Playstation 4 at GDC 2013

During this year's Game Developers Conference, Sony showcased the the Playstation 4's User interface, some of the Controller's Features, and also detailed some of the social features to be feature in the console.

First off the console's PSN account can be linked to the user's Facebook account, which in turn will allow the console to use the user's real name when posting comments or sharing media through PSN. Real names of users will only be used in games whenever it makes sense (whatever that means). When connected to the PSN, a 'latest news' windows will display what your friends are playing right now, and before playing a title, you can view what other players think about the game and what downloadable content is available for it. The PSN friends limit will be increased from the current 100 friends used on the PS3, but Sony failed to detail by how much.

The spectator mode, which will allow your friend to view your gameplay and even intervene if needs arises, is integrated within the PS4 infrastructure, hence all titles will make use of this feature, and developers do not have to code it every time they want to add the feature to a game. Comments can be posted whilst in spectator mode, and by long pressing the Share button the user will be able to capture a screenshot.

The pressure sensitive analog X, Square, Triangle, and Circle buttons have been replaced with new digital buttons, since very little developers made use of the pressure sensitivity feature. The newly added light bar (which works as a sensor for the new EYE peripheral), will color code the players, for example player 1 will have a blue light, player 2 a green light, and so on. The touchpad of the controller features a 1920×900 resolution, and will produce a clicking sound every time it is pushed.

Just like the spectator mode, Remote play too is integrated in the PS4, and the Vita's screen will directly mirror what is going on the TV. The stereo camera EYE peripheral has also been confirmed to use a propriety connector rather than the convectional USB interface.

Sony also showed off the Android/iOs Application which will allow users to view and purchase items from the Playstation Store. Once the user purchased the items from the app, the PS4 will start downloading the items automatically so once at home the user will be able to play the parts which have been downloaded.

All in all during this conference, Sony managed to get every one more hyped for the console, although I must admit, the removal of pressure sensitive action buttons is a bummer.