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Epic Games VP Says PS4 Is Kinda Like "The World's Best PC"

The PlayStation 4 is all about accessibility for developers, and guys like Epic Games vice president Mark Rein calls such a move "very smart."

In speaking to CVG, Rein said Sony's decision to utilize off-the-shelf PC components was a good one, as it will let game makers to hit their stride early. He also spoke a bit about the obvious benefits of the new, more powerful hardware:

"Let's not forget it has 16 times the memory we had in PlayStation 3 - that's not insignificant. Knowing that every machine has that... we can do crazy, ridiculous stuff with that.

The other exciting thing is that... when you think about Windows, even Windows for most people is tied to about 2GB of addressable memory space. This really opens up beyond what most PCs can do, because most PCs are running a 32-bit version of Windows."

Many have wondered if we'll see the same level of advancement throughout the next generation with the PS4; i.e., will the graphics actually improve as significantly as they've done with past PlayStation platforms? Perhaps not, as developers had to learn the ropes before. But even so, Rein believes that the PS4 is "like giving you the world's best PC" as the new console combines power with convenience. Finished Rein:

"I've always said that the things in the next-generation that aren't just brute force hardware are all about the service and simplicity of the experience - the things that make it as fun and easy to get a PS4 game as it is to get a game on your iPad."

Tags: ps4, playstation 4, epic games, new playstation

4/2/2013 11:40:15 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (34 posts)

Cesar_ser_4
Wednesday, April 03, 2013 @ 12:29:46 AM
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I'd imagine the only devs needing to learn this "brand new" arch are Sony's 1st party. But even then it should be a piece of cake.

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Beamboom
Wednesday, April 03, 2013 @ 1:08:18 AM

Nah. They all learned the craft on this architecture. They are raised on it. They probably do their hobby projects on x86 in their spare time. This is nothing new to them.

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mustang750r
Wednesday, April 03, 2013 @ 7:56:16 AM

Sony's 1st party devs also played a huge in developing and shaping the PS4 so I'm sure they can easily make games for something they helped create. The PS3 is a bit tricky though as everyone had to relearn everything, but again Sony's 1st party games were and still are the best on the console.

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Beamboom
Wednesday, April 03, 2013 @ 1:18:39 AM
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He speaks the truth. Also add to this equation the speed of the memory and you really got a system with completely uncharted waters when it comes to possibilities. I really wish more people realized what this implies.

This will most definitely push PC gaming forward as opposed to being held back by the console platforms as they have for very long now, so even non console-gamers should be real excited about this.

Last edited by Beamboom on 4/3/2013 1:26:23 AM

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Hand_of_Sorrow
Wednesday, April 03, 2013 @ 1:29:40 AM
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i don't even know what all the specs of the ps4 mean and i'm excited!

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The Real Deal
Wednesday, April 03, 2013 @ 2:34:56 AM
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Wow, Mark Rein just hit the nail on the coffin. All the haters spewing out the technical specs of a pc and how they blow the ps4 out of the water, need only look here to see why that matters very little. Very little of that extra hardware you have on the pc as it relates to the ps4 will be used when making multi-platform games. The reasoning is simple, the ps4 is now capable of the graphics that are seen in todays standard pc titles.

The need to scale back or port these titles is no longer required. I would imagine most of these games will be made with the console kits and then ported to the pc. If nothing else in the way of innovation comes from the next generation, at least we have found a one to one ratio between pc and console. I believe this is why all these developers are praising the system.

Developers make games for a broad audience, because of the undefined nature of a pc and its specific specs, i believe that when it comes to games there will be very little innovation in pc gaming. Which means that even though you have that extra hardware it will not be needed unless of course we are talking about a pc exclusive title; which in reality is a narrow list. I thought that the xbox would define this generation, i believe i was wrong in that assumption. Consoles in general will define this generation, whatever they can achieve will dictate what happens on all other platforms. For the first time since computers existed the quality between the two will hardly be noticeable.

Last edited by The Real Deal on 4/3/2013 2:36:19 AM

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xnonsuchx
Wednesday, April 03, 2013 @ 4:10:54 AM
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And the CPU may be optimized to take out the stuff that's needed for 32-bit (and lower) x86 backwards compatibility and general purpose PC functionality to make a leaner/meaner CPU that works considerably better than an equivalent clock speed PC CPU.

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Crabba
Wednesday, April 03, 2013 @ 4:58:20 AM
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His credibility goes out the window when making statements like 32-bit Windows has 2GB of addressable memory space, considering 32-bit means 4GB of addressable memory.

Besides of course the fact that most modern gaming PCs should be running on 64-bit Windows and 16+GB of RAM...

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Doppel
Wednesday, April 03, 2013 @ 6:36:18 AM

Windows 7 32Bit caps a single process to 2GB of RAM.

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa366778%28VS.85%29.aspx?siteID=rGMTN56tf_w-lzptnhHEdClzrgW.NpzbcA

So if a game is 32Bit, it will only have access to 2GB of RAM, maximum. Even at 64Bit, the cap is only 4GB.

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Crabba
Wednesday, April 03, 2013 @ 3:20:01 PM

First of all, that's per process, and after OS overhead a single process will obviously never have the full 4GB available for a single process on a 4GB system.

But if you read even the top of the article you linked to, it also says that "Limits on physical memory for 32-bit platforms also depend on the Physical Address Extension (PAE), which allows 32-bit Windows systems to use more than 4 GB of physical memory.".

Also, which I didn't even take into account in my first post as it says further down in the article: "Note that memory on our graphics cards DOES NOT COUNT towards the physical memory limit because it does not occupy address space as seen by the CPU. However, hardware mappings do. A graphics card with 2GB of memory on it will probably not have more than 256MB of mappings if the BIOS has memory remapping disabled (which it should for a 32-bit OS).", which basically means that if you have a 32-bit OS with 4GB of standard RAM, and a graphics card with 2GB of video RAM, you have a usable total of approx 6GB of RAM for a game, even on a 32-bit Windows, that's not very different from the "PS4 super computer" (LOL).

And, well that's of course not taking into consideration that 64-bit Windows has been out for a very long time, and that the typical decent gaming PC probably has 8-16GB of system RAM & 2GB of Video RAM...

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___________
Wednesday, April 03, 2013 @ 6:05:42 AM
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i find it VERY hard to believe the majority of gaming PCs run a 32 bit version of windows.
especially since OEM manufactures stopped shipping 32 bit OS with their machines, what 3 years ago!?
they had to simply because even the bog standard bottom of the range laptop had more than 4GB of RAM, so they were forced to.
hell, the dell systems were running at work came with vista 64bit as standard, had to because they all have 16GBs of RAM.
and there bottom of the run PCs, in no way what so ever geared towards RAM intensive applications.
and that was 2009 if i remember right!
so 5 years later, and the majority of GAMING PCs dont have what the bottom of the range dells did 5 years ago?
yea, BS!

makes me wonder if $ony did make the right choice.
they have always gone for alien hardware and that has made them SUPER powerful!
it was ironic, nvidia and AMD have been throwing punches back and forward ever since the ps4 was announced.
nvidia released a table at their GDC presser showing the timeline of consoles.
ps1, 2 and 3 years to catch up!
and that was the most powerful card available, not a consumer level card, for the flagship card to be as powerful as recently released consoles took years!
let alone for those cards to drop to a consumer price of a console.
now though, the ps4 has a card on the same level of cards from 2010!
how sad.........
not slightly less powerful than consumer cards today.
way, way, WAY less powerful than consumer cards today!
a stark contrast to history.

so did $ony really do the right thing?
they opened up the platform which is great, but at the expense of dumbing down the specs.
yea developers have b*tched and whined about cell, but they have had 7+ years experience with it now, would they have really continued b*tching if $ony gave them another 7 years?
great, developers are happy because their lives are made easier.
but what about the end product?
exactly whats wrong with this industry, no one gives a sh*t about the final product!
f*ck tomorrow, were only interested in today!
as long as our days are made easier, who cares about the final product?

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The Real Deal
Wednesday, April 03, 2013 @ 1:13:42 PM

What you fail to understand is that even though you have a new graphics card for your pc, its not being used in todays current generation of games. I have a graphics card that is at least three years old which still runs all games produced today, granted i can't max out all settings on some games. But what i can maximize looks better then consoles and some would say looks like next generation graphics on consoles.

Even if the ps4 has technically an inferior product, the way a console uses that product is very different then a pc. Mark my words unless we are dealing with a pc exclusive you will not use any of the new graphics cards available and the difference between multi-platform games will be minute. PC game development has always been behind the curve with respect to new hardware, don't expect that to change much with the new consoles.

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Crabba
Wednesday, April 03, 2013 @ 3:42:17 PM

Yep, I agree completely, ridiculous statements...

Devs have had many years to learn the PS3 tech, and most devs were actually complaining about the limitations on the PS3 like the low RAM etc, which obviously would not be an issue with a new PS4 based on Cell tech, so how smart is it really abandoning the tech that all your first-party devs have spent years optimizing their engines for?

Still, if you ARE going to to x64, at least use decent 2012+ hardware, and not something made for cheap laptops & tablets.

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Akuma07
Wednesday, April 03, 2013 @ 8:18:48 PM

You guys just aren't getting it.....

Oh and by the way, I agree that 32-bit systems are still in the vast majority.

You can't say that running 16gb RAM is standard. My work replaced all their laptops last year with brand new Toshiba's, and they all are only running 4GB RAM, and came with 32-bit Windows 7.

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xenris
Thursday, April 04, 2013 @ 11:19:10 AM

Not to mention that games do NOT utilize 16 gigs of RAM. Most use about 2gigs. So people with 16 have a lot of RAM just sitting around doing not a whole lot.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, April 03, 2013 @ 9:59:39 AM
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lol, don't most of us expect Xbox 720 to run Windows?

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CrusaderForever
Wednesday, April 03, 2013 @ 10:17:31 AM
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Really no over head with the separation of duties, ease of production and a nice amount of memory. Once the game is made with these specs who cares what the innards are. Should be a truly next gen experience.

Hey, it's better than what is happening with the WiiU right now. Everyone loves the PS4 which translates into a huge win for Playstation gamers everywhere.

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wackazoa
Wednesday, April 03, 2013 @ 11:06:04 AM
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They keep hyping this thing.... Sony is dealing some money to these guys. I mean sure its the best we've had for the console but that is to be expected. But for them to constantly say that the PS4, (or even when the new Xbox comes out) is comparable to or even surpassing PC gaming is ridiculous.

"Giving you the worlds best PC" ??? Not hardly. It will be a decent PC at first then it will be outdated. But, I dont need the "worlds best PC" for my console gaming. The worlds best console would be fine...


*Also I am not a exclusive fan of PC,PS4,or Xbox. PC gaming and consoles should go side by side, as each offers something different.

Last edited by wackazoa on 4/3/2013 11:07:16 AM

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Beamboom
Wednesday, April 03, 2013 @ 3:00:49 PM

What he talks about here is the ram. And to be able to specifically design games for this amount and speed of ram - to *know* that every machine that runs your code will have these exact specifications - really is like writing for the worlds best PC.

To scale the graphics for various hardware is actually a fairly easy thing to do. But to scale down RAM usage is a totally different kind of challenge. Therefore, as a software designer you need to design your game with no more ram requirements than a good majority of PC gamers are able to meet.
That means that in practise there are no PC games designed to use more than a few GB and with a minimum requirement of max 2gb. The PS4 got EIGHT megs, that's *FOUR TIMES* that minimum requirement, and much faster RAM than you find in any PC today.

So yes, that'd be like writing for "The worlds best PC". You don't have to be bribed to say that.

Last edited by Beamboom on 4/3/2013 3:07:46 PM

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Crabba
Wednesday, April 03, 2013 @ 3:49:41 PM

Beamboom: I'm sure you're aware that those "minimum hardware requirements" are not even close to the same as the RECOMMENDED hardware. I seriously doubt you could even play most modern games with 2GB of RAM and get decent performance.

Also, remember that's 8GB TOTAL RAM for system & video, which would be equivalent of a PC with 6+2GB, which isn't even high, and pretty much any decent modern graphics card uses the same GDDR5 RAM that the PS4 uses, so the "much faster RAM than you find in any PC today" is just silly.

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wackazoa
Wednesday, April 03, 2013 @ 8:22:00 PM

I get what your saying Bean. Just the way that it is being said, I guess gets me. Im just kinda sick of the massive hype that publishers (and now Sony and soon Microsoft) are putting out lately. Like everything is the best this or first of it's kind that. Then when the game comes out we have been somewhat underwhelmed by alot of these hyped products.

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Akuma07
Wednesday, April 03, 2013 @ 8:29:29 PM

My PC is running 2GB ram, and I can play most current release games at full specs with decent performance, and lowering it even a little improves even more.

But he is also correct that there are no PC games that are designed to take advantage of the vast amounts of RAM PC's can have these days. Neither are there any games that are designed to take advantage of multi-core processors. PC Software is years behind the hardware. Also, correct me if I am wrong, but all RAM in PC's is DDR3? Only medium-high graphics cards use DDR5.

In the near future I'll be building a new PC with probably 32 GB RAM, the latest AMD processor and graphics, and a few TB's hard drive, but I am doing that as a good investment, because that system will last me years.

I feel sorry for the first game that finds 8GB RAM a limitation.

EDIT:
Actually what is better these days?
- AMD CPU + AMD Card
- AMD CPU + Nvidia card
- Intel CPU + ADM Card
- Intel CPU + Nvidia Card

Intel CPU's are very expensive when compared to the AMD equivalent.

Last edited by Akuma07 on 4/3/2013 8:45:26 PM

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Beamboom
Thursday, April 04, 2013 @ 4:29:15 AM

Crabba,
No it's not the same as recommended. BUT! It is a defined amount of RAM that the developers must make their code work under, and that put restrictions on the software design. Also, I doubt there are many PC games with a higher recommended memory amount than 4gb. On the PS4 they got twice of that - as *standard*. That is significant!

And no, it's not the same as 6+2 gb. That would be like saying that the PS3 memory architecture of 256 video ram + 256 system ram is the same as 512 unified, and it's *not*, on so many levels.

To have 8gb of video ram that can *also* be used for cpu tasks, with dynamic allocation of memory as needed gives maximum flexibility for the designers and developers. In fact this is the core point of the design of the entire console, from cpu/gpu to memory. This is why I believe it will push gaming forward for years to come. It has a huge potential for creativity and innovation.

And just for the record: I'm also a PC gamer. I recently upgraded my PC and in fact do all my gaming on PC these days. The PS3 is lagging too far behind now so I am choosing the PC versions of the games until the PS4 hits the shores.
So I'm no blind PS fanboy who just want to hype this box. But seriously, with the PS4 Sony has designed the most well balanced gaming console I have ever seen, with the greatest potential ever. And I do mean that with all my heart.

Wacka,
Oh man tell me about it, I can't stand hyping and marketing speeches myself. Embrace yourself, we will be bombarded by such from both bamps the coming months.
But when 3rd party developers say stuff like this I don't think it is fair to wave the "corruption" flag.


Last edited by Beamboom on 4/4/2013 5:17:18 AM

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Crabba
Thursday, April 04, 2013 @ 5:28:52 AM

Well Beamboom the same thing can easily be said for CPUs & GPUs, where devs have to make the game work for the minimum specs / current-gen consoles which means they will not be able to do a lot of stuff that simply wouldn't run on lower-end hardware, and the same principle will apply to the PS4.

You say it's so significant with 8GB RAM being standard, so what can you do with 8GB that you can't do with 4GB? I really don't see the point, those resources would've been far better spent on a better GPU/CPU combo.

6+2 GB may not be technically the exact same thing, but in reality it is. 6GB is more than enough for anything you might need for system RAM, and 2GB is more than enough for 1080p+ with an advanced FSAA enabled. Besides, I haven't seen anything confirming that the PS4 will have 8GB of unified memory that can be used in any configuration you want, have you?

I'm afraid I don't agree at all that the PS4 is so well balanced. If anything it is very RAM heavy and weak where it counts the most: CPU & GPU. Kind of ironic as the PS3 was the exact opposite. It seems Sony took those complaints HARD, and now goes all out, but this time for no reason..

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Beamboom
Thursday, April 04, 2013 @ 8:24:34 AM

There once was a pretty smart guy who in 1981 said that "640K of memory should be enough for anybody".

So what can memory be used for?
Oh man, where do I begin. With this fast ram it can be used to create insanely detailed (and huge) worlds with no pop-ins or lagging whatsoever. Worlds where everything can be persistent, a world that don't reset as soon as you turn your back on it. An engine that keeps track of pretty much every angle and position of every single little object. Where every pedestrian can have each their own looks and individual little agendas, individual reactions and behaviour, an AI that can relate not only to your immediate actions but learn from your moves up until that point. Practically no loading screens. Much, much more detailed models. A wall of TV sets could display each their individual TV channels if you wanted to.

What you ask for with a boost on gpu and cpu is in effect "more of the same" - just better graphics. I don't want that. I want better *games*. And it doesn't matter how powerful your cpu and gpu is if there's no room to store all the stuff you can work on. And do we really need that much thicker coat of gloss now?

To put it simple: This much of that fast ram available for everything will pretty much open up for possibilities that we've not yet seen in gaming. It is that significant, in my opinion. Much more than being just a graphics churner, it will give the developers a unprecedented room for creativity. And you may quote me on that!

Give it two-three years - not more - and then we'll talk again about this, in hindsight, shall we?


Last edited by Beamboom on 4/4/2013 8:49:42 AM

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wackazoa
Thursday, April 04, 2013 @ 10:50:21 AM

You guys keep discussing RAM which is important, but what Im wondering and havent seen, is if the PS4 will have a SSD. That in my opinion would be as if not more important than the RAM.

By the way, I have picked up a few things I didnt exactly understand before from youz guyes posts. So thanks.

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Beamboom
Thursday, April 04, 2013 @ 11:07:58 AM

SSD is not more important than ram, perfomance wise. DDR5 is much, much faster to read from than an SSD disk.
Don't expect SSD to be included cause it's too expensive. But you can replace the hard drive with a SSD drive yourself! I will do that.


Last edited by Beamboom on 4/4/2013 11:09:09 AM

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wackazoa
Thursday, April 04, 2013 @ 11:56:35 AM

Your saying you can replace the console hard drive with a SSD? How? Just like a normal computer?

As for the SSD wouldnt it elimnate the load screens? That would seem to be pretty significant.

Last edited by wackazoa on 4/4/2013 11:56:48 AM

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Beamboom
Thursday, April 04, 2013 @ 2:45:21 PM

Sure! You can do that with the PS3 too - I believe most of us have done that already, at least once. Just like a normal computer. It's described in the manual of the PS3 too.

SSD will make the loading screens significantly shorter, yes. I'd still say the advantages of the memory are greater than shorter load screens, but sure - a SSD is sweet. :)

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wackazoa
Thursday, April 04, 2013 @ 5:08:47 PM

Well damn........ aint I the slow one. Thanks for the heads up.

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Crabba
Thursday, April 04, 2013 @ 7:17:43 PM

Beamboom that's true, but that was 640 KILOBYTES, half of a megabyte, before even VGA graphics was a consideration. Now were's talking GIGABYTES, 1,000 megabytes, and 1GB itself is more than enough to process 1080p games with no problems, so there comes a time when you get diminishing returns from more memory.

I was shocked when Sony released the specs for the PS3 with only 512mb/256+256mb RAM which is really low to be able to process even 720p graphics, but 8GB? That's 16 times more memory, and according to rumors, games like Battlefield 4 won't even run 1080p!! So what do you need 16 times the memory for??

We already have huge detailed worlds in current-gen PC and even PS3 games like The Witcher & Skyrim, and it's not like you load the entire game to RAM, that makes no sense whatsoever. You load whatever currently needs to be processed, and with the low CPU & GPU specs on the PS4, it won't be able to process any 8GB of data realtime anyway! The stuff you're talking about with lagging, pop-ins & draw distance etc has nothing to do with RAM, it's a question of how much power the GPU has to process the data. Less GPU power means they have to lower details and draw distance, creating pop-ins. You will get that regardless of how much memory they put in the machine if the rest of the specs don't hold up.

More detail, keeping track of objects and making every object & person unique & creating unique behavior has nothing to do with memory either, A) behaviorial resources takes very little memory and B) you just don't store every single piece of data like that in RAM, it's stored on the hard drive and loaded as needed. It's simply irrelevant for those reasons. Why isn't it done now? Well for one can you imagine how much that would increase the already skyrocketing development costs if they had to create unique looks & behavior of every single rock, plant and person in a huge game like Skyrim?? A game like that would never be finished and cost ten times more to make!

If the CPU & GPU specs were up to par, sure I might see that 8GB of RAM could make sense for future proofing, but as is, it's just excessive. I'm sorry but you are incorrect, what I'm asking for is not just "more of the same with better graphics", to create better, bigger & more advanced worlds with more detail and better detailed models, more advanced CPU & GPU specs is EXACTLY what you need, not more memory.

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Crabba
Thursday, April 04, 2013 @ 7:21:41 PM

I agree about SSD, while they are great in your computer and greatly decreases load-times etc, it's not necessary in a console and are simply to expensive for what they do, sort of like excessive RAM ;-)

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monkeypunch
Saturday, April 06, 2013 @ 3:03:01 AM
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This just in! AMD explains more about the architecture,

"It's not just about an x86 solution, but it's about that Jaguar APU where it's a combination of the graphics and CPU together and being able to create something that's greater than just putting an x86 PC-like architecture together," Robison explained.

"For us, really by looking at that APU that we designed, you can't pull out individual components off it and hold it up and say, 'Yeah, this compares to X or Y.'

"It's that integration of the two, and especially with the amount of shared memory [8GB of GDDR5, 176GB/s raw memory bandwidth] that Sony has chosen to put on that machine, then you're going to be able to do so much more moving and sharing that data that you can address by both sides.

"It's more than just a CPU doing all these amazing calculations and a GPU doing calculations. We are now going to be able to move certain tasks between the two."

Devs, he said, will be able to push the console's capabilities beyond a traditional x86 PC architecture, and multithreading - being able to take advantage of all eight cores - is going "to become a huge deal for a lot of the big blockbuster games."

As he said, it's more than just PC components off the shelf. The bottlenecks have always been the bridge between the CPU and GPU. With both on the same chip there's a lot of potential. We don't even know what that means yet.

http://www.techradar.com/news/gaming/consoles/amd-on-the-ps4-we-gave-it-the-hardware-nvidia-couldn-t-1141607

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Omnipro
Tuesday, April 16, 2013 @ 3:47:57 PM
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Sony should market the PS4 as a PC alternative like a desktop version of the Google Chrome Book. It can still be a closed system only running PSN Apps, and then allow Flash, HTML5, Java apps run in the browser for everything else. We already know the PS4 can multitask. Couple it with the Playstation 3D Display, Mouse, Keyboard, USB Hub, and I'd be sitting pretty.

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