What we know about the new PlayStation 4

By Jeff Peterson

For the Deseret News

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 26 2013 4:10 p.m. MST

But the company did unveil the PS4’s new Bluetooth-equipped DualShock 4 controller.

While keeping the basic silhouette of earlier PlayStation controllers, the DualShock 4 adds a few significant upgrades, including a clickable capacitive touch pad in the middle (like what you find on laptops), a speaker, a headphone jack, improved joystick and trigger buttons and, the biggest one of all, a share button for social media.

What’s more, thanks to a glowing light bar on top of the controller, the DualShock 4 will be able to work in tandem with another device called the PlayStation Eye to allow for Wii-like motion control.

The games

Of course, the hardware wasn’t the only thing on display during the event.

Designers from some of the biggest gaming studios in the industry took to the stage to talk about — and in some cases share glimpses of — a few of the next-generation titles they’re currently developing.

Some of the games that debuted during the event included a fourth entry in one of Sony’s first-person shooter franchises called “Killzone: Shadow Fall,” a brand new team-based racing game called “Driveclub" and Sucker Punch’s “Infamous: Second Son."

Longtime Sony collaborator Square Enix also showed off a tech demo that may or may not be a hint at an upcoming “Final Fantasy” game.

Like other generations of Sony consoles, the PS4 seems to be targeting hardcore gamers, but there were a few games clearly aimed at satisfying younger players, including "Knack," a cartoonish-looking PS4-exclusive, and "The Witness," an adventure/puzzle hybrid from the developer behind one of the biggest indie hits of all time, "Braid."

Possibly the big surprise of the software portion of the event, though, happened when Bungie Studios, which developed the Xbox-exclusive “Halo” games, took to the stage to announce that its upcoming first-person shooter, a new IP called “Destiny,” will be coming to the PS4 with exclusive content, proving just how competitively Sony is positioning itself for the next round of console wars.

One caveat, though, is that with the nearly photorealistic graphics of the PS4, the content does seem a lot more visceral. In a scene from the "Killzone" demo, for example, a wounded soldier is shot point blank, releasing a spray of blood that might look a little too realistic for some tastes.

What we don’t know

Even after a two-hour press event, though, there’s still a lot left to be revealed about Sony’s new gaming console, including what the system itself looks like.

Another major question is how much the PS4 will cost. At launch, the PS3 sold for around $600, making it prohibitively expensive for many consumers. With the array of features and high-end technology built in to the PS4, early estimates are putting it at a similarly high price point that may put off many families.

Finally, a specific release date has yet to be announced, although Sony has promised the PS4 will be available in time for Christmas in North America.

To view the entire PS4 event, it can be streamed online on the PlayStation website at us.playstation.com or watched in archived form at IGN.com.

A native of Utah Valley and a devoted cinephile, Jeff Peterson is studying humanities and history at Brigham Young University.

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