Sony's PS4 Launches Across Pal Markets
Finally Sony has launched the PS4, which is a system built specifically for gamers and created with the input of developers. The PS4 system is now available in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom at a suggested retail price of GBP £349 and EUR €399.
While the launch games have been less awe-inspiring than the Xbox One so far, it is said to have arrived with a lineup of over 20 first - and third-party games, including titles like Knack and Killzone: Shadow Fall. In total, the PS4 system will have a library of over 30 games by the end of the year. *
The PS4 system launches with games like Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, NBA 2K14, Battlefield 4, FIFA 14, Need for Speed Rivals and NBA LIVE 14. PS4 also launches with a diverse list of indie games including, Warframe from Digital Extremes, and Super Motherload from XGen Studios.
PS4’s games portfolio expands in 2014 with games like the highly anticipated franchise favorite inFAMOUS: Second Son, as well as brand new IP including The Order 1886, Watch Dogs and #DRIVECLUB.
“It has been an exciting time for all of us at PlayStation, and after the successful launch across United States and Canada we could not be any more proud to be introducing the PlayStation 4 to our region today.” Said Jim Ryan, President and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe. “PS4 has been designed with gamers at its heart, and it is the PlayStation fans that help make these occasions so memorable. We have been overwhelmed by the unprecedented demand for PS4 and we are committed to try and meet those demands.”
The PS4 system has already shown it can handle games in FULL HD (1080P) and this is helped by it's PC architecture – which includes an enhanced Graphics Processing Unit (GPU), an 8-CORE CPU and 8GB of GDDR5 unified system memory – which is designed to ease game creation and deliver a dramatic increase in the richness of content available on the platform. The console also has a dedicated port for the PlayStation Eye camera, two USB 3.0 ports, a 500GB hard drive and of course a Blu-Ray drive at the front.
The PS4 system also takes social connectivity into the next-gen by enabling gamers to immediately share their best gameplay moments with friends. With a press of the "SHARE" button on the DUALSHOCK 4 wireless controller, images and videos can be shared with other players in the activity feed on their PS4 system’s Dynamic Menu, or on social networking services such as Facebook. Gameplay screens and videos can also be shared with friends online. In addition, players can broadcast their gameplay in real-time using live internet streaming services such as Ustream and Twitch. During live broadcasts, friends can even make comments on the streamed gameplay.
The PS4 system integrates second screens, including the PS Vita, smartphones and tablets, to connect gamers to the PlayStation ecosystem wherever they are. Through Remote Play, gamers can play most PS4 titles on their PS Vita system via Wi-Fi on their home network, freeing up the television for other uses.
The “PlayStation App” will further enhance the PS4 system experience by allowing iPhone, iPad, and Android based smartphones and tablets to become second screens. Once installed, users can, for example, see maps on their second screens when playing an adventure game on the PS4 system, purchase a PS4 game while away from home and download it directly to their system, or find and watch shared PS4 gameplay. PlayStation App is now available for free on the iOS App Store and Google Play.
The PlayStation Plus (PS Plus) membership is now a requirement for multiplayer on the PS4. However the PS Plus membership (£40 a year) does provide access to free games. At launch, PS Plus members will have access to Resogun from SCE Worldwide Studios (SCE WWS) and Contrast from Compulsion Games for free as part of Instant Game Collection, along with DRIVECLUB PS Plus Edition from SCE WWS anticipated in early 2014. As mentioned PS Plus gives PS4 system users access to online multiplayer, but it also provides one GB of online storage for game saves, automatic save data backup, and game patch automatic downloads.
Looking ahead, the PS4 system will evolve through PlayStation’s cloud gaming services, Based on Gaikai Inc.’s cloud technology, the services will enable users to have access to a catalogue of PS3 games on the PS4 and PS3 systems, followed by the PS Vita system.
* Release titles may differ according to country/region. Release dates may be changed depending on individual titles