With just a few weeks left until the release of the PlayStation 4, Sony has sent out a press release detailing the features that will be available on the console at launch. Many of the features were announced months ago along with the original reveal, but there are some noteworthy additions — as well as some omissions — on the list.
The features listed include Remote Play on the PlayStation Vita, second screen support for smartphones and tablets, gameplay photo and video capture, live broadcast of play sessions on Ustream and Twitch, the ability to play while you download, and many others. Interestingly, Sony has included a note in the press release that warns users they will not be able to watch Blu-Ray Discs or DVDs until an update has been applied.
It is also worth noting that the PlayStation 4 will require a system update as soon as you take it out of the box. Sony has not clarified exactly what Update 1.50 is, but the release claims that “[b]y updating to the latest system software version, users will be able to enjoy a variety of exciting features from the day of launch.”
Sony’s press release follows below.
Sony Computer Entertainment Announces A Variety Of Features Available On PlayStation®4(PS4™) System At Launch
System software update version 1.50 to be released along with the PlayStation®4 system’s North American launch; features include remote play with the PlayStation®Vita system, and game play sharing via the “SHARE” button that enhance game play experience
TOKYO, Oct. 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI) announced that it will release system software update version 1.50*1 for PlayStation®4 (PS4™) system simultaneously with the official North American launch of the system on November 15, 2013. By updating to the latest system software version, users will be able to enjoy a variety of exciting features from the day of launch.
The PS4 system was designed from the ground up to ensure that the very best games and most immersive experiences reach PlayStation users. It redefines rich and riveting gameplay with powerful graphics and speed, deeply integrated social capabilities, and innovative second-screen features utilizing devices such as the PlayStation®Vita (PS Vita) system. SCE will continue to enhance the PS4 system through future system software updates.
The following features are available on PS4 at North American launch:
Users will be able to access PS4 titles displayed on their living room TVs and play them on a PS Vita system over Wi-Fi networks by using PS4 Link*2*3. SCE anticipates that most PS4 titles will be playable on the PS Vita system through Remote Play*4.
Users can use the PS4 Link*2 application for the PS Vita system, and PlayStation®App for iPhone, iPad, and Android™ based smartphones and tablets*5, to use these devices as second screens in supported titles. PlayStation®App has the ability to enable users to interact with games with their mobiles devices. For example on THE PLAYROOM, a title pre-installed in all PS4 systems that requires PlayStation®Camera, users can draw pictures on their mobile device screens and flick them towards the TV. The images then appear as a 3D object within the game.
Record, take screen shots, and upload gameplay effortlessly
The PS4 system provides dedicated, “always on” video encoding systems that enables seamless uploading of gameplay. Users can share their epic triumphs by simply hitting the “SHARE button” on PS4 Wireless Controller (DUALSHOCK®4), take screenshots or scan through the last 15 minutes of gameplay, tag it and return to the game-the video uploads as the user plays. At the PS4 system’s launch in North America, users will be able to share their images and videos with friends on Facebook and screenshots with followers on Twitter*6.
Broadcast and spectate gameplay
The PS4 system also enhances social spectating by enabling users to broadcast their gameplay in real-time to game fans around the globe, using Ustream and Twitch*7 live internet streaming services. SCE provides two ways for users to view live broadcasts. First, the Live from PlayStation® application on PS4 aggregates streams from all PlayStation® users. Second, users can spectate friends’ PS4 gameplay from PCs, and applications such as Ustream, Twitch, and browsers, which are installed on their mobile devices. These applications can be easily started up via PlayStation®App, and users can also use these applications to post comments to gameplay broadcasts. Furthermore, users with PlayStation®Camera can stream camera images and microphone sounds along with their live gameplay broadcast.
Play as you download
This feature enables users to play supported digital titles as they are being downloaded*8. When a game is purchased, users can start playing after PS4 downloads a portion of the data, while the rest of the game is downloaded in the background during actual gameplay. Games may be downloaded in stand-by mode.
A maximum of 4 users can log-in to a single PS4 system simultaneously. These players can use their own save data to play games, and also earn trophies on their own Sony Entertainment Network accounts even when playing a multi-player game together on a single PS4 system*9.
Party (Voice chat)
By using the Mono Headset bundled with the PS4 system, users will be able to chat with up to eight friends enjoying different applications or games. Furthermore, users can use Party to chat between PS4 and PS Vita systems.
Face recognition and voice commands*10
Users with PlayStation®Camera will be able to register their facial image onto their PS4 system, and login to their system using facial recognition instead of DUALSHOCK®4. Furthermore, users can use either the microphone of the Mono Head set connected to DUALSHOCK®4, or PlayStation®Camera to navigate through the PS4 home screen (PlayStation®Dynamic Menu) with voice commands to start up games and shutdown the system, among other features*11.
Background music player
Users can enjoy gameplay while listening to music in the background with Music Unlimited, a cloud-based digital music service*12. Users can also voice chat with friends while listening to music.
PlayStation®Plus (PS Plus) members will be able to play PS4 titles online with other players via the network. PS Plus makes it easy for members to join available online multiplayer matches in a variety of ways, including the ability to easily join a game from a live stream broadcast or Party voice chats.
Blu-ray Disc™ and DVD player
Users can enjoy not only gaming on their PS4 system, but also Blu-ray and DVD video contents*13.
Furthermore, some features will not be available at launch, such as “suspend/resume mode” which is a feature that keeps the PS4 system in a low power state and promptly takes users back to their game. SCE will provide additional information about system software update version 1.50 and features available at the PS4 system’s North America launch, and features that will be available after launch, in the near future.
SCE will continuously enrich services and features of the PS4 system, while striving to further expand the PlayStation platform.