PlayStation 4 Rumor Roundup

With just a day to go before the PlayStation Meeting, what do we already know about the platform? What do we think we know?

Barring some highly unlikely last-minute surprise from Microsoft, Sony will be the first to announce its next-generation hardware tomorrow evening at a New York City event. Though Sony has kept its mouth largely shut on the PlayStation 4, rumors and speculation have abounded.

Below is a roundup of everything we know--and everything we think we know--about the PlayStation 4.

Controller

In the past week, two new prototype images of the PS4 controller have emerged. Fans of familiarity will be happy to know the controller is similar in shape to the DualShock, a mainstay of the PlayStation brand since its inception.

What's different this time around? Both images show the controller is beefier than the existing PS3 DualShock and its analog sticks feature an outer rim. (We'll be honest, they kind of look like belly buttons. Sorry.) The images also shown an illuminated light on top that resembles those on PlayStation Move controllers. Might Move be built into the new pad? This would match up with a previous report stating Sony was eyeing to improve Move for the PS4.

What stands out the most is the rumored controller's new front-facing touchpad, the functionality of which has not yet been revealed. In addition, the Start and Select buttons--as well as the rumored "Share" button--are nowhere to be seen.

Lastly, the latest PS4 controller image shows a headphone jack and some sort of speaker functionality. Could voice chat for PS4 games be as simple as talking to your controller?

Games

According to reports, games in development for the PS4 include a new title from Uncharted studio Naughty Dog, Killzone 4 from Guerrilla Games, Mafia III, something from Heavy Rain studio Quantic Dream, LittleBigPlanet 3, The Last Guardian, and possibly a new Call of Duty game, among others. If Sony is in fact announcing the PS4 during its briefing tomorrow evening, new software announcements would not be a stretch.

Specifications and Functionality

The latest speculation is that the PS4 will feature 8GB of system memory, 2.2GB of video memory, an AMD Bulldozer eight-core processor, and an AMD R10XX GPU. There's also believed to be a Blu-ray drive, four USB 3.0 ports, two Ethernet ports, and a 160GB hard drive. This is based on information reportedly accurate for development kits as of January 2013.

According to an unnamed Sony official speaking to Japanese newspaper Nikkei this month, specs will be important for the PS4, but won't be the system's selling point. This person said Sony will push the platform as a home entertainment "nerve center." More specifically, the source said Sony will focus on the PS4's ability to connect and share with mobile devices--widely perceived as competition to traditional gaming platforms.

The Wall Street Journal--accurate with its reports in the past--says the PS4 will be backwards compatible, allowing gamers to stream PlayStation 3 titles. This may be achieved through technology from streaming service Gaikai, which Sony spent big money to acquire last year.

In addition, the newspaper last night reported that the PS4 may allow for cross-platform play between smartphones and other mobile devices. This would not be an entirely novel idea for Sony, as Wipeout 2048 for PlayStation Vita allows gamers to compete in online races against Wipeout HD players on PlayStation 3.

The PS4 also will reportedly feature beefed up social networking features, allowing players to share their achievements with friends on Facebook and Twitter. If text is not enough, the new platform is also believed to offer a direct-to-YouTube video uploading option.

The Used Games Question

Sony has patented technology to stamp out used games and rumors of the PS4 blocking second-hand titles has been floating around for almost a year. It's important to note that just because Sony has a patent on such a technology, it does not mean the company will actually use it. In addition, the analyst consensus is that the PS4--and the Xbox 720 for that matter--will not block used games.

Market-leading retailer GameStop said this month it will be able to successfully sell any future console--even one that blocks used games. In the end, however, it's up to Sony. We'll know soon.

Price

$400+, according to Japanese and United Kingdom newspaper reports, the latter of which suggests Sony will not announce a price point during its briefing tomorrow evening. Instead, the company is reportedly waiting for Microsoft to reveal the Xbox 720 before deciding on a price. For reference, the PS3 launched in North America in 2006 at a $600 price point.

Gaikai?

Sony shelled out $380 million for the streaming game company last year, saying it intends to use the acquisition to establish a new cloud service combining Gaikai's resources with its own, but it is unclear exactly what that means. It could be for the PS4's rumored streaming option for PS3 titles, or something entirely different.

Launch Timing?

The PS4 is widely expected to be available at retailers in the last quarter of the year to capitalize on the holiday shopping season. This would hardly be a surprise, as Sony shipped the original PlayStation, the PlayStation 2, and the PlayStation 3 during the September-November season in their respective launch years.

Check back with GameSpot tomorrow evening at 6 p.m. for our extended coverage of the PlayStation Meeting.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

Discussion

72 comments
Aentikraist
Aentikraist

mmm ok i was kinda excited about seeing but i couldnt watch it the evet today but after seeing all those comments damn i dont even think there is neef for watching the whole Mobile Device "Console! that also can play games as i can see mm.. too bad.. really

Nibraybirk
Nibraybirk

It is Official. After watching the PS4 Sony meeting, Imagination has been declared dead. 8:00 EST

smackdowner360
smackdowner360

Wow everything the PS4 can do i've been doing for years on my xbox.Yup looks like sony will lose another 5 billion next gen.Even killzone dind't look that good hell it looked just a little better than halo 4.Good bye sony

SIDEFX1
SIDEFX1

Yeah you guy's had me going a bit.. it was crossing my mind that you was unboxing a PS4.. O_o

driftingsilvia
driftingsilvia

If only people realized just how much money companies lose on used games. Less money for them = no real step ups in games for you.

SkaiNett
SkaiNett

The start and select buttons look like they're on there. They aren't as pronounced but it looks like they're just outside the touchscreen area (towards the top of the touch screen).

the_hunger
the_hunger

My biggest concern was about the used games issue.  As long as Sony does not try to destroy the used game market, I'll take a look at the PS4 in a few years once the price drops a bit and a good range of games become available.

Chucknorium
Chucknorium

I read somewhere about two GBE ports (rumors as everything is), so maybe PS3 -> PS4 streaming??

JaylisJayP
JaylisJayP

It'd be so awesome if they said it was coming this summer.

maddog123
maddog123

I am looking forward to seeing what SONY will announce tomorrow. I want to know the complete specs on the system and what it's actually capable of. Hopefully they will divulge as much info as possible to dispel/accurize some of these rumors.

i-blast-brain
i-blast-brain

tomorrow sony Is going to announce some sort of online service like playstation plus plus or plasystation plus minus and then I will laugh in joy and in sheer depression and sadness.

PETERAKO
PETERAKO

Instead of wasting resources on gimmicky controllers, foolish facebookish nonsense and connectivity with irrelevant devices, SONY should focus on actually important aspects of her console like hardware fitting and cooling, error and defection fixing, securing good deals with third party devs for better games, streamlining of menus, sorting problems on online play and generally things that have to do with flawlessly playing games on your TV since that's what a console is all about. Results? you don't spread your self too thin on a myriad of functions. PS2 could only do 2 and a half things, play games, play movies and had a very limited online functionality. Fewer things are easier to manage and a simpler console is cheaper to produce.  

pa_amb_tomaquet
pa_amb_tomaquet

Isn't this streaming thing going to make things really slow? imagine 5,000,000 trying to stream the same game...

yourdem1ze
yourdem1ze

You forgot to mention Battlefield 4

bahamut1283
bahamut1283

Is being "backwards compatible" the same as "streaming" PS3 games like it says in the article?  To me, backwards compatible means I'm able to put in an older systems game disc and it should work.  Perhaps this is a mute point but I'm just curious.

skipper847
skipper847

Playstation 4 Tea earl grey hot.

jdc6305
jdc6305

Too early to give a s*** about the ps4. Maybe in 3 or 4 years after a price drop and developers start taking advantage to the hardware I'll start taking notice. I have a backlog of 100 games to play until then. Also a good time to wait and see how the whole used games ban will play out. People rushing to next gen are fools just ask 360 owners that got the RROD.

wizo59mt
wizo59mt

compareing the PS3 to the WII U is absurd

leandrro
leandrro

they will probably show a beaultiful tech demo that represents nothing, just like nintendo did

X-7
X-7

I hope the GPU is going to be a 7850 2GB...

Rambolike
Rambolike

@the_hunger The price will be much more affordable than the PS3 was when it came out.  They know that people won't pay 1000 bucks anymore -- too many other options available to them.

penpusher
penpusher

@PETERAKO Irrelevant devices? ... I'm assuming you mean smart phones? If so, dude what rock have you been living under for the last half a decade? Almost everyone has one and a lot of services intergrate with them, not to mention they are a growing platform for gaming (and that's true whether the snobbier of us hardcore gamers like it or not).

The PS2 may have been simple, but we are not in that generation any more and game console manufacturers and game developers can't act like they are. Consoles have got to keep up with modern developments and smart phones are a big modern development, it would foolish in the extreme to ignore functionality with such devices. Not so sure about cloud services, but as internet speeds increase they will become more prevalent. May as well get with them early.


Besides this happens every time a new console is announced. Someone says "that's a bit much", "what do we need that for", "that sounds useless", There were a lot of people who said such things about the intergration of dvd players into consoles and next thing you know that feature became standard.

Nickolaz666
Nickolaz666

@PETERAKO you have not even seen the console. for all you know all these important things are already at the helm in this Playstation 4. The world of today is obsessed with social networking. and honestly uploading a video to you tube of your most recently played game is somewhat awesome. and if you cant seem to figure something out you can just watch what others did.

the_hunger
the_hunger

@bahamut1283 I really don't believe that they should use the phrase "backward compatibility" unless the PS4 will play a PS3 game disk.  Otherwise, they are just saying "your PS3 game disks will not be playable, but we are happy to make you pay for those PS3 games again by selling you digital versions for the PS4."  I don't believe that that is true backward compatibility.

igorphoenix
igorphoenix

@bahamut1283 basically for real backward compatibility they'd need to put Cell+RSX inside which will add ~$200 to production cost plus it would make PS4 much harder to make (they'll need to somehow fit it inside and provide proper cooling). Software emulation is not an option (emulation of seven-core 4GHz PowepPC processor on x86 architecture would take much more than PS4 hardware). So I guess by backward compatibility they really mean streaming.

scatterbrain007
scatterbrain007

@bahamut1283 It will be "backwards compatible" in that you will be able to stream old PS3 titles through the console using Gakai I imagine (think how the Onlive service works, or Netflix but with videogames instead of just movies).  As far as the software and hardware required for the console to run and play physical PS3 blu-ray game discs, that's unknown.

BodyBag22
BodyBag22

@skipper847 Old product detected, backwards compatibility required, please insert $5.

fredyellowone
fredyellowone

@jdc6305 

I'm a fool that rushed to buy a FAT PS3 model.  Still working to this date.

driftingsilvia
driftingsilvia

@CHROMEFLAMIN @driftingsilvia    Should read up a little bit on the used gaming market. Directly from publishers and programmers mouths they have said they are losing money on used games and fully support systems banning used games. You know how much money publishers get if you buy a used game? None. So if they are getting no percentage of used game sales, it affects their budget to make quality games.

PETERAKO
PETERAKO

@penpusher @PETERAKO Yeah times change, but many of those modern features feel more of a fashion trend that are added for the shake of being added and to please the supposed "social" obsession. popular doesn't necessarily means right or good. If such features like device connectivity, social networking integration and motion controls were never included or mentioned by anyone, I believe no one would have noticed.


@Nickolaz666 there is a serious chance when you try to add to many things in the console. none might work as intended, not even the most important stuff. Its only natural to assume that something might go wrong. By the way, its what I haven't seen yet that actually worries me.


look guys, I just can't accept that everything will just go fine and well. PS3 had a somewhat troubled  launch and it took some time to stand on its feet. Now with PS4 there is more processing power included as well as numerous features that need refinement.  PSvita still has mediocre sales and it was even worse in its launch and if no proper games come for the system soon, it might decline more. If the same happens with the PS4 it could be disastrous for SONY's game division.    

 

unreal101
unreal101

@igorphoenix @pa_amb_tomaquet You underestimate the server capacity needed here. Sony doesn't just need the game to run, it needs the game to run flawlessly with no lag, all the time, regardless of the amount of users. Most websites today can't promise that kind of capacity.

bahamut1283
bahamut1283

@the_hunger @bahamut1283 Completely agree.  Maybe I should look up the official definition of "backward compatibility" and see what comes up.  Highly doubt "streaming" older games will be anywhere mentioned.

SenorCalavera
SenorCalavera

@igorphoenix@bahamut1283 

 Why are people still thinking Cell processor can emulate the universe? It was marketing like SEGA with the "blast processing". I remember that ridiculous copy &paste wars between fanboys, saying nonsense shit about ps3's power.  The PPEs are not real cores, if it was true, PS3 would costed like 1500 dollars. The reason because developers didin't liked Cell it's because you need to program like in a multicore, but in 7 "minicores" beside in two or three normal cores, that is more work for the same result as in Xbox360. A Core 2 duo has a bit more power than Cell.


Emulation was a good option, considering the fact that they will need PS3 farms to run propperly PS3's games. Probably the streaming will come from X hardware emulating the console.

Pi
Pi

@fredyellowone @jdc6305 Yeah, I bought a fat PS3 (glad I did for backward compatibility) as well as a launch Xbox 360.  Both working wonderfully to this day.  Guess I'm lucky on the Xbox........

penpusher
penpusher

@PETERAKO @bledsoe45sbc @unreal101 @igorphoenix @pa_amb_tomaquet 

 I think it's far to early to declare consoles dead just yet. Forget the server capacity issue, even in the developed world not everyone has access to internet above 4 mb. And many countries are only just getting access to the net full stop.

Because of how good many of us have it I think many people forget that the internet isn't THAT old and hasn't developed as far as we sometimes think it has. There's a good two or three decades before it takes over from local media. We'll live to see the day, but it's a bit early yet.

FireVixen
FireVixen

@Pi @fredyellowone @jdc6305  The original Xbox 360 w/out the HDMI cable was awesome. That thing almost never breaks. Every 360 model after that however,  good luck getting those to last more then 1.5 - 2 yrs. 

mr_azim
mr_azim

@bledsoe45sbc @queuing_for_PS4 Killzone 4 will be a probable candidate...... Killzone 2 demo made everyone doubt Sony and they met up to the standards.  Start up with that and everyone will believe it.

bledsoe45sbc
bledsoe45sbc

@queuing_for_PS4 @bledsoe45sbc think they need to come out strong even if they don't show gameplay from any of them . i've put last guardian on the pay no mind list , but if they showed something that would be cool too . there will be a little big planet game too or something from them