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The PlayStation 4 Guide: Everything You Need to Know About Paid PS+ Online, Hardware, Games, News and More

June 17, 2013 Written by Sebastian Moss

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E3 is a fading memory, so here’s all you need to know about the PS4 that you might have missed. Below we’ll detail every important fact that there is to know about the PS4 in an easily digestible format, starting off with the basics and then getting into all the nitty gritty as we go down.

For even more in-depth coverage of the last week, check out the hundreds of articles we wrote over the last week in list form here.

What’s it called, and when is it out?

The PlayStation 4, or PS4, is out this holiday season in the US and Europe. No specific date has been revealed, but Sony have promised it will be before Christmas. Japan’s release date has yet to be announced, and could still be this year as well. Here’s a video of the PS4 in action/standing still.

How much?

$399 in the US, €399 in Europe, £349 in the UK and AUS$549 in Australia.

Does it come with a camera?

There is going to be a camera inventively called the PlayStation Camera, but it’s sold separately for $59/€49/£44. No games have been announced, but here’s a tech demo of it in action.

What controller does it use?

The DualShock 4. Each PS4 comes with just the one, so if you want to play with friends you’ll have to buy another one for $59.99/€59.99/£54. It has a number of changes over the DualShock 3 – notably the shape, but the controller also includes a clickable touch pad, a Share button to upload gameplay, a glowing bar at the back to interact with the camera, better triggers and more responsive buttons. There’s also a mini-speaker, and a headset jack (a mono headset is included with the PS4 – here’s a pic of it we took at E3). Early previews have been positive.

The PS4 will also support the existing PlayStation Move motion controller, but you’ll need a PS Camera.

What are the PS4′s specs?

  • Single-chip custom processor
  • CPU: low power x86-64 AMD “Jaguar”, 8 cores
  • GPU: 1.84 TFLOPS, AMD next-generation Radeon based graphics engine
  • GDDR5 8GB

As for what it means, here’s what matters – the PS4 will be most powerful next generation console, while also being easy to develop for.

Blu-ray?

Of course, and, at 6x speed, the games will be read faster off the disc than on PS3 meaning less loading and better gaming.

PS Home?

Nothing has been announced, and I wouldn’t count on it. Sorry.

Cross Game Chat?

Yes!

I have a SDTV…

Damn. You’ll need a HDTV as it only has HDMI out. They’re cheapish nowadays though.

What’s the harddrive space?

500GB, and yes, you can swap it if you wish.

Region free?

Yup, that means you can import weird Japanese games or, conversely, live in a country where it’s hard to get a PS4 and import the console.

Will it play my PS3 games?

Nope. The PS3 was developed on Cell architecture, while the PS4 uses a more conventional design, making backwards compatibility virtually impossible. However, Sony will be bringing cloud streamed PS3 gaming to PS4 next year in the US with Gaikai – how this will be priced is yet to be revealed.

Will my existing PSN account work on PS4?

Yes. Trophies will transfer over and all.

What’s this about game streaming?

You’ll be able to livestream games to Ustream, as well as upload previous gameplay of the last 5 minutes to Facebook. Interestingly, Sony also detailed a feature where your friends would be able to take over your game to help you out in certain scenarios (and with your consent).

Do I have to pay to play online with PS4?

Yes. To game online on most games, you will need to buy a PlayStation Plus subscription ($50 a year). Social features like having PSN friends, streaming services like Netflix and most Free-to-Play games like PlanetSide 2 will not require you to pay for PS+ however. Other little things like asynchronous online gameplay will be free. You also only need one PS+ account on a PS4 for all the users to play online.

Does PlayStation Plus do anything else?

Yup! It guarantees you at least one free PS4 game a month, starting off with a stripped down version of DriveClub, and followed by Don’t Starve, Outlast and The Secret Ponchos. You also get tons of discounts, free items and, if you own a PS3 or Vita, free games and discounts on those platforms with the same subscription.

Are there any other benefits to owning a PS Vita?

All PS4 games, except those that use the PlayStation Camera, will support remote play, meaning you can stream PS4 titles to your Vita wherever you are (requires an internet connection obviously).

Anything else cool about the online?

The console, if connected, automatically updates all games and the system FW. It supports background downloading. And, you’ll be able to play PSN game as they download. You will not need a PS+ subscription for any of this.

There’s a lot of confusion about Digital Rights Management (DRM) on PS4. Will I have to go online, can I play used games?

The Xbox One requires you to go online every 24 hours to play it, but thankfully the PS4 doesn’t – you can play singleplayer/local multiplayer as long as you want offline. However, confusion arose over used games because most people think Sony said “no DRM” at E3, when they actually said “no new DRM” on top of the existing DRM limitations on PS3. If publishers want, they can put in restrictions to used games online segment (not offline), where you’ll have to pay a fee to play it. However, Sony, EA and Ubisoft have gone on record saying their titles won’t use online passes. So, in essence, it seems like the PS4 will actually have no DRM.

Just like with PS3, you will be able to share your game with friends or trade it in at your local store.

Who ‘won’ E3?

Mainly due to the lack of DRM restraints, and lower price, Sony is almost universally seen as having won the show. Here’s a recap of all the announcements from all the press conferences. Here’s the whole of Sony’s conference in video form, and here’s all our E3 coverage from the week.

What games will be available at launch?

As we don’t know the exact date of the PS4′s launch, we don’t know for some games, but we can make a good guess that they’ll be available at launch/really near it.

Below I’ll list all the games you’ll ever need, with square brackets indicating if it is exclusive, has exclusive content or if it is a console exclusive (as in, it’s on PC/iOS but not Xbox One/Wii U).

Launch titles confirmed and expected:

  • Knack [Exclusive]
  • DriveClub [Exclusive] – Our preview.
  • Killzone Shadow Fall [Exclusive]
  • Battlefield 4
  • Call of Duty: Ghosts – Our preview.
  • Watch Dogs [Exclusive content]
  • Assassin’s Creed IV [Exclusive content]
  • Skylanders: Swap Force
  • FIFA 14
  • Madden NFL 25
  • NBA 2K14
  • NBA Live 14
  • Lego Marvel Super Heroes
  • Just Dance 2014
  • Need for Speed Rivals

Games where the developer hopes to be ready for launch:

  • PlanetSide 2 [Console exclusive]
  • Primal Carnage [Console exclusive]
  • Warframe [Console exclusive] – Our preview.
  • DC Universe Online [Console exclusive (also PS3)]
  • Blacklight Retribution [Console exclusive] – Our preview.

And after that?

2013:

  • Basement Crawl [Exclusive]
  • Tiny Brains [Console exclusive]
  • Wolfenstein: The New Order
  • Carmageddon: Reincarnation
  • Transistor [Console exclusive] – Our preview.
  • Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee – New ‘n’ Tasty (2013)
  • Outlast (2013) [Console exclusive] – Our preview.
  • War Thunder (2013) [Console exclusive]

2014:

  • inFamous: Second Son (Early 2014) [Exclusive] – Gameplay trailer.
  • Secret Ponchos (Early 2014) [Exclusive]
  • The Witness (Early 2014) [Console exclusive]
  • Daylight (Early 2014) [Console exclusive]
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – Our preview.
  • Octodad: Dadliest Catch [Console exclusive]
  • Destiny  [Exclusive content] – Our preview.
  • The Evil Within
  • Sniper Elite III
  • Dying Light
  • Thief – Our preview.
  • Lords of the Fallen
  • The Crew (Spring 2014)
  • EA Sports UFC (Spring 2014)
  • The Elder Scrolls Online (Spring 2014) [Exclusive beta] – Our preview.
  • Dragon Age Inquisition (Fall 2014)

2015:

  • Cyberpunk 2077 (Q4 2015)

TBA:

  • Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain
  • Deep Down
  • Final Fantasy XV
  • Kingdom Hearts 3
  • Mad Max [Exclusive content]
  • Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn [Console exclusive (also PS3)]
  • Diablo III [Exclusive content] – Our preview.
  • Ray’s The Dead [Timed console exclusive]
  • Don’t Starve [Console exclusive]
  • Mirror’s Edge 2
  • Tom Clancy’s The Division – Our preview.
  • Star Wars Battlefront
  • Hohokum [PlayStation exclusive]
  • Galak-Z
  • Rainbow 6: Patriots
  • Mercenary Kings
  • Gran Turismo 6 [If it comes it'll be a PlayStation exclusive (also on PS3)]
  • The Order: 1886 [Exclusive]

I’m still not satisfied, tell me more.

Fine, invisible voice in my head, here’s our rundown of all the exclusive PS4 games that have yet to be announced.

140 PS4 games are in development, 100 will be out in the first year, and 40 have ‘exclusive experiences’.

Who cares about games? I want TV and stuff.

…ok. Sony Pictures Entertainment is producing content for the PS4, Music Unlimited, Movies Unlimited Redbox and Flixster will be available at launch, while other PS3 services like Netflix are almost definitely set to be there at launch. There is also some sort of video streaming service called Gateways to Greatness.

Where can I keep up to date with all the latest PS4 news?

How convenient and not suspicious of you to ask! Here, of course.
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