How the PlayStation 4 Could Blow Your Mind

Tom Mc Shea conjures up crazy possibilities for the system's intriguing features

'

The PlayStation 4 has finally been unveiled. Beyond the chatter of processing speeds and memory space lie features that represent intriguing possibilities for the future. Sony is pushing social connectivity in a big way with its new console. Empowering players with editing software built right in lets everyone share their gaming exploits with a push of a button. And for those whose exploits are not nearly as impressive, a friend can commandeer your console from down the block or thousands of miles away to help you overcome a particularly nasty situation. As interesting as the straightforward uses of these tools might be, however, creative developers could implement them in unorthodox ways that sound downright fascinating.

Sony is pushing social connectivity in a big way with its new console.

Hideo Kojima loves messing with people's minds. The notorious creator of Metal Gear has repeatedly broken the fourth wall and created some of the most iconic scenes in video games in the process. Remember, for instance, when you scrambled for the Metal Gear Solid game box to find the codec frequency for Meryl? Or the "Fission Mailed" screen in Sons of Liberty? His in-jokes have been a time-honored tradition for the franchise, going back to the very first game. In Metal Gear, Big Boss commands you to turn off the system that you're currently playing. Would it be surprising if Kojima took advantage of the PlayStation 4's social features to build on his legacy of lighthearted trolling?

Sony presented the share functionality as a way to show off your most extraordinary accomplishments (or laughable failures) to the world. But, as it currently stands, sharing is a completely separate act from playing. You pause what you're doing, crop out the footage that tickles your fancy, and then jump back into the action as if nothing happened. It's a great concept, but just imagine if that feature could be integrated with the core adventuring.

Which brings us back to Kojima. Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes is currently in development, potentially for the PlayStation 4. Picture this scenario: Snake enters a metal-plated room in an automobile factory in Belize. The door slams behind him, audibly locking in place. A computer terminal is sitting on a rickety desk directly across the room. Snake taps the keyboard, and with a flash, Tomorrow Comes (a cyborg hell-bent on destroying America's transportation infrastructure) is displayed on the monitor. Snake listens intently as his cyborg foe launches into a 20-minute dissertation on how the electric car is going to cause an unstoppable war between rival oil manufacturers, so Snake must be locked in this industrial prison to the detriment of humanity.

Hideo Kojima loves messing with people's minds.

And then he's gone, off the screen. Snake is alone in the room. There is nothing on the table except for the computer, and the monitor is blank save for a blinking cursor. The old man is trapped, or so it would seem. Snake moves slowly around the room, testing every floorboard and wall panel for give. Maybe if he kneels facing the wall, like the hero from Castlevania II: Simon's Quest, a whirlwind will whisk him away to safety. Tossing grenades doesn't make a dent, and he has emptied every bullet, bolt, and slug in his arsenal. Bereft of ideas, you pause the game.

There's your desperate playtime recorded, mocking you with your many failures. You scroll through the footage, lamenting the time you fired a rocket launcher directly at your feet, but you stop when something catches your eye. That flash. Just before Tomorrow Comes explained his master plan, a message briefly filled the screen. You scroll through the video until you find the exact frame you need. "Eco Motor Worms." That's it! You type in this baffling message, unsealing the door as you run toward your ultimate confrontation with the man trying to release the electric car.

Kojima isn't the only creator who could use seemingly cut-and-dry community tools to further his vision. Hidetaka Miyazaki has been downright devious. In Demon's Souls, the old monk was not your typical boss. Invading players would inhabit the body of this insidious enemy, standing in your path toward victory. Such a reversal was shocking. It might have taken hours of careful study, but by the time you crested the stairway of World 3-3, you thought that you understood the rules that Demon's Souls followed. Other players could invade your game, but they were mere annoyances on your way to a greater danger at the end of each stage. And yet, here, you had to fight the smartest and craftiest enemy of all, another player.

Miyazaki is not currently the director on any project. However, it's certainly possible that he's working on a next-generation entry in his esteemed Souls franchise. If a future Souls (Death Souls? Damp Souls? Dancing Souls?) lands on the PlayStation 4, it could use one of the system's most interesting social aspects. Sony pitched the ability for one player to take over another's console in a friendly way to let one gaming buddy alleviate the frustrations of another. But imagine if this were used in an upcoming Souls game with a more nefarious purpose.

[Demon's Souls creator] Hidetaka Miyazaki has been downright devious.

The Deathmaker stands before you, half goat, half dragon, with a prehensile tail and with fire pouring out of every orifice. Except its mouth. In its jaws are the crushed remains of your left arm. After an endless fight in which you spend as much time fleeing wildly from its many attacks as you do planning your own offensive, the beast finally falls to your blade. And the rewards, the thousands and thousands of souls that come with victory, drain easily into your body. The thrill of victory is what brings you back to the Souls games, even though they have never reciprocated your love.

As you walk back toward the bonfire, your controller rumbles. Looking around the environment, you see nothing that could warrant such an action, but the shaking persists. And then, just two feet from the save point, from a chance to regain your health and upgrade your character, you're warped to a dark land. You stand motionless, staring into the black abyss before you, unsure what happened or where you must go. Just before you tap the stick to begin this new quest, your character takes a tentative sword swing. Did you just…? And then your character rolls away, seemingly of its own accord. What is this madness? Before long, your character runs into the darkness, and you helplessly watch him or her.

Another player has invaded your game. But instead of being a demon that you must fight, your character has been possessed. Such a feature could destroy the delicate balance the Souls games have expertly weaved. This invader could just run your character off the nearest cliff or try to fight a skeleton bare-handed, even though you usually hold a weapon. Why would the other player want to live? Because he or she has to. The punishment for failure is to stay trapped perpetually in this bleak cell. If the invader should die, control is given back to the original player, the rightful player, while the aggressor is left waiting for another straggler to come upon his or her trap. But if the infiltrator succeeds, if he or she makes it through the blinding darkness unscathed, boundless rewards are offered. So what does an invading player choose? And how tense would it be to watch your character go off on its own, controlled by a stranger, while you sit idly by?

Raw specifications are but one aspect of a console's potential. As impressive as graphics could be on the PlayStation 4, there are features that could be exploited to change how we view games. Social integration has been at the forefront of many recent technological innovations, and it's only going to become more important in the future. Seeing just how versatile these tools are makes the future seem extremely exciting, with ideas surfacing that no one has even thought about before. Tomorrow can't come soon enough.

'

Written By

Want the latest news about Dark Souls II?

Dark Souls II

Dark Souls II

Follow

Discussion

315 comments
UniversalPie
UniversalPie

That Dark Souls example would result in assaults and maybe worse... Now if the possession was a punishment, or the cost of losing a particular test/task, that would be cool. 

For example: If you don't travel beyond a 20ft radius in a certain time period, you're camping, and are subject to possession.

Or you attempt to "hack" into another players world. They are alerted and can try to stop you through some mini-game or something. If you win, you are now a nuisance in their world, but cannot directly control them. But, if you lose, they have the ability to possess you and take control of your character... or something.


I guess the point is, remote control can be neat, but devs can't be jerks in the way they implement it.

LoG-Sacrament
LoG-Sacrament

It looks like we've found Kojima's ghostwriter.

mr_azim
mr_azim

Hmmm.... I really hope that MGS5 demo wasn't on the PS4 (I thought it was done on current gen specs?).  Because if it was, all the other release titles/graphics already beat it.

scamarot
scamarot

Oh wouldn't that be be so fun!! I' would just love someone else take control of my character and run them off a cliff after I've been questing for the last two hours without a save. What a damn retarded Idea! With all the assclowns out there who play games just for the sole purpose of pissing people off this would be great for them. Me? Not so much. I play games for the relaxation and sense of achievement from plodding on. I don't pay 60 bucks for someone else to ruin my game for me, whoever thinks this is a good implementation can go smurf themselves......

senseless_dj
senseless_dj

If it is toms article then it bound to have a Dark souls screenshot.

yixingtpot
yixingtpot

What if for example, Kojima allows a trophy and feature unlock that enables you to control a portion of a psychomantis battle, a player could jump in on an online session and control objects in a level and attack you with those objects within that room, similar to the original MGS battle. The player could control chairs or other objects by highlighting them and then throw them at Snake etc.

yixingtpot
yixingtpot

I want Kojima to make an exclusive PS4/Vita game engine, yeah he could do all kinds of weird stuff to trip us all out... psychomantis whispering strange clues through the Vita or DualShock4 controller speaker. The share feature should be huge if it functions without a hitch, and if it's true that others can jump into your gameplay and take over, well that's a completely different universe of gaming and social interactivity.

ShadowofSonic
ShadowofSonic

Long live the Playstation series.

Great ideas, Tommy, but it was Campbell who told you to turn off the console, not Big Boss. ;-)

eliebaz
eliebaz

I've seen people discriminate and criticize the sharing feature, however when reading into possibilities of watching over gameplay to spot something you could've missed before now that's a whole different level of gaming one much more intelligent than what we've seen so far after reading this article I believe the possibilities are seemingly endless that is if developers are smart enough to implement this feature so that you're able to use the sharing and play over feature to look over things that might've possibly been too quick to see the first time around

10knuckles01
10knuckles01

i doubt players would be able to take over your game willy nilly like old mate explained with Dark Souls...

anyway im pumped for the PS4 :)  that is all...

RustedTruck650
RustedTruck650

i hate people and their stupid opinions. i just want to play

Ravenlore_basic
Ravenlore_basic

This may be a good idea or not, but I do agree that SOMETHING has to change.  Simply updating the graphics, (resolution, Texture  Filters, FPS,  graphic fidelity)  

So even if PS4, Xbox next, or PC get to a point where you are not sure its a picture, CGI, or a game running in real time If its the same game in which yo interact with the world the same "I DO NOT CARE." 

I say this, because since PS1, and its "eye cutting" graphics which were apparent, we have wished for and developers strove for that same goal... "photo realism."  This above almost all else drove the industry.  It has corrupted the industry in a way focusing too many people to this far off goal above all else. Far TOO many games look good yet other aspects of the game have suffered. Game-play, level design, AI, Physics... 

Social gaming seems like a nice addition to gaming, yet with the people I have run into I think I may pass next gen.  Unless there is a way to meet gamers to play with (think dating sites but just for being able to play games with)  Although this can be BIG, seeing what Sony did with HOME leads me to think that this many not go the way they have in mind, and be initiated in some strange way that does not excite the way they plan. 

Sony has a way of not FULLY supporting a good idea, and turns it into something else, then leave it there to rot or die with little support when it is not QUICKLY accepted by the masses.   

psuedospike
psuedospike

DISCLAIMER: The ideas discussed in the above blog are completely preposterous.

yixingtpot
yixingtpot

PS4 is the ultimate console, it will sell millions at launch... I just wonder if they can get enough stock to the stores. I plan on buying an extended replacement warrant just in case. Too bad for Wii U and Nextbroke, they are doomed for sure. They might as well close shop and go out of the console business.

KristoffBrujah
KristoffBrujah

PS4 looks massively underwhelming to me. Things like uploading game videos and linking to Facebook have been available on PC for over a decade.

I think a console needs a gimmick to distinguish itself like Wii, otherwise it's just a dumbed down version of the PC. The new CPU multicore architecture is expanding so fast that these consoles will be obsolete before release day, not to mention the explosion of GPU power.

dcaseng
dcaseng

The social connectivity aspect is a bit too much for my taste. I hope it doesn't completely change the focus on gameplay. Also, the lack of backwards compatibility is a huge F*** you to loyal customers who have been supporting the PS3 for years. I'm sure Sony will implement a way to milk even more money from their customers by "offering" ways of paying twice for games they already own.

The excuses of a higher pricetag is a joke, because i'm absolutely sure that most people would be OK with paying slightly more for the capability to use their PS3 discs on the PS4. Surely it wouldn't cost that much to upgrade the hardware to supporting PS3 discs. It WOULD however, severely hamper the ability to ripoff consumers.

stonefang
stonefang

I herd the new xbox 720 will dispense Monster energy drinks from it as well as AXE body spray from its controller. It will also have an advanced turbo button that kicks on 4 high powered fans and will make it glow slime green

mkeezay22
mkeezay22

Why would I buy what is essentially just gonna be a superpowered pc but with more limitations.Sony learned from its strange PS3 architecture and said hey we'll just make a pc put our name on it,add some gimmicks and a crazy price point and were off.

The console will be underpowered in a few years and dunb ass gimmicks like another player taking over my game are so stupid they won't entice me to waste my money on it when I can just buy a PC and a more conventional gaming console if one even exists in the future.


videogamer008
videogamer008

sorry to be disrespectful here and i am not going to be but what about backwards compatabilities and that stuff.. thank you :) :) :)

Eldeorn
Eldeorn

@mr_azim The video I saw of the MGS ground zeroes engine was mighty impressive visually. If it was for PS3 I will fall off my chair from being over-impressed.

I kind of hope for a really astonishing version of it on PS4 though, as a launch title.

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

@scamarot Yeah.... You do realise the idea is for asking 'friends' to help you in games right? It's not a matter of a randomer off the internet just taking control and doing as they wish.

That would however be fairly hilarious.. solely for pissing off campers on Call of Duty.

If you don't want the feature don't use it, it's just there for people who do.  I won't be using it, but I i'm not going to hate the thing - it's optional.

seanbrandowen
seanbrandowen

@scamarot Sounds like your sugar is low,eat a cookie Why would you play 2 hours without a save,and remember you asking this person for help you are not by any means forced to accept it,and if he does run your character of a cliff LOL By the way, delete him just think of the upside you can run his smurf of a cliff...

stayhigh1
stayhigh1

@eliebaz Sharing feature for the PS4 will be awesome you know that millions of people upload game walk through videos  through youtube..Im going to use it for sure..

Eldeorn
Eldeorn

@Ravenlore_basic What has suffered more than anything, is the size of the games. Corridor shooters and RPG's comes to mind, and there are way too many of them.

After the initial release of PS4, this will change for a few years. Then, when consoles yet again are forced to visually catch up to PC's and the best looking console games, the trends will turn towards corridor games once again. It's as sure as the sun going up tomorrow.

ClaudiusCaesar
ClaudiusCaesar

@yixingtpot I sincerely hope the next Xbox and WiiU do fine. That will push Sony to keep improving the PS. Just don't buy them, let other not so smart people buy the Cr@pBox and annually give free money to MS.

Eldeorn
Eldeorn

@KristoffBrujah As a PC owner, I know for a fact that you cant just hit two buttons to upload a 15 min long ingame video to youtube. It's a wee bit more complicated, and with huge performance hit if you do it using FRAPS. Unless you wanna spend big money on a true HDMI/VGA/DVI video capture gadget that is.

It's a bit different, yeah.

stayhigh1
stayhigh1

@KristoffBrujah  PC sucks no one buy games for it or even care.. I dont see people wasting thousand of dollars to upgrade it.. PC games dont seel for crap..

DTH17
DTH17

@KristoffBrujah Honestly, who cares if PC's are more powerful? Unquestionably the best games are on the consoles. I used to be a PC gamer until I realized the truth. It's much more expensive (especially on a students budget) and the good exclusive titles usually don't make it to a PC. 

CageFury
CageFury

@KristoffBrujah 

Consoles need something to distinguish themselves? Games sell infinitely better on consoles then PC, hows that? 

Bordonaro
Bordonaro

@KristoffBrujah 
>It's been on pc for a decade, which makes pc awesome
> console is getting it, its a gimmick
....-2/10

Eldeorn
Eldeorn

@dcaseng How are they ripping you off? Didnt you play and enjoy the game already on the system it's for? I'm fairly sure that you havent paid a penny to play it on a console that doesn't even exist yet.

It would cost TONS more for them to include B/C. Research and development isn't free, and adding all the hardware would increase the complexity of the console by a lot. Plus, it'd be bigger, generate much more heat, and all the negatives that comes along with that. There's a good reason why they removed it from PS3 you know.

This "its not that hard" or "it wouldnt cost much" argument is so worn out, and it's so ignorant. Give it a rest and just dont buy the PS4 if you dont want to play any new games. Noone is forcing you to buy a system you dont want anyways - it's optional.

Nickolaz666
Nickolaz666

@dcaseng You people need to get over backwards compatibility. It is just rediculous that all you people do is complain about not being able to play old games on a new system, it beats the point of getting a new console.

It has been said already that the ps4 would not be able to play ps3 games due to the fact that the technology is completely different.

Eldeorn
Eldeorn

@stonefang If it could dispense extra-chilled red bull and cola zero's I would consider buying one actually :)

A beer tap wouldn't be so bad either.

stayhigh1
stayhigh1

@videogamer008 I bet you they going to announce something for E3 that deals with BC for the PS3 and PSN just watch

valcrist09
valcrist09

@Eldeorn @mr_azim The only Footage of MGS ground Zero shown was running off a powerful PC there has been 0 footage of gameplay running on any consoles.

Eldeorn
Eldeorn

@warhawk-geeby @scamarot Word.

Yeah, having random nuts from the net taking over your game would be a sure way of not selling any consoles I think.

The idea of taking over campers is a nice one though, I have to admit ;)

yixingtpot
yixingtpot

@seanbrandowen @yixingtpot I'm way too old for silly "fanboyisms" I hate everything about Microsoft as a corporate entity altogether. From Bill Gates eugenics vaccines, to his owning stock in Monsanto/GMO Frankenfoods, to them bribing their way into every nuance of tech lifestyles. I simply hate them and XBROKE is simply the most pathetic example ever. 

Eldeorn
Eldeorn

@yixingtpot @seanbrandowen I agree with you there.

I can't stand Microsoft either.

Sure, Sony also wants to dominate the console market, tv market and pretty much all entertainment, but Microsoft is the big daddy when it comes to this, so of two evils, i prefer the lesser one. MS history is littered with ugly affairs from the very start, Sony isn't as far as I know.

Xbox is not a bad console in itself as far as the specs goes. It's the MS logo on it that spoils it, and the fact that when I worked in second hand as a tech guy, everytime we got an Xbox of any kind, it was broken. In a period of 2 years, we got dozens of xbox and 360 (all broken), alot of PS1 (all working), a few PS2 (all working) and zero PS3. The only nintendos we ever got was the old GameBoy color model, all working.

Sony's consoles are not unknowng for breaking (especially the older models), but looking at how many of them compared to how many xbox, it's not even a race, it's a pushover win for Microsoft.

Also, xbox has way too few exclusives when compared. They have some, and they may be great, but there's just not enough of them to warrant a purchase over a PS3 and PC since I can get all the multiplatform titles anyways for less money on PC.