Changing the Game: How PS4 Came to Be
In the gaming industry, the Sony PlayStation is one of the benchmarks for any kind of console there is today. Almost everybody had a PlayStation in their homes at one point, enjoying that unrivaled gaming action only the PlayStation can offer.
Some might think that playing games are for kids, but a large part of the PlayStation gamer demographic is made up of adults.
Sony’s primary gaming console has a level of allure that even people not of a typical gamer age can still appreciate. Now that the company has released its 4th offering of the popular console, the PlayStation 4 has amped Sony’s reputation once more.
While the PS4 is skyrocketing in terms of demands from its release late in 2013, it comes as no surprise because the console does not disappoint. They carry game titles that just leave enthusiasts in awe. One can enjoy the adrenaline of Electronic Arts’ first-person shooter classic Battlefield 1 in flawless fashion. When players feel a little more artsy and adventurous, the single-player player 2D game Night In the Woods can surely satisfy.
All in all, the PS4 is without a doubt one of the best gaming devices in the market today. Then again, important questions now arise – How did Sony do it in the first place? What are the things the company changed or added to the previous model in order to bring out this masterful product?
Dive in on the console’s history, its new technologies, what’s next for this gaming line. Let’s talk about changing the game one system at a the time, and how the PlayStation 4 came to be.
Good Old Days
Before the better days of the PlayStation 4, there existed three others that came before it. PlayStation or PS1 was the first console by Sony to enter the gaming market. It was the most successful console of its time and the first to use the disc-based medium to deliver games. Back then, graphics had evolved tremendously since the earlier years of gaming. PS1 went ahead of its time as it introduced 3D Games that offered a unique playable environment to the gaming community. Often times, the PS1 was regarded as high class and perfect for hardcore gamers because of how it redefined gaming in practically every aspect.
In 2000, Sony released the new generation of PlayStation, the PS2, a full year before Nintendo’s GameCube and Microsoft’s Xbox, the other “sixth generation” consoles, reached the market. The PS2 success was immediate: 980,000 units were sold in one day in Japan. One of the main drivers of the PS2 success, and again related to indirect network effects, was its “backwards” compatibility. This new console was compatible with the original PlayStation titles, giving PlayStation users a huge library of titles. They could use their old games from the PS with the PS2 without any additional investment. This gave this new console a great advantage over its competitors by reducing users switching costs from PS to PS2 over a GameCube or Xbox.
PlayStation 3 or PS3 was Sony’s response to the seventh-generation of gaming consoles. It faced numerous hiccups following its initial launch. Users felt console was too expensive and the architecture to program its games and system offered too much of a challenge for developers. These problems overshadowed PS3 and gave its competitor a reason to enjoy better looking multi-platform titles. Later on in its lifecycle, PS3 did pick up and took the world over with Sony’s first-party studios coming out with magnificent games.
Games and More
While the reinvention of consoles brought about a wave of new graphics-heavy games, companies in the gaming console industry recognized that the more games their consoles can cater to, the larger their market could be. It was the primary target for PlayStation after PS1’s remarkable start.
The PlayStation 2 proved to be one of the greatest systems of all time. When it comes to games, it was better than both its predecessor and its successor in almost every single way. The console ran the popular Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas in the most gangster way possible. In the same way, the artful Sony game Shadow of the Colossus received its best compliments because of its introduction on PS2.
Another game that sparked great interest from the gaming community is Kingdom Hearts. Kingdom Hearts is a series of action role-playing games developed and published by Square Enix under the direction of Tetsuya Nomura in collaboration with Disney. With the unique developer team-up, the game proved to be a pinnacle of the PS2 era, selling 20 million copies worldwide.
Fast forward to 2006, the PS3 made its debut to follow the footsteps of the PS2 rampage. It offered an array of breathtaking games, but with integrated entertainment system. It boasted incredible high definition Blu-ray Disc movies, favorite catch-up TV shows, and chart-topping music which was relatively new to consoles at the time. It ran the renowned game The Last of Us, which stands tall as the definitive PlayStation game. It encompassed everything that makes this medium special by marrying intense stealth combat with a heart-wrenching story, featuring unforgettable characters struggling to survive a harsh world.
The artistic beauty and human emotion of the game Journey also highlighted PS3’s reputation. Journey provided players with a short, but unforgettable adventure. The beautiful world, unforgettable score, and genius use of anonymous multiplayer made it not only one of the best games of 2012, but one of the most memorable experiences of this past generation.
Technology of the New
PlayStation 4 is the culmination of Sony’s entire popular gaming console collection. As a goal to reinvent gaming on a whole new level, the company started creating a platform that is as high-powered as possible, giving users the ability to run games as smoothly as they can. Moving away from the more complex cell microarchitecture of its predecessor, the console features an AMD Accelerated Processing Unit (APU) built upon the x86-64 architecture which can theoretically peak at 1.84 teraflops. It has integrated Quadcore SteamRoller CPU which can peak at 3GHz, with an 8GB RAM and 1GB Video RAM.
The company has then introduced the PSN codes. PSN codes are like virtual currency that can be used instead of credit cards or physical money to purchase Playstation Games. What’s amazing is that often, websites offer free PSN codes for visitors. With PSN codes, one can buy various expansions or other downloadable content. This has allowed more flexibility in enjoying the PlayStation experience around the world.
Generally, the company was able to recognize that the reputation of the PS is not only dependent on its structure. They had to play around with the trend. As such, the company increased emphasis on social interaction and integration with other devices and services. It eventually included the ability to play games off-console on PlayStation Vita and supported Sony Xperia mobile devices (“Remote Play”), the ability to stream gameplay online or with friends, allowing them to control gameplay remotely (“Share Play”).
In addition to PS4’s integrations, the company itself innovated as it added the My PlayStation feature to its site, giving users the access to profiles, trophies, friends, and more. The PlayStation Network allowed people to use their funds to buy games, purchase Sony products, and manage their overall PS experience.