control scheme for MGS2, for instance, will have to be modified if it's re-released on the PS4.

    • by Tmann72 (2473512) on Thursday March 28, 2013 @10:33AM (#43302793)
      Yeah, you do. It's the four face buttons with the X, O, Triangle, and Square. They had analogue capability in that they could detect how soft or hard you pressed them. This was used more in the ps2 days, but has fallen out of use since it rarely made things better.
      • by Nerdfest (867930)

        I think they'd be better off adjusting the shape a bit to make the sticks more comfortable. They only seem to be comfortable for me if I stick my elbows out ... they're way too low. They should just bite the bullet and move a bit closer to the XBox controller shape.

      • by KatchooNJ (173554)

        Interesting. I guess I never realized that the PS3 controllers had this capability because I never played anything that apparently used this and also because there was no indication on the controller that they had analog button functions. I remember the old conrollers had that button that actually said, "ANALOG" on it, so there was no mistaking there.

        • Interesting. I guess I never realized that the PS3 controllers had this capability because I never played anything that apparently used this and also because there was no indication on the controller that they had analog button functions. I remember the old conrollers had that button that actually said, "ANALOG" on it, so there was no mistaking there.

          That Analog button actually refers to the analog sticks rather than analog face buttons.

          When the PS1 came out, its controllers didn't have analog sticks. They were added a few years into the console's lifetime with the introduction of the Dual Analog [wikipedia.org] controllers (which was replaced the next year by the more well known DualShock controllers). Unfortunately, this means that older games don't support analog sticks, so you could press the Analog button to turn them off. Newer PS1 games supported both analog

  • by boarder8925 (714555) <thegreentrilby AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday March 28, 2013 @10:27AM (#43302741) Homepage
    I think this [arstechnica.com] is the article in question.
  • the analog face buttons? I gave up pretty quick on them after using them to play Mad Maestro on the PS2. Didn't even realize they were still in the PS3. I do wish Sony would stop adding pointless features to their game pads. It's not so much that the features bug me as I'd rather they spend time/money somewhere else. Plus it'd be nice if the gamepads weren't $60 bucks. On the plus side the PS4's gamepad looks cheap to produce.
    • Re:Anyone ever use (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Colonel Korn (1258968) on Thursday March 28, 2013 @10:43AM (#43302901)

      the analog face buttons? I gave up pretty quick on them after using them to play Mad Maestro on the PS2. Didn't even realize they were still in the PS3. I do wish Sony would stop adding pointless features to their game pads. It's not so much that the features bug me as I'd rather they spend time/money somewhere else. Plus it'd be nice if the gamepads weren't $60 bucks. On the plus side the PS4's gamepad looks cheap to produce.

      I think the useless touchpad will drive up the price.

    • by 0racle (667029)

      stop adding pointless features to their game pads

      I like Gran Turismo with speeds between stop and full throttle.

      • I mapped steering to the left analog stick, and accelerate/brake to the right analog stick. Worked a whole lot better than squeezing the buttons, not knowing how hard was maximum pressure. (I think it was GT, was a while ago since I've always used real force-feedback wheels since...)

      • Can't you just map the throttle/brakes to whichever joystick isn't being used for steering?
    • For PS3, I don't recall any games that used them. For PS2, there was this little, unknown game no one has heard of called Metal Gear Solid 3 that used them.
      A soft or hard press made the difference between choking an enemy and slitting their throat. Or between a slicing action and a stabbing action while in melee combat. It was rather nice once you got used to it, but from what I can tell, Metal Gear Solid 4 switched away from that system.

  • I'm mildly interested in PS4.

    />rant/
    I'm more interested in why this shows up in my feed twice. Like you think I didn't hear you the first time, you have to repeat yourself?
    Or is /. pimping pageviews for gain, or just not paying attention in the subQ? What, repeating yourself is going to improve the story?
    Go ahead, tell me me it's my f

  • by InsaneLampshade (890845) on Thursday March 28, 2013 @11:33AM (#43303407) Homepage Journal
    1.8 teraflops, 800MHz clock speed... so they're aiming for a GPU with roughly the same power of something nVidia released in 2010?

    Not to mention only 8GB RAM shared between GPU & CPU, I'm sure that'll last us for years to come!
    • by Voyager529 (1363959) <voyager529@y a h o o . com> on Thursday March 28, 2013 @12:00PM (#43303669)

      1.8 teraflops, 800MHz clock speed... so they're aiming for a GPU with roughly the same power of something nVidia released in 2010?

      Not to mention only 8GB RAM shared between GPU & CPU, I'm sure that'll last us for years to come!

      Two pieces of fairness here...

      1.) the PS3 had 256MBytes of RAM on its release.
      2.) like every other console, it can get away with having lower specs than a general purpose PC - it doesn't have to run an operating system in the same sense that a desktop does; in broad terms it's closer to ESXi and its requirements than Win7/OSX/Ubuntu in its, so far more of that RAM can go to the game itself.

      Bonus: Even if we postulate that the OS takes a gig of RAM itself, 7GB is roughly 1/3 of a single layer Blu-Ray disc. I know that HD textures can eat up graphics RAM pretty quickly, but is it really limiting to have 1/3 of a game in RAM at a time? Let's face it, console game creation has always involved working within some incredibly tight limits...even Crysis 3 doesn't require that amount of RAM to play. If 7GB of RAM and streaming the rest from an internal hard disk is a constraint, then I'd be forced to assume that the people writing games cut their teeth on ActiveX controls...

      • Skyrim can easily reach 4GB RAM on PC with the better textures they released for the PC version. That came out in what 2011? I'm sure over the course of the next few years we'll be at a point where higher quality textures in games push RAM usage well beyond 8GB.
    • by n30na (1525807)
      As someone who has 16gb of RAM in their pc, I'll say that games rarely use more than 1gb, and only see them use 2gb on very rare occasions. Some of this is likely due to things being held back by the current console generation, but I definitely think that it won't be the kind of limiting factor is has been for developers this generation. Sure, we'll hit it eventually, we always do, but to be honest I don't see it being a big deal.
      As for gpu power.. I agree that it's a little skimpy, but it's because the
  • You know like the PS3 used to?

  • by HalAtWork (926717) on Thursday March 28, 2013 @01:12PM (#43304419)

    The DualShock 4 controller that's standard on the PS4 eliminates one feature that was seldom used on the PS3 —the analog face buttons..."

    So how will PS2 games like Metal Gear Solid 2 be playable? Canceling a shot by easing off the fire button is crucial.

  • I'm curious why they haven't revealed what it looks like yet.

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