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Sony PlayStation (Games) Games

Sony Announces the PS4 587

As many expected, Sony has officially announced the PS4 at the Sony PlayStation Meeting today. The new PlayStation will have an X86 processor, "state of the art" GPU, 8 GB of high-speed unified memory, and a hard drive for local storage. The PS4 will allow gamers to share their gameplay stream and even remotely take control of friend's games. Along with the PS4, Sony has unveiled a new DualShock 4 controller which features a built-in touchpad at the center of the controller, and a built-in microphone jack.
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Sony Announces the PS4

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  • by Kenshin ( 43036 ) <> on Wednesday February 20, 2013 @08:07PM (#42960853) Homepage

    Cue the usual litany of complaints: Rootkits, OtherOS, proprietary this and that.

    Hint: If you're in that boat, PS4 probably isn't for you. You don't have to buy it. You don't have to buy the new Xbox either, which will be equally restrictive.

  • by johnjones ( 14274 ) on Wednesday February 20, 2013 @08:14PM (#42960933) Homepage Journal

    I Hope so ! some standard of some kind HID profile... Sony controllers are some of the best and if they want people to say nice things about them simply make them the standard that everyone hacks things with how much press did the Wee get because they used standards...

    I hope its standard bluetooth I really do

    • Sony controllers are some of the best

      Hell, no! Maybe the build quality is good, but the Dualshock is quite uncomfortable. When I got a PS2, first thing I did was order a Phoenix Revolution [], which lets you swap the buttons and sticks around. Of course, after you set it like an Xbox 360 pad, there's no reason to ever change them again. And if you have a PS3, looks like Gioteck [] has some pads in this same 360 style that most gamers favor now.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 20, 2013 @08:16PM (#42960963)

    The one thing that has kept consoles alive today was the fact that they weren't x86. You want to play Halo 4? Buy a '360, because the binaries are not only encoded but compiled for a completely different architecture (PowerPC). You want to play Killzone 2 or 3 or MGS4? Buy a PS3, because it's the same thing.

    Now that they're pushing "supercharged PC architectures" (what the hell does that even mean?)- how long until we see a hypervisor or bootloader that fires up the next-gen console OS on a bog standard PC that otherwise has similar specifications to the equivalent console?

    Sony must have some insane dedicated hardware security in that system, because if they don't and it's just a tiny little 8-pin TPM chip- someone is going to blow that thing wide open, and then there won't be any point to buying a PS4 at all. Just partition your existing PC or buy a spare $59 hard drive, stick the PS4 GameOS on that, and play all the PS3 "exclusives" without even owning a PS4.

    I'm sure they were worried about piracy before, but man- I can't see how they're *not* shitting bricks over that right now with the switch to x86, unless they've got some killer hardware TPM coprocessor that is handling encryption and decryption on a SOC, completely self-contained and relatively unbreakable (until someone decaps the thing and reads out the bits under a microscope).

    • ...because it was X86. I wouldn't now I bought a OUYA. The truth is I booted the XBMC on the rasberry pi, and the memories came flooding back.

      The reality is the homebrew scene only possible because of its cheap PC internals gave the xbox a serious push.

    • Total speculation on my part, but it sounds like the GPU and CPU are all on the same die and so I'd guess they'll put whatever security they're using in there.

      Again, me speculating, but I'd guess the reason for switching to a X86 architecture has a lot to do with lowering their development costs. Anything custom they do need to develop, such as the GPU (assuming they're not using something off the shelf) they can also sell on their laptops... maybe?
      • by Hadlock ( 143607 ) on Wednesday February 20, 2013 @11:10PM (#42962245) Homepage Journal

        Sony going x86 makes a very strong argument for Valve building their Steam Box. I'm surprised nobody else has pointed this out here yet. Assuming Unreal and iDTech5/6 have linux support (Unity already does) most developers will only need a recompile if their code is relatively clean. I'm curious which direction Microsoft will choose for their CPU. Right now Valve's Steam Box offering is sounded pretty level headed.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) *

      The PS4 will use its own custom OS. That OS will have binary blob drivers that talk to completely undocumented hardware. They will not be generic - throwing in any GPU won't work, it will have to be exactly the same one as the PS4 has and you won't be able to buy it.

      Basically there is zero chance of creating a hypervisor/VM for your PC I'm afraid.

  • That's big news... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Nefarious Wheel ( 628136 ) on Wednesday February 20, 2013 @08:17PM (#42960989) Journal

    ...and I wouldn't buy a Sony product if they paid me to take it. I have not forgotten what they do to their customers in the name of IP. Groklaw it.

  • by damn_registrars ( 1103043 ) <> on Wednesday February 20, 2013 @08:20PM (#42961019) Homepage Journal
    I see no mention of whether or not there is an optical drive on this system. Obviously if they have no optical drive they have broken compatibility with existing titles from earlier playstations.
    • How easy would it be to emulate the old cell processor on the new hardware to support old titles?
      Also, its been made clear by the industry that reselling of games is not the way to the future, delivery (and payment) on demand is.
      When you control the delivery mechanism, you control the money flow.

      • How easy would it be to emulate the old cell processor on the new hardware to support old titles?

        You, I, or any slashdot user would likely find it an enormously difficult task. However, Sony has financial resources that likely exceed the net wealth of all active slashdot users combined, and has had plenty of time to figure this out. They did not decide this afternoon to use an X86 CPU for the PS4, they made the decision some time ago and could have started on the Cell emulation back then if they so wanted to.

        Also, its been made clear by the industry that reselling of games is not the way to the future, delivery (and payment) on demand is.

        True, but if you forcefully disconnect users from their existing libraries they might not b

        • The Cell processor is what, roughly 6 PPC cores at 3.something GHz?
          The PS4 has 8 x64 cores at (according to previous comments in this thread) 2GHz.

          There's a pretty low real-world cap on the performance of dynamic recompilation. Don't forget that since we're dealing with consoles (very specific hardware target, you also face the complete loss of optimization from compilers that built for the peculiarities of the Cell (cache sizes, which instructions are fastest, etc.) when that CPU bust be emulated or the co

    • Existing titles are compiled to run on a PowerPC-like architecture. They've moved to X86.
      They should have enough CPU power to emulate a PS2 though. Just keep your PS3 games till the PS5 comes out.

    • From TFA: Optical Drive (read only) BD 6xCAV DVD 8xCAV
    • by aztektum ( 170569 ) on Wednesday February 20, 2013 @11:44PM (#42962497)

      Shit n hellfire, the article has a big block of text that outlines the specs. If you didn't see it it's because you didn't actually look.

      Main Processor
      Single-chip custom processor
      CPU : x86-64 AMD "Jaguar", 8 cores
      GPU : 1.84 TFLOPS, AMD next-generation Radeon based graphics engine

      GDDR5 8GB

      Hard Disk Drive

      Optical Drive (read only)
      BD 6xCAV
      DVD 8xCAV

      Super-Speed USB (USB 3.0) ãAUX
      Communication Ethernet (10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T)
      IEEE 802.11 b/g/n
      Bluetooth® 2.1 (EDR)

      AV output
      Analog-AV out
      Digital Output (optical)

  • That's nothing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by greg1104 ( 461138 ) <> on Wednesday February 20, 2013 @08:23PM (#42961049) Homepage

    The PS3 already allowed non-friends to take control of my bank account.

  • One of the most damning things to me is the lack of backwards compatibility (at least, far as I can tell from the Engadget feed I've been sort of following). I lost all interest in the PS3 when they stopped including PS2/1 compatibility (yes, I know I can find older, used systems, but screw Sony). Considering the library many gamers have, I don't think that having one prior console's worth of compatibility is asking too much, especially to help boost early sales if the launch library is less than tremendous.

    But a part of this that I find highly interesting that there's no mention of physical media. Plenty of talk about the cloud, downloading games in the background and playing them as they download (I will be highly interested to see how this works out, if at all), and an internal hard drive... but no physical media. I mean, BluRay is the obvious choice for Sony, but not a mention either in the Ars article or the Engadget feed (unless I missed it.) Even the concise "Informed System Architecture" shows all your regular parts of a system... except the media.

  • Could make a emulator easy.
    Pirate all the games you want and run it on your PC
    No money to sony
  • Profit (Score:4, Interesting)

    by future assassin ( 639396 ) on Wednesday February 20, 2013 @08:34PM (#42961121) Homepage

    Set up an easily hackable system
    Cry to the gov "they're hacking us dry"
    Ger new draconian copyright/drm laws passed

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 20, 2013 @09:58PM (#42961757)

    Gaming PCs have a stonking great discrete GPU that plugs into the motherboard, and requires its own connection(s) to the PSU. Now what if this graphics card, with fantastically massive RAM bandwidths that Intel can only dream about, suddenly had EIGHT x86 CPU cores inserted into the GPU chip? What if this graphic card was given a 'Southbridge' chip for all the usual inputs and outputs found on the motherboard? Obviously, the graphics card would become the entire PC, with no need for the motherboard at all.

    This is what AMD has created. NOT a CPU with inbuilt graphics that need to share a horrendously slow CPU bus (2x64 bits), but a GPU with inbuilt CPU cores, sharing an insanely fast GPU RAM bus, and using a common memory addressing model (HSA).

    AMDs designs are light-years beyond those from Intel. Intel's great plan is to build a CPU with a massive companion RAM chip die for the GPU, just like the PlayStation 2 (yes TWO- you know that long obsolete console from many years ago). This Intel CPU is so mega-expensive, only ultra pricey laptops can afford to use it, but none will because ultra pricey laptops need graphics from ATI or Nvidia in order to sell. In other words, Intel's new Haswell GPU initiative is a bust before the first chip even hits the market.

    Now the market awaits AMD to become really sane, and sell complete single board PC solutions that follow the design philosophy of the PS4- in other words a single board designed around the GPU, with 8GB of GPU memory soldered on, and the CPU cores contained within the GPU, leeching of the unified HSA GPU bus. Obviously these single-board PC systems can use far more powerful GPU designs than the PS4 because they will need far more power and cooling.

    Now that the CPU no longer has to render graphics or decode video, the CPU is left with less and less to do on the PCs used by 99.9% of people, driving Intel's advantage into the ground. Metrics like GPU performance and memory bandwidth are increasingly important, even outside of games. The collapse of the price of DRAM means that memory should have been provided soldered to the motherboard years back, allowing much better quality of data signal = bigger possible bandwidth. Simple computer science 'cache' theory shows that very few people will benefit from more than 8GB, and this 8GB of DRAM should be acting as a level-4 cache to the SSD drive anyway.

    Expect the new consoles to cause a massive re-think of the design of the desktop PC, to Intel's extreme disadvantage. Sony and MS are not mugs, and went to AMD for an entire PC-based solution for a very good reason. And both are building products designed to have a 7+ year lifetime.

  • by TsuruchiBrian ( 2731979 ) on Wednesday February 20, 2013 @10:01PM (#42961785)
    I wonder which great features it will continue to support after I have purchased (i.e. rented) it.

I've noticed several design suggestions in your code.