Live from Sony’s ‘see the future’ of PlayStation event!

We aren’t live from Sony’s big PlayStation event just yet — we asked Sony for the big announcements early, but the company sadly declined our request. Shucks! Rest assured that we’ll have all the news just as soon as it spills from the mouths of Sony execs right here — yes, we’re expecting the unveiling of the next PlayStation game console. Stop worrying. Anyway, you’re at the right spot. Pour yourself a cup of hot cocoa and join us in re-watching classic moments from the PlayStation 3′s launch in this glorious one-minute clip while we get ready to kick off the next-generation of game consoles, won’t you?

February 20, 2013 6:00 PM EST

And we’re in our seats!

Will be typing slowly until my fingers warm up… it’s a bit chilly outside.

Hopefully you enjoyed our pre-event live braodcast with Ludwig from Joystiq. We’ll be doing another after the event wraps up.

It’s a fairly small venue, the Hammerstein Ballroom here in NYC.

The surroundings are bathed in blue, with a large main display in front of us.

Below that are three smaller displays, behind the stage — which is fairly low. Be prepared for some heads in the shots, I’m sorry to say.

For such an (expectedly) big event importance-wise, this is an extremely small venue. LIke, we’re getting real cozy in here.

We’ve got no ethernet in here and no power cords, so we’re gonna try our very best to capture the entire event. Here’s hoping Sony doesn’t go for a 12-hour rager, eh?

Of course, with roughly a trillion computers between us and some extra juice in case things go long, that shouldn’t be an issue.

Yours truly is on text duty. We have Joe Pollicino manning a D700 on our end and Ben Gilbert is going to be handling color commentary.

We do hope you’ll join us for the liveblog fun, but if you’d like another option Joystiq is liveblogging as well here: http://www.joystiq.com/2013/02/20/playstation-2013-event-live/

“Good evening ladies and gentlemen and welcome. We will begin in 15 minutes.”

We’ll have the photos flowing in just a moment.

I think we were just on the live stream. Hi, mom!

Music has changed to some groovy beats.

Huzzah, let the photography commence.

Okay, we’re about 10 minutes away!

What do you think we’re going to see tonight? Tweet at us! I’m @Tim_Stevens and Ben is @RealBenGilbert. We’ll share some of our favorites.

I, personally, want to see some games! Next gen ones, preferably.

Maybe a new Gran Turismo…? Maybe Last Guardian…?

My money’s on Watch Dogs and Star Wars 1313. Maybe Dark Souls 2?

Aha! I’m not alone. @mbhulo says “The Last Guardian! I think they hope we’ve forgotten about it” — Indeed I haven’t.

As for first-party … well, that’s another question. If there isn’t a fourth Uncharted game, I’ll eat my hat. No seasoning, even.

@alextoub thinks we’ll see “a new walkman” — that would certainly be a surprise…

“Playstation helicopters!” says @ryanbrousseau — I am totally game for that.

@sleeplesstwo says “PS3 Nano, $99. No PS4 announced. #sonyriot2013″ — Indeed, there would be a riot, and this is a mighty confined space.

Sony Computer Entertainment America CEO Jack Tretton is milling about up front, looking like the consummate executive he always does.

@The_KMich says “Final Fantasy Versus XIII??” — I think it’d be XIII 2

“Please take your seats, the program will begin shortly. Welcome!” — We’re getting excited. Are you getting excited?

@WutDaHeckMan: “Hardcore vita integration with ps4. Itll be used for Streaming and controller. Plus NA price drop.” — That sure would be nice. They just announced the international price drop.

@skenda_bfo: “Linux on PS4? Probably no games, since PC is wining in the Game War! xD” — Interesting thought. We haven’t heard much about the Linux partnership since the PS3. Could it be reborn today? I wouldn’t bet on it…

Wow, lots of folks really want to see a Final Fantasy VII reboot. That’d be a crazy thing…

When will the internet stop asking for a Final Fantasy VII remake, Tim? WHEN?

@Raconteur12 says “I’m thinking Sony’s S/Z/T Smartphones will have a “Smartglass” type of feature implemented, as well as classic PS1 titles.” — There’ll almost certainly be some form of smartphone connectivity. What about Gaikai connectivity to your house from your phone?

Okay, we’re about to begin! Are you ready?

Rather: R U (RED) E?

Here we go, video is playing!

We’re seeing some translucent symbols, it’s the PlayStation buttons.

It’s the Inception tone! Lots of bass, lots of droning.

“Imagination is the one weapon in the war against reality”

“We don’t need to win, but we need to fight. We need to play.”

We’re seeing various scenes of the real world.

Okay, now we’ve moved to gameplay, but it’s still Vita and PS3 games at this point.

And now an old Ratchet & Clank commercial! The one with the chicken gun, you may recall.

Other commercials… Gran Turismo, Little Big Planet..

Again, all older games.

We’re basically being walked through the last 20 years of PlayStation history, from goofy ’90s commercials to Kratos looking mad as heck.

“Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Andrew House!”

“Good afternoon”

Andrew is from SCE, if you’re not familiar with the man.

Andrew House is essentially the head of PlayStation worldwide. He’s kind of a big deal.

“Today, we’ll show you how we’re strengthening the PlayStation ecosystem through hardware and software… that, when combined, create truly magical experiences.”

“We’ll show you the many ways in which the living room is no longer the center of the PlayStation Ecosystem, the gamer is.”

“Connectivity between devices, and the ease with which they connect, has been essential to meeting the demands of today’s casual or core gamer.”

A massive wraparound collage shows the many different types of gamers that populate “the world of PlayStation.” Also, a guy playing a Vita in a European train station. It looks kinda like the train station in Cologne, Germany, but we digress.

He’s saying the future is “Developer-inspired” and focused on new gameplay experiences. “We’re meeting the demand for mobility with the most powerful portable gaming system we’ve ever created.” — Yeah, the Vita.

He’s now talking up indie games, like Journey and digital distribution.

“Every facet of PlayStation will continue to become more powerful, and as you see remains at the heart of every game we create.”

“We painted a picture of the future that would revolutionize not just the console, but would have implications across the entire portfolio.”

This is a lot of words… a lot of theory. I think we’re ready to see some games.

“Today, we will give you a glimpse into the future of play.”

That’s more like it.

“It’s designed to make accessing the content gamers like easier than ever. It’s conceived as the most personalized gaming experience today.”

House is hinting at what’s next. Looks like we’re just about to hear about Sony’s next console, eh?

“Expect the best franchises to be even better, and expect powerful opportunities to stay connected and informed”

“This is the power of our next-generation platform, PlayStation 4″ !!!

“We believe that PlayStation 4 represents a significant shift from thinking of PlayStation as merely a box or console”

“PlayStation 4 will unleash imaginations… while also allowing developers to explore new business models.” He’s talking about episodic gameplay, even free to play games.

“We must give gamers the kind of multi-dimensional experiences they not only expect, but quite frankly deserve.”

“Over the next few hours…” he says. Here’s hoping our battery packs hold out!

He’s talking up the next guest… it’s Mark Cerny!

“Thank you for the warm welcome and thank you all for being here today.”

He’s saying how he’s been a part of this project for years now, acting as System Architect. “We also looked at how the whole PlayStation ecosystem could be evolved.”

He’s talking about players taking a “path” through content.

“At a time of great transition in technology and how we use it, every major console all the way from the Atari 2600 all the way up to the PlayStation 2 had pretty much been a single-purpose device.”

“And that was fine, that was the world we lived in… But at the time of the launch of the PlayStation 3, the world was in flux.”

“Since the launch of PlayStation 3, we’ve seen a proliferation of the number and types of devices…”

He just mentioned Blast Processing! Where my Sega fans at?

He’s talking about the goals of the new system, the first being nothing separating the player and the game.

“Nothing between you and the game” is the message.

They also wanted “fluid” connectivity.

Finally, they spoke with developers. “We wanted to make them happy.” That’s a nice change from the PS3, which many devs… struggled with.

He mentioned they started talking with devs back in 2008!

That’s just two years after the PS3 hit the market.

“We were able to create, with PlayStation 4, a platform by creators for creators.”

It’s a PC-like architecture, he says. “Supercharged.” It’s an x86 CPU with an “enhanced PC GPU” for graphics.

“A GPU with remarkable long-term potential,” he says.

8GB of “high-speed unified memory.” That’s a nice step up from the PS3 and the Xbox 360.

And here’s the new controller, the Dual Shock 4!

It’s much more rounded, looks like a rubberized grip with “enhanced rumble capabilities”

There’s a touchpad up top in the middle, a “share” button and a headphone jack, and a “light bar” as a “simpler, more friendly way to identify players.”

There’s also a stereo camera that can track the 3D position of the controller through that light bar. So, it’s like Move meets Kinect!

Okay, it’s Unreal Engine 4 now, running in real-time, a demo we’ve seen before.

There’s lots of fire, a crack splitting water, flames and lava and an ice goliath walking out of a frozen waterfall.

What exactly that had to do with the controller… we’re not sure, exactly.

“Putting CPU and GPU on the same die gives streamlined access to a common pool of memory.”

It’s GDDR5 memory, by the way. “Typically reserved for high-end graphics cards.”

We’re now seeing some physics demos, Mark is showing off a million physics objects in Havoc, all executed using the GPU.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing how the development community will use this tool we’ve provided for them.”

Mark himself is working on a game, which we’re seeing now. The first PS4 game!

It’s what looks like an orkish hoard attacking a town…

Graphics are, actually quite simplistic. For stylistic reasons, of course.

So there’s a magical robot of sorts, by the look of things, which can be used to fight against the opposing forces.

Mack is the name of the magical robot thing, which appears to grow throughout the course of the game.

Ahh, it’s Knack! Not Mack.

When he falls to pieces the pieces, of course, get scattered all over the place. Havoc, we’d have to imagine.

The thing about calling something “Knack” is that “Mac” is a name. This is like when Archer says, “M as in Mancy.” But hey, look at all them graphics!

“I can’t tell you how nice it is to finally show that in public,” says Mark.

Simple, Immediate, Social, Integrated and Personalized were the guiding forces for the system here.

“The processing power is an exponential leap over its predecessors, but at the same time we wanted the platform itself to be a premium place.”

“Powerful functionality needed to be just a button press away.”

“On PlayStation 4, we’ve put together a feature set… that radically reduces the lag time between consumers and their content.”

The system will suspend when you hit the power button. To resume, just hit the power button again and BAM you’re back in the game. “At the exact spot you left off.”

There’s a a “secondary custom chip” that can download or update games in the background. “On PlayStation 4, digital titles are playable even as they are downloaded.”

That’s a great feature — no more waiting ages to play your indie games.

Okay, now it’s time to see the user interface.

You can now quickly and easily share 10 seconds of video, trim it and upload it for sharing. Get ready for even more CoD killstreak vids!

You can also live-stream your gameplay experience! Friends can even help you out by taking over the controller.

The social network will be “highly integrated.” You’ll see real photos of people, real names, and there’ll be mobile apps that let you connect from anywhere.

You can browse video remotely from your phone, tablet — or, yes, your Vita.

You can “keep in touch with the evolving world of your game, regardless of your location.”

Finally, the system will “get to know you” — personalization will be a major feature, the system learning your likes and dislikes.

It’ll automatically download content it thinks you’ll like. “Our long-term vision is to reduce download times to zero… If we know enough about you to predict your next purchase, then that game can be loaded and ready to go before you even click that button.”

So, wrapping up on system architecture here…

The system will be Deeply Satisfying, Developer Focused and provide “Easy Access to Content and Experiences.”

Dave Perry is the next speaker, the founder of Gaikai.

And Dave is on-stage! “It’s truly an honor to be here in this room, with the millions watching around the world.”

“The gamer is at the center of the network, so every decision we make is scrutinized.” — Soo, no more annoying system updates?

He’s talking about being able to play any game in the store instantly.

“With GaiKai in the PlayStation Store, you’ll be able to instantly experience anything that you like.”

He’s saying you should try everything, share what you like, and only buy what you love.

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