by Anton Shilov
02/23/2013 | 05:43 AM
Sony Computer Entertainment decided not to show the PlayStation 4 video game console at the formal unveiling event this week, but focus on gaming capabilities of the new platform instead. While the company is unlikely to reveal the look of the PS4 at the upcoming Game Developers Conference next month, the firm intends to show the actual PlayStation 4 system up and running at the E3 in mid-2013.
The perception of game consoles have changed dramatically in the last decade as a result of platform holder’s wish to make them more popular among casual gamers. While non-core customers now represent a significant share of Microsoft Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii and Sony PlayStation 3 owners, core gamers still represent the lion’s share of the market. Therefore, it was logical for Sony to concentrate on gaming at the official announcement of the PS4 this week and skip the details about consumer-oriented features of the console.
Even though for core gamers the look of a video game system is clearly not an aspect of primary importance, the actual design is still a significant feature. Thus, it is not surprising that many gamers now wonder how the PS4 really looks. Sony Corp. plans to unveil the actual game console – and possibly show it in action at the E3 trade-show in early June, 2013.
“I am real proud of the fact that we are talking about [launching in] holiday 2013 and we have already got a lot of detail out there, and a lot of game play, in February. But I was so focused on the content […] What’s the controller gonna look like? What’s the box gonna look like? We made a conscious decision that was not going to be a part of the first reveal, but I would look for E3 as a time when you’ll get a good look at it. Or sooner,” said Jack Tretton, the president and chief exec of Sony Computer Entertainment America, in an interview with Forbes web-site.
Keeping in mind that Sony has not yet demonstrated how the PlayStation 4 looks, it is highly likely that Sony does not have the final version of the console just yet. For example, installation of 8GB of GDDR5 memory involves 32 2Gb chips (there are only 1Gb and 2Gb GDDR5 chips on the market), which requires a PCB of the size of two mainstream graphics cards, too large for a game console. The highly-integrated AMD semi-custom Fusion system-on-chip with eight x86 Jaguar cores and advanced Radeon HD graphics core consumes 80W to 100W, something that requires a sophisticated voltage regulation module (VRM), which takes space as well. All-in-all, without a lot of both external and external work, Sony just cannot come up with a final design of the PlayStation 4. Still, given the PC nature of the PS4, it should be pretty easy to fit the PS4 into a relatively small box.
This is not the first time when Sony does not reveal the actual game consoles while unveiling its features. For example, to demonstrate capabilities of the PlayStation 3 back in 2006 the company used multi-GPU-based x86 personal computers, according to people with knowledge of the matter.