Have you turned on your PlayStation 3 lately? Purchased a new game? Chances are, if you did any of these things, you encountered a bit of an inconvenient, yet required download. Whether it’s a game patch, store download, or system update, the PS3 has been severely criticized for having to go through them rather frequently and slowly. Now the debate can go on about your internet speed being a contributing factor to the experience. Regardless, the complaints remain. With the debut of the PlayStation 4 however, Sony aims to change everything you knew before.
I look at the PS3 as a kind of beta machine. It was an experiment in a rapidly changing world filled with new technology, services, and networks. With all of these changes in how we lived, it was a little tough for the PS3 to keep up with them as it was not built for them. Now we have the PlayStation 4 on the way and it looks as if all of these complaints will be no more. Just from the system’s initial reveal, Sony put a bit of focus not just on social aspects of the machine or its power, but also that the download worries of the present and past will be a faint memory with the PS4.
With 8GB GDDR5 memory and an 8-core processor, the PS4 is looking to be a powerhouse that will be able to handle tons of tasks at once; And this is something Sony promises. The PS4 even features a secondary chip to take care of those specific functions – downloading and updating. One of the most outstanding features that struck me during the PlayStation Meeting was the fact that not only will you be able to try all PS4 games for free from the PSN but you can actually play those games while they’re downloading. This is innovation. As far as I know, this has not really been done before. No more will gamers have to wait for the whole game to download, wait for it to install, and then start playing some hours later – no, this is instant gratification at its finest. I can see this as a massive plus, especially when it comes to games with large download files.
What’s more, the PS4 features a “suspend mode,” similar to that of the PS Vita. This is the ability to pause your game anywhere and any time during your gameplay, do something else on the system, and then pick up right where you left off without losing any game saves or progress. Obviously, this was impossible with the PS3 and its limited hardware specs.
What about updating games with patches or even the system itself? Once again, the PS4 features a wonderful option to put the system in sleep mode and allows for background downloads. According to SCEA president Jack Tretton, the “PlayStation 4’s background downloading and updating capability also allows you to immediately play digital titles as they download, or update the system when the hardware is powered off.” This is definitely something to look forward to.
Imagine the day where waiting to play is a thing of the past. No more waiting to download a patch before you play a game. No more waiting to use your system because of a mandatory update. Imagine the day where Day-1 digital games are available for immediate play; Imagine going back to the days when you come home from the store, put in your disc and don’t have to actually wait to play. In a form of prophetic self-fulfillment, Sony is aiming to please gamers by removing these pains of the past.
No doubt we’ll hear more about these functions in the coming months, but for now let us know what features you’re most excited for in the PS4. Sound off in the comments below!