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10 things you didn’t know about PS4

(1) It’s 10 time more powerful than the PS3 at a lower price tag than its rival

The PS4 will have a $399 price tag. What’s interesting is that at this price point, you’re getting a more awesome gaming experience than what the competition offers at $100 pricier. If you’ve been happy with the previous generation Sony game console, the PS4 trumps it 10 times over. This near Herculean technology and performance leap brings superb high definition visuals with better anti-aliasing and higher frame rates, nimbler response times and physics, and overall gameplay improvements. Nothing in the home video gaming world comes close to offering the best value for your money.

(2) Secondary chips as efficient kitchen helpers to the AMD chef

PS4 will harness the processing muscle of an 8-core chip (two quad cores) jointly developed by Sony and AMD. It is based on the new Jaguar CPU architecture from AMD that will put it on par with some of most powerful AMD-based gaming PC’s as of this writing. It will also use “secondary” chips that act like waiters and kitchen staff at the beck and call of its AMD chef. They will be efficiently doing the equivalent of back office legwork to deliver jaw-dropping visuals, perform background downloads and social network updates, as well as process data transfers while you’re enjoying the game.

(3) More promising Remote Play

The PS3 only had a limited remote play feature with either PSP or the PS Vita, but the new PS4 is expected to go full blast on this. With an internet connection, the PS4 acts like a server to stream its games to your portable PS Vita right out of the box, but only if the games were designed to use this feature. On launch date, not all PS4 games will have remote play, but give it some time, say a few months into 2014, and new PS4 game releases can be streamed right into your PS Vita which will serve as a portable PS4 away from home, or even a controller at home. That may not compel you to spend $349 on the PS Vita as a controller. But when friends see you playing your PS Vita with games that they can only play on their PS4, you get instant bragging rights.

(4) PS4 weighs no more than a chicken, but…

At 2.8kg (98.7oz), the new black box is more than a kilo lighter than the original PS3 with the 60GB hard drive, and smaller as well. That’s about the same weight as an average size dressed chicken destined for the oven rotisserie, maybe even less when you add the barbecue sauce. In contrast the older PS3 is as heavy as your average watermelon.

Weight, however, has more practical relevance with a game controller you will be holding more often. The new DualShock4 at 210g (7.4oz) is admittedly heavier than the older DualShock 3 at 192g (6.8oz). But the added 18g is what you get with more controller features such as a capacitive two-point touch pad that is clickable, motion detection from a three-point accelerometer and a three-axis gyroscope, improved vibration, better build quality and a rechargeable non-changeable lithium battery with 1000mAh capacity. Putting it into everyday context, the new DualShock weighs no more than a couple of average size bananas, or two chocolate chip cookie packages. You can make a choice of gastronomic or gaming delight. Then again, why bother when you can have both.

(5) The touchpad clicks

The new PS4 controller’s two-point capacitive touchpad is a novel idea for game controllers. Put pressure on the pad and it clicks like a button. There’s no PS game that takes advantage of this unique feature at this time, but you can be sure it will be exploited by game developers with new PS4 game releases forthcoming by next year.

(6) Charge the DualShock controllers while the console sleeps

The worst thing that could happen with untethered controllers is that they lose power just when you needed to play your console game. With some getting used, you simply plug the DualShock 4 via USB to the PS4 console that is set to sleep mode, and you can forget about it while doing something else. Always think about sleep mode as charge mode and you will never have to worry about your game controller losing power.

(7) Controller buttons are more immediate

DualShock 4 replaces the pressure-sensitive buttons on the previous version with digital buttons that exhibit less lag times between pressing and the console receiving the signal. That means less frustrating misses when navigating or controlling demanding games that require super-fast reflexes. With button presses that have a more immediate feel with on-screen action, the controller and the gamer effectively become one.

(8) There’s a headset in the box

Last provided for in the PS2 bundle, the PS4 package comes with a wired monaural headset using Sony’s own legendary audio technology expertise. With chat a major attraction in PS4′s online gaming feature, cross-game chat, which gives you the ability to play Killzone while chatting with your Knack play pal, makes this headset a welcome freebie in the package.

(9) The analogue joysticks offer better control

While the DualShock 4 controller shares the basic ergonomics of the older controllers, a closer look reveals that its analogue joysticks have been redesigned. Based on several survey feedback from gamers, the joysticks and triggers now sport better textures, dead zones, concave surfaces, and circular indentations on each joystick for a firmer thumb grip that allows pinpoint accuracy and response immediacy when playing demanding PS4 games.

(10) Expect more games

Unlike the PS3 that got lukewarm support from many game developers, the PS4 has them stumbling head over heels to develop dedicated games on the new platform. Gaming pundits from Epic Games, id software and Gearbox Software are praising Sony’s more open architecture that is a marvel in computer engineering for a gaming console. Eurogamer and Insomniac Games are impressed with its graphics capabilities, more memory and data storage, faster game loading, and improved overall performance. Gamespot called it the “gamer’s next generation choice” that is open to independent game developers, further proving that Sony has learned to better empower and delight its console gaming markets.

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