PlayStation 4 was the focus of a press event in New York overnight, which yielded such fascinating details as the fact that pressing the PS button twice swaps you to the last opened app. Gosh.
Multiple sites have reports of UI details from the event, some of which we’ve heard piece meal before; here are some of the more interesting, harvested from IGN‘s comprehensive report. Players can configure the PS4 for PlayStation Camera log-in, using a one-time calibration during which the system takes three differently-angled photos of your face. After that, just stand in front of the camera with a controller in hand to trigger the facial recognition system
The console supports multiple users, but it also allows for guest log-ins. These temporary profiles grant access to the visiting user’s PSN content and details, but deletes everything after they log out.
Once you’re in and playing games, you can easily switch between the game you have on the go and other apps – say, the browser to check a guide, or a chat program – using the home button on the DualShock 4: a double press takes you to the last opened app.
As previously detailed, chat and messaging is cross-platform between PS4 and Vita, as well as smartphones and tablets with the PlayStation app installed. Party chat supports up to eight users. When using text chat, the on-screen keyboard can be triggered via thumbsticks or D-pad, or you can use DualShock 4’s motion sensors with the PlayStation Camera in what sounds like a Swiftkey style input system.
Trophies have been overhauled, giving them a rarity value, so if you have a common platinum it might not be worth as much as a rare gold or silver, in terms of bragging rights. PS3 and Vita trophies are included in your PSN profile.
Sony hasn’t enforced a limit when streaming to Twitch, so you can broadcast right from your console to your heart’s content. The PS4 automatically maintains a 15 minute buffer of recorded gameplay, incase you do something you want to share while you’re not actively streaming or recording.
Sharing content is made easier through distribution lists and social media integration. When you add a new friend to your 2,000 strong list, you can choose whether to show them your real name or just your PSN ID.
When downloading from the PlayStation Store, some games will support a choice of what content to grab first. For example, Call of Duty: Ghosts offers the choice of single-player or multiplayer content first.
Meanwhile, movies and music are entirely cloud based, so you won’t ever need to download them, or free up hard drive space.
Speaking of downloads, one menu option – off by default -allows users to download updates and content in standby mode, and to use the PlayStation App to wake the system remotely.
The PS4 launches in North America on November 15, and in Europe and beyond on November 29.