Sony teases extra PS4 details at the Games Developers Conference

Sony's PS4 press roundtable has revealed a faster Blu-ray drive, better charging system, and Remote Play improvements, along with EyeToy tweaks

28 Mar 2013
Sony PS4 Controller

Sony has released more details about its upcoming PlayStation 4 console at the Game Developers Conference, including tweaks that mean controllers are easier to charge and multiplayer gaming will be simpler.

While the company still hasn't shown off the console itself, it was willing to reveal a handful of extra details at a press panel - including the fact that the Blu-ray drive in the PS4 will be around three times faster than that of the current-generation PlayStation 3. As anyone who has played on a PS3 will know, that's a big deal: the slow drive speed is one of the reasons the PS3 requires mandatory hard-drive installs for most games, and leads to elongated loading times on cross-platform titles compared to the same game running on an Xbox 360.

For multiplayer gamers, the PS4 will incorporate 'True Name' functionality which allows a player to be identified by his or her real-world moniker rather than a pseudonym. Sony was keen to point out that this functionality will be optional, however: those who wish to be known by their real name can opt-in to the system, while those who prefer a little anonymity can retain the old nickname system - unless, that is, they add a friend to their list from a social network that already uses real-name functionality, in which case that friend will see the player's real name. The 100-player friends' list is also being expanded, although Sony did not provide details on what the upper limit will be on the PS4.

Sony also explained that the revamped EyeToy motion-sensing camera peripheral will help ensure that gamers get the most from the system by incorporating a tilt sensor. As well as correcting for skew if the system isn't quite sat straight, it will alert the user if it has fallen off the top of the TV before a game has begun.

Other tweaks mentioned by Sony at the event include the ability to charge the PS4 controllers without turning the console on, and improvements to the Remote Play function that will allow the Vita to take over display duties for a running game at any given time - providing the feature is supported by the title - while mirroring the same content to the TV display.

While that was as much information as Sony was willing to give at the event, games developers themselves have been a little more forthcoming. Speaking to industry news site MCV, Ubisoft executive Jade Raymond has warned that the raw power of the PS4 - which features a PC-like AMD accelerated processing unit (APU) - will not be enough to drive innovation by itself. On the other side of the coin, Zombie Studios' Jared Gerritzen has told Destructoid that Sony is being incredibly supportive of smaller developers, helping to send them to events like GDC, helping with advertising and sending out development kits and technical support when required.

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