Monday, February 18, 2013

Multiple PS4 prototype controller images leak to the Internet as PS4 launch nears

Several different images purporting to be a controller for the yet to be revealed Sony PlayStation 4 (PS4) appear to confirm some things, while at the same time raising still more questions about the company's next-generation video game console, codenamed Orbis. Images started popping up last week, with at least high-resolution image being revealed (click above to enlarge), tweeted on Friday.

[A slideshow of images can be seen here]

Other images seem to confirm some of the expected features of the new controller. The new DualShock-shaped controller has been described with the following functionality, based on what was supposed to be official, detailed Orbis documentation seen very recently. Notably, though, the images that were leaked were said to be prototypes:
  • A two-point multi-touch capacitive touchpad
  • The ability to "click" the entire touchpad for use as an additional input button
  • Motion-sensing, as in the PS3 controllers, but with improved technology such as tilt correction
  • Vibration
  • RGB LED built-in
  • A "light bar" (functionality unclear)
  • A "share" button
However, there are questions raised by the appearance of the controller. A Gametrailers forum poster, who posted an identical image to the one that was tweeted, also described the controller as follows:
The triggers are much more similar to the Xbox 360 "springy: triggers. That's a microphone (similar to VITA, Wii U) and that is also a headset port. Touch screen is resistive display, single touch, used for battery levels, friend lists, mini u.i blah blah. Taken a while ago, only had access to it via someone else.
So there are contradictions, with the poster saying it is a resistive-touch touchpad and single-touch. To be clear, these images are all supposed to be prototypes, and he has confirmed this was a prototype, as well, which means the functionality may be different now.

A Resistive- and single-touch touchpad will be labeled a failure by many, but we will have wait to see what Sony delivers. Notably, the prototype does not display a "share" button, but again is just that -- a prototype.

The specs of the actual console are unknown, but information can be gleaned from the specs of the developer toolkit. Toolkit model #DVKT-KS000K -- as of January 2013 -- carries the following:
  • CPU: 4x Dual-Core AMD64 "Bulldozer" (a total of eight cores)
  • System Memory: 8GB
  • GPU: AMD R10xx
  • Video Memory: 2.2GB
  • Ports: 4x USB 3.0, 2x Ethernet
  • Drive: Blu-Ray
  • HDD: 160GB
  • Audio Output: HDMI & Optical, 2.0, 5.1, 7.1 channels
In this day and age of PC systems sporting terabyte hard drives, that hard drive may seem small, but to be clear, this is a developer toolkit.

All will be revealed on Wednesday, Feb. 20. Sony has scheduled a New York City media event on that date; the company is widely expected to announce the PlayStation 4.

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