Eight Of The PlayStation 4's Most Impressive New Features

November 13, 2013

Sony's PlayStation 4 is more than just a video game console, it's a lifestyle hub. The first three PlayStations all made inroads into the entertainment world, and helped to prove that a video game console could be the most important box in your entertainment center. The PlayStation 4 plans to continue that tradition, and be just a little bit more. The system has a wealth social gaming features woven into its fabric, as well as a host of new and exciting ideas that the PS4 will introduce to gaming. On the eve of the console's official launch, we've chosen some of our favorite new features to get you ready for Sony's next generation... and these don't even include the games.

Play As You Download

One of the biggest problems with the latter end of the current console generation is that digital downloads have gotten bigger and bigger. Whether it's an indie games or a AAA-title, gigabytes of data take a long time to transfer, no matter how fast your connection is. Sony is looking to change all of that with their "Play As You Download" feature, which allows gamers to jump right into their games as soon as enough of the game has been transferred to start it up. For larger, more robust experiences, like a Call of Duty or Killzone, players will be asked which part of the game they want to download first, single-player or multiplayer, allowing them to start the game how they want, when they want.

Remote Play Everything

The PlayStation Vita has seemingly been struggling a bit since its launch. While there have been some wonderful indie games released on the platform, some of the bigger name titles haven't always made their way to the system. However, now gamers that own a Vita and a PlayStation 4 can claim that the biggest games of all are now on the portable console, at least via Remote Play. While the feature has been around for a while, there is an initiative for this console cycle to make every game playable over the wifi waves, essentially making the PS Vita a portable PS4, which is awesome.

Trophy Rarity

Early on in the PlayStation 3's life, Sony introduced Trophies. While they seemed to be a bit derivative from the Xbox 360's Achievement system, over time Trophies have come into their own, and now extend to all of Sony's platforms. The PlayStation 4 is no different, however there is one additional tweak that the PS4's trophies will boast: rarity. Now, there are essentially two tiers of Trophy ranking on the next gen console; the developer's assessment of how hard the trophy is to get (indicated by bronze, silver, gold, and platinum), and also a measure of what percentage of players have actually gotten that trophy, taken from everyone that has played the game. It's a real measure of where you stand in the community.

Motion Controlled Keyboard Input

Entering information via an on-screen keyboard can be tedious, and even annoying. Fortunately, Sony have attempted to change up the input method just slightly, in an attempt to make it easier for gamers to enter their data. On the PlayStation 4, players can navigate the on-screen keyboards just by using the DualShock 4's motion sensing capabilities. Tilting the controller back and forth to get to the system's letters and symbols should save billions of unnecessary d-pad presses in just a matter of a few days.

Facial Recognition Login

The PlayStation 4's Camera may be an optional peripheral, but gamers that pick one up will have an extra possibility for logging into their system: facial recognition. By using the Camera to take three initial scans of your face, players can log into their PS4 just by looking at it. While it might be a bit on the creepy side, it's a nice touch for the technologically savvy gamers out there.

Live Broadcasting

If you have your finger anywhere near the pulse of what's hot with gamers nowadays, you'll likely be familiar with livestreaming gameplay sessions. Sites like Ustream and Twitch are home to countless hours of people playing video games, and cater to self-broadcasting. Well, Sony has recognized the inevitable, and built the ability to share your gameplay session right into the PS4, allowing gamers to easily broadcast themselves on Ustream and Twitch's respective websites at the touch of a (Share) button.

The PlayStation App

Sony has releasing a companion app for the PlayStation 4 that will work on both Android and iOS devices, and will allow gamers a new way to interact with their console. The app will act as both standalone and second screen experiences, depending on what you're doing, and whether or not your games allows for that type of interaction. While it's possible that these second screen experiences may be the motion control of the next gen consoles, it's still pretty cool since the novelty hasn't worn off yet.

Standby Controller Charging

While this one seems like a no-brainer, it was one of the biggest things wrong with the PlayStation 3, so it's great that Sony got it right this time around. Finally, you won't need to be tethered to your system, usually with a three-foot USB cord, if the rechargeable battery in your controller has died, because now your new DualShock 4 can charge while the system is set to standby.

For full coverage of the PlayStation 4 launch, tune in to PS4 All Access Live: Greatness Awaits live from NYC Nov 14 at 11/10c, only on SPIKE TV.