With the launch of its next-generation PlayStation 4 video game console little more than two weeks away, Sony posted a hefty FAQ on its PlayStation blog Wednesday to help gamers prepare for their dive into the new hardware.
Sony originally announced in August that there would be some 33 games appearing during the console's "launch window" this holiday season. But the console has suffered some delays from high-profile developers such as Ubisoft, which announced earlier this month that two of its most promising titles—"Watch_dogs" and "The Crew"—would be delayed until 2014. The new launch lineup has been shaved down to 17 titles:
- "Killzone: Shadow Fall"
- "Sound Shapes"
- "Angry Birds Star Wars"
- "Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag"
- "Call of Duty: Ghosts"
- "FIFA 14"
- "Battlefield 4"
- "Just Dance 2014"
- "Injustice: Gods Among Us Ultimate Edition"
- "Lego Marvel Super Heroes"
- "Madden NFL 25"
- "NBA 2K14"
- "Pinball Arcade"
Of this list, only five — "Flower," the new "Killzone," "Knack," "Resogun" and "Sound Shapes" — are PlayStation exclusives. And of those, only three are truly PS4 "exclusives," since "Flower" and "Sound Shapes" are current-generation games already available on the PlayStation 3 as downloadable titles.
While Microsoft's competing Xbox One console has also been affected by the delays of cross-platform titles like Ubisoft's, that company's launch lineup, which was released in August, now looks a bit meatier in comparison.
Sony also spelled out a few launch-day details for those PlayStation fans that are particularly antsy to get the PS4 up and running as soon as possible.
As is often the case with video game hardware, Sony said that the device will require a day-one patch to do certain things like play Blu-rays and DVDs. The company is also phasing out DLNA support for the new console, meaning that owners will have to rely on Sony's first-party media services to play music and watch movies on the device. Gamers can still use popular apps like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Instant Video, however, so this will only really impact people who wanted to stream media to the PlayStation 4 from their PC.
Like the current-generation PlayStation 3, Sony said PS4 owners will have to install games on the system's hard-drive to be able to play them, though people will be able to jump straight into the action while a game is downloading, installing, or updating. Discs will still be required to play games following installation.
Sony also said that the new console will not support external storage units such as USB hard drives or memory sticks, so gamers will either have to stick with the 500 GB of memory provided with the standard PS4 unit or swap it out for a bigger hard drive entirely. Seeing as the system still requires players to use discs when playing pre-installed games, however, I have a hard time imagining that anyone but the hardest of hardcore gamers will see that 500 GB limit fill up any time soon.
Unlike online multiplayer, which Sony revealed during this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles will require a premium PlayStation Plus membership, the console's newfangled recording and sharing features will be available to all PS4 owners at no additional charge. Sony did note that publishers will have the ability to block a user's recording and sharing capabilities during choice moments of gameplay, however.
Yannick LeJacq is a contributing writer for NBC News who has also covered technology and games for Kill Screen, The Wall Street Journal and The Atlantic. You can follow him on Twitter at @YannickLeJacq and reach him by email at: Yannick.LeJacq@nbcuni.com.