PlayStation 4 Announcement Impressions

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The PlayStation 4 was officially announced today. You can watch the event here if you wish. Many of the hardware specifications rumors turned out to be true. The big surprise was the confirmation of 8GB of GDDR5 RAM. Early rumors were pegging it at 4GB so it was a surprise to see Sony double it.

Why is RAM so important? Because memory limitations were the source of feature parity and performance issues for many consoles. And if they were going to add all those sharing features and suspend features, having more RAM can only help. This means they’re not cutting into developer RAM.

The most impressive moment to me was the appearance of Mark Cerny as the PlayStation 4’s System Architect. Unlike with the PlayStation 3, the west has taken the lead on the PlayStation system hardware. This makes me feel more confident about the future of PlayStation Network services and developer relations.

By moving to x86-64 and “off the shelf” PC parts, the PlayStation 4 will be much more developer friendly. I’m hoping this enables developers to quickly ramp up and get quality games in the early years and not repeat the growing pains of the PlayStation 3.

Overall I was very impressed with what Sony showed. They showed more games than I thought they would and they spent the right amount time on the hardware, features, tech demos and games. Great job, Sony.

For more official info on the PS4, check out these PDFs:

Durango & Orbis Rumor Breakdown

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Next generation console hardware rumors have been going on for awhile now. However, in the last week or so, the rumors have become very specific and are being parroted by reputable sources.

Here’s a high level breakdown of what they’ve been saying:

Rumored Durango (Next Xbox) Specifications

CPUAMD 8-core 1.6 GHz (x64)
GPUAMD DirectX 11.1 class GPU running @ 800 MHz
Memory8GB DDR3 w/ 3GB reserved for OS & 32MB embedded SRAM
Optical50GB 6x BD-ROM
StorageHard drive always present
ConnectivityGigabit, HDMI, Wi-Fi

Source: Eurogamer, VGLeaks

Rumored Orbis (Next Playstation) Specifications 

CPUAMD 8-core 1.6 GHz
GPUAMD GPU derived from Radeon 7970M running @ 800 MHz
Memory4GB GDDR5 w/ 512MB reserved for OS
StorageHard drive
ConnectivityGigabit, HDMI, Wi-Fi
ControllerNew design w/ LCD touch screen & biometric grips?

Source: Eurogamer (1 & 2), CVG

It looks like both boxes are going to resemble the PC more than ever. Does this mean I will step away from console gaming and move exclusively to the PC? After all it would make more sense financially thanks to the cheaper games. The answer is simply: no. Unless something ridiculous happens and Sony and Microsoft brings their first party exclusives over to the PC, I will continue to purchase consoles. The only question is: sooner or later? And that is dependent on price and games.