PlayStation 4 OS based on BSD

posted in: Game News, Game Previews | 2

playstationlogoSo it looks like the upcoming PlayStation 4’s operating system will be based on BSD (Berkley Software Distribution) Unix operating. This is the same operating system that Apple’s Mac OS X spawned from.

This move should make it a whole lot easier for developers to create games. However this choice (and my current Red Hat course) makes me wonder why they chose BSD Unix over Linux. Their multitasking reason doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me because Linux is more just as capable on the multitasking front.

 

Next-Generation F.A.Q

posted in: Editorials & Features | 0

question-blockI thought it would be a good idea to answer some of the hot topic questions people have been raising after the PlayStation 4 reveal. Many of these questions aren’t new and I’ve shared my opinions on some of them already but it would be a good idea to consolidate it all in one post.

 

1. How much would you pay for a PlayStation 4 and the next Xbox?

$499.99 CAD. I’ve paid over $599.99 CAD for a PlayStation 3 because I saw value with the backward compatibility but that was then. I don’t regret it per se but I don’t want to pay that much for a console again.

2. What is your stance on backwards compatibility?

Nice to have but not essential. I wouldn’t mind having the a premium version of a console with the old hardware chips included but if it means we can have more complex next generation systems at a lower cost, I am willing to give it up.

3. Would you pay $69.99 for next generation games?

No I wouldn’t but I also wouldn’t switch platforms or stop gaming because of that price point. All it means is that I will be further behind the curve while I wait for the price to drop to a number I’m willing to pay.Canadians already paid that price early in the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 days so that price point isn’t completely foreign to us.

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More PS4 Thoughts & Musings

posted in: Editorials & Features | 0

After some time to ponder and digest, I thought I would share more impressions and reactions on the PlayStation 4.

Do I care about the sharing features?

I generally think the idea of watching someone playing games live is dumb; I rather be playing a game for myself. I do watch people play fighting games and I occasionally tune into GiantBomb’s TNT but those are uncommon occurrences. So the idea behind live streaming does not resonate with me.

I am a fan of the ability to share videos though. I’ve always wanted share “Battlefield moments” and other gaming highlights with friends and on NeoGAF but I did not have the tools do so. This kind of sharing is usually woven with some context so it’s interesting to me in that respect. I don’t care for straight dumping of gameplay clips for the sake of sharing though.

The box, what about the box?

I’ve seen a fair bit of criticism laid against Sony for not showing the actual console itself and I cannot understand why that matters. Will the look of the box actually sway people? No. It’s the specs that matter. If the PlayStation 4 looks like a beige boxed PC from the 1990’s, the people who cared enough to watch yesterday’s live stream and were impressed by the specifications and the vision will buy it regardless of appearances.

I guess people could try to ascertain the console’s price point from its aesthetics alone but outward appearances isn’t everything.

What about the videos they showed off?

Even after today’s direct feed videos were released, I couldn’t tell which was running on PlayStation 4 hardware or CG. With so much uncertainty I just didn’t feel confident commenting on what I saw.

What if Ken Kutaragi designed the PS4?

As soon as the specifications PDF came out I began wondering what (if anything) Ken Kutaragi would have done if he was in charge? I review the specs and I can only think of the most obvious and low hanging “upgrades” like bumping wi-fi to a 802.11ac

Because of market realities and the whooping they took early on in the PlayStation 3’s life, I doubt they would have built their own chips again regardless of who was in charge.

Price Predictions

It’s not going to be $599.99. Sony will not repeat the mistakes of the past and debut the PlayStation 4 at that price. I believe a $499.99 price tag would be more tolerable in this day and age. I would like to see a viable version at $399.99 but I can see a $499.99 version being the one you would really want.

PlayStation 4 Announcement Impressions

posted in: Game News | 0

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:

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